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Asta’s Annotations: The Path to LGBT Fiction

Asta's Annotations

Today I thought it might be interesting to discuss how we all came to LGBT fiction, whether as readers or writers.

For me, it all started with the film Van Helsing in 2004. Meeting fellow fans through the LiveJournal account I had at the time led me to discover fan fiction, and slash in particular. One of my earliest serious attempts at writing was a fan fiction with a Dracula/Van Helsing back story. I’ve written the occasional piece since—Rimmer/Lister (Red Dwarf), Hannibal/Will (Hannibal), Ragnar/Athelstan (Vikings), Sherlock/John (Sherlock), Steve/Loki (Avengers) etc.—and I still read a story or two when a pairing takes my fancy and I stumble across some well-written tales. (At present I am all about Charles/Eric (X-Men).)

Slash PairingsIt was a Van Helsing friend (and fellow MM author) who guided me to original MM works in the form of Bob Vickery’s short stories. I enjoyed reading them (I had to buy them in secret and hide them from my mother); however, it was not until several years later that I came back to LGBT literature again, first as an editor and then as a writer.

To my mind, fan fiction is a great way to introduce readers to LGBT characters and storylines since it takes something familiar and turns it on its head. (Or not. I’m pretty convinced Charles/Eric is actually canon, at least according to the newer three X-Men films! :)) It allows for the exploration of LGBT themes amongst readers who may not otherwise encounter such works, or who may hesitate to buy original stories either because they are unsure what to expect or because they fear censure.

What do other Queer Sci-Fiers think? Did anyone else start out (whether as a reader or a writer, or both) with fan fiction? If not, how did you develop your love for LGBT stories, and what keeps you coming back for more?


Author Pic 2015

Asta’s Annotations is a monthly column in which author and editor Asta Idonea (aka Nicki J. Markus) discusses the world of publishing, offering tips and tricks to help budding authors submit the best possible manuscript.
Asta Idonea was born in England, but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist, having studied several foreign languages.
Asta launched her writing career in 2011 and divides her efforts not only between MM and mainstream works but also between traditional and indie publishing. Her works span the genres, from paranormal to historical and from contemporary to fantasy. It just depends what story and which characters spring into her mind!
As a day job, Asta works as a freelance editor and proofreader, and in her spare time she enjoys music, theater, cinema, photography, and sketching. She also loves history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel; all of which have provided plenty of inspiration for her writing. She is never found too far from her much-loved library/music room.

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2 thoughts on “Asta’s Annotations: The Path to LGBT Fiction”

  1. Absolutely! Although I didn’t know it was fan fiction (I only discovered that term, once the internet became popular, although I’d been roleplaying various fandoms, since I was a child.) Also, Louis/Lestat, Armand/Louis, Armand/Lestat, and Marius/Louis were all canon. I fell madly in love with it, once I discovered it. In fact, I never would have watched ‘Highlander’ and ‘The X-Files’, if it wasn’t for the m/m fanfic. Those series made a lot of money off of me, thanks to m/m fanfic. :)

  2. The possibility of being published, and the lure of money of course, got me into reading/writing LGBT fiction. I’d just come out about six years ago and was checking out fiction markets when I found one for a gay zombie anthology. Looking before leaping (“Oh, Boy!”) I read a bunch of themed anthologies (Which I detail in a recent column, myself!) Anyway, I was off and running from that point! :)


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