I’ve said many times that I cut my teeth and honed my skills by writing fan fiction. It started when I was nine or ten and would make up new stories for my best friend about our favorite television and movie and book characters. Later, after I moved away, I wrote some of those stories down and mailed them to my friend. I didn’t know then that “fan fiction” was a thing. It was just something I did for fun.
When I got to college—in the nascent days of email, yet still before the Internet had made fanzines obsolete—I stumbled onto fan fiction as something people actively did. Like, on purpose. So I submitted some stories and was met with great enthusiasm. I got invited to cons as a guest fanfic author, and it was all very interesting and kind of bizarre. I would show up, all of 18 years old, and the women who came to meet me at the airport never believed I was a fanfic author.
The experience encouraged me to channel some of my undergrad studies toward the psychology of fandom. It also helped me decide to turn my own fan writing toward screenplays (because back then spec scripts were still a thing, too). In fact, my final undergrad thesis project was a spec based on an X-Files fic I’d written. I don’t have that particular story here—many have been lost to old disks that I can no longer access. But here are a few of my fan fiction pieces: