Long before I wandered into the depths of fandom and lost all direction and will to escape, my early fanfiction attempts were based on some of my favorite novels as an adolescent. Why I entered Junior High (grades 7-9, for those of you who don’t live in a Canadian province who decided that segregating the most irritating adolescent years together was a good idea, aka Alberta) the first thing I did was find the library – after all, I had read everything in my elementary school library long before I graduated, and had been making a serious dent in my local public library. Fun fact: you know you are a bookaholic when you go away on vacation for a week and, when you come back, 2 different public librarians ask you if you were sick because they hadn’t seen you in so long!
There, in this new library, I discovered something amazing: fantasy novels. Yeah, sure, laugh, but this was at least a year before the phenomenon of Harry Potter would take over in North America and the children and young adult sections in every library and bookstore began to overflow with wizards, sorceresses and magical beings. Sure, there was fantasy for kids before that, but not such an array of offerings, and sections in libraries can vary dramatically based on demography and the selection criteria of the librarians. So while I had read fairy tales, folklore, and mythology along with a scattering of 1980’s fantasy for children, the wonder of the fantasy section had yet to be discovered.
And there it was: Tamora Pierce’s Alanna: The First Adventure. I picked it up, and never looked back. Mercedes Lackey, Andre Norton, Anne Bishop, Patricia Briggs, Lloyd Alexander, Susan Cooper, Robin McKinley, Anne McCaffrey, Ursula Le Guin, Tanith Lee… the list goes on and on and made up a large portion of my adolescent life…until I discovered anime and manga, but that’s another story.
There’s nothing quite like your first real choices in entertainment: the bands you begin to chose, instead of what your mom is listening to, the books you pick yourself instead of being given, and the tv shows you stay up late to watch or can only see when you’re at someone else’s house because they’re too old for you. We remember them fondly, and even if our taste changes dramatically (seriously, I’m a 90’s kid, my first concert was Backstreet Boys; my most recent one? Nightwish. Talk about divergent tastes) those early choices do seem to shape us.
These are some of my first fanfiction stories – not my first stories, which came several years earlier, when I was 13, but which were influenced heavily by the same works I would later write fanfiction for. I considered editing and rewriting them over the years – you will see that my writing is quite immature here – but have ultimately decided that they serve as a time capsule of my writing. I’m not ashamed of the run-on sentences and chapter lengths that are wildly divergent, the experiments in writing styles. All of these things are still present in my writing today.
Series Rating: Mature
Series Warnings: Canon-typical violence, sex, age difference between romantic partners, underage sex? (Daine is 17 in the beginning of the stories but considering the medieval/fantasy setting …), victim blaming, mentions of past child abuse/bullying, attempted rape (warned for at the beginning of any story and chapter that contains it; please read with caution if this could be a trigger for you).
Lingering Ghosts: Short Stories
Daine and Numair, in love and trying to find their way together, reach a turning point in their relationship – will they go forward, or stumble?
(late spring, the year after the events of The Realm of the Gods)
The morning after the night before.
(sequel to ‘Stumbling Steps’, taking place right after)
The next hurdle arrives… What happens when Daine and Numair’s friends find out?
(midsummer, a few months after the previous stories)
Daine and Numair make a declaration about their relationship to the world. Damn the consequences.
(late summer; a few months after ‘Revelations’)
Two years after the Immortals War Tortall is slowly moving forward, as are Daine and Numair. When duty sends them the village Daine fled six years ago, she must fight against drowning in her past and hold on to her future.
(two years after RotG; early to mid spring; Daine is 18, Numair is 32)
Daine and Numair’s world is shaken when the illness strikes; how will things look when the world settles back into place?
(three years after RotG; 1 year after ‘Lingering Ghosts’)
In my world, the Protector of the Small quartet didn’t happen—it’s not a bad series, but I pretend they don’t exist, partly because I’d read the Immortals and Song of the Lioness so many times by the time Protector came out that my own headcanon was firmly established. As well, Trickster’s Choice/Queen didn’t happen, simply because I started this fic before I read them. I did use some bits of canon from Protector, like Daine and Numair living together openly before marriage, but other than that my headcanon diverges at the end of The Realm of the Gods.
Disclaimer: Needless to say, I am not Tamora Pierce though I do worship at her creative altar and making offerings to her muses. These stories are written in the spirit of love and are meant as a tribute to her work and their influence over me. There is no profit or credit involved.