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Sherlock and the Curious Case of Fanfiction, a guest post by author Frankie Brown

Image Source: I Want to be a Pin Up w/Sherlock Fanfic Recs

People like to call fiction — especially fanfiction — escapism, as if that’s a bad thing. Fiction does let you escape yourself, but that’s wonderful if inside yourself is sometimes a scary place to be. Fiction has always been my therapy. 

Nothing is better than getting so lost in a story, whether reading or writing it, that I look up and I’m surprised the world is still there. The time I spend sleuthing around London with Sherlock is like that. The London chill becomes so real I have to pull on a cable knit sweater.

My own craving for escape comes from anxiety that sometimes makes my life feel like flashes of a train wreck, or that tunnel scene from Willy Wonka (you know the one?).
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8X48RiKQmFQ?rel=0]
 Anxiety doesn’t compartmentalize itself. There’s no box in my head neatly labeled “panic attacks” with another separate box for writing. Often it feels like I’m trying to type on Wonka’s boat.

My writing anxiety didn’t go away after I signed with my agent (the fabulous JL Stermer), or after I signed a contract with Bloomsbury. It’s there every time I sit down at the keyboard. I feel it right now.

I signed with my agent on August 1st, and signed my contract with Bloomsbury Spark on September 1st. My book was published on December 19th (all in the same year). In between signing with Bloomsbury and publishing with Bloomsbury, my life was a blur of edits and micromanaging sentences. I was buried in my book, swimming in words, commas and semicolons.

Could I start my next novel? No way.

But I was obsessed with BBC’s Sherlock. That and my edits were all I could talk about (bless the brave souls who tolerated me). I couldn’t invest in writing original fiction. I was too tired, too anxious, too stuck on Wonka’s boat to devote myself to writing another novel right away.

Plus, I couldn’t stop thinking about Sherlock. Reading The Complete Sherlock Holmes, rewatching episodes of the BBC series, taking three moleskines worth of notes on character development and plot construction — I was completely hooked. Add the fact that I’d just finished reading Rainbow Rowell’s FANGIRL for the fourth or fifth time, and I’m sure you know what happened next.

Fanfiction. Lots and lots of Sherlock fanfiction.

Reading it, writing it (Yes! Writing it!), reviewing it, chatting with bloggers and digging through archives. Sitting down to write about Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson didn’t make my chest feel tight or my throat close up. There were no expectations. If it sucked, who cared? No one would know it was me.

But of course it was me. Me at the keyboard, remembering why I loved writing, and — eventually, tentatively — typing out the first sentences to my next novel. When I submitted my final edits to Meredith, editor-in-awesome at Bloomsbury Spark, I was as happy and excited as I should’ve been. No psychedelic Willy Wonka tunnel trip in sight.

Thank you, Mr. Holmes.

About Frankie Brown:

Frankie Brown writes, sells and hoards books in Athens, GA, a funky little town famous for its music scene. But, as anyone who’s ever heard the fruits of Frankie’s musical endeavors can attest, her talents lie elsewhere. She’s turned her creative energy to crafting stories and can typically be found hunched over a keyboard in her neighborhood coffee shops. @frankiebrown25

Until We End by Frankie Brown
It’s been nine months since the virus hit, killing almost everyone it touched. Seventeen-year-old Cora and her little brother, Coby, haven’t left home since. Not after the power cut out; not even after sirens faded in the distance and the world outside their backyard fence fell silent. But when a blistering drought forces Cora to go in search of water, she discovers that the post-apocalyptic world isn’t as deserted as she thought when she meets Brooks, a drop-dead sexy army deserter. 

Fighting their way back home, Cora finds her house ransacked and Coby missing – kidnapped by the military for dangerous medical experiments in the name of finding a cure. Brooks knows exactly where Cora can find her brother, except he says it’s a suicide mission. Cora doesn’t care. But Brooks can’t let her go…