At I Heart Lesfic, we believe the world could use a bit more kindness after one of the hardest and longest of years. Many authors have signed up to help IHL spread kindness in the world.
Today, the wonderful K.L. Noone is here to share a story. Also, K.L. is giving away 1 ecopy of Honey Witch. Below the guest post, you’ll find more details about the giveaway.
Take it away, K.L.
I began writing fiction again, more seriously, because of fandom and community and an act of kindness. I’d been a writer since I was about five years old, when I wrote a story about a unicorn and the Tooth Fairy—but I’d slowly stopped, or mostly, throughout high school and college, in part for reasons of time, in part because I was writing more academic analysis and scholarly papers, and my brain had less room for the joy of creative fiction.
But I loved fandom, and fan works, as an outlet. I read—no, devoured—commentaries and head-canons and fanfic, because it all came from this place of shared love for this show, these characters, this world and this story that drew us together and made us feel. (All right, I’ll admit it: Supernatural. This would’ve been around season four, if you’re wondering.)
I did a lot of lurking. I was (and am!) very shy and socially anxious, and while I might hesitantly comment on someone’s story or post, it had never occurred to me that I could write something that other people would want to read.
I had ideas, though. In my head. Shining. Little golden threads of dialogue, plot, characters interacting. All right there and present, and glorious—at least to me.
But I didn’t feel like my versions’d be worth it, when there were so many wondrous and much-treasured creators and creations out there already. After all, who was I?
But, one day, one of the Big Name Fans in the fandom (someone with a following, and, more importantly, someone who was generally nice: no drama, frequent and happy replies to comments, organizing of fan events and fests that welcomed new contributors) wrote about a plot bunny she’d had, or really just an idea: “I don’t have time to write it, but I’d love it if someone wrote this, so I could read it…”
I had that idea. I’d had that exact idea.
I knew how I’d do it. I knew the dialogue, the shape of it, the taste of it.
So I wrote it. White-hot, wildly fast, in a couple of hours. Maybe a thousand words.
And I put it in a comment on her post (this was in the days of LiveJournal and comment fic, mind you), and I gave a very nervous babbling disclaimer at the beginning: “You said you might like this, I had that idea too, I’ve never really written before, but I love all your stories, thank you for them, and I hope this is at least okay and at least sort of what you wanted!!!”
And she read it. And commented.
Almost immediately. With marvelous, generous, thoughtful comments: notes about lines she’d liked, compliments about my character voices, keysmash enthusiasm about how thrilled she was about what I did with this idea. She told me she’d love to read more of my fic for these characters.
She didn’t have to do any of that, and certainly not for me. She was a busy, well-known, Big Name Person in the fandom. She was running fests and organizing people. No one would’ve faulted her for not replying, or for a quick “Oh thank you!” reply, in response to this random bashful (and babbling!) unknown commenter.
But she looked at this little spontaneous story, by someone she had no reason to know, and she was kind.
More than kind: encouraging. Welcoming. Detailed in comments. Genuinely excited.
She made me think I could maybe write stories other people would want to read, and maybe I had something to give to the community I loved, with my words.
I wrote more. And she did read those stories, as she promised. So did other people, in part because of her enthusiasm and support.
So I wrote a lot. And I still write a lot. I’ve wandered through other fandoms since then, I like to think my writing’s gotten better or at least smoother (I do still love my long sentences, though) and I’ve become a published and occasionally bestselling author of original romance…
…because that community and that encouragement made me think that maybe I could, that maybe I was a writer, that maybe I could submit this original novel to a publisher, and maybe it could be true.
And that all happened because someone well-known, someone who did not need to do this, chose to be kind to a shy and awkward brand-new writer and fellow fan. Because that person took the time to say generous things, to welcome me in, to look at something I’d made and get excited about it.
Might I have shared my writing anyway, later on? Possibly. Probably, eventually; I like to think I would’ve. The stories were in my head, and getting noisier. It might’ve taken much longer, or not much longer, or something in between.
But the point is: I did it, I shared my words and myself, then. That was what happened, and that will always be what happened: part of the tale.
Why did I, at that particular moment, at that poised turning-point in my own author’s narrative, decide that maybe I could—maybe I should—write the next story in my head, and then the next? Why did I think I might have something to give, to give back, to create and share with others?
Because she was kind.
by K.L. Noone
Esme has loved Ursula silently for years, despite knowing a common earth-witch can’t hope to marry a princess.
But when Ursula comes to her with a question about love, Esme can’t resist introducing her princess to the sweetest magic of desire… and some even sweeter uses for enchanted honey.
MEET THE AUTHOR
K.L. Noone teaches college students about superheroes and Shakespeare by day, and writes romance – frequently paranormal or with fantasy elements, almost always LGBTQ+, and always with happy endings – when not grading papers or researching medieval outlaw life. She also appreciates cats, craft beer, and the sound of ocean waves.
CONNECT WITH K.L. NOONE
Thanks so much for stopping by today.