Mercedes Lackey: It's okay to steal

I always get excited when I hear news of Mercedes Lackey. I've been a fan of hers for a long time and am trying  to get all of her stuff in hardcover in used bookstores (because I'm anal like that). It's especially exciting because, let's face it, she's no Anne Rice who is always on Facebook, chatting about spirituality and books, (you have to wonder: does she write anymore or spend time on Facebook a little bit toooo much?) Lackey also has a Facebook, but she doesn't use it as often. Mostly, her wall is littered with posts from a user named "Aaron Carter" who I think is a stalker. For example, this:

Also, Lackey doesn't keep her blog up to date, which means the blog is useless.

But recently, for NaNoWriMo (do I have to spell it out?), Lackey wrote a pep talk for participating writers. In it, she gives the advice that so many others have already given: Good artists copy, great artists steal:

"This is where I am going to deviate from practically anyone you have ever heard from, and tell you this: try writing fanfiction....
Now I am not advocating that you do this with the idea of selling the thing, (though more on that later), because that's called plagiarism and it's illegal. And there are writers and publishing companies that don't allow fanfiction to be published in any form, even on the web, so you have to be very careful about that....
But for purposes of practice? It's fun, it's going to give you a giant kick-start, and you would be surprised at how many professionals started out that way (and still do it!)."

She goes on to briefly describe how fanfiction was the starting fuel for her 2011 release, the Secret World Chronicles, which I am actually giddy about (when I heard it was coming out in print form, I was jumping around the room the same way I was jumping around the room when I got accepted to Lambda's retreat). Some might decry this as bad advice, but I think it is good advice if done correctly--that is as practice (confession: I used to skip school to write Buffy fanfic...). Also, I think Lackey points out to the fact that there's a whole industry dedicated to fanfic: Star Wars, Star Trek, Forgotten Realms. Don't forget that R.A. Salvatore got famous for killing off Chewbaca.

Anyone in "lit-fic" would laugh at this. But Lackey is practical, which is nothing to look down on. Not to mention she's a Lambda prize-winning writer (Magic's Price, 1990) who I can talk about on and on.

And she has a book coming out today (11/9), which I am planning to get!

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