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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Guest Blogger Caprice Hokstad and Blood and Brine


CAPRICE HOKSTAD,  spends most of her time dreaming up other worlds to live vicariously in. Her first half-million words were lavishly spent on the fantasy setting of Byntar (where her published Ascendancy Trilogy novels are set). Caprice lives in a mobile home in southern California, but regularly stares at her simulated aquarium screensaver. Her ultimate aspiration is to live in the first undersea colony, Atlantica, currently being built off the coast of Florida. She is assured they will have electricity and internet and that there will be room for her laptop, so she can continue to write. At that point, she may change her screensaver, but no promises. (blog) (commercial fiction) (fan fiction)

by Caprice Hokstad
Published by Splashdown Books


Book 3 in Ascendancy trilogy

What should be a season of rejoicing over Duke Vahn's newly-recovered son is overshadowed by fear of an uncertain future. Vahn's brother, King Arx, expands the war with neighboring Ganluc, while enemies at home seek to shatter the Rebono dynasty forever. Strained relations between royal twins harden into cold suspicion and treasonous accusations while a deadly plague sweeps across the land.

As the royal bloodline is torn asunder, two races, the Elva and Itzi, discover that only together can they stop the plague and restore their unraveling kingdom.

Readers, buy your copy of Blood and Brine today!


My publisher asked me to be a guest blogger here after she heard of the opportunity. She’s big on “getting your name out there.” I’m with a small press and it’s a struggle to find an audience. Those who have read my books have said good things, but the trouble is finding people interested in reading. But back to why I’m here.

Being the dutiful writer I am, I agreed for the sake of marketing, but I really didn’t know what in the world I was going to write about. In fact, the whole idea made me panic big time. I am not good at non-fiction nor do I have any “expert advice” to dispense or “special knowledge” to endow. So I checked to see if I could figure out what her readers might be interested in.

Then I found it. I gasped out loud. There’s a fan fiction link! The minute I read the confession about how many people visited the fanfiction page, I knew what I would write about.

I, too, write fanfiction.

Yes, I know there’s a stigma. By some perceptions, writing fanfiction places me in the category of black sheep. Some have told me I shouldn’t admit to it in public. I know some professional writers who use pen names which they guard as if they’re secret-agent identities. It’s a big, dark secret they write fanfiction.

I do use a pen name, but it’s no secret. forced me to choose one, but I lay claim to it on my blog very openly and I have told my fanfiction readers my real name on my profile. I like using a pen name to keep my genres separate, not because I am ashamed. The fact is, I have more fanfiction readers than readers of my original fiction.

Fanfiction writing is nothing to be ashamed of. About eighteen years ago, three novels in the fandom I write for were published by a Big Six publisher in New York. Not just trade paperback, but “pocket” books that ended up in airports and grocery stores as well as the bookstores. These three books are now out of print, but I found them used. Two out of the three I can truthfully say, “I could do better than that.” And actually, I have done better than that. I have written two novels I would submit to these folks for consideration as authorized if I could. I’m just eighteen years too late.

My point is those other four authors who got published (one book has two authors named) were no different than me. None of the three books are authored by the man who created the original characters and background, including the book that is simply a novelization of the pilot screenplay (which was written by the creator)! So if others got paid to write novels when they were not the creator, how am I or any other fanfiction writer inferior? If the show hadn’t gone defunct, I would be submitting for authorization. If my reader’s comments are any indication of quality, I think I’d have a pretty decent chance, too.

Writing fanfiction isn’t easy (see for a good description of why) and I think I’ve made a case for it being respectable. Now if I could just figure out how to make it pay…

* * * * *

Thank you, Caprice, for sharing with us today.

Guest Question: Do you read or write fanfiction and if so, do you hide it? If not, why not?

ENTRY RULES Readers, leave your email address (name at domainname dot com/net) along with your answer to the question for your chance to win a FREE eBook copy of the book above via a coupon code for the download. If you do not answer the question, and your email address isn't provided, you will not be entered.

This week, the contest is open to anyone worldwide.


Caprice Hokstad said...

Thank you, Tiff, for the gracious invitation to guest blog. If anyone has questions to ask, please feel free to post them here or email me. My email can be found on my websites and my blogger profile.

Katherine Coble said...

I know a LOT of fanfiction writers. You can't be involved in the literary pursuits that intrigue me and NOT know them. :)

I personally am NOT a fan of fanfiction because it seems like a cheat to me, to take someone else's characters and use them to your own ends. I didn't mind so much until I stumbled across some of the more outlandish stories, of course.

That being said, I will admit that I know many fanfiction authors whose writing is several notches above what you'd think it would be. By having the characters outlined they seem to be able to focus on story, plot and other elements that I am weak on. So I definitely can see how there would be value to the discipline.

I have two of your books waiting to be read...I'm only holding off on them because I'm rereading ASOIAF and want to give yours an untainted view. I promise if I like them I'll talk them to the skies. Which means maybe 200 people will hear about it.. :)

Kessie said...

So, as a semi-ex fanfic writer myself, what fandom did you write for? I wrote in the Sonic the Hedgehog universe for a decade. :-)

Dragonlots said...

I started reading fanfiction by getting introduced to it via Star Trek. It's expanded on to movies, TV shows and some books.

Have I written it? Absolutely! Starting with fanzines and then graduating to the FFN. I use a different name, but I also include my real name on the posted stories because I always knew I'd move on pro writing and wanted my readers to follow me.

So, here I am, years later, not at all ashamed of my fanfiction writing. It doesn't have the stigma it did years ago. Not to mention it was fun and excellent practice. FF is NOT as easy as some seem to think!

I'm also a pro writer. I have stories in several anthologies. A Rhysling nomination for a poem and my first book, 'Winter Awakening' was released last year. The publisher is already waiting for the next two books in the trilogy, plus a paranormal I'm working on.

I've also edited an anthology, 'Of Fur and Fire' and am currently taking submissions for 'Time Traveling Coffers'. (WolfSinger Publications.)

I can be found at

Incidently, I'm using my profile page for my website.

So, no, I'm not ashamed of my fanfiction.

Caprice Hokstad said...

Kessie, I write in the SeaQuest DSV universe.

Katherine, did Walt Disney "cheat" when he used Snow White and Cinderella and The Little Mermaid (none of whom he created from scratch)? I understand your concerns and I even share them to some extent (like when a writer turns an otherwise beloved character into a child abuser or somesuch). However, borrowing characters has only very recently been so restricted, according to an article in Time Magazine.

I'm aware there's a huge variance of quality out there, and I wouldn't force anyone to read who wasn't interested, but it sure would be nice to get as much respect as Disney. (In general, not directed at you.)

YAY, Dragonlots! Thanks for sharing!

Remember everyone, you need to leave an email if you want to be entered for the ebook drawing. :)

Thanks for the comments!

Kessie said...

Haha, I was so interested in the article, I didn't even notice the giveaway! Mine's netraptor001 at hotmail dot com.

Cheryl said...

Great article, Caprice. I've written fan fiction for years. I don't have time to dabble in it lately, but Tiff knows I write Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman ones from time to time. My main focus, though, is Little House on the Prairie.

I think it's important to stay true to the character as he/she was created, but providing a new situation to muddle through is interesting. I've had readers clamor for me to fill in the gaps between the day Almanzo and Laura started courting to the day they got married, because so much was left out by the TV show. I didn't start out writing chronologically, but when I had enough stories out there, I began rearranging them on so readers could read them like a series.

I concentrate on paid work now, but I would love to have time to write another LHOP story or two.

Wishing you the best,



Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

Hey, hey, look at all these fan fiction writers coming out of the woodwork. :) One thing I've noticed in the professional world is how many authors frown about anyone who wrote or still writes fan fiction. I even had someone suggest to me to remove the link from my navigation and require people to hunt to find those pages on my site.

I'm not sure why there's a negative stigma to it, other than those who completely depart from canon with the characters and destroy the essence of the world that had been created. Still, I learned a great deal about writing when I did my stories, and to this day still get a lot of email from readers who loved my fanfic, then went on to purchase my books.

To me, it's another platform and a great marketing tool. Plus, it's a lot of fun! I rise to the challenge. :)

So, Caprice, thanks for sharing that with my readers and for being a guest here on my blog.

Caprice Hokstad said...

Hi, Cheryl. Thanks for stopping by! And you're most welcome, Tiff. It's been my pleasure.

I am pretty strange in that I am one of the odd writers who didn't discover fanfic until AFTER I had been published. I was between books 2 and 3 when I found fanfic. I was really discouraged with writing as a business and how hard it was to find readers. filled a gap for me and put the joy back in my writing. I am almost positive I would not have written the third commercial book at all if it wasn't for the encouragement fanfiction brought me.

Right now, I'm adopting a wait-and-see attitude on writing for publication. In the meantime, I've gone back to fanfiction because right now, that's where all the rewards are. For me at least, there's no money anywhere, so I've had to write for readers and for praise. I get SIGNIFICANTLY more of that in fanfiction.

I'm not saying I would never write commercial again, but I won't without a better sense I have found an actual audience there.

Glenda Parker Fiction Writer said...

I really don't know much about fanfiction so I really can't say much but after reading your post I will do some research. God bless you.

Glenda Parker

Caprice Hokstad said...

Thanks for stopping by, Glenda. Fanfiction is where fans of an established "universe" or story world, such as the world of "Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman", use that setting and those characters to write new stories and adventures. You can find stories for almost every TV show, movie, play, or book out there at Free to read and to participate. Come check it out!

Amanda Borenstadt said...

A few years ago I started writing by writing fanfiction. It started as little Harry Potter and Doctor Who comics for my kids, then they expanded into real stories.

My oldest daughter encouraged me to put them on and I got great responses. The best part was the practice it gave me. I think (hope) I write better then I did back then.

I don't hide the fact that I enjoy fanfiction. Nobody's going to tease me for it worse than my own husband. LOL

Caprice Hokstad said...

Hi Amanda!

I know at least one fanfiction writer who is so worried her husband would tease her, that she has NEVER let him know what she writes. Mind you, she has written two whole fanfic NOVELS, done during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month-November), yet he has no clue what she's written!

Me, I will bug anyone who whines about there being nothing on TV to read my stuff. Doesn't always work, but I am pretty proud of my fanfiction.

Thanks for joining the discussion!

Cheryl said...

I guess I don't realize why their is such a stigma associated with fan fiction. Why not start off creating storylines for characters you know well so that you can focus on plotting? Then you can study character development and move onto creating your own characters.

Cheryl said...

Ugh, I obviously can't spell this evening. That should be there, not their.

Krysti said...

I've heard pros and cons of writing fan fiction. I don't write it, but I have ever encouraged children I was mentoring in writing to write it, or continue writing it, and I enjoyed reading their efforts.

It is, as you say, a great discipline!

Caprice Hokstad said...

Good point about using it as a way to get kids interested in writing, Krysti. Thanks for stopping by. If you want to be in the drawing, make sure you leave an email contact.

Jane said...

I write fanfiction, and I admit it to some people but not others. I don't hide it, but I don't offer it up to everyone. Partially because I work in publishing and in journalism and my fanfics are not a good judge of my writing lol

PS Caprice- I know what books you mean... I actually couldn't stand to read them. At all. PS 2- I love your FF novels, thanks for the new chapter this week btw.

Do we leave our email in this public box? Cuz that's umm.. awkward. And too public.

Caprice Hokstad said...

Hi Jane! I can't believe one of my fanfic readers found me here! Thanks for stopping by! Of the three published books, I enjoyed "The Ancient" by David Bischoff the most. The one simply labeled "The Novel" is nothing more than a rehash of the pilot episode, which means there were no surprises at all. "Fire Below" was not terrible, but not that great either, IMO. I know it's easy to make a claim with no way to prove it, but other people said it long before me: I can do better than that.

As for the it worry about spam bots? You can disguise it with name(at)mymail(dot)com. I think everyone does that these days. Or I would bet Tiff would accept it privately. There's a "contact" link at the top of the page. She just needs a way to let you know if you won. This is her blog, so her rules.

Thanks again for checking out my guest post!

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

Yes, Jane, if you are uncomfortable posting your email at all, you can email me through the contact form. But, spam bots can't grab your email if you disguise it as instructed at the bottom of the blog post. And I've never had anyone complain about receiving spam from anyone here.