When I was in high school, I used to write stories on my word processor. I know, I’m talking old school. It was like a typewriter, but with a big screen, almost like a computer. After I got my first computer when I started college, that’s when I found fan fiction.
At first, I thought fan fiction was a little weird. Why would I write stories about a real person? But I slowly sunk into the deep world of Backstreet Boys fan fiction. I started a site, then changed the name and kept it for years before closing it. Then I brought it back and finally, after finally realizing my fanfiction days were over, closed it for good in 2017.
I opened what first became My Confession in October 1998. I began writing my first story, called “Back at One” after the Brian McKnight/Mark Wills song, in December 1998.
So why did I start writing fan fiction?
I guess I was unhappy with my life or just confused and found myself fantasizing about being a country singer who fell in love with a Backstreet Boy. It was a weird fantasy because I always wanted to be a singer when I was a kid, but I can’t sing. So, writing a story about a girl named Karah (yes, I used my own name) that was a country singer that fell in love with Nick Carter after meeting him at the Grammy Awards sounded like the perfect thing to write.
I admit, it started very cheesy. The first few stories were incredibly cheesy, but after a while, I started having a following. My stories progressed into deeper topics than just falling in love. I wrote about a trio of BSB groupies who did end up falling in love with three of the guys.
People still ask me about that story and where they can read it. I have it on a jump drive and somewhere safely stored, but I will probably never put it back online to read.
Writing fan fiction did make me realize a few things about myself. I tossed me into some situations that I could have never dreamed about. It made me realize my love of writing, which led me into a career in journalism where I won awards.
Over the years I tried to rewrite some of my older fan fictions into actual novels and did a few times, but it wasn’t until 2018 that I finally started writing a real story.
Was the guy loosely based on Nick Carter? Absolutely. Why? Because to me, Nick is imperfectly perfect. He’s not perfect and that’s what makes him perfect. Was the girl in the story a fan? Yes. But it wasn’t dripping cheddar cheese like my old fan fiction stories. It was the perfect amount of cheese with a perfect storyline that I fell in love with.
Inspiration hits me in the weirdest spots and I was inspired on the 2018 Backstreet Boys cruise.
Since publishing “How to be an Adult Fangirl (And Not Ruin Your Life),” I’ve written a few more stories. Some I didn’t finish and some that I actually published. Do they all involve boy bands? Not really, but they all have that aspect of celebrity in them because I guess that’s what I fantasize about.
Reading an articleabout fan fiction recently, I saw this and loved it.
“Fanfic can also let writers, and readers, ask and answer speculative and reflective questions about our own lives, in a way that might get others to pay attention.”
I feel like for me, that was true. In each story, I always put a part of myself in the story. Whether it was a horrible relationship with a father, being sexually abused, or a career choice, there was always something in one of the characters that was a part of myself and I liked that. Many people consider it taboo, too “Mary Sue” to do, but I liked it. I felt like my readers liked that, too.
While I don’t miss writing about the Backstreet Boys in a fictional way, I do miss coming home from work (or class back in the day) and busting out a chapter, sending it to a friend so that they could read. I miss getting the emails of feedback on chapters from the usual suspects that always, always read my updates.
Writing fan fiction literally changed my life in more ways than one. It made me find my way to who I was meant to be and in a way, what I was supposed to do with my life because before fan fiction came into my life, I had not a clue.