With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, love is in the air here at The Lemonade Stand. So we asked a group of authors to choose an author they love – someone who moves them, be it through their words or uplifting presence in our fandom – and write them a love letter.
Due to the overwhelming positive response, we will be posting these daily, from now until Valentine's Day!
I entered the fandom in 2008, but didn't find you until 2010 when you posted Parenthetical Love. I then had to devour everything else you had already posted. I can't explain what your words do to me, but they have a way of pulling me in and making me love your characters, sometimes way more than the original Edward and Bella we first fell in love with. I have yet to find a story from you that I don't like, or characters that I can't stand. You have a talent for sucking us in and making us stay there. Like with trouble...Carlisle and Edward isn't a typical pairing in this fandom, but that story is easily one of my favorites, with possibly one of the best Carlisles I have ever read. Your stories are a welcome escape now, just as they had been when I first found you. I was taking care of my gran who had alzheimers and cancer, and it was your stories that gave some much needed reprieve.
Somewhere along the way, I followed you on twitter shortly after I read Parenthetical Love I believe, and to be honest, it took me two years to finally message you because I was that shy. But when I finally did get the nerve to message you, you quickly became one of the go to people I'd talk to first when I was on. During these last few years since I first found you, you posted story after story and some of them, like Lost Half, Angel In A Centerfold and Nightmare Before Christmas have wrapped me up to where I can't get enough, even after Lost Half has long since been completed. Now that I get to pre-read your words, I feel even more special and end up loving your characters even more, if that is at all possible. I think it is due to seeing how much work, time and thought you put behind your stories. You amaze me with how much you churn out for this fandom and your original works.
But then you dragged me into the Supernatural fandom, and I will be forever grateful. You snagged me with your constant posts about Destiel, and your tumblr was over run with all things Supernatural, so I had to know what the big deal was. I wouldn't change a thing, just another thing for me to chat with you about.
I now Consider you one of my best fandom friends. I can talk to you about anything and everything and you just get me. I'm still surprised you wanted to work on Long Distance with me, but I wouldn't trade a moment. It has been fun, and probably one of the best experiences I've had in this fandom as of late.
So Thank you for your stories and being the amazing person, writer and friend that you are.
Dear Amy (aka Troublefollows1017) ~
When I first started reading your words, I never would have guessed we’d be “friends”, much less the friends we are today. A lot of times, we meet people in the fandom arena that we might think is a friend from our end of the spectrum, but it turns out, they don’t consider us the same.That stings, a little, but when we meet someone who does turn out to be, not only a great friend, but a mentor as well, we forget about all those other instances.
That’s what happened with you. Not only have you encouraged me in with my own stories and my path in life, but you are the epitome of who I aspire to be when I grow up.I know you don't writing in the fandom anymore but I wanted you to know that your writing will always be at the top of my favorites list. You've continued to give us the same level if not higher caliber of stories and I thank the friend gods that you are still the same humble, crazy girl I first met so long (but not so long) ago.
No matter how successful you are or will be, I know you'll always be there for me. I hope you know I’ll always be there for you too, woman.You are cut from the best cloth, you are good people, the kind I want to support no matter what.
Favorite story side note: I know a lot of this fandom adores Fridays at Noon. I do too. But my favorite story of yours is The Weather Girl. That story has stuck to my heart since the first line and I still re-read it from time to time just so I can see if I still cry during certain parts.
love you Ames.
Never. Ever. Change.Kay?
BIG HUGE LOVE ALWAYS,
Jo (aka FictionFreak95)
Dear Mazzy Starla,
I’m truly sorry, but I think it’s been public knowledge for a long, long time now.
Only I would write a love letter to another woman’s husband.
Dear Cracked Fic,
We often distill our fandom time down to the relationships we form here. Aside from all the reviews or the words or the disjointed rambling threads, it’s the people we create connections with that make this place important. The face hiding behind the Team America profile picture who becomes much more than just a mask.
You’re a bit of an anomaly around these parts. An enigma. One of the only men to hold his own in this fandom full of women, though I’m still debating if this is because you’re incredibly smart or completely insane. You are mystery writer with a gift for noir. A voice of reason amidst the din. A dude in a long black coat with an unhealthy love of pizza, beer, and words (not to mention spraycan cheese, but I will forgive you for that one.) While my meadow may be small, you are an integral part of it.
You have, on many occasions, renewed my love for words; almost always at times when my well has run completely dry. Your timing is impeccable. A single, infamous guest review and hundreds of flash fiction rounds later, I am privileged to have wormed my way into your inner circle. Lucky enough to have shared highs, lows, and a myriad of inbetweens with you.
Thankful that this fandom brought the two of us together, across impossible odds. Despite whatever the future holds for both of us, I’d happily spend my days stalking you on tumblr, tossing three hundred word prompts back and forth, or simply comparing book lists. There may be a day when I show up at your door (probably with pizza and beer) but I promise to keep my wild fangirl in check.
This Bee is nursing a serious braincrush. The rest, I’ll leave unsaid.
I just love you, man.
Dear Deb (Drotuno)
It’s not often that a person finds their best friend from a fanfic. When I first read your stories, I fell in love with your writing. I offered to become your beta, and through that, we became friends, and I soon fell in love with you as a person, too. You are my “sista from another mista,” the yin to my yang, the salt to my…well, you get the idea. Basically we share a dirty mind and a love of sweet Edwards, dirty Edwards, vulnerable Edwards, strong Edwards, and every Edward in between, and we love a strong Bella who doesn’t put up with crap from anyone. When I need a shoulder to cry on or a friendly ear, your there, but you’re always the first to tell me to “Suck it up, buttercup” if I need to get my head out of my ass.
As a writer, you’re in what I consider a very elite class. Your writing lifts me up when I’m down, makes me laugh when I want to cry, and gives me company when I feel alone. Your characters are strong and funny and sexy, and whether someone loves or hates one of them, there’s no question that they make you feel. Not all writers can say that. Take Jacob in your “Angel” series. He is an abuser from the beginning and a jerk for a long time in the series, but by the end, you’ve made peace with him. Or look at Jacob (boy, you REALLY don’t like him, do you? *snicker*) in “Rain Must Fall,” which I couldn’t get enough of and desperately wish there was more of… He’s a drunk, verbally abusive, but in the end, you find yourself almost appalled that you feel bad about what happens to him. *laugh*
As a writing partner, you’re second to none. I can’t begin to count the number of e-mails we send back and forth on a given week, but when we’re writing a story together, that number is actually astounding. You encourage me like no one ever has before—in “real life” or online. My muse can be finicky and my self-esteem about what I write is sometimes very low, so when I need your support, you’re always there to give it to me. You makes me want to be better—not just through your words but by how you yourself are. Without you, I wouldn’t be half the writer I am and I wouldn’t have nearly the fun I’ve had in the fandom.
You are who I aspire to be as a writer, and I am truly lucky to be able to call you my friend. Thank you, Deb, for your words and your friendship. I love you, babe.
It’s said that we always remember our firsts.
Amongst those milestones, I will also remember the first fan fiction I ever read.
It was your beautiful story, Music Lessons, and it was a quiet day in the office when I stumbled across you, quite by accident.
It was late 2008. The first Twilight movie had just come out and during a few spare minutes between meetings, I went online to buy tickets for my daughter and me to see a weekend session. We’d both read the books, and were keen to see how the story of Edward and Bella translated to film.
There were many Twilight links and not just for the movie. There were MTV interviews. Stephenie Meyer’s own website. A Wiki page. I ignored them all though, and moved the cursor towards Event Cinemas Twilight Tickets, but as the little arrow slid across the screen, the phone rang. I was distracted. And accidentally clicked on the wrong link as I answered the call.
Up came a site, so striking in black and red, with the word TWILIGHTED emblazoned across the top.
This was my introduction to fan fiction.
To the person on the other end of the phone, I was polished and professional. They would never have known my eyes were growing wider and my attention drifting away as I focused more and more on the screen before me.
It looked like Twilight stories. But with different scenarios. Different endings. How bizarre. My curiosity was well and truly piqued. I scrolled across the screen. Up and down. There were lots of stories. One had recently updated, whatever that meant, and as I ended my call, I clicked on the link, and opened Music Lessons.
If words were honey…
It was so beautifully written, the language so subtle and evocative, and with such a masterful use of music. And the characters seemed so true to the books, but their story, in your words, gave me more, somehow. I was swept up, fascinated and intrigued.
I was hooked.
And I was late for my next meeting.
You can imagine my horror, when I came back to Music Lessons the next day, and found that it wasn’t complete.
The realisation of “update” hit me. These stories were posted chapter by chapter. Perhaps days, or even weeks apart.
So it became that I would check, every couple of days, for a new update of Music Lessons. The routine was something like this…arrive at work, check schedule, check emails, get cup of tea, check for Music Lessons.
It was so exciting when a new update did appear. Like I’d found a treasure I’d thought lost.
There were lots of wonderfully sigh-worthy moments in your story. Their trip to see the concert was probably the highlight for me. The tension and anticipation between Edward and Bella in the lift, and on the balcony, was almost painful, but delicious; a very delicate but satisfying balance.
And the ending…wow. The sailboat. The storm. So beautiful. So steamy and seductive.
It was an incredible introduction to fan fiction.
From Music Lessons I went on to read other stories, by other authors. I even wrote a few fics of my own. And though I’ve never revisited Music Lessons since that first time, it’s stayed with me as a truly beautiful, and memorable, piece of writing.
Thank you for writing it.
My dearest, darling Windchymes,
When I was approached to be part of Love letters to an author I admire, your name was quick to come to mind.
I wonder if you realize the rare gift you possess? Your wonderful talent is such that you take words—those used countless times a day, by thousands of people without a thought—and turn them into magic.
Your stories, be they fanfiction or original novels, take us on journeys. Beautiful, rich, winding journeys that light our lives, fill our heads with vivid, wonderful images and our hearts with feelings—sometimes tender and uplifting, and at other times, clutching and frantic.
Your gift of relating feelings, of setting scenes, and helping us, the reader, be right there with your characters in the story, is second-to-none. You wield your mighty pen the same way Monet did his paintbrush, shading and coloring until the picture we see is so perfect we come back to it over and again, seeking the pleasure it brings us.
As your beta, I have been allowed the privilege of witnessing your genius process. The way your brilliant mind takes a simple idea and slowly begins to build it into a layered, emotional story that grips the reader, leaving them wanting more—every single time. Some of my favorite emails from you begin with: so I had an idea…
Please never stop thinking of those ideas.
Every story I read by you becomes my favorite. Every time I know you’re writing something new, I grin with anticipation. I celebrate your successes, gloat over your achievements and brag about the fact I can call you my friend.
Now, we come to that part…
I had no idea so many years ago, when I hesitantly contacted you, asking if perhaps you needed some help toning down your “Aussie-isms” if I would even receive a reply. As a fangirl, I squealed loudly when not only did you answer me back but told me you would love to have someone work with you. Who knew those first shy messages would turn into one of the greatest friendships of my life.
And what a friend you are: kind, funny, loving, supportive. Always ready to lend a hand, offer a shoulder, and share your wisdom; rarely asking for anything in return and always quick to brush off praise. You awe me with your talent, humble me with your modesty and inspire me to be a better writer.
As our emails grew from those first sharing of chapters to changing slightly as personal details were shared, life stories swapped, and pictures exchanged, our friendship solidified. Occasional contact turned frequent, emails lengthened—often times having nothing to do with writing but simply sharing of our lives. It is one of the greatest blessings in my life.
So, whether you’re writing a tender Vampward, a fresh, complex, wonderful character for us to fall in love with, or a new chapter of Dr. Cullen coming to visit me, your words are golden.
Thank you my friend, for sharing your gift with us.
Your readers love you.
So do I.
~Edward’s Eternal (Melanie)