So, my debut fiction project is a little unconventional. It’s a Kindle Worlds Veronica Mars novella. Veronica Mars is, as you may know, a TV show that went off the air over a decade ago. Kindle Worlds is a publishing platform where authors can choose from a collection of licensed properties (TV shows, book series, comics, etc.) and write an original story using those existing characters and, well, worlds. While it’s sometimes billed as fan fiction, I think of it more as permission to write an episode of a pretty awesome show*. In fiction form. Now this just happens to make it an ideal first project for me. Because originally, a zillion years ago, I studied screen and TV writing in school. I was not terrible at the TV writing, if I do say so myself. But I decided I didn’t want to stay in L.A. (it was never a fantastic fit — I swear to you, one of my major complaints was the weather), and then life in general happened, and I ended up never really pursuing it. Which is too bad, because writing for TV is a special kind of fun. It’s collaborative, which can be a blast. But also, TV series let you play around with established characters, settings, and relationships in a way that shorter, one-off stories, books or movies, just can’t. You can try the characters in all kinds of different situations, zoom in on specific moments of a longer story, and just really explore the details. Sigh. Fun. Oh, but, wait, that whole second part sounds a little like these Kindle Worlds thingies…
Also, in television, when you’re hoping to get hired to write on a show, you show samples of your work, which include sample scripts for existing shows called spec scripts. These are your calling cards (or they were, back in the day; now I hear original pilots are what everyone wants to see or maybe it’s changed back again — I can’t keep track). I’ve done a bunch of specs (mostly for half-hour comedies). I enjoy doing them AND they’re way more in my comfort zone than writing books. So the Veronica Mars novella offered a unique opportunity for me to dip my toe in the fiction-writing waters while still keeping one foot on the solidly familiar ground of TV script writing. Voilà, the perfect transitional piece. (I’m going to pretend I didn’t just notice that I used toe/foot metaphors two posts in a row.)
Exactly how well Veronica Mars fits with the rest of what I’m likely to write is up for debate. Other projects in the works all fall in the romantic comedy/chick lit spectrum. VM feels a little grittier. But I’d argue it’s not too far off the mark. Veronica is a kick-ass protagonist who just so happens to be a kick-ass girl. She’s funny and relatable and she totally rocks. Also, the series tends to have strong romantic subplots for Veronica, and my “episode” is no exception. While I’m not sure my story would appeal to anyone not a fan of or familiar with the original series, I do think there’s likely some overlap in audiences for the series and the kind of original stories I’m planning to introduce next. If not, that’s okay too. I had a great time with the project and definitely learned something in the process. That seems just about right to me.
Oh, and here it is! Available now on Amazon.