Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Slayer for Hire - or, Fan Love in Action

by Pat (P. E.) Cunningham
It’s almost here! Slayer for Hire, my first-ever YA novel, comes out this Friday, February 15. Writing it let me revisit my fandom days at science fiction and comic book conventions—the costumes, the filksings, sitting up until 4 in the morning watching anime in Japanese. Ah, to have that stamina again.

In a way, being a fan indirectly led me to write Slayer. Although I’ve been writing professionally for years, I desperately wanted to write fan fiction about my favorite TV show. Instead I combined the two, and wrote an original story “starring” the actors from the show. One thing led to another, and there I was writing a sequel, with the boys adding a half-vampire girl to the mix. These became Matt and Dina’s parents. (Please don’t go looking for these books unless you’re over 18. I don’t want to get nasty emails from your folks.)

Continuing the fanfic joke, I decided Matt would become an actor, and land a starring role on a show about two guys who travel around the country hunting vampires. Three guesses what my favorite program is.

Trouble is, when you’re a writer, it never just stops with one idea. What if the show’s biggest fan wanted to meet her heroes? What if a real vampire decided to go after the “slayers”? I believe the title came first, then the characters. The characters led to the plot. Three months later I had a book. I wish it was always that easy.

I’d like to thank Evernight Teen for accepting Slayer for Hire. I wasn’t sure it was “gritty” enough. I was aiming for a lighthearted adventure, to counter all the angst and melodrama currently on the shelves. You can’t eat broccoli all the time; sometimes you just need a candy bar. I had a blast writing Slayer for Hire, and I hope you enjoy reading it.

And Matt's father still hopes he'll someday come to his senses and get a real job. That's life.

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