Friday, February 19, 2016

Please Welcome Mystery Author Frankie Bow

Omnimystery News: Guest Post by Frankie Bow

We are delighted to welcome author Frankie Bow to Omnimystery News, courtesy of Great Escapes Book Tours, which is coordinating her current book tour. We encourage you to visit all of the participating host sites; you can find her schedule here.

Frankie has a new Kindle Worlds novella out featuring Miss Fortune, a character created by Jana DeLeon, in Sinful Science (Kindle Worlds; December 2015 ebook format) and in her guest post for us today, she writes about her experience with fan fiction.

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Frankie Bow
Photo provided courtesy of
Frankie Bow

Fan fiction, or fanfic, the unauthorized adventures of a book or TV show's popular characters, has traditionally been undertaken as a labor of love. Anonymous authors upload their work to be read and appreciated by fellow fans, hoping not to get cease-and-desist notices from rights holders.

But in 2011 the fanfic landscape shifted when a writer named "Snowqueen's Icedragon" self-published her collected fanfic works as a book, now known as Fifty Shades of Grey. Fifty Shades quickly dominated bestseller lists, spurred an epidemic of sex toy-related ER visits, and may have even saved Barnes and Noble.

Fifty Shades author E.L. James (who no longer goes by Snowqueen's Icedragon) changed some of the Twilight characters' key attributes. Edward Cullen's transformation to Christian Grey stripped him of his immortality and his sparkle; lip biting teenage naïf Bella Swan became lip biting twenty two year old naïf Anastasia Steele.

But why couldn't characters have fanfic adventures without getting their serial numbers filed off first? And what about original authors? Shouldn't they be able to profit from successful fan fiction based on their work?

In 2013, Amazon came up with an answer: Kindle Worlds. Here fans can write stories in an approved World, offer it for sale, and share the profits with the rights-holder. Kindle Worlds now offers "Gossip Girl," "Pretty Little Liars" and 46 other worlds including Jana DeLeon's Miss Fortune Series. The Miss Fortune mysteries chronicle the misadventures of Fortune Redding, a CIA operative who's gone undercover in the tiny bayou town of Sinful, Louisiana, where she's posing as a retired beauty queen.

I was already a fan of the Miss Fortune series before I came across Kindle Worlds. I liked the candid first-person narrative, the distinctive characters, and the fish out of water predicaments in which Fortune finds herself. I jumped in and wrote my first work of fanfic, a novella in the Miss Fortune world titled Sinful Science.

Writing in another author's world presented some advantages and challenges. On the plus side, the world building was done. The setting, the characters, and the history were already mapped out.

The hard part was that I couldn't invent my way out of anything. I had to study the original books carefully, to make sure I wasn't contradicting canon. What denomination is the Protestant church? (Baptist.) What's Gertie's last name? (Hebert.) Can Fortune call her mother? (No.) I've spent time in Louisiana, but memory wasn't enough. I still had to research the weather patterns, the wildlife, the local government (parishes, not counties), and the language (Cajun is not Creole, and neither one is "Yat," the distinctive working-class dialect of the city of New Orleans.)

After several rounds of editing (many, many thanks to my amazing beta readers!), I uploaded Sinful Science in December.

My first fan fiction experience was educational and fun. Would I do it again? Of course.

In the second Hair Extensions and Homicide installment, Fortune's friend Gertie drags Fortune and Ida Belle to a romance convention in New Orleans. Gertie wants to advance her budding new career as a romance author; Fortune needs a break from her complicated personal life; and Ida Belle doesn't think the other two should go out unsupervised. Unfortunately, not everyone at the American Romance and Erotica Authors' Conference will end up "happily ever after."

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Frankie Bow Book Tour

Frankie Bow teaches at a public university. Unlike the characters in her Mahina State Mysteries, she is blessed with delightful students, sane colleagues, and a perfectly nice office chair. She believes if life isn't fair, at least it can be entertaining. In addition to writing murder mysteries, she publishes in scholarly journals under her real name. Her experience with academic publishing has taught her to take nothing personally.

For more information about the author, please visit her website at FrankieBow.com and her author page on Goodreads, or find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Sinful Science by Frankie Bow

Sinful Science by Frankie Bow

A Miss Fortune, Kindle Worlds Novella

Publisher: Kindle Worlds

Amazon.com Print/Kindle Format(s)

A graduate student from Hawaii visits the tiny bayou town of Sinful, Louisiana to investigate the effects of the oil spill on the local wildlife. Sinful resident Fortune Redding, who happens to be a CIA operative hiding out from a ruthless arms dealer, worries that the nosy newcomer might blow her cover. In fact, he does make a disturbing discovery — and unleashes forces that will go to any lengths to protect Sinful's darkest secret.

Sinful Science by Frankie Bow. Click here to take a LookInside the book.

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