Okay, to be honest, it was only “sort-of wrote with PAD” but that doesn’t change his awesomeness! For those of you who may not be familiar with Peter Allen David (or PAD), let me gaak quickly from Wikipedia: He is an American “writer of stuff“, which includes comic books (the Hulk, Aquaman, Apropos of Nothing ), novels (Star Trek’s Imzadi, Knight Life), television (Babylon 5, Young Justice), movies and video games. I bring this up because today, Marvel and Disney announced the October release of John Carter: World of Mars #1, the first book in a four-issue miniseries written by PAD that will function as a prequel to Pixar’s John Carter film, which opens in March.
But, back to the fun memory I wanted to write about. In 2009, PAD organized a satirical round-robin story called “Potato Moon“, and hosted it on his website. It was inspired by “Lady Sybilla” who announced the publication of her very own sequel to “Twilight” entitled “Russet Noon.” She claimed that Stephenie Meyer had no copyright protection to her work (very wrongly). “Peter, in an absolute state of whimsy, decided that simply mockery wasn’t enough, and a long, sustained campaign of mockery is what was called for. So he decided to invite people to a gang-fang called “Potato Moon”.”
Authors including Hugh Casey, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Kevin Killiany, and let’s not forget yours truly, participated in the story, with characters such as Michael Dukakis, Dan Quayle, and Ernest Hemingway appearing alongside satirical versions of Meyer’s characters. PAD conceived the satire as a not-for-profit venture, and while he has no plans to publish the completed “Potato Moon”, he has allowed for the possibility of a future charity release to benefit the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. You can check out my contribution to the madness here at Part 34, but I can’t resist leaving you with just a snippet to get a feel for how chaotic and fun this was.
Jakob knew where they were. He could her the noise of the noisome stream, Slough of Despond. They weren’t far from Sullen Manor. Feeling the need to run, his cowardice once again returning, but also remembering that Bela, his love, wasn’t far. Jakob tried to shapechange.
He had hoped for werewolf, but it wasn’t to be. After a few mintues where it was difficult to figure out who was more surprised, Jakob or El Patata, he shifted from werewolf to were-vampire to were-tree to were-Ford Prius to to were-goldfish to were-Joss Whedon, and after a quick song and dance routine, ended up back as a were-cow.
So, the moral of this blog post…er, um…well. I once wrote with Peter David? Okay, okay, other than waving my hands and going, “Omfg, look at this, isn’t it freakin’ cool?!” it is a great example of:
- Seeing an opportunity and taking it. There was talk online about the fan fiction and what was right and what was wrong, and when PAD organized the satire, I leapt in, and signed up. I didn’t worry about the fact I hadn’t even READ Twilight!!!
- Just do it – write. I think if I had stopped to think about what I was doing I never would have offered to contribute (see #1 – I hadn’t even read the book!). Also, I like to really “chew on my writing” and worry over each word. This, there wasn’t time for me to worry AND it wasn’t supposed to be perfect. It was supposed to be silly and just a little bit outrageous.
- Just-for-Fun can lead increased creativity. I was looking to pull together some of the outrageous strands and have them make sense, but without the pressure of perfect writing and the this-isn’t-for-money/publication but just for fun. I found that I LOVED writing and that I was indulging in some downright creative thinking!
- And finally, I get to say I wrote with Peter David. I got nothing more to add; it was tough enough not add the multiple exclamation points after that item.
I could write more about fanfic and copyright etc etc but that isn’t my intention and rather than mire this post down in legalese, let it end where it began – silly, sociable and a reminder that writing can and should be fun.
P.S. Don’t forget to check out Peter David’s John Carter: World of Mars #1 out in October.