Some time ago I became interested in Slash ficiton. For the uninititated, a word of introduction might be necessary. Slash fiction is romantic and/or erotic fiction written by fans of a film, TV series, book etc. in which same-sex characters (and correctly I believe it would have to be male characters) are paired off and have these romantic or erotic adventures. As I understand it, this began with Star Trek - the original series in which the most popular pairing was Kirk and Spock! The phrase 'Slash' comes from the newsgroups onto which most of this material was posted: it was necessary to let potential readers know which characters were being taken on in the story they were about to read so phrases like Kirk/Spock or K/S were introduced into the title lines - hence 'slash'. The most remarkable thing about slash fiction, however, is that, just like the audience for much of Japan's output of Yaoi manga and anime, the writers tend to be a majority female.
Years ago, and under a pseudonym I wrote some Star Trek Deep Space Nine slash fiction - maninly because I had a bit of a thing for Jake Sisko in the TV series. I haven't had much of an active interest in slash writing since then until very recently.
One of my guilty secrets is a passion for the Harry Potter books. As a result of which, in an idle moment a while ago I began trawling the net to see what the slashers might have done with the Potter franchise. The first, and so far the best, site I came across was The Restricted Section (a reference to The Restricted Section in the library at Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
I've always been intrigued by the way certain pairings take-off within the slash-ing of certain 'fandoms'. I was intrigued, and I confess a little disappointed to discover, that in the world of Potter Slash, the main pairings are the incomprehensible (to me) Harry/Draco and Harry/Snape - affectionately and, let's be honest, a little geekily referred to as Drarry and Snarry fiction. I had a lot of stories to avoid, not particularly wanting to be reading either of those genres but luck struck and I came across a writer called Thevina. She writes mainly, but not exclusively Harry/Ron stories, which seems to me a much more reasonable pairing! One in particular grabbed me and another wacky idea was born.
I clicked open my email program imediately and started writing to the pseudonymous Thevina, asking if she would mind if I created two bound copies of her story, one for her and one for me, and would she mind terribly if I sent both to her and asked her to sign one and send it back? I suddenly had visions of a unique collection of signed erotic books - not necessarily slash fiction - but anything which I found on the internet and was only published there, things which grabbed me and made me think I would want to read them again and again.
To cut a long story short, Thevina agreed happily and I now have the first volume of this proposed collection on my shelf. And even better than a new book and a new collection, I now have a new friend, the wonderfully open, inquisitive, kind quirky and completely adorable Thevina...
The book itself uses an old-fashioned picture framing technique to apply gold strips around a hole which is then backed with a photo. Overall I was quite pleased with the look of the thing but now I have to decide wheher other volumes in this collection will all be in the same format or if I will use it for experimenting with book-building techniques...