CM: "What do you think of fan fiction? Have you ever written any?"
Susan Shea: [long pause… then calls] Lana? Justin? Nicolas? Do any of you know what fan fiction is?
J: Grandmom, why would you want to know?
N: Yeah, Grandmom, Justin won’t even let me look at it.
Me: Why not? What is it about?
L: It’s written by fans of a book, what alternative endings they might want.
J: [laughs] But it gets weird.
L: Gross. My advice is do not look it up on Google.
N: Justin won’t even let me look it up. I’ll look it up now for you, okay?
Me [quickly] No, don’t look it up…why can’t he look it up?
L: OMG! These fans write extreme stuff about, you know, what characters would do. And it gets really, really strange. Gross. Trust me, Grandmom, you don’t want to read most fan fiction.
N: I just want to see it once.
J: No, Nicolas. Trust me, you don’t.
Me: So people take a story, like Harry Potter, and make Harry do weird things? I thought Harry already did weird things.
J: Not this weird. The so-called fans go crazy and write about evil stuff.
Me: You mean like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies? It’s a real book and I know the guy who wrote that. So, is that fan fiction?
[J and L snort in unison] Much worse. And none of this stuff would be in a book. It’s on YouTube.
N: I just want to see it once, Justin.
I retire from the discussion, having decided “gross” and ‘weird” may be code for “sex,” the “fans” in question are either internet trolls or warped 15-year olds, and that my answer to the Criminal Minds question of the week is: No. I am confident that other Minds will have so much more to say about this than I do.
But here’s a link to what I thought might pass for fan fiction until Justin told me this is actually funny and doesn’t make the Harry Potter characters do something…well, gross and out of character.