Most of my fan fiction for the Big Valley Writing Desk centered around the non-series characters I created: Victoria's second husband, Royce Wardell, who owned a shipping business in New Orleans, and their adopted daughter Kate, called KatieBee by her much older brothers and sisters. In what I have come to call "The Kate Chronicles", I have taken KatieBee from infancy to adulthood through a series of stories focusing on major issues/events in her life.
Because they were well-received in the Valley, I decided to resurrect them in the mainstream. Such new life requires a total make-over of characters, at least in name, and setting, so that there is no resemblance to the television series. That's the easy part. Then I had to make the decision about whether or not I wanted to put the time and effort into finding a publisher who deals with children's/mid-grade/young adult fiction. With two novels needing revision before they're fit even for consideration for submission, and a third in the planning stages, I decided I didn't have the time. Too, I have to be realistic and understand that "The Kate Chronicles" are old-fashioned and would, in all likelihood, not find an audience with today's young people.
So the decision is 99% made to undertake self-publication of "The Kate Chronicles" in four volumes:
The Middle Years
The Harvest Years
The Golden Years
Right now I'm looking at a couple of options for cobbling these volumes together at no cost to me and having them available for print-on-demand at various online markets. Then, too, they will be something "extra" to have available when I do book-signings for my traditionally-published books. And, they will make a nice legacy of my fan-fiction days. I loved writing the stories, and I feel there are those who will enjoy reading them.
Why not? The stories are rattling around on the computer, going nowhere, doing nothing. For me at my stage in life, writing is not about making a living and certainly not about being among the "rich and famous". It's about realizing a dream and enjoying myself in the process. Writing, like any craft, has its rules and taboos, but maybe it shouldn't. Maybe the writing life should be lived with (responsible) abandon and joy, taking pleasure in one's personal accomplishment, rejoicing in the accomplishments of others, but never--never!--falling prey to the shaking heads and wagging fingers of those who would say, "But that's not how it's done."
I was taught to consider my options, weigh all possibilities, and stick by the decisions I made. I'm convinced that I'll never regret--and reap a rich reward of joy--in giving new life to The Kate Chronicles. And that's what it's all about.