I assume this is about the separation between my fandom identity and my author identity, and I’m going to answer this publicly because IT’S REALLY VERY IMPORTANT TO ME. If I have to reblog this every week for a year, I will.
Why do I not want my author identity prominently linking back to my fandom identity? Two reasons:
- My author identity is my professional face; my fandom identity is where I have fun in my own time. It’s like… Imagine you apply for a serious job that you really want, and instead of handing in your CV, someone gives your potential employer access to your private Facebook account, filled with inside jokes and party pictures. Sucks, doesn’t it? My non-fandom readers don’t care about 1D; it has nothing to do with my original writing.
Zarah Detand is where I put on my suit and nice shoes. zarah5 is where I veg out on the sofa in my pajamas and throw popcorn at the screen. If I have to constantly be afraid that people who are supposed to know only Zarah Detand will come wandering into my living room, I will have to severely change the way I dress and behave as zarah5, and I really don’t want to do that. I want to have both. I don’t ever want to be that author who cuts all fandom ties and deletes their fanfic and pretends it never happened. I love fandom. Heck, I wrote an indirect thank you to the fandom into my acknowledgements for No Place Left to Run.
But please, fandom, respect that I also need that space where I can put on a suit and act like a grown-up. And where you don’t go around showing people pictures of me in my pajamas.
- Fandom is not mainstream, and by keeping it (somewhat) secret, you contribute to the safety of its creative force. Look, we — fanfic authors, fan artists, etc — play with real people or, in the case of fictional fandoms, with someone else’s characters. Those real people or the creators of those characters might object to some of the things we put them through, especially if it’s removed from its niche and tossed into the spotlight.
It’s caused problems for other fandoms already — Anne Rice, for example, shuns fanfic, and I remember that there are footballers who obliged fanfic platforms to take down stories about them.
Now, 1D obviously know about the fandom and fanfic, and they are unlikely to barge in and tell us to shut everything down. But I also believe the boys would prefer for it to stay in its niche. In other words, you don’t hop on a soapbox in the middle of a crowded market place and start shouting about how great it is to read fic about Harry and Louis shagging. But you can totally hop on a soapbox in a fandom meeting and shout about the very same thing.
It’s all about the difference in audiences. Talk to the fandom crowd about fic all you want, but don’t shout about it to just anyone. Having a link to my fandom identity right there in the book description of my original writing on Goodreads — which is accessed by a very varied audience — is the equivalent of shouting about it to strangers on the street.
In conclusion: people who know zarah5 are welcome to know that I sometimes put on a suit and call myself Zarah Detand, but people who know Zarah Detand are not supposed to know I enjoy chilling in an oversized One Direction onesie. Please respect that. Thank you.