I had to finally be honest with myself. While trying to fit into a box in order to be normal (as usual), I realized I was lying to myself. First of all, I am not a fan fiction. The entire premise of The Kingdom of the Woodland Realm Trilogy was to create an original story that could fit into J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth using ONLY Tolkien as the main source. I eventually branched out to Tolkien Experts and their literature–anything with the official Tolkien Logo or researchers using Tolkien/Tolkien Experts as their source. The point was to remain beholden to the borders of Tolkien’s world and not to veer off-course into the nether regions of what “fan fiction” was or as it was seen.
Spoiler Alert: Before starting this book, I had no idea what fan fiction was. I saw crazy stories on Tumblr and other places that were–to be blunt–disgusting and frightening. I had no idea that was what “fan fiction” was. In fact, I thought it was something else entirely. Then I read something about author Anne Rice’s view of “fan fiction” and I almost didn’t write this story. I had decided prior to this that my story would do three things:
- It had to be accurate–meaning whatever events I “created” would be something that was possible and likely to happen.
- It had to stick strictly to Tolkien’s universe–from the beginning through the end; so you can imagine I had to learn Middle-Earth History like I was in school all over again.
- It had to be something my father and Professor Tolkien would want to read. I’ll admit, it is far more “proper” than Tolkien in some places. There are very few “n’t” words in there if any and lots of archaic words like “stripling”.
So naturally, all the romance and war violence reads more like poetry and less like anything is going on. The only 21st century convention I did add was the day in the life stories as it were. What would elves do all day? What would be the order of business when not off fighting in the War of the Last Alliance or the Battle of the Five Armies? Since I plan my wars and battles months in advance due to researching everything from ancient battles and PTSD; the time in-between is spent studying everything Middle-Earth from Tolkien’s languages to Tengwar (still learning but reading it is getting easier–it’s easier than Adûnaic).
I’m going to let people decide what it really is; fan fiction or based on. I know the work I put into this and still do. As a writer, my job is to tell a story. From now on, I’ll just let the world call it what they wish. I just hope they enjoy it.–Jaynaé Marie Miller.