A long time ago I came across these books by Antonia Forest. I've read them all ~ even The Thursday Kidnapping. Actually I think that was the first one I read. Like a lot of people who like these books I was intensely curious about the very private person who hid behind the persona of Antonia Forest ~ & at various times I have gone looking for odd snippets of information, driven by furiously annoying dedications that give hints that her characters were based on real people. In the process I came across this site. This site links to fanfic. Oh my...
Now I'm not normally a fan of fanfic but haven't you ever wanted to know what became of your favourite characters? OK, my imagination is quite up to the task but it is fascinating to see how others view the various characters, who likes who, who is disliked, & how they view their various lives turned out. Quite the eye~opener!
Which got me thinking...Fanfic's not that new. I first came across it when I was about 10 or so ~ only it wasn't called fanfic. I fell in love with Pelagie Doane's illustrations. Simply gorgeous. My librarian was horrified that I was about to read the last book in a series before reading the previous two. In fact she insisted I take out the first book. Having no choice, I did. I never read it, not then. Nor the second one. I began with Heidi's Children ~ & worked my way backwards.
At some point it occurred to my addled brain that this series was written by 2 different people. Charles Tritten is no Johanna Spyri. The quality of writing is just so inferior though I suspect far more appealing to white middle class Americans ...& Australians. The Heidi of the latter books is nothing like the original Heidi imagined by Johanna Spyri. For the adult me this is incredibly jarring. Tritten was obviously more interested in filling in the gaps than staying true to the tone & feel & character of the original book. I never could visualise Heidi marrying Peter ~ but then stranger things have happened.
Anyway, that is one of the things I noticed trolling through a site dedicated to all things Antonia Forest. Those who are doing the fanfic try really hard to keep the tone & mannerisms of the characters as Forest originally portrayed them so there is a seamless mesh between the original & the new. I don't know, but it seems there are quite a few of us out there who enjoy reading vicariously others interpretations of an author's characters.
What about You? Ever tried this? No idea? Loathe it? Great for giggles? Leave us a comment & let us know.