Fanfic and Rizzles

I may live to eat these words someday, but I have to say, I’m amused by this.

Since the creation of the TV show “Rizzoli & Isles,” it seems there’s a whole universe of fan fiction writers who love my characters so much they want to write their own stories about them. Yes, I created Jane and Maura. They will always be my girls. But I’m also thrilled that, for so many fans, these characters are like real people. It’s almost as if Jane and Maura have become flesh and blood and walked out into the world, where they’re living in the heads of a multitude of readers and TV viewers. All because I dreamed them up.

I’ve also discovered “Rizzles”, another phenomenon that has me amused. This is a whole community of fans who really, really want Jane and Maura to be lesbian lovers. (Shades of the old Kirk and Spock gay fanfic.)

A decade ago, when Jane and Maura first walked into my head, I never imagined Rizzles and fanfic writers would someday discover them!

I must emphasize that I absolutely am not reading any of these fan fic stories, because I don’t want to ever be accused of stealing someone’s story idea!

24 replies
  1. demeter94
    demeter94 says:

    I’d like to say thank you. In the past, quite a few authors have come down pretty hard on fanfiction writers, and it’s good to know it won’t happen in this universe. Personally, I’m more on the periphery of the Rizzles phenomenon, but I’ve written fanfiction for a couple of shows and was always lucky to pick the ones where the creators saw it as free promotion for the product. These days, quite a few published authors are known to have written fanfiction.
    The evolution of Jane and Maura, on TV and in the written word is very fascinating, and of course the fact that both Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander have been on crime dramas before (and Maura grew up in San Francisco) opens the door to a lot of fannish speculations.

  2. Tess
    Tess says:

    Demeter, I know that some other authors are bothered by the concept of fanfic. I feel it just means I’ve created two really compelling characters!

    When I was a kid, I used to create my own fanfic stories about the characters from “Man From U.N.C.L.E.” So I understand why others would want to do the same thing.

    There are only two things that I ask from fanfic writers:

    1. No making money off it. It’s okay if it’s done for fun, but once it becomes a business, that’s not right.

    2. Please credit me as the original creator of Jane and Maura. (And credit TNT for the TV versions of Jane and Maura.)

  3. Rainne
    Rainne says:

    I must admit to being somewhat relieved by your amusement, considering that I am one of the Rizzles authors you are amused by. Not all text authors take such a cheerful view of fanfic (Mercedes Lackey and Anne Rice come to mind immediately).

    I think one of the reasons why I personally write fic about the show (as opposed to about the books) is because the dynamic between Jane and Maura on the show is so different from in the books. On the show, there’s no Gabriel and no Daniel getting in the way and let’s be honest, there’s a very subtexty vibe to it all. I like to play in that. So… thanks for letting me. 🙂

  4. newscat
    newscat says:

    Although you are The Creator of the two characters, it seems that the fanfic is based on the TV characters, which are very different than your book character, at least in personalities. I recently started reading your books — love them! — and I see the book and TV characters as different although I picture the actresses in both settings.

  5. IDKmybffPaige
    IDKmybffPaige says:

    I must admit, I was nervous when I saw you tweet this memo! As both an avid fan of your books, the television series based on your books, as well as fan fiction reader and writer, I was afraid that you were upset by the ways in which fans have taken an interest in what you built. I know authors in the past have taken great offense to this, and I can assure you that most fan fiction writers have the purest of intentions when they write their fics.

    I’d like to also assure you that as far as I know, no one is selling their fan fiction, nor do I think this will be a problem! As far as I’ve seen, fan fiction writers are usually VERY respectful of the authors! I don’t think I’ve read a fiction yet that didn’t credit the original creator, or at the very least, placed a disclaimer that states that a ‘higher power’ created the characters. :]

    I will agree with newscat, what I’ve seen so far has been based primarily on television’s rendition of Jane and Maura, which is likely what spawned the Rizzles phenomenon. Angie and Sasha have this great chemistry together that makes the friendship on the show totally believable– And I guess for some, a little too believable! I actually think the Rizzles idea/phenomenon/’subtext’ adds a cute little extra thing to the show, even though it’s technically not a part of the show’s maintext. I’ve even heard people compare Jane and Maura to tv’s latest Xena and Gabrielle!

  6. Breezie531
    Breezie531 says:

    Thank you Thank you Thank you! for not having a problem with us fans writing our hearts out for these characters that we hold so close to our hearts. THANK YOU!

  7. Tess
    Tess says:

    Yes, I can see how the TV version of Jane and Maura might be interpreted in different ways. Angie and Sasha have great chemistry together, which is the reason they were cast for the parts.

    I’m glad to see people are having fun with the characters. I liken it to raising kids and sending them out into the world. Once they’re out there, it’s beyond my control as to what they do!

  8. SizzlesFan1
    SizzlesFan1 says:

    Hi Tess. I watch the show because of the sizzling subtext and chemistry. ( hmmm…anyone for
    “Sizzles” instead of “Rizzles”?) The fan fiction adds to the experience.

    Kudos to you for creating these strong women leads. I look forward to reading your books. I ppreciate your easy acceptance of the fan fic writers, which I can assure you will bring crazy dedicated fans to the show and your books.

  9. sthaussiefan
    sthaussiefan says:

    Being from Australia I will probably never see the TV series, so instead I will keep on reading & loving your books. Following on from the comment from silverscreener, you make me very happy too!

  10. Tess
    Tess says:

    sthaussiefan, good news! The show is coming to Australia. It’s been licensed to both Foxtel Management as well as to Nine Network Australia. I don’t know when it will arrive there, but the rights have been acquired for Australian TV.

  11. JA Konrath
    JA Konrath says:

    Your attitude toward this is perfect. Good for you. I know a few authors who are livid when this happens, and go on rants about intellectual property and copyright and diluting the value of their creations.

    Programmers learned long ago that if you make a program open source, and let other people add to it and change it, and you gain wider exposure and saturation.

    Tolerating uber-fans who love your work so much they create their own versions of it is just smart business.

    Also, Rizzoli and Isles as lovers is hot.

  12. TrooperCam
    TrooperCam says:

    As one of those writers I have to say thank you for your attitude towards those that write fanfiction. I find that when I have a question about something in the show that I want answered this is the time I most feel like writing.

    PS- I could totally see R&I as lovers- at least in the show. I haven’t seen it yet in the books.

  13. G3n3ral_Redfield
    G3n3ral_Redfield says:

    Well, firstly this is a fantastic show and although I realise no major network would risk an openly lesbian police officer character for fear of ratings, I also hope that they remain single, the mystery surrounding the characters is far more intriguing, besides which most TV producers know that to titilate is safe, it encourages the fanfiction which encourages fans which increases the ratings and you end up with a major success story, The writers/producers of LAO in its many forms is well aware of this as are, I am assuming, the producers of the CSI shows and Cold Case etc all these shows have a huge fanfiction following and all of which are majorly succesful despite not quite braving that final step of having a stand out lesbian character, Rizzoli & Isles are different as they were pre existing and not written that way so kudos and many thanks for the concession to the fanfic authors out there for the asexuality of the characters at present, both actresses are outstanding in the portrayal of their roles, keep up the good work ladies and I am glad it amuses you, it is appreciated that you allow us to play with these characters as long as we put them back because the networks will not give us a good and solid lesbian role model outside of the world of fanfic. Many thanks for your enlightened attitude.

  14. tuttle300
    tuttle300 says:

    Sthaussiefan in Australia
    I’m not up to speed on Australian commercialism. If you really want to see the show, there is always the strong chance it will survive the first season, which means the studio will put out a DVD/BluRay package in time for the 2011 second season. Once that happens you could order a copy from Amazon UK or USA. Right? If you really want to see the show, I would think there are ways available. Just offering up a possible option for you.

    JA Konrath– I agree.
    For example…The original Star Trek had just 3 seasons and TWO of those seasons were under constant threat of cancellation. Once it made it to syndication it took off. For ten years (aside from one season of an animated effort) there was nothing for the fans BUT the written word in fan magazines and a few paperbacks from Paramount until we got the Motion Picture in 1979. The rest is history. (and the fan fic has grown tremendously since then).

    And yeah, I think it would be cool to see the two ladies wearing the Starflet mini-skirts!

  15. DrIslesfan21
    DrIslesfan21 says:

    Hi Tess,

    As you can tell just by my username i am a huge fan of your work. I do love the character of Maura though; she is very intriguing to me!

    I am an aspiring mystery/thriller writer myself and I was curious if there was any insight into the profession that you could offer. I am only almost 21 so I am not as lucky to have insight into the medical profession like yourself. But I have aspired to be a novelist since I was old enough to hold a pencil.

    Being a huge Sasha and Angie fan, I have to say that I do love the show version of Rizzoli & Isles but your books are incredible. I was up for about 36 hours straight as I read both Vanish and Ice Cold in one sitting. (Ice Cold is by far my favorite of all!)
    Which by the way as much as I hated it fabulous job making us belive Maura was dead.

    Any advice you could give would be great! Thanks and keep writing more Rizzol and Isles!!

    PS- Thank you for approving of our fan fic writing!

  16. NovelAddict
    NovelAddict says:

    Hi Tess,
    I must confess I just recently discovered your books. And I already love them! I’ve read the first four from the R&I series in just 1 week! I just can’t stop reading them; you got me from the first page.
    You now have a colombian fan on your list!

  17. nablanks 1
    nablanks 1 says:

    May I thank you for approving the writing of fan fiction. The writing of Fan fiction can be theraputic and also very educational for anybody studying the art of writing. I love the books, and I also love the show and especially like the chemistry between Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander. Love to get you on one of my Radio Shows on Radio Haslar, but i’ll leave that up to you.

  18. MyriamRC
    MyriamRC says:

    Admittedly I am hooked on the Fan Fiction as of lately and it keeps the readers connected to the show. I have to admit that some of the stuff I have read would make some awesome episodes and many of the amateur writers are surprisingly talented even though many of the stories are out there, both from the prospective of the story-line itself to tweaking of the the actual characters, everything from Rizzles to Vampires and Werewolves. Maybe one selected ‘Fan Fiction’ pulled episode (a contest of sorts giving props to the author) after all of the angst over the Doyle shooting has passed.

  19. carolinaxis
    carolinaxis says:

    Tess you are wonderful!
    Rizzles is a big our dream!
    I think you never imagined Jane and Maura like couple because they are very, very different of the books.
    Sincerely I watch TV show because Angie,Sasha and Rizzles already the books by the history and suspense.
    I yet i’m reading the books of the novel Rizzoli & Isles.

  20. MariaIsabel
    MariaIsabel says:

    Hi Tess! I’m brazilian and I have read your books. Really love them, they’ve always surprised me and that’s what I love the most! When I think I’m sure of whom the killer is, I got it wrong. Fantastic! I really like to read and I’m so glad you don’t bother with fanfics writers. I spend a long time reading fanfics, a good way to improve my english (okay, I also confess that I do ship Rizzles, but anyway…). Thanks for being so kind with those writers. There are some really good ones! And thanks for sharing your girls. They’re part of our lifes now. They are not real people, but they mean so much for us readers that sometimes they just become real – in our thoughts, our ideas of ‘what my favorite character would do now?’, our hearts. They give us strength, they make us laugh and cry. We open our souls to them and they shake it.
    I’ve always believed that words are powerful tools. When I read, sometimes I read about someone, sometimes I am able to recognize something there about myself. It feels so good to find parts of me in a book. So please, keep writing, keep sharing it! 🙂

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