Confession: Zach Quinto Got Me Published

I totally credit ZQ with getting my creative juices flowing again, even though he never so much as said hello to me, nor did I ever meet him anywhere (and I know many fans who have). Although I’ve written off and on since I could hold a pencil, I’d gone through a long stretch where I wasn’t writing at all. Didn’t even occur to me. Instead, I was taking pictures and learning how to be a photographer.

Back in the day, I was a Sarmy member. That stands for Sylar’s Army. Yup, I was a big fan of Heroes and Zach Quinto. I adored Sylar. He was so deliciously evil, he made me drool. I wanted to fuck that guy. Sure I knew he was only a character but that was part of the charm. I wrote fanfic about Sylar, most of it buried on the computer somewhere. Some of it was even good, but mostly, it got me writing again.

When Zach created a site where his fans could gather and worship him on bended knee, I leaped at the opportunity. I was down there on my knees along with everyone else, and it was fun for a long time. I named the place (ZQC, which stands for… well, ZQ community), I helped shape its culture and set the tone.

I was laid off that year and I spent it writing and taking pictures. It was then I developed my lean, clean style. Writing every day for hours at a time is the best possible way to get the mojo back. That was also the year I discovered slash was not just fanfic. It was also a little-known publishing niche and I wanted in. 

So I wrote, and I wrote some more, and finally, I thought I had something good enough to submit for publication. I was encouraged by a person I met on Zach’s site, someone I became friends with in real life. She showed one of my short stories to a couple of people in the business and they said, “Yup, this person is a writer. This can be published.”

That was a scary moment for me, because it meant I had no more excuses for avoiding what I now see was inevitable. I had to send that sucker in. Three days later, I got an email saying it had been accepted.

While all this was going on, I was still hanging out at ZQ’s site and somewhere along the way, I was made a mod. That’s shorthand for ‘moderator.’ Without my knowledge or acceptance (not even kidding about that; I was told after the fact, when I emailed the webmaster after discovering I could do stuff), I was given powers few civilians should have.

I could ban people, delete posts, and even email ZQ himself. I never did though. I’m not a complete idiot. Heh. But I could have if I’d given my inner stalker free reign. I still wonder what I would have said to him. “Hi, this is Fen. How’s your day going?” Riiiiight.

The webmaster insisted I tell no one about this, and though it ruffled my feathers–who wouldn’t want to tell their friends they were modding a hot young actor’s personal web site?–I kept the secret.

Why am I spilling it now? Because the site is moving to Facebook and I can’t stand that place, so my modding days for ZQ are over. Also, I wasn’t asked to mod on FB, nor was I told the site was moving. That hurt, considering the time I spent there doing my job, but the celebrity crush is long since over and I’m too busy these days anyway. It worked out the way it should. Modding lasted about three years and hey, it’s time to move on. I still think he’s a sexy mofo, with the added bonus of having a well-developed brain and a vocabulary he’s not afraid to use, and I’ll continue keeping tabs on his career, but not with the almost rabid attention I once gave him.

During that year I was laid off, I was floundering. I was alone, a little scared, and looking for direction in my life. Zach and his site were a welcome distraction; it was so much easier to think about that than my problems. Because a friend turned me on to Heroes one weekend (we watched the entire first season in two days) and I fell for Sylar, I became a published writer.

And that’s the story of how Zach Quinto got me published. ;/ Crushing on a celebrity is harmless (unless you really are a stalker, and I did run into a couple of them), sometimes inspiring, often ridiculous, and ultimately left behind. I’m dead certain it will never happen to me again, despite having led to my career as a writer. I also made some good friends. All in all, a positive experience, and one I’ll remember a long time. Thanks, Zach. I owe you. If you’re ever in St Paul, give me a call. We’ll do lunch.


About Fenraven

Fenraven happily lives in south Florida, where it is really hot most of the year. Find him on Twitter, Google +, and Facebook by searching on 'fenraven'.
This entry was posted in internet, RL and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Confession: Zach Quinto Got Me Published

  1. Lindsaysf says:

    I have fond – and arousing! – memories of your fan fic. Wow! Your gift as a writer was certainly apparent – characters that lived and breathed and fucked and had glorious body parts! You didn’t just borrow an existing character – you started with the image and let it evolve into its own delicious entity. And your sense of place! I thought that surely you’d been in his home to write with such a detailed eye. Astonishing to discover you hadn’t – must be the same inner eye that makes your photographs so good. I remember one time when I had succumbed to a yucky depression – one of those “mood flues”. You’d just finished a fan fic that was so hot, it knocked my flu straight out immediately!!!! Good medicine, that. 🙂
    You will be missed on ZQC.

    • Think I could patent it and make a fortune? 🙂

      I owe you a debt as well. If you hadn’t shown that story to a couple people (without my knowledge and that was a good thing; I’d have been a nervous wreck otherwise!), I’d probably still be writing fanfic and dreaming of being published. Thanks, Lindsay, for giving me the push I needed!

  2. AJ Rose says:


    Last time I’m gonna say it: YOU got YOURSELF published. He may have inspired you (and hell, who wouldn’t be inspired by that man… rawr), but you did the work, you had the confidence to write the damn stories, and you had the courage to submit… with a bit of a cheering section, but still.


    Don’t give away the credit. He didn’t hone your talent; he didn’t come up with the ideas; he didn’t sit at the computer for hours on end and put the words down; and he didn’t edit, rewrite, and send them off to publishers.

    There’s a reason Theo Fenraven is the name on those stories instead of Zachary Quinto. Don’t forget it.

  3. Isa says:

    I have to say I’m not a fan of fanfic because I have a hard time imagining the actors in the story. The characters in my head usually looks different then what the author sees. One fanfic that sticks in my head was a story that takes place during the war. I was crying through the story because it was so sad and then I found after reading it who the characters where based on (I think AJ had linked to it.). After I found this out I kept trying to put the actors in place of the characters in my head and that changed how I thought of the story. I do the same when an author posts a picture of what their character looks like. My thought is always “he doesn’t look like that!”.

    I also wonder why some people waste their time writing fanfic when they could be publishing their story. (I know it’s not a waste but they write so well they should publish their work.).

    I’m glad you got published and have continued to write as I’ve enjoyed reading your books and hope to continue to do so for many years. And yes, you need to take the credit. It was your hard work and your writing ability that allowed you to get published.

    • AJ Rose says:

      If you’re talking about Wind at Dawn, that’s one of my favorite fanfics ever.

      • That was a terrific story. The author brought tears to my eyes and that’s not easy. The thing is, it could have been a story about any two guys. She should be writing for publication.

    • Nicely said! Thanks.

      Writers are like everyone else. They doubt themselves and their talent. Even after they get published, they wonder, “Am I good enough?” Everyone wonders if they’re good enough, no matter what they do in life. The true magic is we keep trying, no matter what. We constantly attempt to better ourselves. I always hope next thing I write is better than the book before.

  4. Isa says:

    @ AJ Yes that was the one. I won’t forget that one for awhile.

    Theo – stop doubting yourself. You are good enough and yes your writing will improve the more you write and get feed back. I’m always jealous of writers because I want to be able to write but its not something I can do. I’ll stick to reading so you can continue writing.

  5. Fanfic got me writing again after a 20 year drought, so I can completely understand how ZQ brought you into the world of publishing. I can also sympathize and recognize the need to move on over time. It’s normal and natural, though that doesn’t make it hurt any less. Kudos to you for recognizing that time when it came. 🙂

  6. erinsromance says:

    Hey, crushing is a time-honored way of reaching your own inner mojo. I crushed a long time ago on Johnny Depp and he became the hot-eyed, stone faced hero of my Warrior series. So he’s probably not gay. So who cares? We all have our, um, muse (for lack of a better word)…so I say let ‘er rip, Fen. As soon as I sell a few more books I’m going after yours. I like your style without ever having read…wazzis name…ZQ. I bet your voice is all your own.
    ~ A fan, Erin

    • Oh, I crushed on Johnny, too. He’s got that pretty boy look I really love. 🙂

      These days, I fall in love with my characters. I keep hoping I’ll run into Talis some day (he’s the beautiful bad man in Phoenix Rising) and I’m totally smitten with Cooper (in Three of Swords).

  7. Ahhh remember Sylar? He was awesome! ^_^

    Also everytime I eat and Pinto (Mexican place in Glasgow Queen Street, feel free to google) I snigger a little bit because SOMEONE introduced me to the other meaning if that word and thus I seem like a nine year old every time I am in or walk past!

    AJ is right though, you got yourself published because of all those beautiful stories that seem to just fall out your head and we are all so proud of you! ❤

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.