Camera Shy

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Zine
Title: Camera Shy
Publisher: OZ X-PRESS on circuit version
Editor:
Author(s): Meg Lewtan
Cover Artist(s):
Illustrator(s):
Date(s): 1986
Medium: print
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Professionals
Language: English
External Links:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
cover: B&W Photo front cover (B&D in camouflage) on ORIG Aussie version
sample page

Camera Shy is a slash AU 137-page novel by Meg Lewtan. It is in the same universe as Stage Fright.

It incorporates a number of black and white Xeroxed photos (10 of Doyle, 1 of Bodie, 1 of B&D together).

The story sometimes appears on fan's Desert Island lists.[1] And it was among the first "favorite Pros novels" mentioned on the Virgule-L mailing list when it launched in October 1992, along with Injured Innocents, Rediscovered in a Graveyard, Of Tethered Goats and Tigers and Bear Necessity.[2]

Some information about this circuit zine is at Prosfinder: see Camera Shy; archive link.

In 2002, after filing off its serial numbers, this zine was published by Wayward Books as original m/m fiction.

Some Author Comments

From Hatstand Interview with Meg Lewtan:

Meg Lewtan notes that "Camera Shy" had received the most fannish comments of all her fiction.

She also wrote of the story's inspiration: "It's so long ago, I really don't remember, but I think it had something to do with all the photos of a certain actor who protested long and loudly that he couldn't understand why people saw him as a sex symbol and then had little hesitation in posing for the type of photo which fostered the image perfectly."

Summary

The Hatstand's summary: "Bodie is in CI5 while Doyle is a model, now budding film actor, and a former boyfriend of a known assassin and fashion house owner, Gary Hale. Hale's name has come to the notice of CI5 concerning a plot to kill some high level people, and Bodie is sent to investigate. To help him, Bodie makes use of his mercenary experiences, and is hired as an advisor for the film that Doyle is part of - directed by his 'adopted' brother Nick. Bodie has been instructed to 'romance' Doyle (he is known by Cowley to be gay/bisexual) and discover what he knows. He is also told that Doyle is expendable. However, after a very shaky start, they get together and Bodie soon discovers that he cares a great deal for Doyle." from [3]

In 2000, two fans Cassie Ingaben and Dagger compiled an index of many of the circuit stories. They also wrote brief summaries:

  • Dagger: CI5 agent Bodie goes undercover as a technical advisor to seduce a rising star, Doyle, the former lover of a psychotic political assassin. Against all the rules, Bodie's relationship with Doyle becomes much more than an act.
  • Cassie: CI5 wants killer G.Hale. C, who knows that B is gay and ex-lover of Murphy, sends B to seduce D, former lover of Hale's and model turned movie star. D had an awful childhood, was into foster care and mistreated; then Hale was abusive and domineering. Now D is wary and has little self-worth: yet B seduces him and starts another subtle manipulative relationship - but unexpectedly, B falls in love (and D too). As dog in the manger Hale learns of the new relationship he gets back to reclaim D. B's influence has made D stronger though (?) and D rejects Hale. Hale, thwarted, tries to bomb D and B narrowly saves him: he has to tell the truth at this point, though. As D learns that he was betrayed and used once again, as a bait to get a killer, he freaks out and almost kills B (who does not defend himself). B's non-reaction, though, strikes D and they patch up as they both realize that whatever the intentions they are really in love now. Hale calls: he has Muphy hostage and asks for D to be back. B & D go, and thanks to D's uncanny aim they manage to kill Hale and save Murphy, even though D is in shock for the killing, being the ex-lover of a killer, and the blow of B being hurt. All ends well, though - D recovers and his movie is a success, starting a brilliant career; B stays in CI5 and he even persuades C to let them live together.

Reactions and Reviews

Unknown Date

I read this via the Paper library, so I have no idea whether it is still in print or not.

Bodie is in CI5 while Doyle is a model, now budding film actor, and a former boyfriend of a known assassin and fashion house owner, Gary Hale. Hale's name has come to the notice of CI5 concerning a plot to kill some high level people, and Bodie is sent to investigate. To help him, Bodie makes use of his mercenary experiences, and is hired as an advisor for the film that Doyle is part of - directed by his 'adopted' brother Nick. Bodie has been instructed to 'romance' Doyle (he is known by Cowley to be gay/bisexual) and discover what he knows. He is also told that Doyle is expendable. However, after a very shaky start, they get together and Bodie soon discovers that he cares a great deal for Doyle.

The situation is made more fraught by Hale's determination to have his 'property' - Doyle, back and his anger as Doyle spurns him and Bodie flaunts the fact the he and Doyle are a pair. The action and angst increases as Hale's determination to teach Doyle, and Bodie, a lesson, as well as carry out the assassination he returned to England for combine to make things very dangerous for both of them. Throw in Murphy as Bodie ex, and still holding a candle for him, Doyle's suspicion, pain and hurt from the way Hale used and abused him, excellently depicted OCs, emotional angst, violence and pain and you have a very interesting page turner of a story.

Bodie's characterisation seems to be very much in line with the Bodie we see in the series, while Doyle appears less aggressive, more hesitant and self conscious and all together unlike the assertive and confident alpha male Doyle of the series - except in a welcome confrontation and alteration with Hale. Meg, however, retains Doyle's sharp shooter skills, a device she uses for even more angst at the end.

While I had reservations about the Doyle presented here, I found this a good read and enjoyed it. [4]

1989

CAMERA SHY/STAGE FRIGHT are among my favorite of favorites. I find the choice of occupation for Doyle especially appealing. That he is drawn from both Doyle and Martin Shaw is amusing and makes the character seem quite real. This sense of reality would make these two stories excellent movies. Again, the background detail, the characterization and the scenario combine to make each of these stories so complete and satisfying.

It is Meg's ability to tell a story as well as provide the reader with insight into motivation and character that is the hallmark of each of her pieces. It also sets her work apart from so much of what is written in fandom. [5]
"Camera Shy" and "Stage Fright" are two of my favorite alternate universe stories. The Bodie in these stories is a wonderful creation. This is a man I could see as fully capable of being a mercenary and doing all the things that being a part of CI5 implies - including those jobs that most fans don't like to think about our "lads" doing. His falling in love with Doyle is expertly handled and fully believable. I also like the Doyle in this story immensely. To watch a character as wounded as this one fight his way back to finally be able to love another human being is fascinating. What I especially like is this is a relationship with a lot of problems that need to be worked out. They are not the perfect couple and Meg shows them having to work at their relationship and their life together. She has made them charaters I come to care about and watch with interest to see how they work out their life together. [6]

1990

I just finished reading Meg Lewtan's CAMERA SHY, a slightly alternate universe. I know all the episodes her story's photos come from except one: the very first photo of Doyle in the story. It's a close up with Doyle wearing a white woolly jacket, bare-chested, and neck chain with a cigarette in the left comer or his mouth. Where did she get this very erotic photo? [7]
Stage Fright/Camera Shy -- Lewtan novels. Doyle as model/actor, living with and loving Bodie who is in CI5. Unfortunately, sometimes STAGE FRIGHT comes dangerously close to Bodie/Shaw. I also found both novels tell us altogether too much about B&D's doings. I know how to chew peas, too, thank you, and I don't need step-by-step details of how to. Also, Lewtan's Doyle tends to get too "guilty" and over-wrought. I like her touches with Bodie, but I, too, get the feeling of "St. Bodie" (corollary in B7 -- the "St. Blake" stories where [Blake] survives Gauda Prime and not only forgives Avon, but leads the poor distraught man into The Light.) I also like the way she uses Murphy as long as she keeps him incidental and not intrusive. I fear she has him interfere too much. Her saving grace is that she totally admits what kind of writing she does, that it has plot holes and that she tends to bodice-ripping. [8]

1991

Another of Cammie's favorites, this alternate universe romp features Doyle as a psychologically wounded photographers' model-turned-film star being used as bait for an assassin, and Bodie as a CI5 bodyguard reluctantly falling in love with his charge. With a passable TV-movie-type plot and action enough for those who require it, angst a-plenty and at least one steamy sex scene per chapter, Cammie finds this novel exhaustingly satisfying and eminently re-readable. [9]

1992

I kinda liked it. [10]

1993

I know people who thought that Camera Shy crossed the edge into Actor slash, saying that the D character was more based on Shaw than Doyle. I disagree; I think an a/u with D as an actor is just as valid (or bad, if you are anti a/u) as one with D staying as a copper instead of joining CI5, or whatever. [11]

1994

Camera Shy was one such example [of too much pining and swooning] for me. Although I liked the story (liked the sequel, Stage Fright, much better) I thought Bodie was a completely arrogant, emotionally abusive bastard, and the worst: Doyle fell for it and LET him abusive him emotionally. Doyle was written as very insecure and falling for all of Bodie's little tricks (for instance Bodie being very gentle to Doyle one moment and then suddenly turning cold and arrogant to punish him). And Bodie used all those tricks deliberately with the aim to soften Doyle up. I hated it! While I could believe that Bodie could be such a bastard I'd never want Doyle to fall for someone like that! Made me really cringe.Fortunately, it got better the more the story progressed and the sequel Stage Fright had them in a relatively equal balance. [12]

1995

Bad sex? Camera Shy has some scenes where Doyle is pushed back his comfort level (quite intentionally) by Bodie. Tho the sex is explicit, the discomfort isn't... [13]

1996

[M F] once winningly argued that many of these older novels don't hold up under a re-read. In response, and because I feared I agreed with her, I pulled out "Camera Shy" and read the beginning through to the point where Bodie masturbated to the photograph of Doyle who he'd never met. Then I took that novel and a few others (including Labyrinth) and set them aside, never to re-read. My memory of them is *so* pleasant, I'm not willing to risk ruining it with the truth. [14]

1997

For characters--I need them strong and tough. If they are made too weak it just loses it for me. And why oh why is it nine times out of ten Doyle being rescued by Bodie. Even good stories that I'd normally like start me rolling my eyes when we get another Doyle as victim bit. I absolutely love Camera Shy and it's sequel Stage Fright... they are wonderful but I cringe at the ends where Doyle falls apart. That's just not the Doyle I see in ANY of the eps. [15]
I liked the undoubtedly fragile yet hanging-on-by-his-gritted-teeth Doyle of "Camera Shy". There was an inner core of strength, hard though it had been tested by his upbringing and then that appallingly abusive relationship he dragged himself out of. One of the pleasures of that story for me was seeing the growth of Bodie's respect for Doyle as he learns more about what he's been through. And to see the blossoming of confidence Doyle shows in the light of a lover's approval (as opposed to constant belittling, which is all he's known of love affairs so far) was very satisfying. [16]

I dislike Camera Shy - yes I know it's AU but if you're going to alter Doyle *that* much you might as well dump him as a character altogether. It's only my opinion but I can only stand AU's that alter milieu and not character

A Doyle who can't look after himself, a Doyle who is at a loss a tongue-tied Doyle, Doyle who needs reassuring of his worth - isn't Doyle for me - he's Ray's weaker cousin.

I can't say I was impressed by the "growing respect" - B keeps saying he respects Doyle while manipulating him and while the author keeps showing him as frail and unsure.

But what I *really* disliked was that Doyle wasn't allowed to be angry about Bodie's betrayal. Here's a man profoundly damaged by an earlier abusive relationship who is seduced by a man for the sake of the case and repeatedly assured that it's out of genuine feeling for him. Then when the truth comes out and he reacts violently everyone gathers round and tells him he's no right to feel like that.

Yes I know Bodie falls for him but the fact remains he deliberately manipulated a vulnerable man into falling in love with him. Love came after the betrayal - it shouldn't have made everything all right, he shouldn't have been allowed to get away with a couple of punches (which BTW poor old Doyle is made to feel guilty for administering). [17]

2004

Bodie is in CI5 while Doyle is a model, now budding film actor, and a former boyfriend of a known assassin and fashion house owner, Gary Hale. Hale's name has come to the notice of CI5 concerning a plot to kill some high level people, and Bodie is sent to investigate. To help him, Bodie makes use of his mercenary experiences, and is hired as an advisor for the film that Doyle is part of - directed by his 'adopted' brother Nick. Bodie has been instructed to 'romance' Doyle (he is known by Cowley to be gay/bisexual) and discover what he knows. He is also told that Doyle is expendable. However, after a very shaky start, they get together and Bodie soon discovers that he cares a great deal for Doyle.

The situation is made more fraught by Hale's determination to have his 'property' - Doyle, back and his anger as Doyle spurns him and Bodie flaunts the fact the he and Doyle are a pair. The action and angst increases as Hale's determination to teach Doyle, and Bodie, a lesson, as well as carry out the assassination he returned to England for combine to make things very dangerous for both of them. Throw in Murphy as Bodie ex, and still holding a candle for him, Doyle's suspicion, pain and hurt from the way Hale used and abused him, excellently depicted OCs, emotional angst, violence and pain and you have a very interesting page turner of a story.

Bodie's characterisation seems to be very much in line with the Bodie we see in the series, while Doyle appears less aggressive, more hesitant and self conscious and all together unlike the assertive and confident alpha male Doyle of the series - except in a welcome confrontation and alteration with Hale. Meg, however, retains Doyle's sharp shooter skills, a device she uses for even more angst at the end.

While I had reservations about the Doyle presented here, I found this a good read and enjoyed it. [18]

2012

In general, I'm not a fan of fan fiction turned into "original" fiction. For what it's worth, I always recommend that folks read the original zines, even if they do read the revised versions as well. Much of the depth in good fan fiction comes from its draw on canon (at least in my opinion), and those are often the details most likely to be lost in commercial revisions, for obvious reasons.

I've read several of the Wayward Books versions of what were originally Pros fan fiction stories, and the differences between the two varies from essentially only a name change for the main characters to more substantial changes. I've not read the Wayward Books version of Camera Shy, so can't tell you to what degree it was changed. [19]

Published as Original Fiction in 2002

In 2002, "Camera Shy" was reproduced as original fiction and published by Wayward Books as "Camera Shy" by Matthew Parkes.

cover of original fiction novel

Excerpt from the original fiction novel:

“Why shouldn’t I be? Look in the mirror. As far as I can see you have all the right attributes,” O’Brien said calmly.

“Thanks.” He slid off the wooden rail and turned obediently. The ceiling-high glass and neon lighting highlighted the strong lines of his face and body. Thick black hair with a natural wave, grey eyes framed by dark lashes, straight eyebrows and wellshaped features gave him what many had told him was a handsome face. Six feet two in height, his wide shoulders were balanced by his deep chest and long legs. Years of martial arts had defined his muscles and given him an economy of movement which concealed his unusual strength. The only signs of his expertise in single combat were the ridges of thickened skin along the sides of his hands. Silently admitting he did have all the right attributes, he stared at his reflection. In the past he been told by one of his bed-partners that his strength was a turn-on and the control and surety instilled by the disciplines he practised were highly attractive. He had no illusions about his sexual preferences but his face and body, reinforced by studied charm, lured male and female, a definite advantage in his work. “So I take him to bed with all with the blessings of the Anti-Discrimination Act,” he added cuttingly, referring to the legislation which protected him from dismissal in any government department. “I wonder what happened to the universal belief that all spies

were heterosexual and only seduced female enemy agents?”

References

  1. Close Quarters Desert Island Episode/Zine/Fic dated July 18, 2009; reference link.
  2. Sandy Hereld's email "My god, it's working..." dated October 21, 1992, quoted with permission.
  3. The Hatstand
  4. review by Ali at The Hatstand
  5. from The Hatstand Express #19
  6. from The Hatstand Express #19
  7. from Short Circuit #1 (April 1990)
  8. comments by Linda Terrell in Short Circuit #3 (October 1990)
  9. from Cold Fish and Stale Chips #7
  10. comments on Virgule-L, quoted anonymously with permission (December 22, 1992)
  11. Sandy Hereld at Virgule-L, quoted with permission (March 24, 1993)
  12. comment at Virgule-L, quoted anonymously (November 3, 1994)
  13. comments by Sandy Hereld on Virgule-L, quoted with permission (March 10, 1995)
  14. comment by Michelle Christian on a private mailing list, quoted with permission (November 24, 1996)
  15. comment at Virgule-L, quoted anonymously (March 2, 1997)
  16. comments on Virgule-L, quoted anonymously (March 13, 1995)
  17. comments on Virgule-L, quoted anonymously (March 13, 1995)
  18. from Camera Shy, also here
  19. 2012 comment by taverymate at Camera Shy, Prosfinder