Gun Shy

From Fanlore
Jump to: navigation, search
Title: Gun Shy
Publisher: Quest Books (TX)
Renaissance Alliance Publishing
Quest Books (Regal Crest Enterprises)
Author(s): Lori L. Lake
Cover Artist(s):
Date(s): June 1999 (online), July 2001 (QBTX), July 2002 (RAP), April 2006 (QBRCE)
Series?: yes
Medium: online, print
Fandom: Xena: Warrior Princess
Language: English
External Links: Gun Shy (@The Bard's Corner)
Lori L. Lake's Website
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.


Cover of Gun Shy print novel

Gun Shy is an alt uber novel by Lori L. Lake. It is the first novel in a series, followed by Under the Gun and Have Gun We'll Travel.

Publisher's summary: "While on patrol, Minnesota police officer Dez Reilly saves two women from a brutal attack. One of them, Jaylynn Savage, is immediately attracted to the taciturn cop--so much so that she joins the St. Paul Police Academy. As fate would have it, Dez is eventually assigned as Jaylynn's Field Training Officer. Having been burned in the past by getting romantically involved with another cop, Dez has a steadfast rule she has abided by for nine years: Cops are off limits. But as Jaylynn and Dez get to know one another, a strong friendship forms. Will Dez break her cardinal rule and take a chance on love with Jaylynn, or will she remain forever gun shy?"

The story has over 160,000 words, the 2001 Quest Books version has 444 pages (according to Lunacy) or 460 pages (according to Amazon), the RAP version has 396 pages, and the later Quest Books version has 372 pages in the third edition which was revised, re-edited and reformatted. According to the list of JHP novels at the end of Lucifer Rising, Gun Shy was originally supposed to be published by Justice House Publishing in winter 1999, but it seems that didn't work out.

Lori started the novel in October 1998 and finished it eight months later. According to her own comments the inspiration was a dream she had after staying up late watching The X-Files and Xena: Warrior Princess. When she woke up, it occurred to her that if Xena and Gabrielle lived in the present, they'd be cops or investigators, like Scully and Mulder, and with that epiphany she began to write her story about two lesbian cops.[1] When she finished it, she posted it to the net where it got a very positive fan reaction.

Fanfiction cover by Calli
I systematically posted the long story at an Internet site, 30 or 40 pages at a time over a two month period. After posting the first segment, within 24 hours I was astounded to find 22 emails in response. Over the course of the next few months, I received over one thousand emails from most of the United States and from all over the world: Canada, Korea, France, Hungary, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Spain, Czech Republic, and more. I was stunned even further to get a publication offer after the posting of part three.[1]
Lori referred to the story as "The Cop Novel" right up until MaryD added the first of the 11 original parts to The Bard's Corner in June 1999, at which point Lori had to call it something, so she named it Gun Shy, after a line in the middle of the book.[2][3] In search for a lesbian audience and being aware of the fanfiction network where she could get feedback from a couple of hundred people, she combed through the manuscript and changed descriptors to make the characters resemble Xena and Gabrielle more physically and for the net version she added a few scenes that hearkened back to X & G and just tried to make the characters consistent.[2]

The last part was posted in July 1999.[4] MaryD gave the novel a Xippy Award and said: "Lori has woven a story that gripped from me the moment I had read the beta version she sent me. I said to myself this is going to explode on the net. It's the story of a Police Officer who goes to the rescue of a rape victim and makes a huge impression on the victim's friend - enough for her to enlist in the police force herself! We follow the lives of Desiree "Dez" Reilly - the big copy with a heart of gold, a loner until she meets Jaylynn Savage. Highly recommended if you haven't read this - please do."[5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Lori's Writing Quest. (Accessed 01 November 2009)
  2. 2.0 2.1 An Interview with Websister, September 1999. (Accessed 01 November 2009)
  3. Meet the Author: A Little Bit About Lori L. Lake, October 2000. (Accessed 01 November 2009)
  4. Shadowfen's Xena:Warrior Princess Fan Fiction Index lists it in the update from July 12, 1999 as completed. (Accessed 01 November 2009)
  5. The Xippy Awards, 30 September 1999. (Accessed 01 November 2009)