Maya (fan writer)
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Maya was an influential fan in the Harry Potter fandom who was active circa 2001-2008. She is the author of at least two dozen fanfics, most of which center on the characters of Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy (but not exclusively as a romantic paring).
Underwater Light was her seminal work, posted over the course of three years at the height of Harry Potter fandom activity and concurrently with parts of Cassandra Claire's epic, The Draco Trilogy. Along with Cassie Claire's LeatherPants!Draco, Maya's interpretation of Draco in Underwater Light and her other early works has had a huge influence on his characterization in HP fanfic at large.
Maya's popularity rose steadily since then, and evidence for her renown can still be seen in desperate posts by fans begging for copies of her fanfiction years after it disappeared off the Web.
Many fans were upset by the removal; some were sympathetic to her reasons, but some were not. It was the subject of a Fandom!Secrets graphic in 2009. At one point Maya's professional livejournal was hacked, and it was suggested that the ones responsible were fans who were angry about the fic removal. When she posted a pdf of "The Complete Works of Maya" in 2008 just prior to taking everything down, Maya requested that no one who downloaded a copy give it to anyone else; instead, fans who had lost the files or received the news too late should ask her directly for a copy. She also specified that no one who hadn't read the stories already should gain access to them in the future. Some fans respected her request; some did not. Much later, fans reported in various livejournal comments that she no longer had copies of her fanfic (or possibly had deleted the pdf), and as of 2011, at least one fan was advised specifically against contacting her for the pdf. There is an underground trade in her stories via email, and the pdf had been available on Megaupload before the site was shut down.
Although Maya is usually characterized as a Harry/Draco writer, several of her major works feature other pairings (Harry/Ginny, Draco/Hermione, etc.). However, her detailed descriptions of Draco Malfoy betray an obvious affection for this character. Maya's version of Draco has evolved in terms of his appearance (from impossibly attractive to rather funny-looking), but has a number of identifiable features that have little, if any, association with canon. He is
- a coffee addict
- a great dancer
- always full of Plans
Body of Fanwork
Note: These stories are now offline. In accordance with the wishes of the writer, no links to Google caches, etc., are listed here. Sorted in chronological order:
- Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings (before 2003)
- Underwater Light. Harry/Draco. (Posted in 22 installments from May 8, 2002, to July 20, 2005)
- Draco Malfoy, the Amazing Bouncing... Rat? Draco/Hermione. (Posted in 12 installments from May 30 to July 24, 2002. An epilogue was posted on or before April 6, 2003.)
- Hatred. Harry/Draco, one-sided Dudley/Harry. (Posted September 10, 2002)
- Chains and its sequel, Chained. Harry/Draco. (before March 2003)
- Dancing Queen. Harry/Draco. (before May 2003)
- The Badger Series. Draco Malfoy/Zacharias Smith. (before August 2003)
- The Professional's Guide to Badgering People
- Crouching Lion, Hidden Badger
- How the Badger Has Fallen
- Your Every Wish. Harry/Draco. (Posted July 23, 2003)
- Contempt (before 2004?)
- Dark Side of Light. Harry/Draco. (Posted in 13 installments ?)
- A Distinctly Different Manner of Finding Prince Charming. McGonagall/Flitwick. (Posted January 26, 2004)
- Homebound. Harry/Draco. (abandoned WIP posted February 20, 2004) Also known as "the fic that never was", Maya posted a summary and some scenes, confessing she did not have enough time to write both it and Underwater Light.
- A Very Direct Method of Redemption
- Draco Malfoy, Ruler of the Universe (Posted July 31, 2004)
- Quality of Mercy (Posted in 30 installments from July 23, 2005, to September 16, 2008)
- Sirius Black, Super Genius (Posted November 14, 2005)
- If You've A Ready Mind. Harry/Draco. (Posted in ten installments from December 11, 2005, to July 4, 2006)
- Drop Dead Gorgeous. Harry/Draco. (Posted in 14 installments from November 29, 2006, to October 3, 2008)
- The Way We Get By (Pre-slash companion piece from Draco's point of view. Posted in four installments from April 25, 2007, to May 2, 2007)
- Coda To An Epilogue: Twenty Years Later, Or The Kids Are All Right (Posted in three installments from August 16, 2007, to August 23, 2007)
Most, but not all, of Maya's stories were eventually collected in a 2605-page pdf file and distributed by the author shortly before she took all the stories offline. Because no table of contents was included in the original pdf, various fans have posted unofficial tables of contents to help readers.
- Upon reading "The Complete Works of Maya": "Okay. So I finished them. I read damn near every story in that pdf file. Admittedly, I skipped through the one where Professor McGonagall was just Minerva the Hogwarts Students and not yet Professor. And I skipped the last one because I’d just finished reading Drop Dead Gorgeous, and my brain was revolting against any story that did not involve Harry and Draco being together. I’m currently considering re-reading Underwater Light. YES, IT WAS THAT GOOD. All of the stories were so good, and I loved that some of them bled into each other and mixed and it was just so amazing and my brain is operating on a purely Draco/Harry setting that I don’t quite know how to get out of."
- "So I started reading Drop Dead Gorgeous by Maya. I'm already laughing my ass of. Not even done with the third page."
- "YOU WONDERFUL WONDERFUL AUTHOR YOU. FLUFFING UP MY HEART WITH CUDDLES AND HAPPY FEELINGS OF LURVE ONLY TO TEAR IT OUT AND RIP IT INTO TINY LITTLE PIECES BEFORE POUNDING IT UNTIL ALL THAT’S LEFT IS POWDER WHERE YOU THEN THROW IT BACK AT MY FACE AND MAKE ME FEEL ALL LIGHT AND FLUFFY AND LURVED AGAIN. <3 I’VE READ YOUR FANFIC WORKS AND CRIED MY HEART OUT AND BACK AGAIN AND YOU KNOW WHAT?!! IABSOFUCKINGLUTELYREGRETNOTHING."
- On DarK Side of Light: "Let’s face it, I love pretty much everything written by Maya. This is one of her earlier works and not necessarily the most ambitious, so if I had to choose which of her fics is the very best, this wouldn’t be it (it would be Drop Dead Gorgeous!). That being said, it is a very good dark short-story. The plot is quite simple. The war is over, Draco is in Azkaban for his crimes and Harry is desperately lonely because pretty much all the people he cared for are dead. He comes to visit Draco several times: out of curiosity, boredom, desperation perhaps: his motivations are not all that clear at first, but we get a better sense of the situation gradually, when more information is revealed about both characters and their involvements in the war. The fact that most of the story is made of dialogue between these two characters gives it the peculiar atmosphere of a minimalist play: two characters, one room and a lot of nasty things lurking in the background. The writing is not flawless: the handling of emotions in particular is much less subtle than in Maya’s later works. Still, its darkness is oddly compelling. The unstoppable movement from really bad to perhaps not quite so awful and then suddenly to unthinkable horror is rather enjoyable for those with an inclination for tragedy (in the broad sense of the word). All in all, if you enjoy depressing dark stories and don’t mind slash, you will love it. If it’s not the case, you should probably stay well away from it, and from the other rec below as well."
- On reading Dancing Queen: "This is one of the funniest stories I've come across in quite a while. The first couple of sentences in I was snorting with laughter. Any story that starts out with Dudley in patent leather pants (*shudder*) has to be humorous. (Yes, Duddikins weighs as much as he does in the books.) Dudley has come out as gay you see and he drags Harry to a gay bar with him...Wait, where are you going? Come back here. That's part of the funny, I swear. Maya takes this old cliche and totally makes it a laugh riot. You see Harry, unlike Dudley, is quite in denial of his sexuality. Which leads to more of the funny, because who should he run into but Draco Malfoy and Blaise Zabini. Well, more hilarity ensues from there, because Draco is equally in denial. You get the picture. This is one of those fics that should come with a warning tag, "Do not eat or drink while reading this fic. Could be dangerous to your health and your keyboard."
Gallery of Fan Art Inspired By Maya's Stories
Much fan art has been inspired by Maya's stories and can be found on the story's article page. Below is a small sampling of fan art for stories that do not yet have their own article pages. Once the page has been created, please the images to the article page.
"Quidditch" by inthemiddle illustrating the story "Flame and Shadow"
A tumblr graphic created by a fan in the midst of reading one of Maya's stories. It says: "Maya Y U No Resolve Sexual Tension?"
- For example, see this July 23, 2011 MetaFilter post, Underwater Light where are you?
- In fact, pretty much anytime someone mentions Maya's fic on livejournal, google-indexed or no, they get flooded with comments requesting a copy of the pdf. For example.
- Fanlore's pageview statistics also suggest that fans continue to scour the Web for her fic: This page (Maya (fan writer)) and Underwater Light are the 24th and 25th most popular pages on the wiki as of 11 January 2012. See Special:PopularPages.
- ""That is such a Slytherin thing to do, get people to like you and then deprive them of your work but really drawing attention to yourself so that people will buy your books which sadly aren't as good as your fanfics that are free." FanFiction.Net Reviews of the Complete Works of Maya dated June 18, 2010; accessed january 12, 2012.
- SECRET POST #981, 12 September 2009. (accessed 11 January 2012); WebCite for graphic, WebCite for fandomsecrets comments. The text of the graphic reads as follows: "I know she took her fanfiction offline when she became a published author and I respect her decision but my hard drive failed and I've lost all of Maya's wonderful stories. I would love another copy but she seems quite firmly against anyone sharing them online. It's a pity; I miss them! I really fell in love with all of her characters and it hurts to know that I'll never get the chance to revisit them again. SB I like Maya and want to abide by her wishes, but if I knew of a place where I could download them again, I would hit it in a heartbeat...."
- Comment posted 14 April 2011 in reply to a livejournal post by vickyblueeyez. The comment, about an unnamed fan author, may or may not be about Maya and may or may not be an accurate description of the situation.
- Note: The pdf did not include "Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings" or the abandoned WIP "Homebound".
- The original post has been deleted, but fans have passed on the request in posts where other fans were asking for copies. For example.
- I'd rather people didn't send my version around. That way lies people sending it to new readers, which I don't want. Quoted in hpystoryfinders from a now-deleted comment also posted in hpstoryfinders. kawanale, March 14 2009 comment. (Accessed 12 July 2012)
- The Boy Who Lived Forever by Lev Grossman, Time Magazine dated Thursday, July 07, 2011.
- Posting dates were retrieved from Google caches, saved copies, and estimates based on the appearance of links from reccers.
- insideallofusthereishope's tumblr post dated August 2011.
- onehappymemory's tumblt post about reading "The Complete Works of Maya", undated, accessed July 12, 2012.
- islash-iship-iflail's tumblr post dated July 29, 211.
- Draco in Azkaban: Two Dark H/D Fic Recs dated July 18, 2008.
- Maya Rec dated Dec 13, 2003.