|Alias(es):||Melody Clark [note 1], Karyl McLeod[note 2], The Fifth Amendment [note 3][note 4], Jello Pez [note 5], Chanson de la Lune[note 6][note 7]|
|Type:||fan writer, vidder|
|Fandoms:||24, Altered States, The Beatles, Blake's 7, Bonanza, Brokeback Mountain, Criminal Minds, Dark Shadows, The Flying Nun, House, Law & Order: SVU, Monk, Northern Exposure, The Sentinel, Sherlock Holmes, Star Trek: Enterprise, Wiseguy, X-Files|
Melody Clark at LiveJournal
Melody C. at FFN
Karyl McLeod at FFN
some zines posted online
Melody Clark at Tumblr
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Melody C. wrote her first fan story in 1978.
In addition to her fan fiction, she has written several articles about women in fandom: An Obsession with Homosexuality? published in 2008 uses House, M.D. as an example and discusses "the strong arm of straight male preferences in media and its impact on women and bisexual/gay men. And in Fear of Flying Nuns - a feminist defense of a 1960s girlhood TV hero (2008) she asks "what makes a flying nun any sillier than a flying Kansas farmboy?"
In the mid-90s, she owned and ran a Paul McCartney mailing list MACCA-L  which was founded in 1993 or slightly before. The list was moderated by Melody C beginning in 1996. Starting in May 1997, Melody co-moderated with Cathy Munro until Melody left the list in December of that year. 
Melody, along with Beth Klapper and Monica Ortloff, was co-director of The Grayson Hall International Fan Club, a Dark Shadows fan club during the early 1980s. Melody was MemRep for the Prodigy Dark Shadows forum, something that she commented at length upon at The DS Fandom Chronologues.
- Author Interview (2014)
See List of Zines.
All of my print fanzines are now officially public domain where print publishing is concerned. Anyone with a first-generation master may print publish them. This master has to come directly from me, so that known zine pirates won't be spreading crappy copies. However, I do not profit from fan fiction in any way and I never have. I believe absolutely in the non-profit spirit of fandom. I will not okay anyone from a zine-for-profit enterprise. My zines sell about .25 copies a year, so it's no loss to anyone, but I need to do what makes me feel comfortable. I want to thank Mysti Frank, Judith Proctor and Kathy Resch for publishing my stuff for many years. They've always been aboveboard and honest to and with me. This decision is irreversible. 
Some of Melody's Comments on Fan Writing
List the five stories you have written that you LOVE the best. Not the best one or the most popular one but the ones that you personally love the best.
I can't remember the early, early stuff well but ...
The Last, Best Hope - R - Blake/Avon preslash, Blake's 7, because I wrote it for about ten friends (after I'd started a short story on the topic that just wouldn't condense to a story). I figured it would be fun. The friends liked it so we printed up a bunch of copies and my friend Kathy took them to a con. It was well received enough that we printed up more. Thus was born the mystery of the missing gun and my weird word choice (thanks to spellcheck and my own weird predilections).
La Tormenta Grande, TFN, Carlos/Elsie, I was sick and depressed at the time and asked myself "what would I REALLY like to write" ... I just had one hell of a good time writing it. Wrote it all in one draft (did two edits after the fact, though).
The Cure, Part One - Adults Only - the Fugitive/Us Marshals -- Mainly because Cosmo took control of the damned story and just would not STFU. He forced me into writing a sequel. I mean that literally. It was a weird damned experience that only other writers will understand.
A Real Good Life - Adult - Brokeback Mountain. Once again, I rework an ending to suit my own evil purposes (bwahahahaha) -- it was an easy, stress-free write since I'd had the plot implanted (Phil Dick-like) in total after watching the film.
The Circle Drawn Pt 1 and Living Witness Pt 2 - my Bonanza G rated gen novella wherein I rescue an old friend's character from TV sequel oblivion. "Jamie? Who's Jamie? I didn't know there was a Jamie ... did you know there was a Jamie?"
Love is the Law -- Adult -- (the Fin/Munch novel part 1) I love writing Fin and Munch. They write themselves. Enough said. They make me laugh.
Already Spring -- Adult -- House/Wilson novel - Ditto, House and WilsonAkin to Love (yes, I'm the same Melody Clark ... someone asked me that the other day ... I think I'm the only Melody Clark fan fic writer) -- The story took a long time to write because I wanted to be certain of word accuracy and also of getting "Watson's" prose voice right. But it was fun. 
My aim [with fic writing] is to please the individual reader, whomever that is. If somebody else in some group dynamic likes it too, that's fine, but the important relationship for a writer -- imho -- is the one he/she has with the individual reader.
I write fan fiction and my own worlds. Most fan writers do. And in many ways, my translation of that fan world is my own world. I bring to it my sensibilities, my perspectives, etc. My Blake is different than xBryn Lantry's "Blake" which is different from EPS' "Blake" (gosh, whatever happened to old EPS ;) ... etc. The constraints are only those of something we love in the first place so they aren't really limits but guidelines.
I suspect the experience of fandom is something uniquely individual. It's kind of like a love of a certain type of music. If you don't get it, you don't get it. Musicians love playing their own stuff but they also love playing songs they have a special feeling for. That's all fan writing is.
That said, I don't write lit fic with the one exception of "Sherlock Holmes" and everybody writes Holmes ... even the pro writers kvetching about fan fic write pastiches. The Vampire John Lennon was mistaken as Anne Rice fan fic by the puritan enclave that took over GAFF, primarily because they were not sophisticated enough readers to get that "The Vampire so-and-so" is a common title for any vampire. As to the question of Real People Fic, it's only Beatles fan fic in the abstract sense (based in a holographic world spun out of their movies). Even so, the Beatles have been used in fictional form in over thirty professional novels and short stories. In the words of Sir Paul, at least the Beatles slash writers have the decency to call it fiction ... unlike various supposed "biographies". lol
I have no trouble with other people writing lit fan fic. People will always muse about scenarios in their own minds ... why not share them? To try to limit expressions seems on the edge of becoming thought police. I've had people write in my own universes. It doesn't bother me. I have pro writer friends who actually are touched when they read fan fiction (I haven't talked to her in a good while, but at one time L.J. Smith used to amiably correspond with her fan writers). I certainly think we should respect the wishes of writers who don't want people playing in their universes, though.
I also think the writer of Brokeback Mountain needs to realize that the fan fic isn't written in her universe. The people are ficcing the film, not her novella. Her caterwauling comes off a bit like ignorant drama queening to me.
Media fans are encouraged by most intelligent media producers. The smart producers realize that we're creating viral advertising that will only push their product. The producers of "Monk", for instance, actually created a graphics site to help fans build their own web sites. The producers had a directory of fan fiction, too.I would point out that some of us "have gone on" and yet still write fan fiction. I've written pro novels and non-fiction books. I still write fan fiction. I consider my fan fiction as important and serious as my pro work ... in fact, in many instances, more so. I certainly have more readers overall for my fan work than I did for some of my novels. lol (Remaindered is my middle name). 
My Wiseguy slash was a lot of things ... weirdly-worded, long-winded, grammatically hazardous, occasionally purplish (though not nearly as bad as my Blake's 7 "made beauty a poor cousin to the truth" stuff) ... but "entry level", I don't think so. Still, everyone has a right to an opinion ... even me. 
Creative Fandom, which tends to be the province of women, is always looked down on, because it’s driven by love and myth and a higher calling. I suppose if we could find a way to make it financially productive, it would suddenly become worthwhile to someone.Until then, it keeps on paying dividends to the heart and soul. 
I do think small fandoms are kinder. The because there aren't as many established writers and you know, the the the truth of it is. Most of the bully groups that go through fandom are little sycophants who surround a writer who usually is fairly mediocre. And their work is is praised by the little fans because they want a piece of her, whatever. And I guess her glow. They want to bask in her glow, and the others are hoping that they'll they'll be, you know, she'll throw them a compliment every once in a while. And 98 percent of fan fiction nowadays, at least that I've encountered. It's just dreadful.
...my God, my friends ripped the heck out of my fan fiction. And I welcomed it because that's how you get better. And it hurts. I mean, in the beginning, I was such a whiny little kid...
My first couple of fan novels were edited, and I know it doesn't feel good. And it, you know you love this thing and you don't want it to be bad. But there's a reason for all of these things. And if you can edit your own work, fine, but most people could.... In Brokeback Mountain... I had written this novel, and I was so happy with it and my fan editor, the wonderful A. Booker, went through it and dropped me a note and said, Mel. Are you aware that scene with one of the characters where he sits down to relax and opens an "ice cold cock"? And I say and keep in mind, this had been copy-read three times...
I also always tell the story of my first professional book, The Dark Shadows Companion. It went to print with Jonathan Frid's name spelled wrong four times. And it had been copy edited by [unclear] Davis, who is a copy editor for Time Magazine. So even the best editors miss 20 percent of the errors. So if somebody some young writers going around thinking, "Oh well, I'm so wonderful and I can catch all of the the goofs," you can't. It's just not possible. No. So if you don't want to look like an ass getting it there.
No, [people] don't [really care], because they have their little circle that informs them that they're geniuses. And the people who actually are good writers or who at least try to improve their work are constantly ripping themselves apart and looking for what's wrong with it. So unfortunately we have a system where there are just horrible, horrible situations, and I don't know if you're aware of the situation over a Dear Author. No, this website was set up supposedly to divide the wheat from the chaff of new writers. And eventually, what came out was that they were pumping, pumping with me, popping up these fake writer names that were essentially them behind a pen name. The owners of the site. And they would put down all of their competitors as being poor writers. And this went on for two or three years and some big name writers backed up these people.And there's a lot of look at the Amazon's site... All of the nonsense that goes on there. I've been I was attacked there. I had just awful stuff that went on. 
Reactions and Reviews: From OthersRegarding her Blake's 7 story "In Another Time", published in the zine Resistance, a fan writes:
What a wonderful writer Melody C. is! Like M. Fae Glasgow, when I pick up something of hers I can be sure it's going to be a good read, and indeed, 'In Another Time' is probably the best thing in this zine. To describe it too closely would be to give away the plot, which wouldn't be fair. Suffice it to say that it is an unusual story, expertly plotted, and well told. 
List of Zines
In alphabetical order:
- Already Spring (2008). A slash House novel.
- Black and White (2004). A slash Law & Order: SVU novel. It is the sequel to Love is the Law.
- Bread and Butter (2003). A gen Monk anthology edited, has a cover by and contains stories by Melody C. Fanfiction: Touch, The Truth About Lois Lane, One Foot Out of Hell, A Perfect Love.
- The Circle Drawn (2003). A gen Bonanza novel.
- Concupiscence #1 (1991). A slash mutlifandom anthology, includes the Wiseguy story To Those Who Wait.
- A Consortium of Light (1992). A slash Wiseguy novel and sequel to A River That Runs Both Ways.
- The Cure (2005/2006). A The Fugitive two-volume slash novel.
- Different Destinies (2004). A gen Flying Nun anthology written by Melody C.
- Dyad #9 (1991), Dyad #23 (2006) A slash multifandom anthology, includes the Dark Shadows story The China Sea and the Altered States story Transitory Matters.
- The Eagle and the Raven (2002). A het Northern Exposure novel.
- Echoes (1983) A gen anthology with fiction by Melody C.
- The Fear of Flying Nuns (2000-2003?). A het Flying Nun anthology edited by Melody C., also includes fiction written by her.
- Fire and Ice (1990). A Blake’s 7 slash anthology edited by Kathy Resch and Melody C. The 1991 edition won a Fan Q Award. Fire and Ice #1 contains the story Remember the Dream by Melody C.
- A Gift of Memory: The Grayson Hall Memorial Collection (year?). A gen anthology of Dark Shadows fiction edited by Melody C. and Beth Klapper. It contains three stories by Melody: The Life of Grayson Hall, Child of Dark, On the Matter of Marriage.
- Homosapien #1 (1991). A slash multifandom anthology, includes the Wiseguy story The Nature of the Game.
- The Last, Best Hope (1988). A preslash Blake’s 7 novel. The sequel is The Long Way Back.
- The Long Way Back (1989). A slash Blake’s 7 novel. It is a sequel to The Last, Best Hope.
- Love is the Law (2003). A Law and Order: SVU slash novel.
- McPikus Interruptus #1 (1992). A slash Wiseguy anthology, includes the story At the Heart of a Quiet Man.
- No Holds Barred #1 (1992). A slash multimedia anthology, includes the Wiseguy story Smoke and Mirrors and the Sherlock Holmes story Akin to Love.
- A Real Good Life (2006). A slash Brokeback Mountain novel with an alternative ending to the book and movie.
- A River That Runs Both Ways (1991). A a slash Wiseguy novel. The Sequel is A Consortium of Light.
- Sculldoggery (2003). An X-Files het anthology with a cover by Melody C., includes the story Mixed Signals on the Rocks.
- Two Spirit (2008). A slash Sentinel novel.
- The Vampire John Lennon (2005). Beatles RPF
Over the years, Melody has frequently changed both her level of participation in fandom as well as how much of her fan fiction and vids have been available online. In 2019, Melody referred to her participation in fandom as "... in my olden days before I escaped.... Yeah, I guess gafiated is far too simple for what I did." 
As a result of Melody's changes in access and presence in fandom, many online links may be outdated.
2007In August 2007, Melody posted:
I've just removed all my fannish content from my website, due to a confluence of fandom problems lately. This confluence has effectively -- once and for all -- driven me high and dry from fandom. I'm interpreting it as a sign from the universe to focus on politics and social issues, and my money-making stuff. This blog will now focus solely on all issues other than fandom, so that's a head's up for my friends who might wish to remove me from their flists. I understand completely and wish you the best in your own pursuits. 
I hesitate to rec this, but it really is one of my favourites in the fandom. The thing is, it's hysterical, and also charming. It harks back, I think, to an older style of fic writing, incredibly overblown and florid, and I've read it about five times now whenever I feel sad, because it just makes me laugh so much. If you appreciate the use of the word 'ganglia' while describing a blowjob, or extended similes comparing Holmes to a stallion, then this is the story for you.
In reaction to these comments, Melody announced she would no longer be publishing her fan fiction on the Internet for free, choosing instead to work with print fanzines exclusively. Melody later explained her reaction:
The reviewer criticized the twenty-year-old story for its Victorian wording when it was written in the Watson first person ... in other words to suggest Conan-Doyle's Victorian wording. She obviously had never read the original Conan-Doyle stories and didn't know what I had been trying for. This story took me a long time and a great deal of work. Sadly, it is one of two that cause me endless grief. THAT is the reason it was deleted, not simply because of the reviewer's comment. If we can't respond to reviewers' comments without being dragged onto wank forums, what other form of redress do we have except simply deleting them?
The original exchange between Melody and Toft was linked in the comments to an unrelated Fandom Wank post six months later.
Another July 2009 post by Melody is My mini-Declaration of Fan Independence.Melody briefly re-posted some of her zine fic in August 2011, but deleted it again when it was linked from Fanlore.[note 8] In October, she created an anti-fan-history-site LiveJournal community. She posted her own fan history  "as a response to fan gossip going around the grapevine". Another 2011 statement regarding the removal of two of her zines:
Due to the fact I have stalkers with the emotional age of about 15, who seek out kinky slash and then try to assuage their guilt by attacking the writers, I have had to delete Vampire John Lennon and the Cure 2. I tried to bring back VJL, but one of my more pernicious stalkers is obsessed with the novel. He hates it, you see, but he searches for it everywhere, and I do mean everywhere. He has posted about it no less than four times. He's unfortunately from a primitive US culture that creates a kind of mental rapist psychology in some people. They've also infantilized their people. They can't read erotica without having it collide with their consciences and minds. They try to suppress even while they seek it out. So, you came from somewhere who referred you to here. The place you came from linked to the ,hilarious, (give me a break) and thoroughly simple-minded critique of something he's too immature to understand. I don't care about writing critiques. I've been writing for thirty years. I'm not going to change anything. Everyone has a right to their opinion. But when someone keeps seeking out the stuff they moralize against? Give me a break. Anyway, if you want to read my two most explicit works, Vampire John Lennon and the Cure 2, you'll now have to message me via email [address redacted] I'm afraid my obsessed stalker finally crossed the line. I suspect poor potty training; he doesn't seem to know where his rights and mine divide. Then again, he also thinks referring to someone as potentially gay is an insult." 
In 2012, she gave an account on her website explaining why she had left several fandoms. It began with "I’ve realized now that my trolls are sharing information. As such, I’m going to set down concisely my reasons for leaving various fandoms, so that I may link to it from fan history sites."[note 9]
That same year, on December 4th, she again tackled trolls on her website:
Among the reasons I took down my fan fiction are the attacks I suffered over at Fanlore (where someone who does not know me, yet hates me anyway, decided to rip me to pieces) and various scuffles other places. I’m very sensitive and my feelings are hurt easily. I’m a professional writer, so I’m accustomed …
Notes and References
- name used at many personal websites, podcasts, and journal sites)
- Correlation of Karyl McLeod's name on Melody Clark's website, link Oh, I'm also Karyl McLeod
- author's notes in the zine Resistance #4
- "The Fifth Amendment" is also linked at Fan Flak 6: Beatles Slash, Dark Shadows, Fan Fiction (January 20, 2020)
- from an original 2003 description at Agent With Style
- Correlation of another name by author Melody C. Chanson de la Lune is linked here by the author
- Chanson de la Lune is also linked at Fan Flak 6: Beatles Slash, Dark Shadows, Fan Fiction (January 20, 2020)
- Melody says, "It was not intended to be a public site. Due to publicity here, it was deleted." deletion log page
- Mel's fan history; WebCite archive[Dead link] accessed 14 October 2011. Note: Melody has substantially changed the text of the page from what was first posted. As of 28 June 2012, she notes, "I have had to change URLs to keep fan history sites from picking up links they weren’t intended to index."
- "FAN NOVELS AND STORIES BY MELODY CLARK". 2014-02-27. Archived from the original on 2014-02-27.
- MACCA-L & LindaMac-L Press Release; archive link, 28 March 1999. (Accessed 18 March 2011)
- Melody Clark and MACCA-L: A Brief History; archive link by Mark Tovey, posted very early 1998
- Melody's tumblr (Accessed March 26, 2017)
- Media Fen (accessed on 4 Jan 2010, but was offline on 8 Jan 2010)
- FYI About my fanzines, December 4, 2011
- a dumb thing, a fun thing and a dangerous thing; archive link, December 27, 2008
- Melody: Erotica versus porn writing: I am actually going to be quasi-controversial today; archive link, see original post for more context, December 18, 2009
- Melody: Erotica versus porn writing: I am actually going to be quasi-controversial today; archive link, see original post for more context, December 18, 2009
- The Fear of Fandom (September 14, 2014)
- The Fear of Fandom (September 14, 2014)
- from The Zine Connection #16
- Fan Flak 3 - The cult detective show Wiseguy, and a discussion of fandom (Oct. 14, 2019)
- The end of my fandom days; archive link (August 23, 2007)
- Toft. recs! Psych and Sherlock Holmes. 21 June 2009.
- Melody's Fanlore edits, 8 January 2010.
- Melonetics, posted August 19, 2011, accessed 9.11.2011, "I give you what I said I'd never put back on the web. Don't know how long it'll be there, but here it is. Just the slash for now."
- antifanhistory; archive link, Created on 2011-10-11. "For discussion of problems with personal privacy relative to fan history sites." (accessed 14 October 2011).
- Mel's fan history (now offline), Melody Clark Books and Bloggery, accessed October 20, 2011. Note: Melody has substantially changed the text of the page from what was first posted.
- Melody Clark's edit, 16 October 2011
- originally a link to "The Cure part 2"
- Message to trolls, readers, and all folks by Melody C.