Paper Flowers (Professionals zine)

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Zine
Title: Paper Flowers
Publisher: Gryphon Press
Editor:
Author(s): Kitty Fisher
Cover Artist(s):
Illustrator(s):
Date(s): September 1992
Medium: print
Size:
Genre: slash
Fandom: The Professionals
Language: English
External Links:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
Paperflowers.jpg

Paper Flowers is a slash AU 110-page novel by Kitty Fisher with Doyle as hooker.

It required an age statement to order.

It contains neither an editorial or interior art.

This story was published in 2000 by Wayward Books with its serial numbers filed off.

A Planned Sequel

The Wayward Books site lists a planned sequel to this story, called "Saints and Darkness" that was to have been published in August 2002, but the book does not appear to have been published.

Blurb: "Peter Duncan finally has a chance of happiness with his lover, Byrne - even to the point of enjoying the trivialities of domestic bliss. But no one can escape the past, and Duncan's is darker than most. When his life once more descends into violence, there is little he can do to prevent it. Once again, the lovers will need all their strength to survive the brutality that threatens to overwhelm their lives."

Easy to Confuse

"Fancy Dancing" by Kathy Keegan is often confused with "Paper Flowers" by Kitty Fisher. "Paper Flowers" is the one where Doyle is a prostitute who used to be a policeman. "Fancy Dancing" is the one where Doyle is club owner and exotic dancer who used to be a policeman.

Summaries

An alternate universe origin story, set before Bodie and Doyle are partnered in CI5. CI5 agent Bodie has been having sex with a hooker named Ray Duncan, an association that isn't as casual as Bodie tries to convince himself it is. Matters take a sharp turn when Duncan turns out to be more than he appears and becomes involved in Bodie's latest op. [1]

An alternate universe novel based in the world of CI5. Bodie believes Doyle to be a high-class prostitute, while Doyle thinks Bodie is a villain - are either of them right? [2]

Reactions and Reviews

1992

Yes to PAPER FLOWERS. HEAT TRACE is a big thickie, and I am a *slow* reader, so I've only glanced through it so far, with a promise to myself to enjoy it word-for-word over the Christmas holiday. Upon scanning: it is exellant, and looks like a good wallow.

Since I have a memory like a seive, I had to go back and check the plot of PAPER FLOWERS before trying to sound articulate enough to review it. Then I wound up rereading it fully because it is so compelling.

It is billed as an alternate universe story, but could easily be pre-canon ical PROFESSIONALS -- just a slightly different fannish view on the beginning of the partnership. Bodie starts off thinking Doyle is a prostitute and often [and enthusiastically] pays for Ray's services. Doyle is down on his luck, having been forced to resign his job at the Met over his zealous pursuit of bent coppers, and he is instantly attracted to Bodie, who becomes his only client while he continues gathering evidence against the baddies. Working at cross purposes, Bodie is assigned by Cowley to infiltrate the group that Doyle is also investigating. Not knowing that Bodie is CI5, Doyle sees Bodie, with whom he is unwillingly falling in love, with the bad guys, and immediately assumes he is a villain, too.

The novel charts their relationship as their attraction grows and they work independantly toward solving the same case. And a ham-fisted Bodie has to learn that if he wants to keep Ray in his life, he must not treat him like a possession. For angst lovers, Ray is kidnapped and hooked on smack by revenge-seeking bad guys, then there's some nice hurt/comfort as Bodie helps nurse him through it. And also, satisfying self-sacrifice on Doyle's part toward the end as he desperately seeks to save Bodie when *he* has been captured.

PAPER FLOWERS is a satisfying read and it caters to my love of relationship development in adverse circumstances and I would rate it 8 out of 10. (Hope I didn't give too much away.) [3]

1993

Another zine I enjoyed is PAPER FLOWERS. Those like myself, who like a Doyle who is androgynous and a bit on the "feminine" side, though certainly not weak or simpering, will enjoy this tale. [4]

From the same publisher as Heat Trace, the is a much smaller zine in a couple of different ways. It is 100 pages, stapled instead of comb bound, plain xeroxed cover, and the story starts on the first page. No where is there an address, editor or author's note, publisher's note or anything.

The story is smaller too, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. The plot is complicated and interesting (and although the bad guys do kidnap Bodie to get Doyle, they're just using him as a hostage; they don't think they're hurting Doyle by doing it.) and has lots of misunderstandings (for those of us who like that...).

It isn't a bad story (nor a bad price) and I think the writer, Kitty Fisher, shows promise, but she ain't quite there yet. [5]
Paper Flowers is ok, in my opinion, but not top-notch. Kitty Fisher has a nice sex-at-the-beach story in Unprofessional Conduct, so she has promise as a writer. [6]
Among the failures [of fic I've recently read], on the other hand, were Kitty Fisher's B/D novel Paper Flowers, which makes an interesting read side by side with Heat Trace. The characters in Paper Flowers are nearly as emotionally unhealthy as those in Heat Trace, but I don't think that Kitty realizes this. She seems to want us to take Doyle's pathological emotional isolation as sweet, as painful but romantic, just another lack in his life that Bodie will fill for him. I couldn't; it gave me the absolute creeps. Also, the novel relies on idiot plotting — that is. having the characters do things that only an idiot would do, in order to propel the plot—which I resent, as it seems to presuppose idiot readers as well. At least I hadn't bought it; I borrowed it from Agnes. Honey, it's all yours. [7]

1996

I loved it. Poor Doyle suffered so well, Bodie was wonderfully clueless and a Cowley that made sense. As for the end scene --that's my Doyle. A real man. Does what is necessary to get the bad man. The fact that Bodie had to watch it all -- well that's part of the occupational hazard. And the fact that Bodie thought Doyle was a whore for so long and Doyle let him-- yum. Very dysfunctional in a sexy way. [8]

1997

Yes, Sara's zines are good, aren't they? I liked the way Kitty Fisher combined grittiness of setting with lushness of atmosphere in "Paper Flowers" - the attraction between Bodie and Doyle was convincingly besotted. [9]
Doyle never joined CI5 as he was fitted up by the police colleagues whose corruption he was about to expose. When he and Bodie meet, B thinks he's a rent-boy. Loads of yummy angst, hot sex, good story. Happy ending, but of course. This is one I'd hate to have missed. [10]

2001

... I love a downtrodden, end of his tether but struggling on bravely Doyle and a sublimely selfish, dawningly aware and frequently pissed off Bodie. Great stuff. [11]

2006

How much you enjoy this fic may partly depend on how tired you are of the Doyle-as-whore plot, but there will presumably always be some of us out there who haven't yet read their way through this particular swathe (so I'm told) of fics - and at the moment I am one of that happy band. Well, come on, the idea of Ray Doyle at the end of a telephone, awaiting your call, to be at your beck and call... *coughs*... where was I?

This is very much a hurt/comfort, angsty fic, and one that had me compelled from beginning to end. How had Doyle become a prostitute rather than a CI5 agent? When would Bodie realise that he was in love? And what about the bad guy that they're all after - because yes, this was mission- and well as relationship- driven.

Kitty Fisher was my introduction to the Pros slash world, and not only did I adore the fics that she has up on her website for their content - dark and twisted bdsm that some of it is - but I was absolutely impressed by the quality of what I came to realise was fandom writing. [12]

2011

This is an extremely well written story. The emotions experienced by both characters are almost painful to read. The characterization is perfect. Ray is as stroppy and stubborn and difficult as we expect him to be, but we also see the softer, vulnerable side of him. Bodie is, well… Bodie! He’s charming, a bit self-centered, heavy handed and uncomfortable in trying to make things right between Ray and himself. But we see his other side too, his worry and caring for his partner. [13]

Republished As Pro Fiction

cover of original fiction edition

In 2000, this novel was reproduced as original fiction and published by Wayward Books as "Paper Flowers" by Kit Fisher. [14]

Wayward Books was created by Sara S.

A 2008 review of the original fiction novel:
The story is set in London in the '80 of the last century. I wondered on the reason for choosing that period, and apart the fact that it was a period in which police stories were pretty famous (at least in television fiction...), it's also before the AIDS plague, when the danger on being gay arrives only from society and not also from the love act itself.

Byrne is an inspector who is investigating on some corrupt policemen. He is not the classical up-tight by the book policeman, and he has his naughty secrets. No, the fact that he is gay is not his main secret, on the contrary, it seems that Byrne has no problem with it at all, not at work and not in his private life. His main secret is Peter, the hustler he calls everytime he needs sex. Peter is always ready, a perfect sex partner who leaves in the night, relieving him of the embarassment of the morning after. If lately he is always more attached to his little whore, it's only his problem, Peter has never done anything for becoming more "intimate" with him, since the very intimate act is sharing his life, and he didn't do that.

Peter is not what Byrne thinks. True he was a whore, when he was an underage boy, but he managed to re-enter on the bound of law, more, he became a policeman, a very by the book policeman, not like Byrne. So by the book that he testified against some other corrupt policemen and to thank him, he lost his job and any other chance to find a legal job again. So he devoted himself to the quest of cleaning up the police department from the outside and he is collecting all the proofs he can, paying for them. One night, he meets Byrne, and the man mistakes him for a whore; since he fancies the man, Peter plays along and accepts money for sex. But only from Byrne, a man he is starting to feel for, a man he doesn't know who he real is.

Byrne believes Peter a whore, and despite this he loves him; Peter believes Byrne some type of villain, and despite this he loves him... It's quite tender seeing these two men arriving to a bargain with their conscience all for the power of love. They are very similar Peter and Byrne, so similar that Peter can't accept to be a burn for Byrne; Peter is not waiting for the knight in shining armor, for much he loves that knight. Peter wants to reach his target with his own force, to prove to the world, and to himself, that he is no more the boy who sold himself on the street. And maybe also to prove himself worthy of the love of Byrne.

Byrne is quite a difficult character to understand, he doesn't speak much. He is for sure a man with a big heart and one who doesn't judge a man from his past. He was ready to love Peter even when he believed him to be a whore. But he is not attracted by the man since the other is weaker or in need of help. Byrne doesn't need to feel important or the macho in the relationship.

What I like more in this book, apart obviously the romance between Peter and Byrne, that is wonderful, is that even in the most cruel moment, the author doesn't indulge in the details. In a way she veils the story in certain moment, to be on the other side, opens and in plain sight when it's time to deal with love and feelings and passion. The relationship between Peter and Byrne is both sexy than tender, and in both aspect is dealt in a very good way.

This is a romance that I recommend to who likes to read of men in love who are able to share their feelings. [15]
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. [16]

References

  1. from The Hatstand
  2. from On the Double #28
  3. comment at Virgule-L, quoted anonymously, (December 11, 1992)
  4. comment by a fan in Strange Bedfellows #1 (May 1993)
  5. comment by Sandy Hereld from Virgule-L, quoted with permission (March 23, 1993)
  6. a comment on Virgule-L by Susan H, quoted with permission (August 9, 1993)
  7. from a fan in Strange Bedfellows APA #3 (November 1993)
  8. Morgan Dawn's personal correspondence to the author dated May 22, 1996, reposted with permission.
  9. comment on Virgule-L, quoted anonymously (January 30, 1997)
  10. from a fan on Virgule-L, quoted anonymously (February 21, 1997)
  11. from DIAL #20
  12. 2006 comments by byslantedlight at Palelyloitering
  13. merentha13's review at crack van, dated October 27, 2011; WebCite.
  14. from The Hatstand
  15. from Good Reads
  16. 2012 comment by taverymate at Camera Shy, Prosfinder