|Fandoms:||ER, Lonesome Dove, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, SeaQuest, Willow, Battlestar Galactica (1978), Bordertown, Paradise, Space: Above and Beyond, Blake's 7|
|URL:||her website/ WebCite|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Roberta Stuemke is a fan of and writer of many stories in zines and online.
She writes in "Adventures in Fan Fiction":
Once I discovered organized fandom, I found a great many fannish activities to enjoy. I love filk-singing (fannish folk-singing), both to sing and to listen to. I collect SF&F art work – I’ve just about run out of wall space, in fact! I started out just doing ordinary gofer duties at conventions, but that rapidly grew to include staffing film rooms, and green rooms for pro guests (including the Green Room at a World Con, so I got to meet an incredible number of top pro authors – one of the neatest experiences of my life!) I’ve spent a lot of hours manning art shows and even occasionally working the auctions as well. I spread out my interests, attending conventions devoted entirely to media and others devoted to mysteries. I’ve done a lot of costuming, from media-oriented to historical, although I can’t sew myself. I’ve participated in a very wide variety of panels, discussing everything from my favorite authors to doing research, from why certain TV shows work while others don’t to the evolution of fan fiction from print to online.
And that brings me to the single most important fannish activity in my life: fan fiction. Growing up, when I had trouble thinking of original stories to write, I would occupy myself writing stories based on everything from ‘Big Valley’ to ‘Rat Patrol’ to ‘Star Trek’, but I never kept any of them, because there was a part of me that was convinced it was ‘illegal’ and ‘wrong’. It never occurred to me that other people were doing the same thing, and printing their stories for even more people to read! Right after the very first convention I ever attended, an X-Con in Milwaukee, I started writing derivate stories for submission to print fanzines, and I LOVED IT!!
Of course, I must point out that I was incredibly lucky in finding, very early on, publisher/editors like Mary Jean Holmes (Shadowstar), her husband J.R. Holmes (Fortune & Glory), and Sharon Monroe (Purple & Orange; What You Fancy), who also became friends. I learned a lot from them, about the importance of research and of studying the already-created characters and universes I was writing, about editing and proofing, and taking pride in creating stories that were not only good fiction, but also loyal to the home universes. And these three editors also welcomed original fiction, so I was able to have some of my own fantasy and science fiction stories printed. And I loved getting the feedback from the Letters of Comment sections.Looking back through my fan fiction career, I count 8 Star Wars stories; 2 Indiana Jones; 1 SeaQuest; 2 Willow; 1 Battlestar: Galactica (original series); 1 Bordertown/Paradise cross-universe; 1 Space: Above and Beyond and 3 Blake’s 7, all published in print ‘zines, along with 6 original stories. Gradually, I began to participate in online fanfic as well, starting with Lonesome Dove: The Series (3 stories) and Lonesome Dove: The Outlaw Years (5 stories)... My activities in the Lonesome Dove list, especially the fanfic, introduced me to Denyse Bridger, and we remain very good friends to this day... You see, that’s one of the greatest things about writing fan fiction – you LEARN so very much about writing: research, the importance of universe building, characterization (and staying true to it), and building a complete story, beginning, middle, and end. And it’s such a fun way to learn. I must admit I still prefer print ‘zines to online, because you not only have a final product you can hold in your hand and a better chance to be illustrated in print, if you are lucky enough to work with a good editor, your stories will also be edited and proofread.