The Legacy of K/S in Letterzines: The LOC Connection: 1989 to 1993

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Interviews by Fans
Title: The Legacy of K/S in Letterzines: The LOC Connection: 1989 to 1993
Interviewer: Dorothy Laoang
Interviewee: Charlotte Frost
Date(s): 2007
Medium: print, CD
Fandom(s): Star Trek: TOS
External Links:
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The Legacy of K/S in Letterzines: The LOC Connection: 1989 to 1993 was an interview in the zine Legacy #5. The subject of the interview is The LOC Connection. The subject of the interview is that letterzine's editor Charlotte Frost.

It was part of a series: see The Legacy of K/S in Letterzines.

The first part of this interview contains a detailed description of the letterzine's editorial policy and rules.

Excerpts from the Interview

Why did you decide to start publishing Tlie LOC Connection?: Because I was a K/S author and, like most authors, I wish there was more feedback on stories. Many of the editors who regularly published K/S fanzines said they passed along comments to the readers, but I found out for a fact that it wasn't true in the majority of cases. (Robin Hood of Merry Men Press was a rare exception. Duh! She ended up getting most of my stories.) Many letterzines contained fanzine reviews, where each stoiy in a fanzine might get a sentence or two of comment and that was all. Plus, reviews were aimed at prospective readers, not authors. So, I had the idea of doing a letterzine that contained nothing but commentary on individual stories (not full zine reviews), aimed at the authors. That way, readers could pick out the one or two favorite stories in a zine and just comment on those, rather than feeling obligated to comment on the entire zine.

I thought of the reasons that readers say they don't LoC and tried to combat those reasons with a "safe" atmosphere to submit LoCs to the letterzine.
The letterzine was a one-way street from reader to author. I never allowed authors (or anyone) to comment on story comments.
Did you edit letters for length, content or any other reason?:

Never for length, but sometimes minor tweaks for content. What very few people ever realized is that Tlie LOC Connection was breaking new ground. There had never before been a fan publication that focused on feedback; and, in particular, not one that focused on giving feedback for individual stories (as opposed to entire fanzines). Therefore, I was adamant about making sure the content reflected my vision of what I wanted the letterzine to be. If a comment started to go off on a tangent regarding fandom in general, or the Star Trek series in general, or the commentator mentioning in passing that she'd been laid up with a broken arm in recent months and that's why she hadn't commented in a while, etc., then I edited that part out. Stoiy comments were supposed to stick to commenting on the stories. I was afraid that the minute I let other types of comments creep into the stoiy comments, then the floodgates would open with such and the letterzine would no longer be what I wanted it to be. Because I was open about the fact that I edited comments for content appropriate to the letterzine's pmpose, I eventually got the impression that some fans were tliinking that I had been editing comments left and right. That just wasn't the case. Any editing I did rarely went beyond removing, say, half a sentence that was an off-hand comment that had nothing to do with the stoiy being commented on. The fact is, I could go for a few issues in a row without doing a single bit of editing; and then, again, when I did need to edit, I might remove just half a sentence.

Nevertheless, I heard in later years that some had mentioned that I ruled TLC with "an iron fist." In a sense, that might be true—I was adamant that TLC stick to its original purpose regarding stoiy comments. It was all that most authors had for feedback. But hearing such was also frustrating in that I don't think others realized what a new concept TLC was for its time. I felt I needed to train the readership, so to speak, so the letterzine wouldn't stray from giving the feedback that the authors so eagerly sought.

What decided you to end publication?: I had been very active in K/S since 1985, and eight years later I was totally burned out. I had nothing but good feelings about the fans and the fandom (K/S still remains my favorite fandom experience, after 20 years), but I was ready to move on and had dabbled in some Starsky and Hutch and Twin Peaks stories.

In June of 1993, I announced that the subsequent December issue would be the final one, making for a nice even five years of TLC's existence. I admit, though, I was getting rather grumpy for those final issues. Typing in the comments from paper submissions (only a few fans had personal computers where they could submit a floppy disk) was feeling like a chore, rather than a labor of love. I was ready to be done with all the responsibility.