BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Author MJ Rose talks about fan fiction and her new book, "In Session"

Bestselling author M.J. Rose has taken on fan fiction, a concept and practice that some readers love and some hate. Authors also have mixed reactions, some for it, some against it, and a few are neutral. Rose falls in the camp of authors who like fan fiction. With her new book, "In Session", she has kicked it up a notch– by writing the first ever e-fan fiction written by an accomplished author called. In the book, characters from major thriller writers’ bestselling novels are psychoanalyzed by one of Rose’s most unforgettable characters, the sex therapist Dr. Morgan Snow.

Fan fiction stories are usually written by fans of an original work, rather than by the author, and it's rare that they are commissioned or authorized by the author. They are almost never published professionally. This is the first time a well-known published author like Rose has sought and received permission to include popular characters of bestselling writers from the thriller genre, in three short stories tied together through one of her most popular heroines.

How do you get a stoic drifter, a former covert agent and an international assassin to see a sex therapist? That was the challenge Rose faced when she proposed setting up appointments for Jack Reacher, Cotton Malone and John Rain with Dr. Morgan Snow of the Butterfield Institute in her new e-book IN SESSION (October 17, 2011).
The protagonists’ of New York Times bestselling authors – Lee Child, Steve Berry and Barry Eisler – swore that their men of mystery would never agree to therapy – unless Rose found a way to get them there. By slipping Dr. Snow out of her office, Rose delivered some of America’s favorite male characters to a place they’ve never been before – in therapy.  

IN SESSION contains three racy and revealing short stories by M.J. Rose: 
  • KNOWING YOU’RE ALIVE with Lee Child’s Jack Reacher results in revelations for the injured Dr. Snow and her unexpected savior/patient. What secrets from the past are contained in an unexpected gift?
  • EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES with Steve Berry’s Cotton Malone features a woman who seeks help for her lover, and sends Dr. Snow overseas on a most unusual house call Can a rare book in a plain brown wrapper be the medicine her patient needs?
  • DECISIONS, DECISIONS with Barry Eisler’s John Rain forces Dr. Snow out of her own comfort zone, and into the world of a former patient’s worst nightmare. Does protecting what she loves most require a dance with darkness?
The audio version, narrated by award winners Phil Gigante and Natalie Ross features Dick Hill, Scott Brick and Barry Eisler reprising their roles Reacher, Malone and Rain. 

The ebook and audio book were released Oct 17.

 Buying Links:  Amazon

“With this fan fiction, you don’t just write it, you get it published,” said Rose. This is also a philanthropic effort on Rose’s part as proceeds from the audio book and a share of the proceeds from the e-book will be donated to David Baldacci’s Wish You Well Foundation, supporting family literacy. (

M.J. ROSE is an internationally bestselling author of eleven novels including The Halo Effect, The Venus Fix and The Delilah Complex all featuring Dr. Morgan Snow. Her next novel, The Book of Lost Fragrances, will be published in March, 2012 by Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.  Rose is a founding board member of International Thriller Writers and founder of the first marketing company for authors,

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What’s the worst that can happen?

One day I started to fantasize what would happen if my character from The Butterfield Institute series ( , Dr. Morgan Snow got some of my favorite tough guys in suspense on her couch.   What twisted pasts, what traumas, what mysteries would she discover?

How much fun would it be to try it, was my first thought.

What a crazy creative challenge, was my second.

But could I ever get up the nerve to ask Lee Child Steve Barry or Barry Eisler to let me borrow their bestselling characters? No less put them in compromising positions.

And even if I could pull it off and write in their voices, what possible reason would any of them have for saying yes?

The most important thing my mother taught me was not to be afraid of trying something out of my comfort zone. “What’s the worst thing that can happen?” she’d ask when something made me nervous. Together we’d go through all the possible results. Talking them out one by one- they never seemed as bad as they did in my imagination.
So I took a really deep breath and asked Lee Child first. He said he couldn’t imagine Reacher ever going to see a sex therapist but if I could pull it off, it sounded like fun.  Steve Berry was next. He said pretty much the same thing.  Eisler was no different.

The stakes got higher when Phil Gigante  - who along with Natalie Ross –said they’d narrate the stories if the project came to fruition came up with a marvelous idea. What about asking Dick Hill - Reacher’s Voice, Scott Brick – Malone’s voice, and Eisler - who does Rain – to do their own dialog in the audio version?

I spent a good part of the summer writing the stories. Alternating enjoying the hell out the challenge, agonizing and cursing my hubris. Why had I thought I could do this? These are well established heroes. They have their unique ways of talking, thinking and acting. Not to mention  the possible really awful rejection.

When it was time to send them off, have the authors read my efforts, do some editing if they wanted and hopefully give their blessing, I totally froze. 

I’d written 11 novels. Had my share of nice accolades and reviews. Felt fairly good about my career. But suddenly I was as nervous as a the proverbial (and virginal) bride on her wedding night.

Why was I actively courting rejection and embarrassment? Why was I putting three writers who I respect and admire in the uncomfortable position of having to tell me I’d failed?

For an entire week I thought about scrapping the whole idea and not showing any of them the stories.

Finally I got to the core question. Really, what was the worse thing that could happen?

Amazingly, I never found out. And boy, did I have fun!

In honor of these amazingly generous authors who shared their heroes with me a share of the e-book proceeds and all the audio proceeds of In Session will be donated to David Baldacci's Wish You Well Foundation, supporting family literacy.

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