Yesterday, my friend Melissa Anelli outed me as a writer on Twitter.  But although I’m in the middle of writing a series, I haven’t actually published anything except fanfiction.

Lots and lots of fanfiction.

Since Melissa outed me, and since I’ve mentioned before that I’m a Harry Potter geek, I might as well out myself.  It’s not like I’m going to be able to hide it – and you know what?  I don’t really want to.  I’m Arabella from the Sugar Quill.  Hi.  You have no idea who I am, do you?  That’s because I’m irrelevant.  For a while, I was a heavy participant in HP fandom, and I wrote a lot of fic.  Most modern, Twittering, Leaky-Con-attending, Wizard-Rocking HP fans probably aren’t familiar with the Sugar Quill, because it’s been an archive since 2008.  But a couple of people who jumped over to my Twitter feed yesterday were people whose names I recognized from back in the day – hi, you two!  It was so nice to see your names on my computer screen again. 

When I say that the Harry Potter books literally changed my life, I’m serious.  I met most of my dearest friends – who are still, and will always be my friends – through the Sugar Quill.  I met my husband there.  I changed my career, cut my teeth as a writer… There’s little of great goodness, in my life, that can’t be attributed in some way to those happy years on the SQ.  

I dropped out of the superfan loop a long time ago.  I left fanfic unfinished.  I thought I’d come back for it, but I never did.  Partly this was because my obsession had run its course (though I will always love Harry and I’ll return to the books again and again for the rest of my life).  Partly it was because a lot of big life changes occurred: I met my husband, moved across the country, attended graduate school, got married, started a career, and had a baby.  These things permanently redefined my priorities.  That doesn’t mean I don’t still get geeky-obsessive about stuff – I do – but never again with the same burning focus. 

The other reason I fell out of touch with the HP world was that I started to write something of my own.  After playing around in Rowling’s universe (and other universes) for so long, I honestly didn’t know if I could write anything original.  I wanted to, very much, because I love to write.  Sometimes I would start, and then I’d stop, because whatever idea I had wasn’t worth the energy.  Sometimes I finished whole books, and then realized that, in the vernacular of the SQ, they SUXED and must be burned.  When I finally stumbled into writing original work that I loved, I had to turn my full creative attention to that.  So that’s what I did, and that’s what I’m still doing.

And that’s that.  Long live the Good Ship.  87 for-eva. 

Arabella out.



  1. Megan/Arabella,

    This is going to sound absolutely NUTS but I have been a long-time fan of your writing. I was twelve when I discovered the SQ (2003) and could not, for the life of me, quit reading your stories (as well as Zsenya’s). I started writing my own Good Ship fluff, and continued to do so for years until 2007. This was the year I was diagnosed with depression, and it got to the point where I was so insecure about my writing, that I quit. I moved to the margins of my HP journals, steering away from the fanfiction world, and to be quite honest, I didn’t think I’d ever go back. I left the SQ, Checkmated,, and HPFF behind, and although it seems awful now, I think it actually helped me discover who I was not only as a human being, but as a writer.

    I just recently began working on R/Hr fanfiction again as an engaged future teacher and graduate student. In doing so, I decided to check back up on the SQ… only to find it–as you had said–archived! I was shocked, but at the same time, I felt gratitude that it had been kept alive through donations. You’re going to laugh, but the first thing I did was look for your stories! I rediscovered my all-time favorite series, “Hermione, Queen of Witches” and my all-time favorite STORY of yours, “Not As a Last Resort.” I just appreciate these so, so much and I truly hope you won’t take them down when you become published!

    Okay… sorry for that long spiel… but I guess the reason I’m commenting here is to say that it is an honor to have read your fanfiction long before your first book is published. And seeing how it is coming along is even more incredible to me. You are such a fabulous author, and long ago, you inspired ME to write my very own stories! Today, I am also working on a book series, and I have to say that you and other wonderful fanfic authors played a huge part in that. So, I want to say thank you, so very much. Just, thank you.

    And also, I am so excited for the Tyme series! I am anxiously awaiting 2015 to check out “Grounded.” I am just so excited and happy for you. I hope I don’t sound like a creep, now that I’ve come out of the Sea of Anonymity…

    But yeah- thank you so much for being such an inspiring writer, sharing your stories on the world wide web, and even being proud of that person you were years ago when you helped to start the SQ. It makes me appreciate the writer I was then, back when I was very unsure of myself. Writing is my life, and I think that you and the SQ were major influences in that. 🙂

    • I don’t think you’re nuts! I’m so glad you wrote. It sounds like you’ve had a long journey and have arrived in a really great place – I’m happy for you. Congratulations on your engagement and your series, and on pursuing your degree! Thank you for the very, very kind words. Let me know what happens with your series.

  2. Thank you for buoying up my self belief, always. This would be so much harder without you to say Expecto Patronum! whenever the Dementors are nigh.

  3. I still say SUX all over the place, and every time I do, I think of the SQ. Honestly, it shaped my life too. I met you and so many wonderful people who are still friends: I gained a lot of courage to follow through on m passions. I gained a lot of courage to write.

    I love you and can’t wait to watch your writing career blossom. I’m allowed to say such things even while your’e stil superstitious, for this is the way of friends. We take the burden of the fate-tempting hoping away, out of pure joy.


Leave a Reply

Comments are closed.

Facebook Twitter Goodreads