My deepest condolences…
This morning I woke to some very sad news. A dear cyber friend and avid reader of my earlier work has passed away. Her name was Cammie Byrd. After the shock of her untimely death settled in I began to reflect on how we met and what her friendship brought to my life. It dawned on me how people, though in your life for a season, can forever change the paths you take.
Let me explain. I started writing online in 2004. After watching a Interracial soap couple (Michael Easton/Renee Goldsberry) I found the world of fanfiction. More importantly I found a community of cyber friends that loved them as I did. This all came about after a bad break up and a lot of transitions in my life. Having something to distract me from my self-loathing was a godsend. After joining many message boards and chat groups I discovered a writing community (Jovan Archive) that allowed for inexperienced writers to pen their own romantic tales. I’ve always loved to write fiction. Started at a very early age. But writing was a personal thing for me. I had never shown my work or shared it with anyone other than my mother. Now as the anonymous ‘tarskeewee’ I dove in feet first.
My very first story was called ‘Jovan Love’. I created what we call a ‘cannon’ tale. These are stories that feature a couple or pairing as you’ve seen them on TV and develops the stories further. You would have to live under a rock to not have heard of fanfiction today. One of the most current biggest fanfic communities is the Harry Potter group. But you have fanfic sites for everything from Psyche to Star Trek. But in 2004 the community was much smaller for Soap Opera fans. I can share with you that I wrote over 20 cannon tales. And soon my love for writing pushed me to take my muse into original works. Because of fanfiction I have stories that are published and will be published that were once part of Jovan collection
Zoe by TA Ford
Aaren by TA Ford
Black Butterfly by Sienna Mynx
Before Sunrise by Sienna Mynx
Battaglia Mafia Series by TA Ford
The above works were once featured online as complete free stories in fanfiction. And all were supported and loved by Cammie Byrd. I can remember receiving daily emails from Cammie pushing me to write, asking for an update, praising my work. Her support made me want to do and explore more. And between 2004 and 2006 I wrote a total of 72 completed stories. I tell people that I have a backlist of stories to redo that are nearly a 100 and they scoff, but it’s true. I have so much material to work with I will be writing for many years to come.
As an author I can share that your inspiration can come from anything. But the support that nurtures you during those uncertain times is the bedrock of your confidence in many cases. It was for me. I want to thank Cammie and my fellow Jovan fans for all you’ve done over the years to encourage me to explore my dreams. I’m living my dream now because of the giant leap of faith I made in self publishing.
I want to also extend my deepest sympathies to Cammie’s family. She was a dear soul I pray that they find some comfort in knowing that she will be missed by many.