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Dear Yuletide Letter 2016

Dear Yuletide Writer,

You share a tiny fandom with me, so that makes you a person of taste and awesomeness as far as I'm concerned and I hope that you have fun writing for me.

I am a great believer in the story that you want to tell being the one that's going to be the most compelling to read, so please, write that story. If you are the sort of person who likes a concise letter and a free hand, just go for what you have in mind. The extra details are for souls like me who want them. Do not attempt to give me everything below in one fic; you'd do yourself an injury. If anything seems contradictory, it's mostly because I like all sorts of different things at different times in different fandoms.

Likes: Humour, missing adventures, friendships, hurt/comfort, fantasy, history, mysteries, ghosts, plot, casefic, crossovers, gen, het, femslash. I enjoy reading about the subtleties, interactions and differing dynamics of any kind of relationships between people/groups (team, friendship, family, found family, romantic, whatever; people are interesting, two or more doubly so). (Just as a note: I tend to wind up writing gen most, but I love shippiness too! If you feel inspired by one of my strange and obscure ships, then the only danger you're in is that of me following you around like a devoted puppy wanting more ever after, honestly. And conversely, I love gen anyway, so if you think my strange obscure ships are indeed very strange and obscure, I'd ten times rather have a whole-hearted gen fic than an unwilling ship fic. In short, I like all the things! Give them me! ;-P)

Dislikes: graphic horror/violence, explicit pr0n, overly twee sentimentality, incest, rape, or unending angst without hope/(non-canonical) tragic endings, anything to do with over-eating/greed. I'm not keen on unexpected (non-canonical) death of major canon characters, unless it's consistent with the tone of the fandom. If I love a fandom, I tend to love all of it, so please avoid character bashing and automatic assumptions that x needs fixing.

I don't have any triggers, though, so please don't panic! As a note, a lot of my fandoms are British, as am I, so if you're not, best to use a Brit-picker in order to avoid any Comic Misunderstandings (TM). I'm not into sentimental Christmas fics, but otherwise would be very happy if you want to write something seasonal (wintry settings, non-twee Christmases, and Christmas ghost stories are all more than welcome & could fit quite nicely into some of my requested fandoms).

Feel free to engage in any Yuletide stalking as you wish. I have a dear author tag here, where you will find previous Yule-letters (and others). My fic is here on AO3 and you can check my recs tag here (or see my reccing stints on Calufrax (DW-only) and gensplosion) if you think any of that might help. But mostly: good luck, don't worry - I'm really looking forward to reading whatever you come up with!

Just a note - I'm careful to only request fandoms and characters I genuinely love and want, so don't be put off if the fandom we matched on has less detail than my other fandoms - it honestly doesn't mean I wanted it less!

The Lady Vanishes (1938)
Iris Henderson, Gilbert, Miss Froy


There's no fic for this, so you can do pretty much anything you like to make me happy by writing for it! Missing scenes (there's a whole train ride of potential banter, bonus shipping, calming the other passengers and explaining how you stole a train to the officials as an obvious gap), the immediate aftermath, Iris and Gilbert having to face all the relatives (well, Iris's relatives - does Gilbert have any left? Who knows? You, dear author), honeymoon shenanigans, or more improbable spy adventures, preferably involving the wonderful Miss Froy.

I really am not sure what else to say? If you can write anything in the spirit of the film, I'll be thrilled, so go for it. When I first read the description of it, I nearly fell over myself in my haste to get a copy because it sounded like nearly all the things I like in one film - and when I watched it, it really was. So, as I said - missing scenes on the train on the way home, or post-film, immediately, or the wedding/honeymoon and aftermath, or sequel adventures of any kind, whether small or large would all be great. Or whatever else you can think of! 1000 words of Gilbert/Iris banter would be totally fine.

I asked for all three characters above, but it's kind of an either/or request in that I want Gilbert &/ Iris, or Gilbert & Iris & Miss Froy. (It did cross my mind that you might be able manage some sort of "Five Times Iris and Gilbert Narrowly Missed Each Other" prequel fic, but otherwise I definitely want them together.) The only other note is that if you do write post-canon, WWII is hovering ominously on the horizon - I am fine with you writing about their wartime lives and adventures, but am wary of some of the level of rl angst that might intrude, so just let Gilbert & Iris & Miss Froy have the best war possible to them if you go that route.

If you want to include any of the other passengers, that's fine, I have no character dislikes here. (I probably like the fake nun, the woman having an affair and Charters & Caldicott most, but whatever works with what you have in mind will be great.)

Just keep to the spirit of the film, and don't break up Gilbert & Iris or kill anyone (or at least not anyone who's not a no-good-rotten traitor/villain), and I'm sure I'll love whatever you write. I'd prefer no other settings AUs for this fandom.

New Tricks
Sandra Pullman, Jack Halford


I love all the original team dynamics, but have a special soft spot for Jack & Sandra and all shades of their relationship that has gone from mentor and newbie cop to be reversed to boss and sort of ex-employee. Missing scenes, back story, casefic, whatever interactions you can come up with, it's all good.

Any conversations/moments between Jack & Sandra would be lovely, I'd be intrigued by some of their back story (maybe we even get to meet Mary?), would adore casefic if you can pull that off (I have been pining for New Tricks since the original team left!), or even something focusing on Sandra in Jack's absence after he leaves (immediately, finding out the truth, or riffing on his last appearance in some way). (This fandom is simultaneously one of my go-to things for comfort viewing and something that every now and again I expect to quietly break my heart a bit, so I'm fine with a similar approach in fic.)

Case fic would be amazing too, and if you do write it, feel free to include anybody you wish - all four nominated characters and also Esther and Strickland. I narrowed this request down to Jack & Sandra for Yuletide practicalities, but I love everybody, so don't feel restricted by that. If you write actual casefic, I won't mind at all if it slips towards slightly more Gerry & Brian or any variation if plot dictates it. (I'd be happy for 1000 words of the four of them standing around talking anyway!) I also enjoy it when the cold case is more than usually cold and they have to delve around in archives - but that's an even more optional optional detail than most of this.

I'm in this for the team dynamics, but am amenable to some shippiness if you want! Obviously, with Jack, his canon OTP is Jack/Mary to the grave and beyond, while Brian would never survive Esther leaving him. In non-canon ships, I enjoy (early series) Gerry/Sandra flirting, any skirting towards Sandra/Strickland, and am forever amused by how canon plausible Gerry/Strickland is. Just FYI. Given my request, I'm not expecting shippiness, but I'm totally okay with any references to the above (and, indeed, the request might lend itself to Jack/Mary if that intrigued you).

I once wrote a collection of AUs for this for Yuletide and it was some of the most fun I've had writing, so I wouldn't say no to your take on what (a) New Tricks AU(s) might look like if that inspires you.

Just make my Yuletide and fill the New Tricks shaped hole in my life, at least for a little while on the 25th of December!

The Shadow of the Tower (BBC TV 1972)
Henry VII of England


Missing scenes - or missing episodes! - in the historical gaps, or vignettes with Henry interacting with any other character in the series (Margaret Beaufort, Elizabeth of York & Lincoln are particularly interesting, but honestly, anyone). Pre-canon would also be great. I love the tone and agenda of the series and the complicated portrayal of the lead character and I just want more. (I've been asking for this for at least three years, plus once when I asked for it stealthily by means of RPF, so I will be grateful for whatever you can give me!)

It's very hard to request a cardboard telly fandom from 1972 about Mr Unpopular of the Wars of the Roses but I love this serial regardless. I am a huge sucker for all the BBC 1970s would-be-Shakespearean stuff about kings and power and irony, and this series is just dripping with it. Henry is a character forever in denial - the true king fears no one, the usurper fears all men - he claims to believe he's the first but underneath knows or fears he's the latter and sees himself in every traitor, rebel and prisoner. James Maxwell's portrayal is both shaped to fit that fictional agenda and a plausible stab at marrying the known accounts of Henry - by turns brilliant, weary, humorous, oddly sympathetic, ruthless, chilling, paranoid, and I remain fascinated by him. Give me some more of this version of Henry, and I'll be happy.

If you have even any brief knowledge of the period, the series left some quite large gaps (there are about 7 years between eps 4 & 5, for instance), so you could always write me an 'episode' or scene from any missing years/events, whether large, or as with eps 5,6&7, expand a line from Henry's accounts or elsewhere. (I can find, in one of my books, some mentions of him giving money to "a man wrongfully arrested, a woman with child, children singing for him in a garden, a Jewess for her marriage, the liberating of prisoners and for 'a little fair maiden that danceth'." Maybe you can play with one of these or similar?) Feel free to be as experimental as the series if the mood takes you (although don't worry if not) - after all, this is the series that gave us a would-be Medieval mystery play, an hallucinatory episode and that random episode where a bunch of incompetent assassins with dodgy accents try to kill Henry by rubbish magic. (SotT has no sense of self-preservation whatsoever as a TV series. I love it.)

I'd also have loved for SotT to do more with Margaret Beaufort - its (too few) scenes with Margaret and Henry are v interesting - there really could be so much more here, too, if you wanted to give me that. (In episode 6, there is particularly intriguing exchange (the have I ever let you down moment) & I'd love that expanded on.)

I'm also happy to have Henry/Elizabeth. I always love things where people get married and then fall in love and these two are additionally painfully awkward, especially Henry (who can't quite believe she loves him until the end), with political tensions and strain so I can't help shipping them. A lot of their development goes unspoken, so I think some people don't see it perhaps? But it is there and I like that Elizabeth, in a situation without a choice, first 'gets' Henry as no one else in that ep does (ep1 has everyone essentially asking who Henry is; only Elizabeth gets some kind of answer), and so chooses Henry and to keep choosing him and I think that's an interesting take.

But, seriously, Henry interacting with anyone you think is interesting, from the series or from history would be marvellous. I think the series gives him an intriguing (even borderline slashy) relationship with Lincoln; and then there's Jasper, and Thomas Stanley who barely even get a look in, and all the traitors. Take your pick!

A random idea, but this (probably apocryphal) anecdote always seems somehow like it could easily be a missing SotT moment. (Ignore the rest of the post; it's just that another tumblr user and I had a running joke about Robert James's Stanley that should in no way interfere with your writing! I assume you're a kind Hist RPF peep taking pity on me, but if you know SotT, you'll understand about the DIY Tudor map-making anyway. IT'S A THING.)

Honestly, I don't mind what you do - use the serial in isolation and give me more of anything you choose from it, or come from a Historical RPF pov and pick up enough episodes to get the feel and write me some early Tudor RPF, as long as you use something that's recognisably these versions of the characters (or starting from here when they're seen too briefly to have much to go on, obv.). (Some of eps 3,5,6,9, 12 & 13 will probably do as a primer if you've low tolerance for theatrical ancient telly and terrible wigs/70s hair. Ep1 starts like a parody of bad historical drama, but the series improves rapidly from there & it is both seriously great at times and also mind-bogglingly random even when it isn't. (I should note that I am NOT expecting you to be a historical expert or have any knowledge beyond the series. I'm not a historical expert, either. I have picked up a few popular history books since watching it, but that's all. I will not notice historical faux pas unless they are on the level of massively altering the timeline or being in the wrong country or suddenly everybody has mobile phones. Do not panic! But if you do know all the history, feel free to use it as much as wish, I'll enjoy it.)

Historical fandoms + AUs seems to be a thing that often works well at Yuletide. I mean, I'm not sure what the Tower Coffee Shop would be like or Henry & Co in Space (in their very own cardboard spaceship probably), but I'm willing to find out if you feel so led.

I also requested this last year; some of this is cribbed from that & the rest of it still stands, really, if anything there catches your attention.

And apologies for the fact that I seem to have used up a lot of words to say that I really will be delighted to get anything you choose to give me for this fandom!

Jonathan Creek
Maddy Magellan, Jonathan Creek


Any case fic, bantering, random magic stuff going wrong, Maddy coming back (AU or not) - anything with the two of them. I'll never cease to miss Maddy and their dynamic, so I'll be delighted if you can give me more.

Maddy & Jonathan are the classic duo here, and, as I said, I'm here for any more of them you can give me in any shape or form. I ship them, but they're an awkward pair and I'm equally happy to have gen or casefic anyway (you have all my admiration for tackling JC casefic, it's hard - I tried it once) or just stand around and bicker entertainingly in that way they do, or deal with some of Adam's chaos.

I love Maddy in particular - she's so entertaining and determined, very human, but also brittle with a lot of issues that are never resolved because of her disappearance from the series. Jonathan is Jonathan, although he also has his parents who vanished off to the US as well - he does seem to be pretty alone apart from Adam and whoever is forcing him solve mysteries/going out with him at the time. The windmill is of course always welcome. But, yes, really, I just want more like canon here, in whatever way, shape or form you can give it to me.

Some ideas:

* casefic (well, no harm asking!)

* Maddy/Jonathan

* Maddy and Jonathan stand there and bicker/Maddy gets one up on Jonathan again

* Maddy and Jonathan and more domestic disasters/Adam bringing the theatre down

* Maddy comes back and they get together bickerishly ever after AU

* Maddy comes back in any other way, AU or not.

* If it's up your alley: Maddy, Carla, Joey & maybe Polly all need to work together (or meet); Jonathan is very very worried.

*I was going to say no Other Setting AUs here and then couldn't imagine what one would look like in Jonathan Creek... and now I want to see! Enlighten me, dear author!

Anyway, I think you get the idea. You like Jonathan and Maddy, I like Jonathan and Maddy, let's just get together over some completely impossible and complicated crime and/or baffling magic trick and argue about it all have fun.

Dracula (TV 1968)
Mina Harker, Lucy Weston, John Seward


I love these three and their interactions and ship them in almost any combination too. I'd be happy to see missing scenes, shipping, post-canon or an AU where Mina gets in on the vampire fighting, or a happy Mina/Lucy (or Mina/Lucy/John) AU or Mina/John, or whatever you can come up with for them, really.

I asked for this last year and got a wonderful fic, so I feel like a terrible person for asking again but somebody else wanted me to nominate it and then how could I possibly resist? Because for reasons I have never quite explained to myself, I love this quite ridiculously and want all the fic, all of it.

I decided, to make things different that I would make my requests focus more on Mina (although absolutely Mina in relation to Lucy and/or John). However, I love them all and you can use any of last year's ideas (my letter is here; with one exception, see below) if you aren't inspired by this year's. I mean, I would happily read the tale of how Lucy brought Dr Seward to the point (because you know she did) or Five Times Dr Seward Fainted or whatever. Susan George's Lucy is the heart of this adaptation - and I will never ever stop being amused at Dr Seward the Special Snowflake of Vampire Fighters and his tendency to faint and cry and clutch at flowers at moments of stress. (I have sympathy! I would get stressed and faint and cry if I had to deal with vampires. Also, if you are reading my whole letter - brave soul! - you will realise that I first met James Maxwell as Henry VII, so finding something where he spends the whole thing being hapless and falling over will never not be funny.) I LOVE THEM ALL OKAY.

Anyway, ideas!

* More about Mina & Lucy, and Mina/Lucy. Pre-canon, mid-canon, AU, whatever. I love how even before all the vampirisation starts, you can see hints of Mina's repression of her reaction to Lucy in her body language. And it's Lucy's death that makes her suicidal (even though at that point she knows Jonathan is alive) and it's Lucy she's looking for in the graveyard, not Dracula. I love that Lucy, alive or undead is more open to affection and love, pulling Mina out of her repression. (There's a similarity between Mina and John, and Mina/Lucy and John/Lucy, which is probably one of the reasons I wind up OT3ing them.) You can go for pre-canon and what their friendship is like, hints of a bit more, slip in a missing scene (I worked out that while Dr Seward and Van Helsing are waiting in the crypt, Lucy must be running about in her nighty somewhere - seeing Mina again??) or go AU to save Lucy.

* An AU where Van Helsing actually takes Dr Seward's sensible suggestion about involving Mina, which obviously makes defeating Dracula and saving Lucy so much more possible. Either a straight gen AU, or then they all ended in a happy OT3 AU or Mina/Lucy, as Mina gets to actively fight to save Lucy herself - maybe she's the one person who could?

* Post-canon where Mina is determined and brave enough to rid herself of Dracula's influence, with help or medical assistance from Dr Seward. They could bond over Lucy, either platonically or getting together along the way. I would love to see these two working things out afterwards. (Despite my amusement, Dr Seward is obviously not actually required to faint. I just joke about it a lot; if it's distracting you, please ignore me or throw something at me.) I do think, though, that Mina & John (or Mina/John) also have a very interesting relationship/connection to be played with - they're the ones who are more uncomfortable with the whole concept of vampirism, but unable to resist it (unlike Lucy and Jonathan who seem to revel in it) and they both loved Lucy - and John gave Lucy blood while Mina was bitten by Lucy. So, that ending, with Mina left looking lustfully at his neck - what happens next? Do tell...

I got a lovely fic last year where the three of them were still vampires (or shortly to become one), so I think I'd prefer the vampires to get defeated this year. (They can still live, if you want Dracula to run away with Jonathan and go and be vampiric elsewhere.)

Feel free to include any other characters! Bernard Archard's Van Helsing is probably the one I find next most interesting, but honestly, there's no one I dislike or don't want to see. The only thing I would ask is that if you don't focus on any canon or post-canon Mina/Jonathan. (This being my only Dracula so far, I have no other Mina/Jonathan with which to counter Corin Redgrave's enthusiastic fly-eating! I think they've been too much influenced by Dracula to safely be able to get back together after this.) Basically, I just adore this for being full of my favourite TV actors and awesomeness and ridiculousness in equal measure and will still feel any fic for something so obscure and a little shaky is some incomprehensible Yuletide miracle I couldn't have been good enough to deserve.

For your reference, if it's of any use (ignore it if not): my Suzanne Neve tag on tumblr and my Dracula tag.

Escape Hatch #1:

If for any reason you're stuck on what to do with the fandom we matched on, happily, several of my fandoms are fairly short this year (and the two that aren't are more well known), and here's what they are and how to find them:

The Lady Vanishes (1938) is a delightful early Hitchcock film at c.95 mins - full details and links at the Fandom Pimping Post.

Dracula (TV 1968) is a 90 min adaptation made as part of ITV's Mystery and Imagination. It's harder to come by than The Lady Vanishes, but happily at the moment someone's got it all on YouTube. Full details and links at the Fandom Pimping Post.

The Shadow of the Tower is a BBC 1972 series of 13x50 min episodes (or 'plays') set in the reign of Henry VII. It's out on DVD in both R1 & 2 and up on YouTube. It is even more theatrical than most similar series so if you're not used to that, be warned that it is an acquired taste and a bit of a shock to the system! However, it isn't long and you can get away with a minimal selection of episodes to fulfil my request. (A very brief guide, nabbed from a previous letter: (Eps3,5,6,9,12&13 are probably my favourites and the end section of ep4 is great. Elizabeth is mainly in 1-2,6,9,12&13; Margaret 1-2,6,11&12; Lincoln is in eps 1-4. Henry's in all of it, though less in 7,8&10.) Full details at the Fandom Pimping Post.

Jonathan Creek is a 1990s BBC quirky murder mystery series about a magician's assistant who solves highly improbable crimes (often of the locked room type). Technically it's sort of still going, but in the 21st C you never know when there will or won't be another instalment or how good/awful it will be. There actually isn't all that much of it as a result and it should be available by most of your usual methods (and up on YT somewhere), plus Jonathan & Maddy only feature in S1-3 & a Christmas special, which are the best bits anyway. (Not that I don't like most of the rest, too. But... they are!)

New Tricks is another quirky BBC crime series, this time about UCOS, a team of one police officer and three retired police officers who solve cold cases. Unlike the rest, ran for 11 series, so probably isn't going to be an option unless you already know it. Availability should be reasonably good, though, & lots of eps are up on YT. However, if you felt up to a bit of case fic, it wouldn't take many episodes to get the general gist if you wanted. (I am interested mostly up to about S8, where all the original team start to leave, so a handful of episodes from any given series up to that point would do you nicely.)

Escape Hatch #2!

A note on crossovers: This is Yuletide, but I do enjoy crossovers and if you feel inspired, I'm sure I would love it. I don't think my above fandoms would crossover easily, except possibly New Tricks and Jonathan Creek (which is certainly a highly entertaining thought) although I suppose an elderly Iris in NT or JC, or a young Miss Froy turning up to help fight Dracula are both plausible & could be cool.

You can see most of my (many) other fandoms in my interests and my tags. Several of them are also in Yuletide. Crossovers with more mainstream fandoms are also fine by me, but if you do, keep it in the spirit of Yuletide and make sure my Yule-fandoms aren't overshadowed by anything ineligible. Of those that are in the tag set, probably more easily crossover-able ones are (off the top of my head) Doctor Who (Eighth Doctor BFAs), Sapphire & Steel and Adam Adamant Lives!.

Anyway, dear author, truly: just avoid my dislikes and write whatever inspires you and all will be well! I worry a lot about scaring my author away with my epic letter, or about not writing an epic enough letter and freaking out my author... so I very much hope you are neither scared nor freaked out by anything here and have a lovely Yuletide.

N.B. I will be away for Christmas again - while I usually manage to read my Yule-fic on the reveal day, I cannot guarantee that, so if I don't comment then, I will most definitely return to flail at you by New Year.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth -- Comments there: comment count unavailable


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 1st, 2016 05:18 pm (UTC)
Rock Around the Clock
You're also a B7 fan, so that's TWO fandoms where someone has an unduly intimate relationship with a rock.
Oct. 1st, 2016 07:59 pm (UTC)
Re: Rock Around the Clock
Which is the other? I'm suspecting SotT somehow, but I can't work it out, I'm too tired!
Oct. 1st, 2016 08:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Rock Around the Clock
Avon's brief but poignant romance with the Sopron rock in Harvest of Kairos.
Oct. 1st, 2016 08:21 pm (UTC)
Re: Rock Around the Clock
Oh, I know Avon loves his pet rock and Cally her Moondisc, but what other fandom has intimate relationships with rocks???
Oct. 1st, 2016 08:22 pm (UTC)
Re: Rock Around the Clock
I just meant Henry VII's avant-garde exercise plus B7.
Oct. 1st, 2016 08:25 pm (UTC)
Re: Rock Around the Clock
Oh, of course! I knew it had to be SotT, but I'm too tired to brain properly this evening. But, lol, yes, you're nobody in the 70s at the BBC unless you've got a pet rock to play with. ;-)
Oct. 2nd, 2016 03:19 pm (UTC)
Typical tight BBC giving Henry a rock to play with:-D It was probably wrapped in a blanket in a cot earlier.

I hope you get all the fainting you desire for Yuletide:)
Oct. 2nd, 2016 04:49 pm (UTC)
No, that one was definitely a small log! ;-)

:lol: Fainting isn't required. Just a nice fic for some lovely rare fandom.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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