Brittany Furness is a 23-year-old waitress, amateur bartender and fanfiction author living in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. She is well-known in the fanfiction community for her self-insert stories. Her most popular story, New Reality, is set in the Tales of Symphonia universe and has over a thousand reviews and hundreds of favourites.
Q: What made you get into fanfiction-writing in the first place?
A: Honestly? Reading it. I discovered fanfiction sometime in middle school, enjoyed the whole concept of it, and began writing some in my free time just to see what it was like. It took a long time before I was comfortable enough to post my writing for the public to see, though.
Q: What fandoms are your favourite to write in?
A: The most popular fandoms are generally the best just because you get more response as far as reviewers and followers. The Tales of series will always hold a special place in my heart, though. I also really enjoyed the Silent Hill fandom while I was actively writing for it; the SH series has a lot of lore and fandom theories and the like, so fans of SH tend to pay really close attention to detail. Knowing your readers will notice the little things is pretty rewarding as a writer.
Q: You write a lot of self-insert fanfiction. Could you tell me a bit about that genre?
A: The self-insert genre comes with a pretty heavy stigma around it, though I think in recent years people have become more accepting of it. It’s true that a lot of people write SIs as a sort of wish-fulfillment fantasy – they’re extremely self-indulgent and can be very unrealistic. They can also be incredibly well-written, if the writer takes the concept seriously. Everyone has unique flaws and strengths – if you’re honest with yourself, you can create a very well-rounded, relatable character.
Q: When you started writing New Reality, did you ever expect it to become as popular as it has?
A: Not at all!! I honestly was writing it without expecting much. That’s how everyone starts out, isn’t it? I started writing simply for my own enjoyment – and I think it’s important not to lose that feeling. The world of NR is an escape that has gotten me through so, so many hardships. That will never change, whether people are reading or not. Never let a lack of readers or reviewers discourage you; if it’s your passion, keep writing!
Q: How has writing fanfiction been a rewarding experience for you?
A: It’s really helped me determine my strengths and weaknesses as a writer and it’s given me loads of confidence overall. Also, I’ve met a lot of really cool people through fanfiction! It’s a great hobby and the perfect escape on a tough day. I honestly can’t picture life without it. It’s also great to know I have a reader base now that I could show any original novel I write!
Q: What is your ideal writing space?
A: My laptop in a peaceful environment. Ideally? Home alone at night in the summertime. Windows open, crickets chirping, and I can play background music at whatever volume I like without disturbing anyone. Also, a cup of tea or a glass of wine within reach.
Q: If you could say anything about fanfiction, what would it be?
A: It’s great practice for aspiring writers and anyone who wants to write in general! I know a lot of it is pretty terrible, but I also think it’s a great platform for young teens to be introduced to the writing world. It can be silly and self-indulgent, but what’s wrong with that? I know I wrote some pretty cringey stuff when I was in middle school – but if I had let myself be discouraged back then, where would I be now? There’s a stigma around fanfics, but I think I’ll be supporting writers for years to come. There are some fanfiction authors I hold in higher regard than authors that have penned original novels! It’s not so easy to stay true to characters someone else created.