Actions

Work Header

Like Real People Do

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction published by NineStar Press! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

I wanted to keep the work up without content so I could redirect folks appropriately and keep all the comments/author's notes accessible. A few people requested that I post deleted scenes, drabbles, and behind-the-scenes sort of stuff to fill the chapters once I remove the content and I love that idea! So chapter 2 will now include a little drabble I wrote about Okezie and Martel (hopefully a pairing that will get their own book soon!). I’ll be adding things over the next few weeks and if there’s anything my publisher wants me to remove, I’ll add that as well so it's not lost forever! 

I know two days wasn’t a lot of warning, but I hope everyone who wanted to download LRPD in fic form had a chance. If you didn’t, I can’t send you a pdf anymore for contract reasons, but I know there are a LOT of other people who can. If you hit up someone in the comments on chapter 52 and message them, for example, you’d probably be in good shape. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for all the awesome supportive comments on Tumblr and my announcement here and on AO3. I'm so happy. 

Here is a copy of the notice I posted a few days back, in case this is Brand New Information: 

I’m not sure how to say this because I’m trying to temper my excitement with the knowledge that some folks might be disappointed (or even angry). I guess I should start with:

I’ll be taking Like Real People Do down from AO3 in 48 hours.

If you want to download it, now would be the time!

But why? You ask. Well, that’s the exciting bit.

As I was writing LRPD, it sort of ran away from me into something that was a lot less fan fiction and a lot more original fiction. And then I had so many ideas about future stories I could write (Martel and Okezie, Matts and his future queer partner), but I didn’t think I could write them on AO3 because, well, they wouldn’t be fic! I also realized last year that academia is not the pretty pastoral walk in the park I expected. After talking to my therapist about what I actually wanted to do with my life, I reworked LRPD into a piece of original fiction and started sending out queries.

I’m DELIGHTED to report that I’ll be signing a publishing contract with NineStar Press. Not just for LRPD, but for a whole series of books about queer hockey players. I am so excited.

I want to thank everyone who followed along from the beginning (especially folks who left comments). You got me through grad school and encouraged me to keep writing and this story likely would not exist, in this form, without you. You can bet that fandom (some of y’all by name/username) will be thanked in the acknowledgements of the published version. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Some questions you might have:

They’re publishing all 150k words??

Yes, but LRPD will be separated into two books that, in their current form (as I undertake revisions) are about 80k words each.


Why are you removing the fic version?

That's required as part of the publishing contract for copyright reasons. If I could legally leave it up, I would!

When will it be published/where can I find it?

I don’t have a date yet, but it should be within 6-12 months and I’ll keep everyone apprised of things via Tumblr (xiaq) and IG (el_massey). You’ll be able to find it at bookstores or amazon or directly from me if you want a signed copy!

Will you still write fic?

Of COURSE. Most of my fic is written purely because I love the source material, and it’s so immersed in that material (Sherlock, Bond, Harry Potter, TOG, The Mandalorian) that I couldn’t (and wouldn’t want to) scrub it. I like playing in these universes and I have no desire to stop. The awesome thing about potentially being an author full-time one day is that I can likely write more fic if I don’t have a standard day job (especially one like professor-ing) taking up the majority of my time.

Will you do a book tour?

Possibly. It depends on initial sales and some other things, but I’ll definitely do some signings in Austin/Dallas/Houston, etc. provided there’s interest.

Why would you Betray Fandom by scrubbing fic and then selling it?

1. I fully support writers scrubbing their fic and publishing it, provided they tell me where I can buy the new version and give at least a day's advance warning before they remove the fic online. I have and will continue to support fic writers traversing the line between fic and original fiction because I don’t see anything wrong with that.

2. I’m tired. God, I’m tired. I've been working 60-70hr weeks and trying to squeeze in 30 minutes of writing before I fall asleep each night since my weekends involve either More Work or Hiking/Climbing. I'm barely getting a chapter of fic finished per month, now. My schedule is definitely better now than it was 3 months ago, but I'm still super busy and have little time to write for myself. This is a chance for me to get paid to do a thing I love that will also, hopefully, facilitate me living a healthier, happier, life. I’m going to take it.

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Please find below a drabble about Martel and Okezie:

The thing is, Okezie doesn’t mean for it to happen.

And even once it does happen he isn’t sure how it happened because the two of them make absolutely no sense.

Because Okezie is a serious athlete. He’s excelled at sports since he was a little kid and he’s been the golden child of every hockey team he’s ever played for. He lives and breathes hockey. He does the workouts his trainers make for him and eats the food his nutritionists tell him to and he stays late at practice and he watches game tape on his laptop before he falls asleep. He doesn’t have friends, he has teammates. And his parents sacrificed so much to get him to juniors, he’s not about to let them down. He knows that the life he’s chosen requires hard work, focus, commitment, and sacrifice. He’s a serious athlete.

Liam Martel is not a serious athlete.

Liam Martel is 160 lbs of skinny, hyperactive teenager. He treats workouts like social hour, eats a nauseating amount of sweets, which is definitely not nutritionist-approved, giggles with the other rookies through skills practice and fidgets through game tape review.

And besides his complete and total lack of professionalism, he’s just plain annoying.

His face is annoying.

His mouth is too big for his head, which wouldn’t be so noticeable except for the fact that he’s always talking. Or laughing. Or singing.

And the singing is a thing. Because he’s terrible. And it’s not like he has some sort of misapprehension that he’s a good singer, either. The kid knows he’s terrible but he still sings along to every song that plays on the radio or in the locker room or even on the bench.

And he touches people all the time. He’s constantly got a hand on someone’s arm or his arm around someone’s neck, or he’s asking for piggyback rides or draping himself over someone’s lap or absently tapping his fingers on someone’s—well, whatever is available. Elbow. Calf. Foot.

He never runs out of energy until suddenly he’s sleeping.

So he’s basically a golden retriever puppy.

And Okezie would love to hate him except he’s also the most kind-hearted, genuine, person Okezie has ever met. He calls people out when they’re being racist or homophobic or just generally mean. He loves animals and babies and talks about all the charities he’d like to donate to one day if he gets an NHL contract. And besides that, he’s a really damn good hockey player.

Or he will be once he finishes growing into his limbs.

Coach assigns Martel as Okezie’s road roommate after Martel’s original roommate, Johnson, threatens to kill Martel in his sleep.

The first few nights are definitely a study in restraint, because Martel is surprisingly clean and tidy and courteous about shower usage, but he also paces the room talking all night like a toddler on a sugar high. Which wouldn’t be a big deal except after a game that went into overtime Okezie would really just like to get some damn rest.

Okezie figures out sort of by accident that the way to get Martel to sleep is to make him hold still long enough to realize that he’s tired.

Which means most nights on the road he invites Martel to sit on his bed with him and watch TV, and then he throws an arm around his shoulders and physically restrains him from getting up to pace until the kid conks right out.

The first few times, Okezie waits until he’s sure Martel is asleep and then he moves to the other bed. But then one night he falls asleep about the same time that Martel does and they wake up in the morning sort of. Cuddling. Maybe. And it doesn’t feel nearly as weird as it should. And maybe it happens again the next night. He can’t help it if he’s tired. He’s the star player. He’s on the ice for like. A significant amount of time most games.

And then the Océanic go on a winning streak.

The first rule of hockey is that if you notice a pattern that’s contributing to wins, you keep up the pattern. It’s only crazy if it doesn’t work, right? So. He stops moving to the other bed. For hockey.

It’s not a thing.


Except one night, after a hard game where Martel got slashed and has a broken finger and won’t be able to play in the next game,  Martel—Liam—isn’t talking or singing or laughing. He’s just sitting on the bed cradling his swollen hand, looking despondent. So Okezie goes to the vending machine and gets a package of Reeses for Liam because he doesn’t know what else to do so maybe sugar will help.

And he opens the package for him because Liam only has one working hand and Liam just.

Starts crying.

And Okezie does. Not. Do. Crying.
So he’s sort of gruff and like. “Hey, stop. Don’t be a baby. Eat your chocolate.”

Except Liam’s mom is a feminist and gender studies professor at McGill University and he’s like, “Wow, no. I’m crying because I’m upset. It’s healthy and has nothing to do with being childish so you can shove your patriarchal bullshit up your ass and hand me a tissue. Please.”

So he gets him a tissue and turns on The Great British Bakeoff because that’s what he likes to watch when he’s upset. And he maybe rubs Liam’s back a little and lets him lean back against his chest and they maybe fall asleep that way but it still doesn’t mean anything.

It sort of becomes a habit. Okezie taking care of Martel. Because, yeah, the kid is a hyperactive cheerful mess most of the time, but he’s also really anxious and self-conscious and sensitive and despite that, he spends so much time doing shit for other people. So Okezie starts paying attention to the things that Martel does for him—things he’d taken for granted before or found annoying, like Martel grabbing extra gatorades to share, or emailing him interesting journalism articles about the KHL, leaving bran muffins in his locker, saving him a seat at team dinner, absently kneading the knots in his shoulders while watching tape. Okezie tries to mimic the kindness. He  brings Liam little treats after hard games and saves him a seat on the bus and spots him in the weight room and makes sure to tell him at least once a week that he’s doing a good job—with specifics. Things he’s improving on. Things he should be proud of. And Martel just. He like.

There’s no not-embarrassing way to say it.

He fucking blooms under the attention.

He gains muscle and confidence on the ice. He stops laughing nervously through practices and redirects his energy to extra training and settles easier after games. He stops tripping over himself and he pays closer attention during tape review if Okezie is sitting next to him with a steadying hand on his bouncing knee. The talking and the singing don’t stop, but Okezie wouldn’t want it to. Which is probably embarrassing in itself.

Liam also smiles, though. Which, he’d smiled before. But it isn’t until Okezie starts getting real smiles from him that Okezie realizes the previous ones were full of anxiety.

Maybe it’s that, maybe it’s just that Liam’s head finally finished growing, but by the end of the season, Liam’s mouth doesn’t seem too big for his face anymore. It seems pretty perfect. Just like the rest of him.

It’s still not a thing, though.

The season ends.

They go home.

Except Liam’s house is a ten minute train ride from Okezie’s. And once Martel finds that out, he invites himself over all the time. And Okezie’s parents love Liam. His mom starts requesting his help in the kitchen and his little brother makes him play video games and his dad is like, “what a fine young man, showing interest in my composting endeavors,” and that’s all well and good except Martel is there to see Okezie and they all need to back off. Because they’ve only got a couple months before—

The draft.

Okezie goes third. To the Schooners,

The first person he calls is Liam.

He should probably spend the flight back to Montreal freaking out about the fact that he’s officially a professional hockey player, that his dreams are literally coming true. Instead, he spends it thinking about the fact that Seattle is really fucking far away from Rimouski. Where Liam will be for the next two years.

Obviously his parents throw a party when he gets home and obviously Liam is invited. He’s grown out his hair a little in the last week or gotten a little taller or something. He looks good, is the point. And Okezie can’t really handle it. They end up in his bed. Not drunk or desperate or anything. Just. It’s late and Liam doesn’t want to leave and Okezie doesn’t want him to leave and it’s practically habit after so many nights on the road together. And they’re just laying there and Martel is half-asleep, muttering about how brilliant Okezie is and how he’s going to do so well in the NHL, he probably won’t even have to spend a year or two in the AHL, they’re going to see him at training camp and start him right way, he just knows it. And his words get slower and sweeter as Martel tells Okezie that he’s so proud of him and loves him so much—

And then he’s wide awake and apologizing. He hadn’t meant to say anything. Obviously Okezie had been ignoring his stupid crush and they can continue to ignore it, I’m so sorry, David, please don’t be mad.

And Okezie is like.

Wait.

What?

Crush?

And there probably follows a week of existential crisis on Okezie’s part and general bafflement on Martel’s.

But eventually they talk and Okezie is like, “I hadn’t really thought that you were a romantic option but now that I’m aware you are I sort of can’t stop thinking about it?”

And Liam is trying to be as reasonable as possible despite the fact that his heart is breaking. Like: “We’re really good friends. I don’t want to ruin that. You shouldn’t feel like you have to try this just because it’s something I want. I’ve been dealing with my feelings for you for a year now, I can just keep doing that. Besides, we only have like a month left before you leave for training camp and then we’re going to be eight hours away by plane for the next 2 years and who knows what will happen after that—“

“—yeah, I mean, you could be drafted anywhere—“

“—you think I’ll be drafted?—“

“—of course you will, you’re amazing—“

But anyway, Martel is like, “Besides, we’re teenagers, how often do teenage relationships work out even when they’re not long distance and closeted and completely uncertain? The odds are really stacked against us, it’s probably not even worth trying.”

And Okezie says, “What the fuck is wrong with you, of course it’s worth trying.”

And Martel says, “Well, if you insist.”

And then there’s kissing.

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Like Real People Do is no longer available in its fic form because it’s becoming original fiction! (The first in a series!!! I’m so excited). Check the final chapter of this work, Tumblr (xiaq), or IG (el_massey) for updates on when it will be available to hold in your real actual hands. 

Chapter Text

Chapter Text

I’m not sure how to say this because I’m trying to temper my excitement with the knowledge that some folks might be disappointed (or even angry). I guess I should start with:

I’ll be taking Like Real People Do down from AO3 in 48 hours.*

If you want to download it, now would be the time!

But why? You ask. Well, that’s the exciting bit.

As I was writing LRPD, it sort of ran away from me into something that was a lot less fan fiction and a lot more original fiction. And then I had so many ideas about future stories I could write (Martel and Okezie, Matts and his future queer partner), but I didn’t think I could write them on AO3 because, well, they wouldn’t be fic! I also realized last year that academia is not the pretty pastoral walk in the park I expected. After talking to my therapist about what I actually wanted to do with my life, I reworked LRPD into a piece of original fiction and started sending out queries.

I’m DELIGHTED to report that I’ll be signing a publishing contract with NineStar Press. Not just for LRPD, but for a whole series of books about queer hockey players. I am so excited.

I want to thank everyone who followed along from the beginning (especially folks who left comments). You got me through grad school and encouraged me to keep writing and this story likely would not exist, in this form, without you. You can bet that fandom (some of y’all by name/username) will be thanked in the acknowledgements of the published version. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Some questions you might have:

Why are you removing the fic version?

That's required as part of the publishing contract for copyright reasons. If I could legally leave it up, I would!

They’re publishing all 150k words??

Yes, but LRPD will be separated into two books that, in their current form (as I undertake revisions) are about 80k words each.

When will it be published/where can I find it?

I don’t have a date yet, but it should be within 6-12 months and I’ll keep everyone apprised of things via Tumblr (xiaq) and IG (el_massey). You’ll be able to find it at bookstores or amazon or directly from me if you want a signed copy!

Will you still write fic?

Of COURSE. Most of my fic is written purely because I love the source material, and it’s so immersed in that material (Sherlock, Bond, Harry Potter, TOG, The Mandalorian) that I couldn’t (and wouldn’t want to) scrub it. I like playing in these universes and I have no desire to stop. The awesome thing about potentially being an author full-time one day is that I can likely write more fic if I don’t have a standard day job (especially one like professor-ing) taking up the majority of my time.

Will you do a book tour?

Possibly. It depends on initial sales and some other things, but I’ll definitely do some signings in Austin/Dallas/Houston, etc. provided there’s interest.

Why would you Betray Fandom by scrubbing fic and then selling it?

1. I fully support writers scrubbing their fic and publishing it, provided they tell me where I can buy the new version and give at least a day's advance warning before they remove the fic online. I have and will continue to support fic writers traversing the line between fic and original fiction because I don’t see anything wrong with that.

2. I’m tired. God, I’m tired. I've been working 60-70hr weeks and trying to squeeze in 30 minutes of writing before I fall asleep each night since my weekends involve either More Work or Hiking/Climbing. I'm barely getting a chapter of fic finished per month, now. My schedule is definitely better now than it was 3 months ago, but I'm still super busy and have little time to write for myself. This is a chance for me to get paid to do a thing I love that will also, hopefully, facilitate me living a healthier, happier, life. I’m going to take it.

*I'm going to try and remove the individual chapter content while still leaving the work up so I have access to all the comments because they basically sustained me through graduate school and I don't want to lose them. Does anyone know if that will work?