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I don’t think it would be a lie to state that “Just Another Gin Joint” owes its very existence to the 2007-08 Writers’ Strike. It was back during those dark times that I decided to go back through my dvd collection and rewatch some old favorites. One night I popped Casablanca into my dvd player, sat down, and before the movie was even over the seeds of this story were already pinging around in my head. In fact, I jumped on the computer and wrote [personal profile] hiyacynth a cracked out email flailing about which SPN character corresponded to which character in Casablanca and a vague idea about a demon conspiracy or war. Because she’s awesome she immediately told me I needed to write that story. And now, two and a half years later, this is the finished product.

Of course, I’m not the first person in fandom to write a Casablanca AU. Back in the heyday of X-Files I read a story called “Letters of Transit” that, obviously, cast Mulder as Rick and Scully as Ilsa. And let’s not forget about As Time Goes By written over in the Buffy/Angel fandom. Considering how iconic the movie is it’s not surprising that it continues to inspire and delight. For that reason I’ve spent the past couple of years avoiding any story in SPN fandom that even looks a little bit like it’s influenced by that great movie. Because while it would suck to unconsciously plagiarize someone, it would suck even harder to discover that someone else had already done what I wanted to do and kicked my ass while doing it.

As I’m sure you can tell, this story didn’t explode Athena-like out of my head. Writing it was a long, deliberative process that probably took a lot longer than it should have. And it never would have gotten past one hyper email if it weren’t for my amazing friends. There was [personal profile] hiyacynth who continued to encourage me and was always there to give me the extra push that I needed. Plus, she is, quite possibly, the greatest beta reader known to fandom-kind. The preceding story would not be a fraction of what it is without her input and grammatical expertise. She is the detail-oriented Queen of Betas and I can’t thank her enough for all of the work she did.

I first shared the alternate historical background with Baylor and Dodger Sister one night while we were sitting around, possibly after having watched some X-Files or Supernatural. Ever since then they’ve been enthusiastic cheerleaders. I literally would not have written more than a paragraph or two without Baylor. She let me randomly kick ideas around and natter at her about this character or that scene. She saw all of the roughest of rough draft versions before anybody else. I knew I had a winner when she’d send me emails of “Victor/Cal OTP!” or “Oh, Dean.” I swear, no one, anywhere, gives more satisfying feedback than Dodger Sister. Getting the chance to make her flail, even a little bit, is so worth the months and months of writing travail. And the fact that she still loves me even after I killed her boyfriend speaks to how terrific she really is.

I think the thing that made me the happiest about writing this story, beside the always delicious Winchester family angst, was the chance to write from the perspectives of so many awesome characters that we, sadly, don’t get to see on the show anymore. Because that’s one of the great things about fanfic, no character is ever really dead not so long as there are fans who can bring them back to life. Unless, of course, your name is Ash. *g*

Last, but certainly not least, thanks to all of you who have made it this far. We in fandom may be a fractious bunch, but the passions we share for creation and the media we love will always bind us together. Thank you so much for reading, and hopefully enjoying, my story, and for being the awesome people that you all are.

July 2010


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