I'm deeply honored, KAM, that you'd take the time to review my review, and got such pleasure, support and encouragement from my words. I have several authors in SH fandom that I admire hugely but I put you right at the top. As I've said, I LOVE your imagination, your way with words, and how you draw such fabulous mental images.
As for my head canon about Starsky and Hutch finding each other and then being 'faithful', you have to understand that I'm only recently come to an appreciation of slash at all! When I knew the boys, they were utterly hetero, as were the characters, so I could never think of Paul/Starsky or David/Hutch as anything but straight. It's why I never read 'fanzines' when I was working on the show; they were mostly slanted toward slash and I couldn't go there. It was only after I found fandom, in 2014, and started reading the thousands of stories that I realized I'd grown older. David and Paul had, too, but, amazingly, Starsky and Hutch hadn't! I was finally able to separate the entities and allow that, yes, Starsky and Hutch could very easily have fallen in love (either after Gunther or before). Charlotte Frost's 'Adventure' series, Flamingo's 'Total Eclipse of the Heart,' and several others turned me on to the beauty of slash, when it's written with the love, support, and trust that I knew from Paul and David. Now, except for my drabbles, slash is all I read, and all I write.
I empathize with your health issues. I have serious ramifications from the much-maligned and not-really-understood-in-its-nastier presentations Valley Fever (my very next A-fib may kill me). But I'm hangin' in there, still reading and writing S&H because it's about the only thing that keeps me going.
Thankfully, I've never had to deal with the evilness of parents, peers or society, as you have, when trying to deal with your sexuality. I applaud your self-realization and stand strongly behind your decision to be whoever you know you are. You rock, girl, and I've never said that to another living soul.
Please take good care of yourself!
Okay, I have to say, right up front, I almost didn't continue reading this story because, in my head canon, Hutch wasn't gay until Starsky; and they didn't become lovers until after Gunther. If I start a story and discover the author has put either one of them in m/m relationships prior to finding each other, I quit reading. Here though, since I greatly admire your writing and love your plotting and dialog, the way your exquisite use of words draws such lovely mental images, I figured I was in safe hands and kept going. And I'm really glad I did! I haven't watched an Emergency episode since the series aired, and I've never read any stories in that fandom so my memory of specific Rampart scenes and references was cloudy, at best. But I was a Robert Fuller fan as long ago as 'Laramie' (does anyone remember it?) and your wonderful descriptions of Kel had all my lustufl memories re-surfacing after all these years.
I loved the depth of backstory you gave us about Starsky's childhood, his mother's skewed disapprobation, his father's love, his aunt's strength, courage and approval, all rang absolutely true! I was also glad to read a more gentle rendering of Hutch's mother than most other stories.
This is really a masterful work and will have to be read many times in order to savor all its intricacies. I'm already looking forward to those re-reads. Thank you, KAM, as well as everyone who helped make this story available to us 'out here.'
Hugs! First of all, thank you so much for this very detailed, thoughtful, and inspirational feedback. I really appreciate your taking the time to let me know what you liked about the story.
"Okay, I have to say, right up front, I almost didn't continue reading this story because, in my head canon, Hutch wasn't gay until Starsky; and they didn't become lovers until after Gunther. If I start a story and discover the author has put either one of them in m/m relationships prior to finding each other, I quit reading."
I understand that. I think that's a fairly common headcanon for this pairing, and it's one that I've written before. We're absolutely all entitled to our own headcanons for characters, and I know there are themes I'm more comfortable with than others. I tend to nope-nope and back out of a story that has any hint of "partner betrayal" or that deals heavily with marital infidelity (Starsky or Hutch married to a woman but sexually involved with their partner on the side). So I do understand. That said, one of the reasons I wrote this novel is that, back in 2006, I was just a little over four months into fully accepting within myself that I'm queer (pansexual is the modern label that best fits me, but as both bi and pan identities are often erased, even within the LGBT+ community, I'm proudly hoisting the queer flag). I was walking the same path as Starsky and Hutch and Johnny (different circumstances, of course) and the more I began learning about my community and researching and learning about myself, the more I realized I really didn't want to keep writing the "only gay for you" trope that is prevalent in m/m fanfiction. It was no longer a comfortable fit for me as a writer. My journey toward "coming out to myself" falls somewhere between Hutch's and Starsky's, and unfortunately, I'm still largely closeted offline, due to RL circumstances that are currently beyond my ability to change. In a way, this novel was 343 pages of me baring my soul and coming out to fandom, my one truly safe space. And it was me using fiction to deal with some super tough issues, like internalized homophobia, parental homophobia, and misguided faith-community homophobia, all of which I've experienced firsthand.
"Here though, since I greatly admire your writing and love your plotting and dialog, the way your exquisite use of words draws such lovely mental images, I figured I was in safe hands and kept going."
Thank you so very much for this! I'm deeply honored that you had that trust in me as a writer and that you braved this journey with me, even when it took you out of your comfort zone as a reader. That means the world to me, and your kind words will stick with me and serve as encouragement and inspiration for a long time to come. I'm so blessed by this feedback.
"And I'm really glad I did! I haven't watched an Emergency episode since the series aired, and I've never read any stories in that fandom so my memory of specific Rampart scenes and references was cloudy, at best. But I was a Robert Fuller fan as long ago as 'Laramie' (does anyone remember it?) and your wonderful descriptions of Kel had all my lustufl memories re-surfacing after all these years."
Oh wow, this just made my whole YEAR. Thank you so much. I have such a soft spot in my heart for Kel, and I'm over the moon that a Kel-fan enjoyed my portrayal of the good doctor. My characterization of Kel in this novel has received mixed reviews -- some people can see him as gay; some people can't, etc. -- but I felt canon left things so open-ended, especially when it came to his relationship with Dixie, and I felt, hey, can't hurt to explore a what-if, right?
"I loved the depth of backstory you gave us about Starsky's childhood, his mother's skewed disapprobation, his father's love, his aunt's strength, courage and approval, all rang absolutely true! I was also glad to read a more gentle rendering of Hutch's mother than most other stories."
Thank you, truly, for this. It was a painful challenge to write Starsky's mother that way, but the reality is, not every parent is going to be loving and accepting, and certainly not as quickly as Hutch's mother was in this story, and I wanted to veer off the fanon road of Saint!Starsky'sMom and Evil!Hutch'sMom. I also didn't want to demonize Starsky's mom in this, and that can be a hard line to walk, when writing a homophobic parent who was, frankly, guilty of emotional and psychological abuse.
"This is really a masterful work and will have to be read many times in order to savor all its intricacies. I'm already looking forward to those re-reads. Thank you, KAM, as well as everyone who helped make this story available to us 'out here.'"
Bless you for wanting to reread at some point! Thank you so much again for this gorgeous LoC, and yes, I had a tremendous team supporting me in this creative endeavor. I couldn't have done this without my amazing editor, betas, artist, and support system, and I'm so very happy that you enjoyed the time you invested in this lengthy fic. More Hugs!
I don't even know where to begin! This story has occupied my every available moment for about a week. I have been cursing RL, just dying to get back to the story. At times, like while driving or doing mundane necessary things I'd just think about the story, mulling over details of this beautiful piece. I'm telling you, I was an Emergency! fan and an S&H fan and I can't believe how masterfully you wove both of these shows together, being true to canon and yet giving us an inside look between the scenes. Your explanations for all that happened in canon is just... god, I don't even have the words to exprss how perfect.
I'm not normally a crossover reader, and I only mildly like heavy slash. But I trust you as an author. I love many of your stories, especially the Affirmation series. Plus, as I said, I loved Emergency! too.
From the first pages you had me hooked and I could think of nothing else for the better part of a week. I never wanted this story to end! It is brilliant and bellieveable and different.
Thank you for this treasure!
Hello! First of all, please allow me to apologize for the ridiculous delay in responding to this wonderful feedback. I have severe chronic health issues that often keep me away from the computer and limit my ability to participate in fannish activities, and I also don't appear to have received a notification from the Archive that this review was here. I am terribly sorry! It's always important to me to be able to thank my readers and interact with y'all, and I try very hard never to let feedback go unanswered. Your feedback was simply stunningly beautiful, and I can't even begin to tell you how much it has meant to me to find it here and to know how much you enjoyed the story. I'm deeply honored that I could capture the attention of both an Emergency! and SH fan, and that the meshing of the universes worked so well for you. Plus, you said something that has MADE MY WHOLE YEAR: that you trust me as an author. I can't speak for every fandom writer, but I can tell you from my own writer's heart, those are the most beautiful words I as a writer can ever read in feedback. To know that you enjoy my work, that you will take a chance on a fic of mine even if it might not meet your bulletproof "likes" when it comes to fanfic, that's HUGE, and I appreciate that so very much. I absolutely love the thought of this story snagging your attention throughout your day and daily life. That's also just golden, and I'm grinning with sheer delight. Bless you for taking this journey with me and for sharing your thoughts. Again, I'm so sorry that you're just now hearing back from me, and I hope this response makes it safely to you. Best of wishes for a wonderful summer 2017! Hugs, Kaye Austen Michaels
Thanks for the response! When I wrote that comment, I wasn't sure if you ever checked this site, but I hoped so. That story still hangs with me almost two years later, believe it or not. That is still the only pairing for Hutch, other than Starsky, that has ever worked with me. I'm so happy you received my feedback, and that it made you happy. I think I might just have to read the story again!
OMG! This story has been an obsession for me since I started it days ago!! RL kept getting in the way! The character detail is amazing. So much work and love went into this, obviously. Thank you so much! I so intensely enjoyed it. Other stories will pale by comparison - I may need a break in order not to judge others too too harshly :)
Thank you so much for this wonderful, thoughtful commentary! My editor just told me that I had comments over here, so of course I had to scoot over and read and respond, because keeping in touch with my readers is very important to me, and I'm tremendously appreciative of your taking the time to leave feedback. I'm really happy to hear that the character detail appealed to you. I love digging into these phenomenal characters and putting them into all kinds of situations to see how they tick, how they respond. Writing this fandom novel was one of the best experiences I've ever had, and one of the most rewarding and enriching aspects was working with my editor, Keri T., so it's great to read that my love for this show and fandom came through in the writing. Thank you so much again! Hugs!
I just finished reading your entire story, and I have to tell you, it was wonderful. When I was growing up, I was not only a big fan of Starsky and Hutch, but also of Emergency. I loved both shows, and the way you put them both together into a story was just so marvelous. For over a week now, I have looked forward to the time of night when everyone was asleep and I got to read some more of this story. You made every character come alive, but none more so than Starsky, Hutch, Johhny, and Kel. The story of their lives and love for each other was truly a work of art. I was sorry when I came to the end. I wanted it to never end.
Thank you for this gorgeous comment, my goodness! My editor just told me that I have reviews over here, so I rushed over to the site, and I am so thrilled and truly appreciative of your taking the time to leave such detailed, thoughtful feedback. I really do try to keep in touch with my readers, and it means so much to me that you enjoyed the story. I'm especially delighted to hear from someone who loved Emergency! as well as S&H, and to know that my blending of the universes worked for you just makes my whole month. The one thing any writer wants to do is create a world in which readers can immerse themselves, and I love that you were able to feel that way about this story. Writing it was an experience that I never wanted to see come to a close, even though I was excited beyond words to get the finished product out into the world. Thank you again for your kind words and for journeying with me through the adventures of these lovely characters. Hugs!
I started reading this when it was first announced here and I have savored every word throughout the entire, what seems like forever, three weeks. This is a beautiful story about two men who finally get together. Why it took Starsky so long lends so much to the whole plot of the story. I really wished it hadn't ended.
KAM you did a beautiful job on this story and I give credit to all who was involved from the beginning to get this story to us to enjoy.
Thank YOU for such inspiring and encouraging commentary! My editor just informed me that I have reviews, and I was super excited to get over here and read and respond, because communicating with my readers is one of the most enjoyable things about writing in fandom, and I truly appreciate your taking the time to let me know how you felt about the story. I can't thank you enough for commenting on Starsky's long journey toward embracing himself and what he can have with Hutch. I think Starsky is more complicated a character than canon would sometimes have us believe, and writing this novel gave me a wonderful, rewarding opportunity to explore that. This story definitely owes its existence to a lot of amazing people: my phenomenal editor, Keri T., as well as fandom cheerleaders/well-wishers who offered support throughout the process, and then Keri, Flamingo, and the other site mods who made it available here and accessible in multiple formats. I am so blessed to be in this fandom, and I am so fortunate to have readers like you taking this fandom journey with me. Thank you again! Hugs!
I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed this story. It was beautifully crafted and held my interest every every inch of the way. I know nothing of Emergency but I came to care about Johnny and Kel. I thought Starsky's line that he 'gets shot at more than the entire Kennedy clan' was great. I read it on my Kindle and thank you Flamingo and the site mods for making that possible.
It's wonderful to hear from you! My editor just informed me that I have reviews here, and I dashed over to read and respond, because feedback is such a treasured gift, and I can't thank you enough for taking the time to let me know how you felt about the story. I am absolutely delighted that you were able to connect with and care about Johnny and Kel even without knowing about Emergency! and to know that I could hold your interest throughout such a long story makes my fannish writer's heart sing. I, too, am so very grateful to Keri T., my editor, for helping me get this finished product out into the world, first as a zine and then here on the Archive, and Flamingo and the mods for all of their hard work in making the story accessible on multiple platforms. This fandom is just filled to the brim with amazing people, and I'm blessed to be a part of it. Thank you so much again. Hugs!
Wow, what a thorough, well thought through story that answers a alot of questions left open in the S&H series. I'm amazed at the way the details were woven around the episodes, both S&H and Emergency! Combining the two series, following all the timelines, and interlocking them to make a masterfully crafted story. Just beautifully done! I think the m/m couplings were believable and intense in the scenes between them.
I totally believed in the H/J pairing, and honestly, though I feel I'm being deceitful, I was sort of rallying in the background hoping Johnny and Hutch would find thier way back to each other. I understood the initial break up, and I guess because I'm more attached to the character of Hutch, I wanted him to be happy. I knew he couldn't love Johnny the way he needed to early on, but I hoped maybe he'd find that with the lack of Starsky's love. Sigh. Not to say I didn't love the ending, because I did. I just wanted you to know how much you kept me in suspense in the middle and towards the end. Wonderful!
My goodness, I'm right up there on cloud nine after reading this amazing, super kind feedback. Thank you so very much! My editor informed me this evening that I have reviews, and I couldn't wait to get over to the site and read and respond, because I love every opportunity to communicate with readers and fellow fen. I can't thank you enough for taking the time to post such detailed, thoughtful commentary. Your feedback is a treasured gift! I'm delighted that you enjoyed all the details and plotting and that the blending of the universes worked for you. Finding ways that the two canons could intersect was tremendous fun.
Spoiler Alert Response:
May I tell you a secret? I fell pretty hard for the H/J pairing myself. Truly! In my SH writer's heart, I couldn't see any other outcome than S&H enjoying their happy ending, but part of me could really *see* Johnny and Hutch working out, and I even toyed with the idea of writing an alternative ending (not to be published or anything) in which Johnny and Hutch do find a way to stay together. I think under other circumstances they could have been very good for each other. But part of writing the novel was taking the opportunity to explore a more complex view of Starsky than we get in canon, and I'm grateful that you enjoyed taking that lengthy journey toward his acceptance of self and Hutch with me. Thank you again for making my entire month with this feedback, and I apologize that I'm just now responding. RL often keeps me away from the computer and I don't get to spend as much time with fannish activities as I'd like, but I am truly blessed to be a part of this fandom with all its amazing people. Let me also give MILLIONS of kudos to Lorraine for the breathtakingly gorgeous artwork and to my superstar editor, Keri T., for all of her wisdom, encouragement, and support in helping me realize the dream of this novel. Hugs!