Diagnosis Murder Fanfic

I know there are people writing Diagnosis Murder Fanfic out there, and I thought I’d heard every possible permutation (Hurt/Comfort, Slash, etc.), but this… well, this one is the champ. An anonymous poster alerted me to "Nesting", a Diagnosis Murder story by Sarah Saint Ives, at this fanfic site

"He’s a brilliant doctor." Dr. Mark Sloan was saying as Steve entered the office. "His work with invitro fertilization is incredible. He’s helped a lot of childless couples conceive and deliver normal, healthy babies."

"So, what do you think? Should I go through with it? Dr. Jesse Travis asked. The younger doctor looked up to Mark as a mentor, even as a father figure.

"That’s up to you, Jesse. It’s your body."

Steve glanced curiously at his father, then his best friend. "What’s up?" he asked. "What about his body? You thinking about giving someone a kidney, Jess?"

Jesse looked down, then met his eyes a little shyly. Steve mused that it was an engaging flaw in his character to be occasionally reticent. Although Jesse Travis was gifted with an impressive IQ and an insatiable curiosity, he was laden with personal insecurities, which, to Steve, made him even more adorable. "Dr. Homer Penrose. He asked me to be a guinea pig for an experiment."

"Well, tell me about it." Steve said. "Judging by the looks on both your faces, if you asked me right now, I’d say the answer is not just ‘no’, but *hell*, no! What does he want to do to you?"

There was a long pause, then Jesse said, "Make me pregnant."

Hey, it could happen. All Jesse needs, the story goes on to say, is a proper "birthing orifice," and everything will be fine. Steve is all too happy to start looking for the orifice because, ladies and gentleman, this is also slash fanfic.

Once the "birthing orifice" issue is resolved, there’s just one hitch.

"Very minor ones."

"He would like an answer to the question, Penrose." Steve said, not so nicely.

Penrose was irked by the policeman’s presence. "He will be unable to perform sexually with a woman during the pregnancy." he directed the statement at Steve. "It’s necessary for the sake of the baby."

Hey, the doc didn’t say anything about sex with a man, so no problem! Everything works out and Jesse gets knocked up, though Jesse has some jitters…

She’s going to be perfect in every way, Jesse.” Placing his hands on either side of his friend’s face, Steve forced calming eye contact. “She’s going to be beautiful and smart just like you. She’ll have your big blue eyes, your cute little nose, your sweet personality and your radiant smile. It doesn’t matter who the biological parents are, Jess. She’s yours, and she’ll be the way you raise her.”

Jesse laid a hand on his chest. “I’m so glad you’re here with me, Steve. What would I do without you?”

“You’ll never know because I’ll be here forever, my love.” After placing a soft kiss on the younger man’s button nose, Steve started the car and drove toward Jesse’s apartment. Conversationally, he asked, “Would you feel safer if your own sperm cells had been used to fertilize the egg?”

“Nothing makes me feel very safe except being this close to you.” Jesse was still attached to his arm.

Excuse me, I have to wipe the tears from my eyes… and the vomit off my keyboard.

The Mail I Get

Dick Van Dyke, you might have noticed, is on the cover of my Diagnosis Murder novels. He was also the star of the show. He’s also the central characters in my Diagnosis Murder novels. Seems to me that makes sense, right?

Well, today I got an email from a fan who is very upset with me for not “putting Steve front-and-center.” She’s referring to the character played by Dick’s real-life son, Barry Van Dyke. She said she was “sick and tired” of me “making it very clear which character I prefer.” She also went on to say that if the next book didn’t feature Steve on equal footing with Mark, then she’d stop reading the books.

I sent her a note back, saying she could stop reading now…what she wanted wasn’t going to happen.

“Diagnosis Murder” wouldn’t have existed without Dick Van Dyke as Dr. Mark Sloan… everyone else was a supporting character. The same is true in my books. Dr. Mark Sloan is the central character… and always will be.

I got another email this week from a fan who believes that Steve should be as much of a deductive genius as his father… at the very least, they should be a team. Here is what I wrote to her:

Thank you for your thoughtful note. Steve is a good cop in his own right. But Mark Sloan has a gift… a natural affinity for solving mysteries… that Steve doesn’t have. Steve loves and respects his father… and recognizes his father’s gift. In some ways, the characters mirror the actors who played them… Dick Van Dyke is a living legend, a brilliant actor, comedian, singer and dancer. His son Barry is a fine actor… competent and professional… who nonetheless doesn’t match the amazing talents his father has.


When I was writing/producing DIAGNOSIS MURDER, I was surprised to discover that the show had a devoted fan following, and not just among people receiving social security. I was even more surprised to discover there were fans who particularly liked seeing one of the major characters get hurt… and then get comforted by the other worried characters. They particularly enjoy watching Steve get shot, beaten, and otherwise abused…and then see his Dad filled with concern about his injured son, who is preferably recuperating in as little clothing as possible. These viewers call themselves “hurt/comfort” fans and, since the cancellation of the series, they have written scores of fanfic where Steve gets abused real good and then is passionately weeped over by everybody else (or so I’ve heard, judging by the chatter I used to read on the PAX discussion forums). To be honest, the pleasure these fans get from seeing Steve in pain kind of gives me the creeps. Maybe when you read this note to me, posted on www.diagnosismurder.co.uk, about my book THE SHOOTING SCRIPT, you’ll understand why…

I have read a few more chapters. I just finished the part where Mark was injured and shot at and Steve wants Mark to go to the hospital.

I don’t know quite how to put this. I’m tired of reading about Mark getting hurt. In two books Mark has been hurt. I’d like to be able to read a DM book that has some Steve hurt/comfort in it. And I don’t mean he’s upset because Mark, Jesse or someone else is hurt. I mean Steve hurt himself, and Mark having to worry about Steve for a change…

Steve Hurt/Comfort Fan
Steve Angst Fan
Steve and Mark Relationship Fan
Steve and Ellen Fan

What do you think?

Diagnosis: Work

wakingnightmareI’m pleased to announce news that I will be writing four more DIAGNOSIS MURDER books, which will bring me to eight titles in the series by early 2006. The third book in the series, THE SHOOTING SCRIPT, comes out on August 3. The fourth, THE WAKING NIGHTMARE, the one I wrote with two broken arms, comes out in January 2005. I’m starting work on the fifth book, THE PAST TENSE, today…

The Shooting Script

dm3fullTwo copies of THE SHOOTING SCRIPT, the third Diagnosis Murder book, were delivered by UPS today. I was thrilled to get them, of course… but the real shocker was seeing the “sneak preview” of the first two chapters of THE WAKING NIGHTMARE at the end of the book.

What was so shocking was I only turned the manuscript in last week. Then I remembered that a couple days after my accident (the one that left me with two broken arms), I had my wife email my editor the first two chapters of my incomplete book so they could publish the tease.

Even so, it was jarring to see portions of a book I’d finished writing only last week already in print.

You can see’em for yourself on Aug 3 when THE SHOOTING SCRIPT comes out in bookstores everywhere…

The Waking Nightmare

I finished the fourth DIAGNOSIS MURDER novel, tentatively titled “The Waking Nightmare,” today and sent it off to my publisher… two weeks ahead of my deadline. I wrote the book in four months, despite breaking both my arms and working by day as a writer/producer on MISSING.

It was real important to me to make my deadline, even though my editor offered to extend it. I think the book helped me recuperate faster than I might have otherwise. But now I’m afraid I’ll never be able to get a deadline extension from my editor in the future. He can always say “how bad can it be? You made your deadline before with two broken arms!”

The rush to finish the book is also why you’ve seen fewer postings here lately. I’ll try to contribute more frequently…

The Reality-Challenged

So I’m sitting here with my two broken arms, recovering from surgery, and someone emails me a posting from the Pax TV discussion board. There’s a Diagnosis Murder fan who apparently is upset by a link in a posting here to her fanfic website, the one hosting the story in which Steve (the character played by Barry Van Dyke) narrowly avoids anal rape while undercover in prison. She believes the link harms her reputation in some way. So she posted this thoughtful note:
I just went back to check out the status on http://leegoldberg.typepad.com/
According to Valerie, Lee broke both his arms, I hope he gets well soon (and I mean that! I don’t kid about other folks’ misery.)
Given those facts I’m willing to give him a few days to remove the link.
I’m sure that he will find a way to show some fair action, that is AFTER he’s had surgery on the one arm. Fair is fair!
N.S.D.!!! – Nie pleuje!
Astonishing, isn’t it?
Naturally, since I heard about this, it’s become my top priority. Nothing matters more to me in life. Which is why I intend to do absolutely nothing about it.
If you were me, how would you deal with people like this?