BackstoryIn October of 2008, I launched my new Fan Fiction series, The Rex and Hannah Chronicles. These stories were the further adventures of Rex Buckland and Hannah Webster, two characters on Charmed whom I had always liked.
Now I felt it was time to launch them in their own spin-off series. However, getting there is a story in of itself, a story I will now relate to you all.
The origin of the R&H Chronicles can be traced all the way back to 2002. In that year, I wrote the R&H story, Visit To A Lost World. This story was a pilot for an idea I had about R&H having new adventures.
This was where I developed the concept of R&H leading a Warlock insurgency against the Source and his Demons. VTALW revealed that background and, after the Source and his Council had been taken out by the Charmed Ones at the end of Season Four, the Warlocks finally launched a final revolution that freed them from Demon rule. R&H’s adventures would begin from there.
However, the continuation of Charmed into Season Five revealed that nothing had really changed (if you ask me, they should have ended Charmed with the Season Four finale, Witch Way Now, continuing the show really reduced the impact of the end of S4, but I digress). The Underworld seemed to be chugging along, business as usual. Given that, a Warlock Revolution seemed very unlikely (as TV Tropes would put it, I was Jossed). So, I shelved the idea.
The Charmed Extended Universe
Some months later, in early 2003, I found myself involved in what became the Charmed Extended Universe (henceforth to be referred to as the CEU), which I co-wrote with another writer named Kenny. The CEU was originally started as a protest, because we didn’t like the direction the show had taken in Season Five. I decided to bring R&H into the mix.
The CEU stories started out well, however, as time went on, it was clear that Kenny and I were on different wavelengths. It seemed he had this whole story line planned out in his head, yet he often didn’t consult me on vital story decisions. I would see that he had thrown in whole new characters and situations, and I found myself playing catch-up to figure out just what was going on. To make matters worse, the plot got more and more confusing and convoluted. In the end, even I could barely follow it, and I had been there right from the beginning.
It was this situation that led to the split-up of our writing partnership, and the abrupt end of the CEU project, in early 2004. To say that the CEU was a huge failure would be an understatement.
After that, I was totally burned out with Charmed Fan Fiction and vowed that I would never write another Charmed story again. I was DONE!
The wilderness years
During this time (2004-08), I wrote no Charmed stories. Rather I turned my attention to writing Fan Fiction of other shows like Will & Grace and Doctor Who .
Although I had vowed not to write any more Charmed stories, I did remain involved with the show in other aspects. I became involved with the Charmed Sons campaign (which was aimed at getting a spin off show about Wyatt and Chris Halliwell on the air), and I would remain with the campaign for many years to come.
The Rex and Hannah Chronicles are reborn
In the fall of 2008, I had a change of mind (as they say, never say never again). It was the Tenth Anniversary of Charmed, and the celebration made me want to take up the Charmed writing quill again. Now, all I had to do was figure out what to write about. Of course, my mind turned to Rex and Hannah. However, the last time I'd used them was in the disaster of the CEU. Did I want to go back to that? No, thank you.
Then, I remembered my aborted Rex and Hannah adventure series and decided to take it off the shelf I had placed it on six years earlier. Now that Charmed had been out of production for over two years, I no longer had to worry about them Jossing me again.
It was relatively easy for me to revise and update Visit To A Lost World to make it fit into the present. I simply replaced all mention of the Charmed Ones taking out the Source with referrals to the Ultimate Battle (that took place in the Charmed Series Finale) and moved the time setting of the story up to 2008. Therefore, the final Warlock Revolution now took place after the events of the Charmed Series Finale. Once that was done, my pilot was ready. Now, I had to begin working on the further adventures of R&H.
For this new series, I decided that a fresh start was needed, so that's what I did. I made it clear that the Rex and Hannah I was writing about in the Chronicles had no connection to any previous incarnations of R&H I had written about in the past. The slate was wiped clean and I was starting again. And so I was off and running.
Dropping the Charmed Ones as guest characters
In the early years of the R&H Chronicles, the Charmed Ones made a few guest appearances. Paige Matthews most of all, she had a major guest starring role in three stories, The Troubled Spirit, The Bunker, and Dreams Of The Hunter.
In 2013, to celebrate the Fifth Anniversary of the R&H Chronicles and the Fifteenth Anniversary of Charmed, I wrote a story called Future Imperfect. Most who read it seemed to like it and that pleased me.
However, I did notice a startling anomaly. While Rex and Hannah were clearly written in a 2013 mind frame, it seemed that the Charmed Ones were stuck back in 2006 (when the show ended). Phoebe and Paige still seemed to be childless (and they must have had some of their children by this point). The truth of the matter was that, since I had no canon material to work with, I'd simply forgotten the passage of time for the Charmed Ones.
Now, as most of you may know, I was never a fan of the Brood Of Brats that the Charmed finale dropped on us, however, they do exist (like them or loathe them). So I had only two options, include said brats, or drop the Charmed Ones as guest characters. I chose the latter option. Perhaps it's fitting that the anniversary story would be the final bow for the Charmed Ones in the R&H Chronicles.
Good bye San Francisco, hello Lovecraft Country
I'm a big fan of H.P. Lovecraft, and had already incorporated some of his concepts into the R&H Chronicles. Now, in 2015, I was taking things a major step forward.
In my story, New Frontiers, Rex accepted a new job as Head of the Ancient Languages Department at Miskatonic University in Arkham, Massachusetts. With that, I moved Rex and Hannah to Lovecraft Country full time.
From this point on, the R&H Chronicles would deal with Lovecraft inspired concepts, although I would be putting my own spin on them.
For example, Lovecraft had the Old Ones arriving on Earth before humanity evolved. I, on the other hand, made their arrival in this universe more recent. My R&H story, The Old Ones (the first to really deal with the Lovecraft ideas), revealed that they appeared in our universe about 5000 years ago. It was at that time that Good and Evil had to unite to fight them (before the Old Ones could invade the Earth). The Old Ones were then sealed up in an empty dimension.
The dark planet, Yuggoth, which was colonized by the Old Ones, was a Lovecraft creation. However, when he introduced it in 1930, he suggested that Yuggoth was in fact, Pluto, which had just been discovered then. Of course, that can't be true now. So, when I introduced Yuggoth into the R&H Mythos, I placed it much farther out from the Sun than Pluto is. Right now, it remains undiscovered to human science (and Rex and Hannah hope it will remain so, because of what happened on their one visit to the dark planet).
Lovecraft had an ancient alien city in Antarctica in his 1931 novella, At The Mountains Of Madness. Of course, we know much more about Antarctica today. So, in my R&H story, The Emperor's Legacy, I instead made up the underground habitat that the Mi-go created. As that story revealed, those Mi-go died off, and the habitat was left deserted for thousands of years, until the refugees fleeing France after Napoleon's defeat moved in.
In closing let me say that writing the Rex and Hannah Chronicles has been a labour of love for me.
I hope you're all enjoying the ride.