Guest Post: Why Representation, Diversity, and Inclusion Matter To Me

The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl welcomes fellow Fangirl Connie Shih as a guest blogger to talk about why representation, diversity and inclusion matters!

Take it away Connie!

Patty, thank you so much for the opportunity to write a guest today!

Why Representation, Diversity, and Inclusion Matter To Me: Having a Seat at the Table an editorial by Connie Shih

Representation, diversity, and inclusion have come to the forefront in recent years as hot topics in pop culture, fandom and society at large. They are multi-faceted, complex topics influenced by a number of factors including background, race and ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation. Depending on one’s perspective, representation and diversity are either championed or derided as being too political.

In the pop culture realm, discussion and debate surrounding representation and diversity have intensified this summer with the record-breaking box office success of Wonder Woman, the announcement of Jodie Whittaker as the 13th (and first female) Doctor in Doctor Who, the diverse cast of Star Trek: Discovery, and the debut of the new Star Wars: Forces of Destiny animated shorts (with accompanying Hasbro adventure figure merchandise). Although welcomed and embraced by many, there has also been vocal and considerable pushback by some who believe that the spotlight on representation and diversity has detracted from the love of THEIR TV show or film franchise. These detractors perceive that inclusion is used to gate keep entry into fandom and franchise, and believe that representation and diversity do not matter.

In this guest editorial, I would like to provide a counterpoint to the belief that representation and diversity do not matter by sharing my story and perspective as a 42-year-old Asian-American woman with cerebral palsy who has loved the science-fiction / fantasy genre for 34 years. My intent is not to change minds, but rather invite readers to step out their own perspectives for a moment and consider things from a different point of view.

Having a Seat at the Table
Growing up in the 1980s, my two primary science-fiction / fantasy staples were Star Trek and Star Wars. I was first introduced to Star Wars as an 8-year-old with Return of the Jedi and to Star Trek as an 11-year-old with Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Those two films were my entry points into both these long running franchises and in both cases I became an instant fan. The United Federation of Planets and A Galaxy Far, Far, Away captivated me and I wanted to absorb everything about them. My favorite characters from each of these franchises, at the time, were Nyota Uhura and Hikaru Sulu from Star Trek, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker from Star Wars. I was drawn to them all because I saw a bit of myself in all four characters: Uhura (female linguist and communications officer), Sulu (Asian helmsman), Princess Leia (empowering, take charge princess), and Luke (hero with unwavering belief in his father). In each of these characters, I saw a trait that I could relate to, or someone who I aspired to be.

As the Star Trek franchise continued with TV series The Next Generation, Voyager, and Deep Space Nine, my favorite characters were Dr. Beverly Crusher, Geordi La Forge, Keiko O’Brien, and Harry Kim. Once again, I saw a bit of myself represented in each of them, especially with Geordi. I think it was the first time I saw a character with a disability (blindness) in Star Trek. It was incredibly inspiring for me to watch his progress from helmsman to chief engineer of the Enterprise. All of these characters represented my seat the table.

Does that mean I didn’t like or identify with other characters within these franchises? No, of course not. In the Star Trek franchise, I liked many different characters based on their traits and story. For example, I liked Dr. McCoy for his southern gentility, wit, and sarcasm just as much as I liked Guinan for her wisdom. Seeing representation on screen added additional layers of relatability and personal investment to the story and franchise. When I do not see myself represented, I feel like an outsider looking in to a certain extent. Recently, I was struck by a quote from Dr. Mae Jemison (lifelong Star Trek fan and NASA astronaut) to Nichelle Nichols at the recent Star Trek convention in Las Vegas. Jemison thanked Nichols for being an inspiration and went on to say “You gave me and others permission to be in the room.” Think about that for a moment. Seeing Uhura on TV gave Jemison permission to be in the room. I was incredibly moved by her comment because I felt the same seeing my aforementioned favorite characters on TV and on the big screen.

Dr. Mae Jemison and Nichelle Nichols Credit: Star Trek.com

Dr. Mae Jemison and Nichelle Nichols Credit: Star Trek.com

Bullied for Being a Fan
As much I loved Star Wars and Star Trek growing up, I mostly kept my love for Star Wars hidden from others until my mid-teens and early twenties. Why? Because I was bullied as a child (both verbally and physically) on more than one than occasion when attempting to share my love of this franchise with other kids. “You like Star Wars? You cripple. Don’t you know that Star Wars is for boys?” “Oh, you like Star Wars? Prove it. *proceeds with a litany of questions*” “Star Wars is for boys, not girls. You’re Chinese! Star Wars isn’t for you anyways. Go away!”

As a young girl, these questions stung like being swarmed by wasps. I cried myself to sleep several times. I just wanted to connect with other kids and didn’t understand why they were being so mean. My parents, bless them, tried to soothe me the best they could. They told me that I still had my imagination and the ability write and draw, so I should keep Star Wars to myself and have fun. I didn’t have Star Wars toys at the time, so I acted out scenes from Return the Jedi with my Barbie and Ken dolls, pretending they were Leia and Luke, respectively.

I also hid my love for Star Trek because there weren’t kids my age who liked it and I was already bullied for Star Wars, so why even ask? It was pointless and I did not want to be subjected to another round of heartbreak. It was not until several years later that I came out of hiding with Star Trek and Star Wars. One of my father’s work colleagues had a daughter ten years older than I. Despite our age difference, we had so many life circumstances in common including a love of Star Wars and Star Trek. I can’t tell you how genuinely happy I was to discover another girl who loved both of these franchises much as I did. The floodgates opened and we chatted for hours, talking nonstop about Luke, Leia, and Han and Sulu, Uhura, and Chekov. That was 30 years ago. We remain close friends to this day and still go to see Star Wars and Star Trek movies together. I consider her a science fiction / fantasy kindred spirit and I have her to thank for introducing me to other awesome franchises, such as Doctor Who, Babylon 5, and Stargate SG-1.

Being a Fan in the Present Day
Much has changed for the better over the past 30 years, especially for the Star Wars franchise. There are now also so many more entry points for fans of all ages to experience Star Wars across multiple mediums (film, animated series, books, comics, video games, virtual reality, and theme parks). Along those lines, I have to say it has been fantastic to witness the number of diverse characters grow exponentially, particularly with female characters. Star Wars now includes Padmé Amidala, Shmi Skywalker Lars, Rey, Ahsoka Tano, Maz Kanata, Satine Kryze, Bo Katan, Steela Gerrera, Korr Sella, Greer Sonnel, Hera Syndulla, Asajj Ventress, Sabine Wren, Ursa Wren, Norra Wexley, Shara Bey, Jyn Erso, Lyra Erso, the Nightsisters, Captain Phasma, Mother Talzin, Dr. Aphra, Ciena Ree, Rae Slone, Arihnda Pryce, Iden Versio, Rose Tico, Amilyn Holdo, and Kordi Freemaker. While their stories have been told (or will be told) in varying degrees, each of these female characters have been introduced in a medium. To say that I am thrilled is an understatement. In addition to female characters, there have been recent attempts to ethnically diversify with Finn, Poe Dameron, Saw Gerrera, Bodhi Rook, Cassian Andor, Baze Malbus, and Chirrut Îmwe. Of these characters, as a disabled Asian American, I connected to Chirrut Îmwe the most because it was refreshing to see an Asian character who wasn’t stereotypically portrayed as a villain and also overcame his blindness. There are now so many more seats at the table and I hope the trend continues because the galaxy is vast with infinite possibilities to tell stories from different perspectives.

As geekdom has become mainstream, it is easier for female fans to openly embrace their love of the science fiction / fantasy genre. While bullying and discrimination still exist, we no longer have to hide in shadows. I’m delighted there are companies and online communities such as Ashley Eckstein’s Her Universe (geek fashion) and Jamie Broadnax’s Black Girls Nerds that are thriving because they create spaces where all female fans can connect, step into the spotlight and be proud of their inner geek / nerd. There is also much more merchandise available for fans of all ages to purchase and enjoy. Collectibles, toys and games, action and adventure figures, kitchenware, bedding – all come branded with one’s favorite franchise. While the merchandise was prevalent when I was a kid, it is everywhere now. It’s a wonderful time to be a fan!

Into the Future
The futures of both Star Trek and Star Wars are bright with exciting, each with new projects on the horizon. In addition, both recently celebrated milestone anniversaries with Star Trek turning 50 last year, and Star Wars turning 40 this year. I consider both to be legacy franchises as the love for them has been generational. At the same time, we have started to see both (particularly Star Wars) evolve to reflect the society and times they reside in. As author John Knowles said, “Everything has to evolve or else it perishes.” I view representation, diversity, and inclusion (both on screen and off screen) as integral to this evolution, and believe that these three will help both Star Trek and Star Wars continue to stand the test of time. They have the potential to the present new stories to keep things fresh while still retaining the core characteristics of what makes the respective franchises appealing. Potential is the keyword because I acknowledge that representation, diversity, and inclusion alone cannot exist in a vacuum. Ideally, they should be coupled with quality storytelling that resonate with the audience and fans. This is something that the entertainment industry as a whole is currently struggling with, and is subject that is worth exploring in a separate article. Overall, representation, diversity, and inclusion DO matter to me because I believe that everyone has a voice, has the right to be in the room, and has a seat at the table.

If you have read this far, I want thank EACH of you for allowing me to share my personal perspective of why representation, diversity, and inclusion matter. I welcome all perspectives and the chance to dialogue with fellow fans. If you would like to reach out, please feel free to reach me at my twitter handle @connieshih. Live Long and Prosper and May the Force Be With You!

Some items of interest for further reading, listening, and viewing:
• Listen: Beltway Banthas podcast: Episode #36: Race, Representation, and Reconciliation
• Watch: Dave Filoni Speaks at the National Center for Women & Information Technology
• Read: Netflix Talks Diversity and Representation With #FirstTimeISawMe
• Read: Are We as Inclusive As We Believe We Are in Fan Culture?
• Read: Dear Hollywood: Five lessons we hope you learned from the success of ‘Wonder Woman’
• Read: Diversity in Movies Largely Unchanged Despite Increased Awareness, Study Finds

Connie Shih is a graduate student and teacher who loves astronomy and music, is an avid reader, and is a science fiction / fantasy nerd who loves Star Wars and Star Trek. She can be reached at her twitter handle @connieshih.

Interview with a Fangirl: Sophie

I am continuing with my series of interviews with Fangirls that I have met through social media!

Today, it is my pleasure to interview fellow fangirl, Sophie Lawrence, who writes and podcasts about Star Wars, especially the Legends stories, for a variety of outlets.


I became aware of Sophie through Far Far Away Radio and of course through her posts on twitter account, @shlawrence12.

Welcome Sophie to The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl and thank you for taking the time to answer these questions about being a Fangirl.

When did you realise that you were a fangirl?

I think I have been a geek all my life, but it developed into something much more defining when I decided to set up my blog Outer Rim Reviews last year. I realised that I had so much to say about Star Wars and the books that I loved, that I needed a platform to express that love and wasn’t just content with reading the books by myself! From there, I have started a podcast Bright Tree Radio with my husband, and I write blog posts for Far Far Away Radio – I basically just can’t stop talking about Star Wars!

How has social media helped or hindered you?

Social media has been a massive help to me. Without it, there would be no way people would read my blog or listen to the podcast. There is something really special about knowing that people are reading what you have written and that you aren’t simply throwing words out into ‘the void’ so to speak! Not only that, I have met some wonderful people online and developed some great friendships. For so long I had been geeking out by myself so it’s been absolutely wonderful to talk to people who are just as passionate about Star Wars as me!

When did you first see Star Wars or other favourite fandom such as Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, etc and did you love it right away or did this grow on you over time?

I actually don’t remember the first time I saw Star Wars, I was introduced to it so young it’s always been part of my life I can however clearly remember having pretend lightsaber fights with my brother in the garden (I was always Luke!). I also grew up watching Star Trek Voyager, and with hindsight I suspect Captain Janeway was a key factor in my love of strong ladies bossing it in space!

What have you learned from the Star Wars fan community or other fan communities that has had a positive impact on your life?

I’m still relatively new to the community as I’ve only really been ‘active’ since the beginning of the year, so I think I am learning every day! I think I’ve learned that there is not only a fantastic community of fans out there, but particularly fangirls. The Star Wars fangirls are some of the most passionate and driven women I’ve had the pleasure to interact with and I find them all so inspirational. Not only that, but these fangirls are so encouraging and supportive of each other it’s amazing!

What else do you fangirl about?

I fangirl about a lot of things! I often think that Star Wars is part of my soul, and if that’s the case then I would say that my heart belongs to Harry Potter! I am a Ravenclaw who is one with the force! I basically grew up with both and they have had a huge impact on my life. Other than that, I can also be found obsessing over Firefly, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, Battlestar Galactica, Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura and Final Fantasy (not necessarily in that order!)

Anything else you want to say to others about being a fangirl?

Don’t ever be ashamed of who you are! Be proud of your fandom and grab it with both hands. Life is too short to pretend to be something you’re not. And, most importantly, just have fun with it!

Where can others find and interact with you?

You can catch me on Twitter @shlawrence12. My blog where I am reviewing all the Legends novels is outerrimreviews.wordpress.com and you can find my podcast Bright Tree Radio on podbean where every few weeks we run a special ‘Ladies Night’ episode to celebrate some of the awesome ladies of Star Wars! Finally I also blog for www.farfarawayradio.com!

Interview with a Fangirl: Amy Richau

I am continuing with my series of interviews with Fangirls that I have met through social media!

Today, it is my pleasure to interview fellow fangirl, Amy Richau, who writes about her geeky obsessions, like Star Wars, for a variety of websites. I became aware of Amy through her articles at FANgirl Blog and of course through her posts on twitter account, @amyrichau.


Welcome Amy to The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl and thank you for taking the time to answer these questions about being a Fangirl.

When do you realize you were a Fangirl?

I think I really knew in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s when I was collecting anything Star Wars related in thrift shops and antique malls. Even though there had barely been anything new Star Wars related for so long I still enjoyed having a connection to the films. I had a photo of George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, and Francis Ford Coppola in my high school locker around this time. That was a sure sign I think!

How has social media helped or hindered you?

I have mixed feelings about fandom and social media. I love to see images of artwork, get links to new articles, and get recommendations on new books, movies, and TV shows – but it’s hard to get that and also block out all the negativity. If someone writes thoughtfully about a subject I’m interested to read it, even if I might not agree with them. But so much of what I see, on twitter especially, is just trashing on things – and then people complaining about people trashing something. That kind of negativity cycle is a total turn off to me. I’m always looking for more analytical discussions of films and TV shows and less of the “hot take” type of content. I just recently started to listen to a few podcasts which I think are great opportunities to have deeper discussions and conversations.

My friends aren’t huge Star Wars fans and I have only met one person in real life that I “met” through Star Wars social media so I think it would be very fun to go to a convention that had a lot of Star Wars content to meet some of the people I have chatted with or followed online.

When did you first see Star Wars or other favorite fandom, such as Star Trek, Lord of The Rings, etc. and did you love it right away or did this grow on you over time?

I have a vague memory of seeing Star Wars in the theater in 1977, and I remember being terrified Yoda was going to hurt Luke when I first saw The Empire Strikes Back. When I saw Return of the Jedi in 1983 that was the first Star Wars film that I truly fell in love with – and it was the first film where I wanted to jump into the movie and hang out with the characters. I’ve loved Star Wars ever since.

What have you learned from the Star Wars fan community or other fan communities that has had a positive impact on your life?

I think it’s always great to hear what has inspired others in their lives. And it’s important to know that even though you might feel like you’re the only person who loves something in your small town or school that you are not alone. And that being different or loving things that are different than what your peers love is not only ok – it’s fantastic.

I felt for many years that I should hide my Star Wars fandom, in part because it wasn’t cool and in part because I was female. Even when I had the chance to work at Skywalker Ranch in their film archive for a few months right before Revenge of the Sith came out I felt like I couldn’t be honest about how much I loved the films – which seems crazy to me now. But I only interacted with a few people and some of them, believe it or not, weren’t Star Wars fans. So now pretty much nothing makes me happier than seeing women in their twenties embracing Star Wars and seeing fans of Star Wars get jobs working on Star Wars related projects.

What else do you Fangirl about?

Twin Peaks, Disney, Marvel & DC more and more. I’m also a huge classic movie fan. Oh, and I love the Denver Broncos – I can’t leave them out of any fan conversation!

Anything else you want to say to others about being a Fangirl?

It’s nice to know there are people who share my sometimes crazy obessions with geeky things!

What cool Fangirl related project or projects are you working on that you would like to share?

I am starting up a blog about classic films called See Classic Films (seeclassicfilms.com).

Where can others find and inteact with you?

You can follow me on twitter @amyrichau

Interview with a Fangirl: Shelby

I am continuing with my series of interviews with Fangirls that I have met through social media!

Today, it is my pleasure to interview fellow fangirl, Shelby who is an engineer by profession and a podcaster by passion.

I first became aware of Shelby through the Star Wars podcast Hyperspace PodBlast that she co-hosts with her fiancé Bryan.

Welcome Shelby to The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl and thank you for taking the time to answer these questions about being a Fangirl.

When do you realize you were a Fangirl?

I think I’ve been into “geek culture” for as long as I can remember, starting out watching Sailor Moon after school everyday. That grew into a love of all sorts of fandoms, but my most recent and most intense fangirl obsession is Star Wars.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

Social media is an amazing tool to connect with people. I think as social media has matured, so have fandoms and their acceptance of women online. I think overall things are getting better for women in this space. That or I’m just better at avoiding it! But I’d really like to highlight that social media has helped me to develop amazing friendships and engage in great discussions.

When did you first see Star Wars or other favorite fandom, such as Star Trek, Lord of The Rings, etc. and did you love it right away or did this grow on you over time?

So my Star Wars fandom story is probably the most interesting. At a very young age, I was “made” to watch A New Hope by a parent. I thought it was good I think, I don’t have any negative memories, but never watched anything else. After that, “I’ve never seen Star Wars”, was my interesting fact, and even when I thought about checking it out, it seemed too intimidating and huge to get into.

Then my fiance Bryan (who is the epitome of a Star Wars fanboy) slowly but surely encouraged me to get caught up before The Force Awakens came out. We sat down one weekend and I was hooked! From that point forward, Star Wars became a part of my life I didn’t know was missing.

What have you learned from the Star Wars fan community or other fan communities that has had a positive impact on your life?

Star Wars fans have taught me that a passion for an IP can lead to incredible creations. The originality and crazy things fans come up with continually impress and inspire me. To see the personal impact Star Wars can have on individuals is just awesome and social media enables us to highlight those stories.

What else do you Fangirl about?

Oh goodness, here we go. Anime/Manga would be a close second to Star Wars. My most recent interest is RPGs, so I’m dabbling in D&D and hopefully in the future Starfinder and Edge of the Empire. Also, in no particular order: Stranger Things, Wonder Woman, MCU, Harry Potter, LoTR, Rick and Morty, Adventure Time, Gravity Falls, and many more.

Anything else you want to say to others about being a Fangirl?

Be yourself! There is no right or wrong way to be a fangirl and no one is the gatekeeper to the title. Don’t get discouraged if others try to push you out of the space. As a “fangirl” of math and science as both a passion and profession, I’ve learned it’s better not to try to fit the male mold as a woman, but to figure out how to claim the space for you to be who you are.

Where can others find and inteact with you?

You can find me on Twitter: @ShelBB8, through Hyperspace PodBlast: http://hyperspacepodblast.podbean.com/ or through Small Guest Writings: https://theweeklyscoundrel.blog/

Interview with Author Stephanie Osborn

It is a pleasure to welcome Stephanie Osborn author of the Division One series.

Welcome Stephanie to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to help us get to know you and your stories better.

What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?

Division One is a series based on my take of the urban legend about the covert group of men and women who show up at UFO sightings, alien abductions, etc. and make the evidence… disappear. They are, in reality, a branch of the Pan-Galactic Law Enforcement and Immigration Agency, or PGLEIA. This galaxy-wide organization reports to the Galactic Council, and is broken into the equivalent of precincts, or divisions, for the sake of structural hierarchy, and Earth is the Headquarters for Galactic Division One.

The first book, Alpha and Omega, chronicles the inadvertent induction of Agent Omega into Division One’s brand-new department, Alpha Line. Alpha Line is the equivalent to a SWAT team, or perhaps the Texas Rangers – one situation, one team.

She is partnered with the new department’s chief, Agent Echo, the top field agent in the entire Division, and second in line for the Directorship. Together, they are designated as Alpha One, the premier team in Alpha Line. They work under Agent Fox, a human with considerable galactic experience and a fascinating – and unusually long – back story; he was a teenager in the Nazi concentration camps, yet he appears to be only around 50 years of age, if that.

The first two books of the series, Alpha and Omega, and A Small Medium At Large, came out earlier this year, in print and ebook formats. Book 3, A Very UnCONventional Christmas, just came out, and book 4, Tour de Force, comes out in October. The series will continue next year with several new books.

Do the names of the characters in your novel have some sort of significance or importance to you? If so, give a few examples…

Special significance? Not really, though the “real” surnames of the two main characters were pulled from my own genealogy – a little trick I sometimes use just to help me quickly build the characters, since it means I know a bit about about the family background. I do usually try to pick character names that are reflective of the character, if possible, though not always.

For instance, Agent Echo’s name (on his birth certificate) was Alexander Ian Bryant. Bryant is loosely Celtic in origin (and in my family tree), hence I used variants of Celtic given names. Except Echo’s mother was Lipan Apache, and his middle name was SUPPOSED to be Elan, which is Apache for “friendly.” Only the registrar misheard and followed the Celtic flow of the rest of his name, making his middle name officially Ian on his birth certificate. (Strictly speaking, the Celtic equivalent of Alexander is Alistair, but I liked the sound of Alexander Ian better; Alistair sounds too pompous for that character.) “Friendly” as a name for him evokes an interesting dichotomy in my mind, since he is fierce in battle, and anything BUT friendly to an alien perp. He is also a reserved, “still waters run deep” kind of man, but he cares deeply about the people around him, those with whom he’s close. He doesn’t exactly show it a lot to said people, but it’s there. And over the course of the first book, we find that Omega becomes one of those people.

And since Echo is from Texas, and Bryants figured prominently in Texas history, I tied it in, just a bit, as being a branch of the family who founded Bryant Station, etc.

What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?

Oh, SF was always my favorite genre, growing up. I read ‘most every science fiction book I could get my hands on. I wanted to work in the space program (which I eventually wound up doing), and it fired my imagination and made me excited for the future. My second favorite genre to read was mystery, and I always liked action-adventure, a bit of thriller, and a soupcon of romance. Which probably explains why that is the recipe for most of the books that I write!

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer and do your characters reflect some of these attributes?

I try to be disciplined about it, meaning that I write almost every day – it’s a job, after all. I can become a real workaholic if I’m not careful, though, and I’m handicapped, so – well, if you are familiar with the ‘spoons’ analogy of chronic illness (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spoon_theory ), I just don’t have as many spoons as I used to have. So sometimes I have to just MAKE myself take a break. Otherwise…I’ve ended up quite sick as a result of pushing past my limits. And that can set me back for months, as I try to recover. Because let’s face it, creativity requires significant amounts of energy. And if all your energy is being funneled into getting well, there isn’t anything left for creation.

And yeah, I do find that several of my characters wind up being a lot like that. If you really enjoy what you’re doing, then in a fashion it stops becoming work, and you don’t WANT to stop.

What kind of research did you have to do for the novel, series or set of stories that was different from others?

Well, for this set of books, I had, and have, to do a lot of research regarding the Milky Way Galaxy and its structure. My graduate work was in astronomy and astrophysics, so I consider it a lot of fun, but what I have to do is to figure out where things are in the galaxy with respect to each other; what areas are potentially inhabitable, and what are not. Even just relative orientations! For instance, I’m currently writing book 5, Trojan Horse, and I had to ascertain where the Orion Nebula was with respect to Earth, and what was visible from the location of the nebula when looking back TOWARD Earth. So…kind of a galactic map, if you will.

What makes you laugh?

A well-constructed pun; a good joke with an unexpected punchline; my husband’s excellent one-liners. I love my husband’s sense of humor, and one of the things I have always adored about him is his ability to find a way to make me laugh, no matter how down or upset I may be about a situation.

One of the funniest things I can recall in recent years was when I discovered a webcomic called Vexxarr. The eponymous alien is an outcast from his kind, a space traveler who has collected a hodgepodge crew about himself, and who is constantly getting into all kinds of scrapes and getting out on his wits.

So in this one particular sequence of strips, Vexxarr gets nearly eaten by a large alien kaiju kind of monster, and is rescued before he can go down the creature’s gullet. Upon being returned to his ship, he is in severe shock and is monosyllabic for a bit, as his crew tries to find out exactly what happened. Finally the story gets pieced together and as one of them recounts it in toto, he makes this vivid, horrible description of Vexxarr entering the maw of the beast, with its slavering jaws, huge, razor-sharp teeth, ravening tongue…

And suddenly Vexxarr pipes up with the only polysyllabic word he’s said since the whole horrid event started.

“UVULA!” he yells at the top of his lungs.

I howled laughing. I laughed until tears just ran down my cheeks. I laughed until I was out of breath, but I couldn’t stop. I laughed hysterically for probably ten minutes, until I was gasping for air. And it was probably half an hour or better before the very thought of the strip didn’t send me off into fresh gales of laughter.

For quite a while that was the rallying cry on the Vexxarr message board…

I got to meet and get to know the webcomic’s creator a few years ago, and he’s as fun and funny as his strip. I have hopes that one of these days he’ll let me coauthor a short story arc in the strip with him. I’d love to see him bring our ideas to a kind of life like that.

What makes you cry?

Watching a hero/heroine sacrifice him/herself for the sake of someone or something s/he loves. Seeing a baby anything die or be killed. Bittersweet endings. Seeing misunderstood creatures or people be mistreated.

I watched the Japanese kaiju film, Rodan, the other day and was SO sad when the creatures died at the end, because in the end, one fell into the lava, and the other chose to dive in after it, preferring to die at its side than live without it…and there was something so loving, so touching, about it that it kind of ‘humanized’ them even though they had killed people.

What are you a fan of and is this reflected in your writing?

I’m a big film buff, particularly of science fiction and fantasy movies, but also the related genre of comic-book movies. My writing has been described as very cinematic in style, so that when someone reads it, it creates the effect of a movie playing in his/her head. And that’s pretty much correct, because when I write, it’s like watching a movie in my head and just transcribing it.

I think the funny banter found in most of the comic-type movies also comes out in my writing, too, as I find my characters have a tendency to do the same kind of banter.

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Thanks Stephanie for taking time to let us get to know about the Division One series and yourself better!

Division One series, published by Chromosphere Press is available through Amazon:

Division One series

Division One series

About Stephanie Osborn

Few can claim the varied background of award-winning author Stephanie Osborn, the Interstellar Woman of Mystery.

Veteran of more than 20 years in the civilian space program, as well as various military space defense programs, she worked on numerous space shuttle flights and the International Space Station, and counts the training of astronauts on her resumé. Her space experience also includes Spacelab and ISS operations, variable star astrophysics, Martian aeolian geophysics, radiation physics, and nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons effects.

Stephanie holds graduate and undergraduate degrees in four sciences: astronomy, physics, chemistry and mathematics, and she is “fluent” in several more, including geology and anatomy.

In addition she possesses a license of ministry, has been a duly sworn, certified police officer, and is a National Weather Service certified storm spotter.

Her travels have taken her to the top of Pikes Peak, across the world’s highest suspension bridge, down gold mines, in the footsteps of dinosaurs, through groves of giant Sequoias, and even to the volcanoes of the Cascade Range in the Pacific Northwest, where she was present for several phreatic eruptions of Mount St. Helens.

Now retired from space work, Stephanie has trained her sights on writing. She has authored, co-authored, or contributed to almost 30 books, including the celebrated science-fiction mystery, Burnout: The mystery of Space Shuttle STS-281. She is the co-author of the Cresperian Saga book series, and has written the critically acclaimed Displaced Detective Series, described as “Sherlock Holmes meets The X-Files,” and its pulp-bestselling prequel series, Gentleman Aegis, the very first book of which won a Silver Falchion award. She has dabbled in paranormal/horror as well, releasing the ebook novella El Vengador, based on a true story. Currently she’s launching into the unknown with the Division One series, her take on the urban legend of the people who show up at UFO sightings, alien abductions, etc. to make things…disappear.

In addition to her writing work, the Interstellar Woman of Mystery now happily “pays it forward,” teaching math and science through numerous media including radio, podcasting and public speaking, as well as working with SIGMA, the science-fiction think tank.

The Mystery continues.

You can learn more about Stephanie and the Division One series via her webite, http://www.stephanie-osborn.com/

Excerpt: Clone Me a Lover

The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl is proud to present this excerpt from Clone Me a Lover by Rosalie Redd
Excerpt from Clone Me A Lover

“I…didn’t hear you come in. How long have you been here?”
He leaned against the doorframe, his arms crossed. A slow smile tugged at his lips, and she focused on them. They were so tempting, and it was all she could do to pull her gaze to his eyes.
“Long enough to watch you make that…squirrel?”
A nervous laugh broke from her lips. “This is an ornithium, a small sub-surface dweller from our planet. The tiny creature comes above ground to retrieve nuts that fall from the trees during the season’s first frost. It is the good luck symbol for our winter celebration—Lintria, representing hope and love, for if this small animal can survive in the harshest of conditions, so can we.”
“I see. When is your next observance?” His calm demeanor called to her, sending a tingle of curiosity and excitement along her nerves.
“In a few days, when our sun is lowest in the horizon in the southern hemisphere. This special day is celebrated by everyone in our culture.” Her throat constricted. Not everyone. Toman was still in jail. If she didn’t return to get him out before the celebration, he’d observe the rite in the mines and never participate in another. I can’t think about that.
With a quick swallow, she focused her attention on the sexy man in front of her. “Thank you, again, for replacing the reactor.”
His gaze flicked to her mouth before returning to her eyes. The brown in his irises deepened.
Warmth spread between her thighs, and she bit her lip.
He took a step forward, closing the distance between them. “It was the least I could do, given you saved me from a long, cold, lonely journey through space.”
“Well, then, seems we’ve saved each other.”
Love is a dangerous, forbidden emotion.

Human clone Angelo Thirteen craves something illicit—to fall in love. When a tenacious female Altonian retrieves his escape pod from the rubble of a shipwreck, he may just get his chance. Drawn to her determined spirit and mesmerizing golden eyes, he must pierce the battle thickened walls surrounding her heart to uncover what he covets most.

Elle cares about two things in the universe—her ship and her brother. When her sibling is imprisoned on a savage ice world nothing will derail her from her recovery mission, that is, until she rescues a sexy human clone from the icy coldness of space. Falling for his tender, sensuous nature wasn’t part of her plan and now she must choose between saving her brother from Alta’s prison or risking her heart.

Lose yourself in the Interstellar Lovers series with this delicious tale of sensual discovery and longing. You can buy Clone Me A Lover from the following retailers:

After finishing a rewarding career in finance and accounting, it was time for award-winning author Rosalie Redd to put away the spreadsheets and take out the word processor. She pens paranormal, science fiction, and fantasy romance in her office cave located in Oregon, where rain is just another excuse to keep writing. You can find Rosalie via her Website: http://www.rosalieredd.com and the following social media sites:

Interview with a Fangirl: Andrea

I am continuing with my series of interviews with Fangirls that I have met through social media!

Today, it is my pleasure to interview fellow fangirl, Andrea Lynn Fleming, who is an actress in Chicago, and has been involved in theater for almost 30 years. She is actively cosplaying in the Chicago area for local charity events and hopes to continue for years to come!

Andrea as General Leia

Andrea as General Leia


I first became aware of Andrea through the Star Wars fan community and been very impressed with her Cosplay, especially her General Leia!

Welcome Andrea to The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl and thank you for taking the time to answer these questions about being a Fangirl.

When do you realize you were a Fangirl?

The first time I realized I was a fangirl was back in 1977 when I first saw the Star Wars movie. I didn’t know at the time that was what it was called, but I didn’t care. I loved the movie and everything about it.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

Social media has been wonderful. It has helped me meet other women and girls just like me. I used to think that I was alone in my fandom, but after my daughter and her friends realized how much of a fangirl I was, they have helped me get on social media and express myself openly. It’s such a joy to see how many of us are out there!

When did you first see Star Wars or other favorite fandom, such as Star Trek, Lord of The Rings, etc. and did you love it right away or did this grow on you over time?

The first time I saw Star Wars was when I was 11 in 1977. My father took me to see it in the theater for my birthday that year. I instantly loved the movie and I have been a super fan ever since. I was on the Oprah show in 1997 for the special edition films that were released that year. I was the only one in the audience that day dressed in costume. What an honor that was.

What have you learned from the Star Wars fan community or other fan communities that has had a positive impact on your life?

It has been amazing to be a part of the Star Wars community. Everyone is so supportive of others and you’re not afraid to be yourself. I was ridiculed in the 80’s for my fandom, and really found myself keeping it to myself, until social media, and now I no longer need to be secretive about it. I can openly express how much I love this community and franchise. I enjoy being able to cosplay anytime the opportunity presents itself.

What else do you Fangirl about?

I also enjoy Star Trek, the Marvel Universe, but of course my first love is Star Wars.

Anything else you want to say to others about being a Fangirl?

Never be afraid of being who you are and what you like! Always enjoy your favorite things to your fullest ability. It doesn’t matter what others think. What matters most is what makes you happy. In the end, you will be the one others look up to. I know that’s what I discovered about myself, and it’s amazing watching my daughter and her friends fangirl without any worries of what others think. I know I dream of being in one of these movies myself some day.

Where can others find and inteact with you?

I am on Instagram at Lynnflemingact, and you can find me also on Twitter: @LynnFlemingACT.

Thanks again Andrea dor letting us get to know you better!

Thank you and May the Force Be With You!

The Freemaker Adventures Continues Today

The Freemaker Adventures Continues Today!

The Freemaker Family: Zander, Rowan and Kordi

The Freemaker Family: Zander, Rowan and Kordi

I am a big fan of the LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures and I am really excited that the first episodes of season two, “A New Home” and “Trouble on Tibalt” air today starting at 10:30AM EST on DisneyXD!  I cannot wait to see what new adventures the Freemaker Family gets into next! 

As you can see, I have already set my DVR thanks to the Xfinity App!

As you can see, I have already set my DVR thanks to the Xfinity App!

Are you a fan of The Freemaker Adventures

Are you looking forward to Season 2 as much as I am?

Interview with Editor: Corie Weaver

It is a pleasure to welcome Corie Weaver editor of the Sci-Fi Anthology series, Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide.


Welcome to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to help us get to know more about the Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide!

What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?

We chose the name Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide because we wanted to create a sample of science fiction stories for readers of all ages. Every collection includes stories that represent the wide spectrum of science fiction, from rocket ship adventure, to weird west to post- apocalyptic to steampunk and more.

What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?

A random conversation with a friend back in 2014 sparked a new multi-year project – so be careful! My best friend was looking for new books for her young daughter. The qualifications seemed simple: Science fiction or fantasy, female protagonist, no romance. It was harder to find titles than I thought it would be. Sure, there were options – Wrinkle in Time, Zita the Space Girl, The City of Ember…. But not as many as I’d assumed. Turns out, according to a 2011 study of 6,000 children’s books, only 31 percent had central female characters, and even fewer featured main characters of color.*

I love science fiction. I believe it can bring us to a brighter future. So, I did the only logical thing, and put out a call for submissions for an anthology of science fiction shorts for middle grade readers, with a focus on diversity and representation. Girls, boys, robots – everyone is welcome here.

* “Gender in Twentieth-Century Children’s Books: Patterns of Disparity in Titles and Central Characters.” (http://gas.sagepub.com/content/25/2/197.full.pdf+html) The results of the study are also discussed in this Guardian article: (http://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/may/06/gender-imbalance-children-s-literature)

What are you a fan of and is this reflected in your writing or the writing of the authors of the series?

Tamora Pierce, Isaac Asimov, Usula K. LeGuin, Terry Prachett, Neil Gaiman – the list goes on and on. But one story I read in Asimov’s Magazine *mumblemumble* years ago has stuck with me for years – Beggars in Spain, by Nancy Kress. I reached out to Nancy when we started the anthology project, and she’s sold us a story every year. When I asked why she was such a strong supporter, she answered:

“When I was a child, the school library had a Girls’ Section, which included fairy tales, and a Boys’ Section, which included all the science fiction. Things have changed, of course, but not enough. There is a strong need for science fiction, as opposed to fantasy, aimed at girls, especially in the middle grades. This anthology is an important contribution to the effort to fill that need, and I’m delighted to be a part of it.”

If someone is interested in learning more about the Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide, where would they go?

The 2018 collection will be on Kickstarter starting June 13th, shipping in December.

Also, the 2017 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide is now available via Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It is also available for Libraries! Learn more at http://dreamingrobotpress.com/2017-young-explorers-adventure-guide/!

Interview with a Fangirl: Christina

I am continuing with my series of interviews with Fangirls that I have met through social media!

Today, it is my pleasure to interview fellow fangirl, Christina Fung, who blogs about HER Star Wars Story at http://www.mschristinafung.com.

Christina proudly wears her favorite HerUniverse Star Wars tee!

Christina proudly wears her favorite HerUniverse Star Wars tee!

I first became aware of Christina through her love of Her Universe and Star Wars via her Twitter, @StarWarsisLove.

Welcome Christina to The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl and thank you for taking the time to answer these questions about being a Fangirl.

When do you realize you were a Fangirl?

I first realized that I was a fangirl when I was around 15-years-old and I re-discovered Star Wars.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

Social media has helped me discover other fans and connect with them. When I was younger I used to think that I was the only girl who liked Star Wars, but though social media I found out that I wasn’t alone – not by a long shot!

When did you first see Star Wars or other favorite fandom, such as Star Trek, Lord of The Rings, etc. and did you love it right away or did this grow on you over time?

I have vague memories of watching The Empire Strikes Back on TV with my dad when I was young, but after that I pretty much forgot about it. When I became a teenager I saw a magazine cover with the cast from Attack of the Clones and it piqued my curiosity. I bought the magazine (which I still have) and spent the entire summer learning everything I could about Star Wars. I’ve been a fan ever since.

What have you learned from the Star Wars fan community or other fan communities that has had a positive impact on your life?

Being a fan doesn’t mean the same thing for everyone, and that is a beautiful thing. Star Wars has an enormous presence and there are so, so many ways that you can be a fan of it. One of the best things about connecting with other fans is getting to learn more about the world of Star Wars though their knowledge of the Star Wars universe. I love getting to know people who are more into the books than I am, or who play different video games than I do. If I had all the time in the world it still wouldn’t be enough to explore all of Star Wars, so getting to know it though other fans is such an incredible thing.

What else do you Fangirl about?

Disney Parks! I love spending time at theme parks in general, but there is just something extra special about Disney. Once upon a time I worked at Disneyland, and I have such fond memories of those days. Now I get to experience Disneyland though my son’s eyes, and I’m so pleased that he loves it just as much as I do. Plus, Disney and Star Wars are so interwoven that it’s hard not to love both.
Also, Firefly. So much love for that series!

Anything else you want to say to others about being a Fangirl?

This is a great time to be a fangirl! Not so long ago it wasn’t cool to be a fan of anything that wasn’t mainstream. Thankfully, times have changed. Now, being a fangirl is mainstream, but because being a fan is unique to each person what being a fangirl really means is that you aren’t afraid to be yourself and share your passions. Be proud of your fandom, if it is what makes you happy then it is part of who you are, and being yourself is always cool.

What cool Fangirl related project or projects are you working on that you would like to share?

The first thing people usually find out about me is that I like Star Wars, a lot. I’m in the process of trying to join the 501st so that I can do charity work and geek out about Star Wars at the same time.  I wear my fandom on my sleeve and occasionally blog about it at mschristinafung.com and of course you can follow me on twitter as @StarWarsisLove to learn what other awesome Fangirl things I am doing!

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