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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.

###

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/

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!

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!

Interview with a Fangirl: Annalise

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, Annalise Ophelian, who is an award-winning documentary filmmaker (MAJOR!, Diagnosing Difference), queer psychotherapist, and Chihuahua fetishist.

Annalise with Boba Fett in Orlando at the DisneyWord Galactic Nights event.

I first became aware of Annalise through the interview she gave on Episode 44 of the Fangirls Going Rogue podcast and I was able to briefly meet her in person last month at Star Wars Celebration Orlando.

Welcome Annalise 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 probably only started using this term a few years ago, like around 2015 when I attended my first Star Wars Celebration. But my Star Wars fandom started when I was 4, in 1977 after seeing A New Hope in the theater. The following summer, it played at the theater near my house in Fort Collins, CO at the 10 cent matinee, and I went every single week. I was Princess Leia for Halloween, had action figures, read along to the children’s books with cassettes with my younger brother. In the early 1990s, when there were only the EU books and comics and not much else for Star Wars fans, I became a huge Star Trek: TNG fan, that franchise started me going to conventions, which I’ve continued attending throughout my adult life, and also collecting trading cards and such. So geek fandom has been a part of my life as long as I can remember.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

I’m so grateful for social media, especially as a woman who loves geeky things, I did not find community until the advent of social media. And I can’t image how Looking for Leia would even be possible without social media, because women’s fandom is so vibrant on-line, particularly in the arenas of podcasting, instagram, and blogging. I’m able to connect to a much broader group of women across geographic locations, and I think it’s also served to help broadcast women’s fandom in a much more accessible way. Women don’t need a publishing contract or a corporate sponsor to create and disseminate art and commentary about their fandom, it proletarianizes media and digital access.

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?

Summer of 1977, right after I turned 4, was the first time I saw Star Wars, and the following summer I saw it 10 times in the theater. Star Wars was definitely love at first viewing, I’ve talked with my mother about it and she’s said “Yeah, we offered you other summer activities, but all you wanted to do was see Star Wars.” And space fantasy is my favorite genre, I never got into Tolkien or D&D. I did love ST:TNG, but I was more in love with the social allegory than the sci fi aspect, although having said that I did have technical manuals for the Enterprise D, so that’s something.

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

I feel like Star Wars fans are some of the kindest fans I’ve ever met. I’ve been to three Celebrations, and at every one there’s this joy in attending and knowing that every human around you will happily engage in a conversation about Star Wars. The sort of posturing or “geek cred” thing I associate with Reddit or other forms of (predominantly male) fandom doesn’t come across to me so much in Star Wars fan community, and working on Looking for Leia I’ve been really moved by how women’s fandom shows up in their lives. Female Star Wars fans are hard core! I’m talking levels of geekdom preserved for sitcoms, we’re a deeply passionate, committed group. I’m queer-identified and I came out in 1987, so I’ve been an active member of LGBT community for quite sometime, and I’ve always relied on that community for mirroring and support and safety. But when I attended my first Star Wars Celebration, I felt more at home and among my people than I ever had before. I felt like I could show up fully, like I was understood and understood others, there was this comradery and this language, both spoken and unspoken, and it was just blissful. I remember coming home from Anaheim and having this sort of culture shock, it was jarring not to be sitting on a floor talking with people about Star Wars for seven hours a day. I also think Star Wars fans are unique in the way we can love a thing and also have multiple critiques of it and these things don’t cancel each other out. There’s a nice duality there, it’s very both/and: I love this thing; and I hate this thing; This is my favorite part; and this is the part I want to be done better.

I also love how so much of the Star Wars universe is fan created. Characters who are unnamed on film and have no lines get back stories and complex relationships in fandom, and this fandom informs canon and vice versa. So the creativity and love of story that Star Wars fans have is deeply inspiring to me, especially because I’m not a fiction writer or a narrative filmmaker, as a documentarian my work is about observation and consolidation more than creating something entirely new. So that sort of creativity is inspiring.

What else do you Fangirl about?

I’m a huge Disney fan, lifelong Disney fan, I live in Northern California but generally have an annual pass and make it to Anaheim several times a year. Next year for my 45th birthday, I’d like to go to Disneyland in Shanghai and Tokyo, and then I’ll have been to every Disney park in the world, and my mother and I have taken two Star Wars Day at Sea Disney cruises and are booked for our third next spring. I was really happy when Disney acquired Lucasfilm, I felt like these folks know how to take care of my childhood, and they’ve certainly proven that to be true. And I love that my two major fandoms now live in the same place, and I can wear head to toe Star Wars gear and be perfectly dressed for the parks! I joke with my partner that I’m basically a teenage boy, I only want to see Marvel and Star Wars movies, basically anything with super heroes or explosions in space, and I love sci fi and fantasy TV shows, and I never pass a comic store without going in. Because of “Looking for Leia” I’d say my Star Wars fandom, which is usually pretty central, is definitely occupying all of my bandwidth right now!

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

I think it’s funny how we gender things. Like droids, why do droids have gender? We assign qualities to gendered fandom that I think are arbitrary. Princesses are for everyone, and warriors are for everyone, and these can be two different categories or one category. Having said that, I love seeing how women show up in fandom, because one thing that is true of geeks is that we are often drawn to these stories of outsiders struggling to find their way in the world because they mirror our own struggles, our own sense of alienation and dreams of belonging and comradeship and heroism. Right now, my favorite thing in the world is how women have taken Claudia Gray’s concept of “Huttslayer” Leia from “Bloodline” and completely redefined the cosplay and character associated with “Slave Leia,” totally upending the male gaze and reclaiming the agency and self-determination of that character. To use a phrase I heard repeatedly when asking women about female characters in Star Wars, that’s badass.

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

I am currently working on “Looking for Leia,” a documentary about Star Wars fangirls. Those that want to learn more or Fangirls interested in Getting Involved can visit www.annaliseophelian.com or www.lookingforleia.com!

Thanks again Annalise for answering these questions and letting us to get to know you and your fandom better.

Interview with Author J.L. Carter

It is a pleasure to welcome J.L. Carter author of The Sky Regency.

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 you and your stories better.

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

The Sky Regency could be best summed up as “a Jane Austen story with sexy aliens”. I wanted to play with the world “regency”, which literally means a change of governance while a ruler is absent. The new governance comes in the form of an extraterrestrial entity. An alien species with human appearance people chose to call “Sky Men” (the notion of space was quite primitive at the time).

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

Yes, a lot of significance! Even though the novel can be seen as sci-fi, it borrows the codes and setting of Regency-era romance. Therefore, all the characters’ names (first and last) had to remain accurate to the place and era. However, I did take some liberties for a few ones, as I launched a contest for my first readers to have their name appear in the story (either as humans or aliens) and the characters reflecting their personality. It is my way of thanking them for their great support!

Oh, and there’s also a character that is a reference to a famous Mark Twain novel (you’ll have to guess this one!)

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

I think it goes all the way back to my childhood. I was the only girl child in my family and all the boys (brothers and father) were into sci-fi. Only my mother read Regency novels quite voraciously, and so I was raised with this two vastly different influences. Growing up, I gained the geeky personality of my brothers while staying a hopeless romantic, just like mom. As a first-time author, I wanted my book to be a synthesis of these two worlds… And so, The Sky Regency was born!

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

Actually, the book often deals with the themes of madness and remaining sane. I identify with Margaret, the main character, who is sometimes seen as an escapist but knows how to separate dreams and reality, even when her own reality is challenged.

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

Lots and lots of historical research on Regency-era England. I wanted to explore the basis of what made this period so memorable in British History, from fashion to architecture to the political environment. There are many references to actual historical figures, including King George III and the Prince Regent. George III was known to have developed dementia in the later part of his life, which triggered the Regency Act, but it was never officially revealed how he developed it. I thought seeing spaceships and being visited by aliens could be a theory 

What makes you laugh?

SNL, my geeky husband, politics (sometimes).

What makes you cry?

Hatred, onions, politics (sometimes).

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

I’ve always been a fan of epic series, either historical or sci-fi, which explores entire civilizations, real or fictional. Star Wars of course comes to mind (I named my second daughter Leia!). I think one of my favorite writers would be Philip K. Dick. Even though his stories are essentially short, he always managed to build a futurist world that is believable and add a suspenseful plot that keeps you turning pages. The Sky Regency is obviously inspired by The Man In The High Castle, one of his finest works to me, as it masterfully imagined an alternate History, based on the idea “what if the Nazis won World War II?”

Thanks J.L. for letting us get to know you and your story better.

THE SKY REGENCY by J.L. Carter is available for pre-order, FREE with KU!
Release Day: April 30, 2017
All she wanted was a change.
All he wanted was a mate.
It’s 1810, and Europe is at war as Napoleon stages his great march across the continent and the British Empire battles the threat. King George III’s illness leaves him raving about sky invasions—rants that his courtiers dismiss as the thoughts of a madman.
Margaret Swinton has her own problems; unwillingly promised to Julian Barwick, Duke of Bridgewater and a royal insider, she struggles to find feelings for him, something that her family cannot understand.
However, History will soon be transformed when strange lights start to appear over England: a new invader with a power that easily overwhelms the primitive British forces. As George III repeals the Regency Act, Margaret meets Aidar, the gorgeous and dreaded Prince of the Sky Men.
Margaret quickly finds herself trapped in a deadly, deceit-filled love triangle in a world that has changed forever. The stakes are high, and one wrong move could easily spell disaster…

Add it to your TBR on Goodreads: https://goo.gl/nu5dDH
Amazon US : https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XBGXFCZ
Amazon UK : https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XBGXFCZ
Amazon CA : https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B06XBGXFCZ
Amazon AU : https://www.amazon.com.au/d/B06XBGXFCZ

More about J.L. Carter

J.L? Carter was born in small town Texas from an avid Regency romance reader and a sci-fi geek. As a result, she was destined to marry a Jedi Duke and be trained to become an a**-kicking lady.
Growing up as a financial analyst in Austin, she used to write kinky fan-fiction on the back of Excel spreadsheets. Thankfully, her boss never found out (but his secretary did!).
When she’s not writing, J.L. likes to read sci-fi and paranormal romance books (the more fangs and claws, the better), try not to burn everything she cooks, Netflix with her husband and raise her two kids to not become as weird as she is.

Interview with a Fangirl: Nikky

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, Nikky Winchester!

I first became aware of Nikky through her efforts to organize the NZ Leia Day, which is hoping to beat the World Record for ‘largest gathering of people dressed as princesses’.

Welcome Nikky 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 begin to realize you were a Fangirl?

Looking back, I’ve clearly been a Fangirl ever since I saw the original Star Wars at the age of 5. I have vivid memories of running around the playground as Leia (I had long hair). I also played “Han Solo’s young brother who was a Storm Trooper but was really on the Rebels’ side”. (As you might imagine, The Force Awakens made me very excited indeed!) The next thing to hit me was Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which was first on the radio when I was 6. And the final nail in the coffin was discovering Tolkein and Asimov when I was 10. There was no hope for me after that! 😉

How has social media helped or hindered you?

Facebook (my social media of choice) has helped hugely. These days I’m living in Wellington, New Zealand (aka Middle Earth) and while it is an incredible place, there’s not a lot of people here, especially compared to London (the last place I lived). Knowing that whenever I open my phone or laptop I immediately plug into like-minded people across the world makes me feel connected to my tribe in a way that I never experienced as a child.

When did you first see Star Wars and did you love it right away or did this grow on you over time?

Here’s my ages when I started loving the following:

    Star Wars – 5
    Hitchhikers Guide – 6
    Star Trek: The Motion Picture – 7 (I went to see this with my grandma and I remember being baffled that she was bored by it! I was utterly entranced. Ah, how easily a 7 year old is pleased.)
    Hobbit/LOTR books and Asimov: 10
    Narnia and Pern: 11 (I was probably a bit late to Narnia, but I fell hard and fast.)

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

What I love most about fandom is the inclusivity and openness (when fandom is done right, of course…). Going to Worldcons is such a liberating feeling – suddenly, I am surrounded by thousands of people *just like me*. Wow. It’s such a rush. Gets me every time.

What else do you Fangirl about?

Being an Laketowner in The Hobbit films 2 and 3 reignited my love for Tolkien, and has led to me producing some very silly Hobbit music videos. Our most popular, “Who the ‘ell is Tauriel?”, has gained over 40,000 views so far 🙂 We have a new one coming out soon, called “Rescued by Eagles” (a Beatles/Hobbit mashup!).

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

I went through some tricky periods as a child/teen when I was embarrassed to admit to my fangirliness, but in my 20s I learned to own it, because it’s an integral part of who I am, and why should I be ashamed of being myself? I am geek, and I am proud.

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

Apart from organising NZ Leia Day on 3 June (and I better not forget to sort out a costume for myself!!!), a Beatles/Middle Earth mash up video “Rescued by Eagles”, which is due out by the end of June, and a Star Wars music video (which I’m yet to start planning…) which will be out before Star Wars Ep 8 is released in December, it’s a quiet year 😉 Oh, and I’m in the process of creating a community hub and cafe for my village – not fangirly but it’s still going to be awesome.

Thanks again Nikky for answering these questions and letting us to get to know you and your fandom better.

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