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Interview With A Fanboy Who Supports Fangirls: Cole Horton

Welcome to another installment of the interviews with Fanboys who Support Fangirls series.

Today, The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl interviews Star Wars Author and Fanboy Cole Horton about his efforts to support Fangirls. I met through fellow Authors, Tricia Barr and Adam Bray. I had the pleasure of meeting him in person at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim and Star Wars Celebration Orlando.

Thank you so much Cole for stopping by The Adventures of the Everyday today to let us know more about you and about your efforts to support Fangirls!

What fandoms are you a fanboy of and for how long?

Primarily Star Wars, which is something I discovered around age 10. I’m lucky that now I get to write Star Wars books, work on Star Wars games full time, and have consulted on other projects in that galaxy. I’ve also been a fan of Marvel for a long time and have had the occasional chance to work with that brand. But it may come to some surprise that I’m actually a bigger Indiana Jones fan than anything else. Sure, Star Wars keeps me busy, but Indiana Jones is what I love most.

When did you first learn about Fangirls?

I guess as long as I’ve been part of the fan community, Fangirls have always been there. In the earliest days of my fandom, many of the moderators on the message boards I frequented were Fangirls and I looked up to them. That wasn’t an easy job! Looking back, I don’t think I’ve ever been part of the fan community where Fangirls weren’t an integral part of the group: FanForce, the 501st and Rebel Legions, R2 Builders, and collecting clubs.

Who are the Fangirls you support? What do you do to support Fangirls?

I never forget that almost all of my big breaks into professional fandom came thanks to the help of fangirls who advocated for me or took a chance on me. I never forget that and am always looking for ways to pass along that favor to others in turn. I’m very lucky to work for awesome women editors, managers, creatives, and leaders. In many ways, I just try to live up to their example.

How has social media helped or hindered you in this effort?

I generally find social media to be a huge help. It gives me awareness to issues, introduces me to new people, and is a tool we can use to amplify the voices of Fangirls in the community. That’s not to say its all good, but the good outweighs the bad.

How can others get in touch with you?

Definitely reach out to me on Twitter, @ColeHorton. If you see me at conventions or events, please say hi!

Interview with a Fangirl: Christina G

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

Today, it is my pleasure to interview Fangirl Christina G, a Disney Store Cast Member who loves everything about Disney, especially Star Wars!

I became aware of Christina through the Twitter Star Wars Fangirl Community.

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?

Probably when I would have the urge to wear an item of clothing featuring something I was a fan of…haha.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

Social media has helped me in so many ways. The most important one is that I’ve gained many wonderful friends because we share the love for a fandom. I’ve gained one of my best friends because of us sharing our love for the same fandom. Social media has been a blessing to me & I hope that never changes.

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 actually was WAY late to the Star Wars fandom. I entered the fandom in late December of 2015 (after The Force Awakens came out). People were so pumped for this franchise, I wanted to see what it was about. I watched A New Hope, which is my favorite SW film, & I loved it. Ended up watching ESB right afterwards. Took me 3 days to watch the 6 movies. I guess you can say I loved it right away. I then watched TFA, Rogue One & even watched Star Wars Rebels. I continue to love love LOVE it.

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

I have learned that the Star Wars community is a family. Everyone is a part of this amazing community. We may have our different theories and favorite characters but in the end, we all stand by together to support this franchise that we have come to know and love. I was welcomed with open arms into this community & I am very happy to share my love for this franchise with others who love it as much as I do.

What else do you Fangirl about?

Disney has always been my first fandom. Grew up into Disney & I even work for them. I also fangirl about Supernatural & Marvel, mainly with Guardians of the Galaxy. But I am growing more into the Marvel Universe.

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

Don’t be afraid to let your fangirl flag fly. Represent your fandom and show it off. You never know who else is a Star Wars, Marvel, Disney, etc. fan just like you.

Where can others interact with you?

You can connect with me via Twitter: @ganocj

Interview with a Fangirl: Erica L

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

Today, it is my pleasure to interview Erica L, an artist with a passion for Star Wars.

I became aware of Erica through the Twitter Star Wars Community.

Welcome Erica 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 realize you were a Fangirl?

I’ve always been really “into” things – like films, books, and music, but only realized there was an actual word for it a few years ago – probably around 2011 or 2012. My first big fandom was (and still is) Star Wars.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

Social media has helped me when it comes to fangirling. Through websites like Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr, I’ve been able to connect with people who enjoy these movies as much as I do. It’s always fun to pass theories back and forth or come up with new stories for some of our favorite characters. Being an artist, it’s also fun for me to post my work online for other fans to see.

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?

My uncle first showed me Star Wars: A New Hope back when I was three or so and I’ve been a fan ever since. I can’t imagine a time where Star Wars wasn’t a big part of my life. Growing up, I remember Leia was my favorite character to pretend to be. She was (and still is) definitely a big role model for me. I really can’t put into words how much I love Star Wars and how much of an impact it’s had on me.

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

Like I said before, it’s wonderful being able to communicate with other fans. Fan communities are a place to talk about our favorite fandoms and connect over our mutual love for it. I’ve definitely been able to “meet” several people online – many of whom I could possibly never have the chance of getting to “know” if it weren’t for the Internet.

What else do you Fangirl about?

I’ve also been a fan of Marvel for about three or four years now, and I just got into the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter films this year. It didn’t take long before I realized they were going to be a big deal to me.

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

Embrace your inner fangirl! Don’t feel like you need to hide who you really are. If you’re a fangirl of movies, books, music etc. enjoy it!

Where can others interact with you?

Connect with me on Twitter and Instagram: @e_brienne. You can also find me on my personal blog at: ebrienne.tumblr.com.

Interview with a Fangirl: Charlotte

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

Today, it is my pleasure to interview Fangirl Charlotte Errity, a Star Wars-obsessed, travel-obsessed, food-obsessed twenty-something.

Charlotte with actor Haden Christensen

I became aware of Charlotte through the Skytalkers podcast, which she co-hosts with her best friend of over a decade, Caitlin Plesher.

Welcome Charlotte 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 always been one to be “into things”—as in, fully obsessed with movies, TV shows, etc., but it wasn’t until I saw Revenge of the Sith that I became a full on fangirl for Star Wars. I realized there was this whole world people knew about and immersed themselves in, and I wanted to be a part of it too; I wanted to know everything about my favorite characters, what planet they were from, how Star Wars was made, etc. I really never turned back.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

Social media 100% helped me in the Star Wars fandom, and beyond. Even though I knew my co-host of my podcast, Caitlin, for years, our friendship and our presence in the Star Wars community has only grown via social media. On top of that, we’ve met hundred of people in real life and online that also share our love for all things Star Wars. Social media has educated me and has taught me how to be a better, more respectable fan, as well. It’s taught me to understand that everyone has different things they respond to, and that not everyone’s approach to this wide galaxy of Star Wars is the same—those differences strengthen us and, personally, myself as a fan. Of course, as women, we’ve gotten our fair share of trolls and angry, rude comments that are hard to brush off—but for the most part, social media has been an amazingly positive home for me.

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 first saw Star Wars in 1999–I saw The Phantom Menace in theaters and I was very young. The podracers were too loud, and we had to leave! So ironic. It wasn’t until I was 10 that my mother forced me to watch the original trilogy. I loved it and what those films stood for. Then, finally, when I was a pre-teen, I saw Revenge of the Sith and immediately responded to that film like no other film I had ever seen before (or since, honestly). My Star Wars fandom has only grown from there, as I discovered all the different mediums that Star Wars lived.

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

I’ve learned that a diversity of opinions is truly beneficial for the fan community. I’ve learned to be more authentically myself, and love the things I love without shame. From podcasting, Star Wars has had an unbelievably positive impact on my life.

What else do you Fangirl about?

Oh, boy. I love most “big action” films—and film in general. I love Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, and the like… but nothing has ever grabbed me and never let go like Star Wars did.

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

Never be ashamed of who you are. The more authentically YOU you are, the better… for everyone.

Where can others interact with you?

My podcast is Skytalkers, and it’s an in-depth, 3 part analysis of all things Star Wars. It releases every other Saturday wherever you can get podcasts.  You can also find me at skytalkers.com and @crerrity on all social media.

Fanboys who Support Fangirls: Interview with Dan Berry

“”

Welcome to another installment of the interviews with Fanboys who Support Fangirls series.

Today, The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl interviews Fanboy Dan Berry about his efforts to support Fangirls. I met through our interaction via the Skywalking Through Neverland Facebook group and through a variety of podcasts. I had the honor of meeting him in person at Star Wars Celebration Orlando.

“”Thank you so much Dan for stopping by The Adventures of the Everyday today to let us know more about you and about your efforts to support Fangirls!

What fandoms are you a fanboy of and for how long?

Well… Star Wars, of course. But, being a product of the 1980’s, the list of awesome franchises that I geek out over is almost limitless. I’d have to say that after Lucasfilm properties, my favorites are Kevin Smith’s ASKEWniverse and “Jay & Silent Bob” films and television series.

When did you first learn about Fangirls?

I remember having classmates as early as kindergarten and even preschool who flew their fangirl flags high, for all types of cool fantasy and sci-fi things.

Who are the Fangirls you support?

First and foremost, my incredible wife Lindsay is a huge nerd, mostly for wizards and hobbits. She also loves Star Wars, of course. I know so many other nerdy women, it’s hard to list them all. I’d say my favorite women to discuss all geeky things with are my friends Casey Cotter and Johnamarie Macias of The Wookiee Gunner.

What do you do to support Fangirls?

I try to keep aware of how women of all ages are represented in the fan community and make efforts to highlight achievements by women with every opportunity I’m given.

How has social media helped or hindered you in this effort?

I firmly believe that much like life itself, social media is what you make of it. I have always enjoyed engaging with men and women from all walks of life, through social media. As long as I put out a positive message, I find one inevitably returns to me.

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

My mama taught me to treat a lady with respect. I would impart the same lessons onto anyone who wants to get ahead in life. Women are God’s gifts to man. It’s always right to value them as such. Also… if you think something is cool, odds are a woman had already figured it out before you. They’re not in need of a man’s direction, they know what’s up.

Tell us more about yourself and where we can find you!

I was born in 1981 and raised in sunny Central Florida. I am thrilled to be a host of the ForceCast and hopes to share my love of Star Wars with every stranger I meet. I married the woman of my dreams, Lindsay, in 2015. I am also proud owner of the two greatest kitties in the galaxy, Arwen and Ahsoka. I am also a fan of his hometown NBA team, the Orlando Magic. I also teach percussion and drums to students of all ages and has been a performing musician for most of his life. My favorite Star Wars film is “Episode VI: Return of the Jedi”.  You can find me on Twitter @thedeebear.

Blog Squadron – Mission #2: Blogging Ideas and Motivations

Blog Squadron – Mission #2: Blogging Ideas and Motivations

Hello and welcome to Blog Squadron Mission 2!

The goal of these missions is to share the experiences of bloggers who write about Star Wars and shed a little light on the writing processes, quirks and routines.

Meet the Blog Squadron!

A few weeks back a call was given by Matt Applebee,@mapplebee7567, via Twitter to gather a group of bloggers, who write about Star Wars, to share our wring processes, quirks and routines. This call was answered by the following Star Wars bloggers:

Matt Applebee: Far, Far Away Radio.com
Jessie Stardust: TatooineDreams.com (Personal Blog, mostly Star Wars flavored) and PassionatelyCasual.com (Star Wars:The Old Republic podcast site.)
Patty Hammond: I currently write for my own EverydayFangirl.com and also for The Future Of The Force, StarWars.com and TheBeardedTrio.com. I have previously wrote for The Cantina Cast and The Detroit News Geek Watch Blog.
Bryan: I’ve posted on a few blogs along the way, but I’m exclusively on hyperspacepodblast.com nowadays.
Sophie: My personal blog is outerrimreviews.wordpress.com, here I am chronicling my journey through the Star Wars Expanded Universe. I also write articles for farfarawayradio.com
Johnamarie Macias: TheWookieeGunner.com
Saf: I write sporadically for ToscheStation.net, MakingStarWars.net, and TheWookieeGunner.com. I also write about Star Wars on my own site, NotSafForWork.com.

Together we formed the Blog Squadron with the mission to help those in the Star Wars fan community get to know us better, understand our blogging process and to give advice to anyone who wishes to join us!

In today’s mission, the Blog Squadron sheds a little light on how we come up with ideas to write about, what motivates us to write and how often!

How do you come up with ideas to blog about?

Matt: Besides the times when a new movie comes out, I’m given complete autonomy in terms of what I write about. I usually come up with ideas while my daughter is in her gymnastics class. As she’s trying to have fun, and I’m trying to ignore the hyper intense parents, I write down all kinds of ideas in a little journal. As far as the topics, I just try to write about either random thoughts I’ve had about Star Wars while driving, conversations/debates my wife and I have had, or fan debates on social media. Those are generally my favorites because I like to see if I can present both sides and try to broker some kind of peace.

Stardust: Coming up with ideas is the easy part! My difficulty is finding the discipline to work with those ideas to make a blog entry. Many of my articles spring forth from what I am seeing in Star Wars news, SWTOR updates, and social media. I read a fair amount of Star Wars books and each one of them opens up so many questions and reasons to talk about my favorite galaxy.

Patty: Some ideas just come to me, others ideas come in the course of watching the films or TV shows, reading the novels or comics, remembering something that happened in the past or by interacting with other fans through social media.

Bryan: Oh this would be a long list, but most of them come from thinking about Star Wars while: running, in the shower, commuting, or discussing Star Wars via Twitter or in person with other fans. To be honest, most of what I blog about now is actually more of a play-by-play of the comics, but I still use the same process to come up with podcast ideas…which are kind of stream of consciousness audio blogs…or something…

Sophie: I have a combination of muses. Sometimes I just get a flash of inspiration and think ‘I must write this down now!’ regardless of where I am or what I am doing! Other times, I’ll find I’m spending several days obsessing about certain themes and characters which I start to jot down notes on and slowly an article is born.

Johnamarie: When it comes to my site, I focus mostly on the animation side of Star Wars, so I think about things that I personally would like to read. That’s how I came up with a Star Wars Rebels roundup because so much news was being distributed, but there wasn’t a system in place to catch it all. I also read other blogs to get my creative juices flowing. Sifting through Twitter and Star Wars themed forums also have a way of giving me ideas. For example, my article about mother-daughter relationships in Star Wars was inspired by a Twitter conversation. I took that and made it into an opinion piece, while also finding a few sources here and there to support my concerns. Inspiration is all around you. You just have to keep your eyes open and ask yourself, “Could I write about that?”

Saf: This is actually something I get asked about a lot, and it’s something I’ve struggled with for a long time. I generally block out a day or two at the start of the month and spend the entirety of those days brainstorming for creative projects. I write down a list of any little thing I might have some interest in writing about, then extrapolate on those things until I have a page filled with different ideas that might be fun to cover. I’ll also often make polls on Twitter or Patreon to see what people are most keen to read from that point. I find that if I don’t make time to plan these things out, I hit a wall when I go, “What should I write about this month?”

How often do you blog about Star Wars? What factors/motivations help you decide when to write (deadlines, personal or otherwise, being “first” with a scoop, reviews, etc.)?

Matt: I generally blog about every other week mostly because that’s what I told the fine folks at Far, Far Away that I’d do. If I’ve particularly inspired, sometimes I’ll even get two out in a week, and other times I’ll get less. I’m really blessed with the amount of trust and freedom that the whole gang at Far, Far Away affords me.

Stardust: If inconsistency were a virtue, I’d be a saint. I tend to post in fits and starts; long periods of nothing followed by three pieces in ten days. When my blog had its second anniversary last month, that helped renew a spirit within me to write more consistently. Fear of commitment keeps me from quantifying that but I have been thinking about blogging a lot, which surely has to be the first step, right? Unless it is SWTOR-game related, I will never try to scoop on Star Wars stuff, there are a lot of people who have the connections and experience to do that, and I will leave that fun to them. (I am positioned to occasionally scoop on SWTOR due to my participation in an Influencer program with BioWare.)

Patty: I do not have a set schedule. Sometimes I can write everyday, other times it is once or twice a week, other times an opportunity may come up and I write something out of the blue. It really depends on what is going on and how much real life distracts me.

Bryan: I started out as mostly sporadic, then changed to a weekly format, and now I’m back to being extremely sporadic with “regular” blog posts while quite regular with my aforementioned comic posts. I liked having a weekly “deadline,” so to speak, when I was writing for another blog – it forced me to write rather than allow myself to be lazy about it (which I sort of do now, though I tell myself it’s because of the podcast…which it sort of is). If I were starting a new blog today, I think I’d go with a bi-weekly deadline for myself to ensure that I didn’t get too lax in posting, but also didn’t burn myself out too soon.

Sophie: I aim to upload a post to Outer Rim Reviews every other week (I need to have the time to actually read the books I am going to write about!) and usually aim to be about four books ahead of the posts. Far Far Away Radio is generally also every other week so I spend alternate weeks on each blog. Having this structure helps a lot to keep me motivated and because, for me, it is a realistic target I don’t crumble under the pressure of getting posts written. It’s definitely important to set yourself achievable goals because, at the end of the day, if it’s not your full time job then blogging should be something you do for fun – it certainly shouldn’t create stress!

Johnamarie: On a good week, I update the site a few times. On a not-so-good week, I update it only once. To be honest, though, it comes down to “I update when I get the chance.” TWG is my hobby, so even though I would like to keep it updated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, I have a daytime job to focus on and other responsibilities outside of that. As for what motivates me, I’ve never been the “first” kind of person. For example, if news breaks, I don’t rush to the computer to post about it on my site. I take my time. Sometimes, I write about it a few days after the fact. Part of it is because I’m busy doing other things or I’m too tired when I get home, and the other part is that I like to think about what I’m writing. I like to provide a thoughtful and unique perspective and not just regurgitate what I see.

Saf: I definitely write about Star Wars a lot less than I used to—though not because I don’t want to! It’s just hard to find the time to write about things for fun when my fulltime job is also writing. These days I most often write reviews for new books, and sometimes opinion pieces on storytelling or diversity. I try to aim for at least once a month, but I’m failing a little at that right now because of life. Deadlines are my biggest motivators though, so I much prefer it when one of my siterunners tells me “I need this by this time” instead of being more lax with me. I’m definitely not a scoops kinda person though. I prefer in-depth discussions or features when I can, which is why I post about Star Wars way less frequently than others might.

As mentioned before, the goal of these missions is to share our experiences and shed a little light on our writing processes, quirks, and routines. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to visit the other #BlogSquadron Mission posts, continuing with Sophie’s post at Far, Far Away Radio.com on 09/29. We also want you to let us know what you think by commenting here or by interacting with us via Twitter using the hashtag #BlogSquadron!

Interview with Author Karen Thrower

It is a pleasure to welcome Karen Thrower author of Curse of the Siren and the upcoming release Demons Within.


Welcome Karen 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 latest story better!

Do the names of the characters in your novel have some sort of significance or importance to you?

Demons Within was originally going to be part of an anthology where all the stories take place in Oklahoma, since all the writers that would have been contributing are from Oklahoma. The anthology never took off, but my story did. I wanted to write a western, and being from Oklahoma I had lots of things to inspire me, including real live people.

The three main characters are real people. James Masterson, is brother to famous lawman Bat Masterson (who had a TV series of his exploits!) Rose of the Cimarron and her boyfriend George ‘Bittercreak’ Newcomb were notorious robbers. So these were real people and it was a lot of fun researching them.

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

Being from Oklahoma I was inundated with western culture and history growing up. It’s something that comes naturally to me and I wanted to write a story that would re-introduce these lesser known characters of history.

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

I think what was different about the research for this story was it was mainly looking up the exploits of real people and places. Logan county Oklahoma was where the first capital of Oklahoma was (Guthrie) and where the story takes places. It was very interesting seeing how much the city has changed since 1890.

I knew about Bat Masterson, but he had two other brothers who were also Federal Marshalls, James and Ed. I read about James dying in Guthrie Ok, and I started wondering if I could give him a more glorious death than tuberculous at age 39. He was famous for the Battle of Ingalls, which George Newcomb participated in and its said his girlfriend Rose helped save his life afterwards. If they encountered each other once, it could happen again and this time, things would be much different.

What makes you laugh?

Almost anything makes me laugh but what always gets a giggle out of me is my four-year-old laughing. It’s so infectious it’s hard not to be happy while hearing it.

What makes you cry?

Seeing others in pain, especially pain that could have been avoided.

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

I am a fan of demon lore and I always wanted to really dig in and find a demon to write about. I found two that seemed to work well with the story I wanted to convey, Basmu and Naberious. They’re real demons you can look up and read about!

When will this story be available?

Demons Within will be appearing in the January 2018 edition of Broadswords and Blasters and I would be tickled if you would order a copy! They will have four issues out by this time so don’t be afraid to get them all. They have exceptional cover art and wonderful stories! Find out more at https://broadswordsandblasters.com.

Where can we find out more about your other stories?

You can keep up with up me via my author pages on Amazon.com or Goodreads.

I have some books on Amazon, paperback or Kindle including a five-book romance/fantasy series and an urban fantasy one shot, Curse Siren Rekindled, but I might write more for those characters one day.

I also have a flash piece coming out December 8th for Lonesome October Lit, ‘A Demons Favor’. It’s a new, very nice little horror webzine for poetry and flash fiction. The editors are some real stand up people so give them a look! Learn more at https://lonesomeoctoberlit.wordpress.com/

Thanks again Karen for stopping by today, I really appreciate it!

Interview with a Fangirl: 2TimesMum

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

2TimesMum with members of The Ghost Crew at Star Wars Celebration Europe in 2016

2TimesMum with members of The Ghost Crew at Star Wars Celebration Europe in 2016


Today, it is my pleasure to interview Fangirl 2TimesMum, who is a 40 year old mother living in Belgium that happens to love Star Wars!

I became aware of 2TimesMum through the Fangirls Going Rogue Podcast Twitter Community and I had the honor of meeting her in person while attending Star Wars Celebration Europe in London in 2016! 

Welcome 2TimesMum 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 love Star Wars from the very first time I saw it as a little girl. We rewatched the original trilogy again and again throughout my childhood. I also loved seeing the prequels on the big screen on every opening night and bought them when they got released. But it wasn’t until my children got interested about a new upcoming show in 2014, everything got so much more intense! Yes, I am talking about Star Wars Rebels.
It was the first Star Wars they saw and they were blown away by it! They wanted to know more about this galaxy and I was very happy to be able to introduce them to it. As their interest got bigger, I got more involved as well. Reading the books, keeping up to date with all the news, listening to podcasts, joining the Belgian Star Wars fanclub TeeKay-421, trying to make a Mandalorian armor, going to Celebration London, … it all started with Rebels for us. Watching that show together with my son and daughter, means the world to me!

How has social media helped or hindered you?

Even though I really dislike the enormous amount of negativity, the lack of empathy & respect, a whole new world opened up for me by joining twitter. I love seeing tweets from families that share Star Wars with one another, just like we do. I love seeing fanart of the characters we adore. I love reading people’s thoughts on past or future episodes. I love hearing podcasts that express a positive message to the Star Wars community and I love getting all excited together with the rest of the fans when we get new Star Wars! I love being able to interact with other Star Wars fans all around the world, something I’m not really good at in real life.

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 remember my brothers rented the VHS tape of A New Hope in the mid eighties. We knew nothing about it before we started watching. We were so excited afterwards! It was the first time I saw a girl kicking ass! To say I loved that, would be a huge understatement.

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

Despite the negativity I mentioned earlier, there are a LOT more positive things in the fan community. It sometimes feels like a family sticking up for one another and brightening one’s day when someone’s feeling down. It is also so much fun to be able to show my appreciation to the people that help making new Star Wars. Those are little things but I believe they can make a big difference! I think we all should do that more often.

What else do you Fangirl about?

Oh, I like other things but nothing comes close to what Star Wars makes me feel. There is no competition out there for me. That is because my love for Star Wars is intertwined with my life and my children.

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

I’ll tell you what I would say to little me back in the eigthies: don’t hold back on what you love. Always respect people who don’t love the same thing you do. Do not be scared of letting the world know what excites you. There are others like you out there. You are not alone and gender or anything else for that matter does not define the right to be a fan or not. Love what you love to the fullest!

Where can others interact with you?

You can find me on twitter: @2times_mum

Interview with Adam Bray about Ultimate Marvel

The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl welcomes author Adam Bray to talk about his latest project for DK Books, Ultimate Marvel.

Adam Bray at Motor City Comic Con in 2016

Adam Bray at Motor City Comic Con in 2016

  
Welcome Adam to The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl and thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer these questions about the recently released, Ultimate Marvel!

 
What interested you most about working on this project in comparison to working on other DK Projects?

It’s always fun to work on something new and different. This is my second Marvel book. It takes an exhaustive look at the entire library of Marvel comics and characters, so it was a chance to explore all of canon and learn a lot. It’s also nice to work on these big books because it means I’m guaranteed to have work for a good chunk of the year without having to hunt for new projects!

 
I was very surprised that this reference book was only references the comics and not the MCU Movies and TV shows. Was this always intended or did this come up during the process?

It was always planned to only cover comics in this book. I don’t think DK has published any books about the movies or TV shows yet, but hopefully they will some day. However, I did make sure we added characters from the Agents of Shield series to this book, since they have appeared in recent comics, and I am a big fan of the TV show!

 

Key Moment spread from Ultimate Marvel image via DK Books

Key Moment spread from Ultimate Marvel image via DK Books


 
What areas of this book did you work on?

With such a big book, I think all 4 of us contributing authors worked on a wide selection of characters, locations, weapons, technology and other items. I wrote sections about the Avengers and core characters like Ant-Man, Captain America, Hawkeye, all things Spider-Man (apart from his main character entry, which was written in-house at DK as the original sample spread) and Daredevil. And of course I’m a fan of the Netflix series and the Avengers movies, so it is fun and interesting to compare how the comics differ from the MCU. In total, I think I wrote around 42 spreads, which is 84 pages, if I remember correctly. There was so much material to write that I spent several months writing 7 days a week from the time I got up till the time I went to bed! And then another couple of months working on daily batches of image captions, diagrams and text revisions or additions.

 
What is your favorite entry within this book and why?

That’s hard to say because there are so many—and partly because I can’t remember everything I wrote! Captain America and Spider-Man are among my favorite characters so I really enjoyed working on all the spreads related to them. But I also like working on characters that I’m not familiar with so I can learn something new.

 

Example from Weapons And Technology section image from DK Books

Example from Weapons And Technology section image from DK Books


 
What approach did you take when researching this book? Did you need to reference original comics for this? If so which ones did you need to refer to the most?

Writing a book like this is really more like running a marathon. It’s all about staying on schedule and completing a substantial amount of work every day. Each day I had to write an average of 1500-2000 words, and all of it had to be researched that same day. I consulted a wide variety of things—particularly DK’s own Marvel reference books, as well as online Marvel Wikis and fan sites for cross-checking and tracking down sources. I used Marvel Unlimited’s online comics library and occasionally retail sites to check dates and issue numbers. Throughout the book we have Key Moments spreads that cover important stories in the timeline. This required me to sit down and read whole mini-series for particular Captain America and Spider-Man story arcs.

 
What is your favorite character or section to work on and why?

I like Spider-Man because he’s definitely Marvel’s most relatable, every-day human character, despite his amazing powers. Also Captain America is a good old-fashioned patriotic hero; an archetype that’s maybe even fallen out of fashion in our contemporary pop-culture.

 
Did you learn anything new by working on this project?

I learned so much! The thing about Marvel is we are approaching a century of comic book history. It’s impossible for any fan to know everything—maybe even impossible to know everything about some of the long-running characters themselves. So much of the material is actually new information to me too! And that’s one of the most rewarding thing about writing—is the ability to learn along the way—and something I strive to do no matter what the subject matter is.

 
Is there anything else you would like to share about Ultimate Marvel?

What sets this book apart is that it covers everything in chronological order, as the characters, locations, weapons and technology were introduced in publishing. And the book is full of timelines. So it gives fans a very good picture of how everything fits together and when events occurred.

 
Where can fans find you?

The best place to find me is on Twitter and Facebook: @AuthorAdamBray. I also have a website at www.AdamBray.com, though it’s a bit out-of-date at the moment.

 
Thanks again Adam for a wonderful interview! 

Ultimate Marvel is the definitive in-world guide to the Marvel Comics Universe featuring, in chronological order, every significant Marvel Comic character, location, vehicle, and weapon in the company’s history. This reference book is available through the following online retail sites: DK Books UK, Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk, BN.com, Books A Million, Indie Bound, Indigo, McNally Robinson, Waterstones.

Interview With A Fangirl: Alexina

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

Today, it is my pleasure to interview Fangirl Alexina Duncan, who is a freelance costumier and part-time space general based in London and working in the UK film industry England.

I became aware of Alexina through a recent Future of the Force interview about her costuming efforts, especially the Hera cosplay she did at Star Wars Celebration Orlando in April 2017.

Welcome Alexina 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’m not sure when I would say I had that dawning realization – it’s always been a part of who I am. I was raised on a steady diet of science fiction from birth – books, films and tv mostly. Eventually I went on to discover videogames and comics on my own, which I then fed back and shared with my mum. We are in an endless, self-perpetuating nerd culture cycle!

I guess around 2000 or 2001 was when I became a fangirl. That was when I got online, discovered fangroups and fansites, message boards and mailing lists and – most of all – fanfic. I had always shared things with people in real life, written my own little stories, but that’s when I became aware that this was a wider, shared thing.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

Fandom social media is just incredible. And awful! For me the positivies far outweight the negatives. I’m a naturally solitary person who works long, difficult hours whilst managing my chronic illness. Over the years, that’s led to a lot of lost friends and isolation, but social media allows me to maintain a sense of community, to meet like minded people from all over the world, and maintain frienships that would risk fading because of schedule or distance. Particularly over the last year where I have tried to push myself and have started interacting with the cosplay and costuming community I have really felt, for the first time in a long long time, like I am actually a part of something. I have been in fandom for a long time but now I am finally in a community and it overwhelms and delights me nearly every day.

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?

My first or second memory is of me explaining the Empire Strikes Back to my dad when I was two or three, so it has always been a vital part of my life that has guided and influenced me. Star Trek was equally a crucial part of my childhood, and I’ve found it fascinating how my response to these films and shows has shifted, my perceptions of stories and characters hve evolved as I have developed and grown. Doctor Who was also a vital part of my childhood, though I have to live forever alone with my non-canon favourite Doctor (Peter Cushing in the two Doctor Who movies!) The list of fan favourites that have always been a core part of my life is long. I grew up in the ‘90’s which was such a wonderful golden age for these fan favourites, and I was so lucky to have a mother that shared them with me and still shares and loves them. Not only that, but to have so many wonderful women in genre to look up to and aspire to – Leia, Padme, Aeryn, Sam Carter, Janeway, B’Elanna…I’m always grateful for them.

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

It’s a gathering place, essentially. Somewhere were this community can meet and flourish and evolve. It’s a platform for those who would never otherwise have a voice; a way for people to meet and share and bond that would never otherwise meet. By being involved in online fandom I hear points of views that I would never have considered. It enriches and expands the fandom, and I’m educated every day.

The sheer amount of creativity on display everyday, whether in art, fic, cosplay, meta or just the beautiful rambling conversations that grow out of a tiny idle critique of comic art into what you could call an exploration of the female gaze that led to beautiful fanart. There is so much talent in fandom and there is a level of feedback and collaboration. Venturing into the cosplay side of fandom in the last year, I have had the warmest and most incredible welcome. The level of support and interest in my work is overwhelming, which I then get the opportunity to give back to the community by offering advice and techniques to others. Heras helping Heras. The work and resources that are available and shared is invaluable.

What else do you Fangirl about?

My biggest passion is costume – it’s my life, my work, my hobby. I have a degree in costume and have been working in the industry for seven years. 98% of the time I will be shouting about some minor costume detail (whether its right or wrong!) on screen and that will be my way into a story or character. Somehow, for some reason, I have only started cosplaying in this past year. I think because costume was this external tool that I applied to others and translated. Costume is the ultimate storytelling devise. Even if you don’t notice the costumes (for instance, consider George Lucas insisting that the costumes in the original Star Wars be ‘invisible’) they are working hard to tell you everything that you need to know. History, character and hints towards the narrative to unfold. They’re always there in the colours, the silhouette.

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

Being a fangirl isn’t about labels. It isn’t about doing things right, being a ‘one true fan’. It’s about loving what you loving and sharing that, letting that passion grow in whatever works for you. It’s about not blindly loving something but being open to critiquing your darlings, expect more more and allowing others to let their voices be heard. We deserve the very best stories. Fan communities gather out of a need to celebrate a story or a character and it is very easy to get bogged down in maudlin, self-defeating cynicism. We are all guilty of it – I am especially guilty of it! Sometimes we need to stop and just remember why we’re here and where fandom has led us.

What cool things are you doing?

I cosplay as a part of the Rebel Legion Elstree Base, primarly as the best pilot in the galaxy, Hera Syndulla. I also write essays critiquing and analysing costume on screen and will shortly be starting my Masters in Fashion Cultures.

Where can others interact with you?

You can find me on Twitter and Tumblr at @xenadd and @poetryincostume, on Instagram as @poetryincostume, or on my blog poetryincostume.com

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