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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.

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

Interview with a Fangirl: Amy Richau

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

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


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

When do you realize you were a Fangirl?

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

How has social media helped or hindered you?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What else do you Fangirl about?

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

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

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

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

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

Where can others find and inteact with you?

You can follow me on twitter @amyrichau

Interview with a Fangirl: Shelby

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

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

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

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

When do you realize you were a Fangirl?

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

How has social media helped or hindered you?

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

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

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

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

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

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

What else do you Fangirl about?

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

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

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

Where can others find and inteact with you?

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

Interview with Author Stephanie Osborn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What makes you laugh?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What makes you cry?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Division One series

Division One series

About Stephanie Osborn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Mystery continues.

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

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!

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