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Interview with Author: Elizabeth Bromke

It is a pleasure to welcome Elizabeth Bromke author of Christmas on Maplewood Mountain (Book One in the Maplewood Sisters Series).

Welcome Elizabeth 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.

Thank you, Patty! I’m really excited for this.

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

Christmas on Maplewood Mountain is set in a tiny, fictional mountain town in Arizona. I, too, live in a small mountain town in Arizona, although it’s not Maplewood. However, I was born and raised in Tucson, a desert. Growing up, I always missed the seasons. In fact, fall leaves and snow were the stuff of fantasies for me, except for when my family would visit cooler climates. So, when my husband and I moved up to the mountains, I became a keen observer of “mountain life,” and I fell in love. I wanted to build a world in Maplewood, and one good way to do that was to create a family. I come from a very big family, and so the idea of four sisters and two brothers is based on my aunts and uncles. Fun fact: my dad has one brother and four sisters, and my mom has three sisters and two brothers. The Delaneys of Maplewood echo that dynamic.

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

Some characters’ names or places are mini dedications to my family members. The characters are not based on real people, but I liked the idea of honoring them in a small way in the series. For example, I used my mom’s name for the bakery owner.

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

I have yet to meet a genre I didn’t like. I have a voracious appetite for reading. And, I’ve been writing since I was a young child. When I was a little girl, I wrote stories about big families with complicated (and confusing!) family dynamics. As I (hopefully) matured in my writing, I never shook the desire to explore relationships. Romance lends itself very well to this exploration. Plus, I love happy endings!

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

I feel less myself when I’m not engaging in creative pursuits. To me, sanity is synonymous with writing. It absorbs my anxieties. But, really the main condition of my contentment and happiness is… you guessed it! Family. In the book, even though they arrive at a major conflict in their sisterhood, Mary and Anna Delaney love each other and their siblings and parents deeply. Family is a driving force.

What makes you laugh?

It’s one of two extremes. I either laugh at the same things that 13-year-old boys laugh at or really smart humor.  My favorite TV show, however, is The Office. I’m not quite sure where it falls on that spectrum.

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

I am a huge fan of a variety of books/movies/people. For example, my favorite movies are The Wizard of Oz and Silence of the Lambs. I also love TitanicJaws, and Beetlejuice. Batman is my favorite superhero, and The Dark Knight is another favorite movie. Favorite books include Dracula, The Hunger Games, and anything by Jodi Picoult. I love psychological thrillers, too. Finally, I have a bizarre interest in Lizzie Borden of hatchet fame. My first historical fiction pieces revolve around her story.

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

Readers can find me on website, elizabethbromke.com, my facebook author page, Elizabeth Bromke or on twitter @ElizabethBromke. Joining my newsletter is a surefire way to stay up-to-date with exclusive news and promotions. You can join here!

Christmas on Maplewood Mountain (Book One in the Maplewood Sisters Series) – releasing Saturday, November 17, 2018!

It’s December, and Mary Delaney has little to show for her tenth year at Wood Smoke Lodge. Her business has been steadily dwindling. Her relationship prospects, too. But, her sister, Anna, has an idea that just might change Mary’s luck. Unfortunately, their own sisterhood might be working against them. Worst of all, it’s all coming to a head during the holidays, making Mary feel lonelier than ever.

Meanwhile, Kurt Cutler is living the high life in the tech world. Fresh on the heels of wild success in the uncharted world of cryptocurrency, he looks for a way to ensure his young company doesn’t lose its grip. When his right-hand woman suggests a get-away at her sister’s snowy mountain retreat, he jumps on the opportunity to unplug and unwind.

If Mary’s sister, Anna, can back off, Mary has every chance of enjoying the magic of the holidays. But when Mary and Kurt have to choose between love and their own priorities, what will win?

Find out if a wintry weekend can become more for people from two opposite worlds in Elizabeth Bromke’s cozy romance, Christmas on Maplewood Mountain.

Interview With Author Tessa McFionn

It is a pleasure to welcome Tessa McFionn author of The Rise of the Stria series.

Welcome Tessa 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.

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

My latest series, The Rise of the Stria, is a space opera which has been spinning in my mind for many years now. I pitched the first book, To Discover a Divine, as The Wizard of Oz meets Star Wars. At the time, the work was entitled Lost in Transmigration, but the feedback on the title was less than anticipated. Seems people thought, by the title, this was going to be a comedy, or at least a light rom-com. And that would be a big negative there, Ghost Rider. So, after several heart-to-hearts with my wonderful publishing team at Fiery Seas Publishing, we came up with the current title. The story centers around a human, Evainne Wagner, who gets sucked into another galaxy only to find out she is some sort of mystical savior eluded to in an ancient prophecy, and it will follow her as she learns of her role and navigates the intense attraction to our hero, a captain in the Strian rebel forces, Kahlym cal Jheun.

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

Ah, the names. Actually, I find myself discovering new character names in the oddest of ways. One fun way is watching the credits at the ends of movies. I have always stayed until the bitter end in the theater. Sometimes because I wanted to know who sang a particular song or where a movie was shot, but during the wait, I would read the names. My husband and I actually play a game where we try to find the funniest, or longest, or coolest name in the credits. By watching all the names scroll by, my author brain is on high alert for the next hero, heroine, villain or sidekick in the long list. But, in the case of my sci-fi, it was a little different. For my heroine, I have always loved the name Evainne. I first heard it in Neil Gaiman’s work, Starlight, and I just loved it. As to the aliens, those are tough. I mean, you don’t really think you’re going to come across a spaceman named Bob, right? I wanted to make the names look exotic, but still be pronounceable. So, Callum became Kahlym and Darrin became Dhaerin. For the others, don’t laugh, but I stared at my keyboard and started with one letter then built the names up from there. Granted, this is a very trial and error method. I thought to myself, what kinds of word sounds made me think happy thoughts and which sounded evil. I tried to give my good guys soothing sounds while the harsher tones were aimed toward the bad guys. Like I said, I know it sounds silly, but it works for me.

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

I have been a nerd for the whole of my life. My mother used to read to me and my brother when we were little. She read anything and everything. We heard The Yearling, Old Yeller, Jaws, (LOL! Yes, I heard the story before the movie was made) and The Hobbit. I remember when my grandmother gave me a copy of Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers. I was in the fourth grade and I was so excited. The opening line used the word “xenomorph” and I had to read the rest of it with the dictionary next to me. But I didn’t care. I was hooked. I am old enough to say that I was there the day they released Star Wars in the theaters. I remember looking over my shoulder when the space ship zoomed in from off-camera, cheering for the good guys and booing Darth Vader. After that, I continued to devour all things fantastical. I read Asimov, Bradbury, all of the Dune books. My mother even enrolled me in the Science Fiction/Fantasy Book of the Month club, which is why I dedicate each and every book I write to her memory. She is my biggest inspiration and was my most steadfast supporter, even though she never had a chance to read my works.

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

Wait, we have to be sane to do this?! Nobody told me that!!! All kidding aside, for me, since I do have a full-time day job, it’s all about time management. It’s a bit of the “all work and no play” mentality. I try to make sure to get words on pages every day, but I try, she said incredulously, I try NOT to beat myself up if I don’t. I personally tend to be rather scattered. Yes, I am a pantser and can get distracted by shiny objects. (Just ask my hubby. He calls it my magpie complex.) So, I create characters who can think on their feet and multitask like it’s cool. I don’t really have any strongly organized characters just yet, only because I’m not sure how to approach that myself.

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

That’s the beauty about writing science fiction: not a whole lot of available information on a fictitious part of the universe. If anything, I guess what you could call it is anti-research. It’s more about checking around to make sure your device/concept/planetary system isn’t already being used by someone else out there. But you still have to make things believable and relatable, and therein lies the rub. When I first started writing my space opera, I had the Alliance as the good guys, but that only sparked my memories of watching Firefly and Serenity, even though they were the bad guys in that world. So, after numerous synonym searches (thank you, thesaurus.com and my Flip Dictionary), I found a very distant cousin, twice removed on their mother’s side I would venture to guess. I rewatched lots of Star Trek reruns and Googled lots of ship components. But even then, things can go sideways. I was 90% done with the first draft and my ship’s three-armed tech/mechanic was named Warwick. I was so pleased with my somewhat obscure choice of names and took a break to read and POOF! There, as bold as day, was Warwick, out in print. So, back to the drawing board, a little switcharoo and Warwick becomes Falka, and the cleric, who was originally Falco, becomes Yhan’tu. Now, would others have made the connection? I don’t know, but if I want to set my stories apart, then maybe it means making some changes when needed.

What makes you laugh?

EVERYTHING!! I love to laugh. I consider myself to be more of an optimist than a pessimist, and I try to keep things on a positive note. This means lots of laughter and lots of smiles. My current go-to for a good giggle is a series of short videos called True Facts. OMG! If you haven’t seen these yet, they are just hysterical. They’re little nature videos about strange animals and they are just brilliant. The narrator reminds me a little of a young version of Morgan Freeman and he starts out so serious, but ends up cracking himself up throughout the episode with the facts or the videos of the animals. There is one about seahorses and he acquaints the way seahorses move to riding a skateboard and waving a Denny’s menu really fast to move. I believe that laughter is the best way to learn about people and to stay healthy.

What makes you cry?

Not much? I know, that makes me sound so heartless. But, like I said above, I try to be optimistic about things. But, if I am truly moved emotionally, I will shed a tear or two. This can happen when I see someone rise up against all odds and succeed, or when someone inspires others to rise up. For me, it’s all about the journey. I cry when I see the little kitties climb up from the edge of the abyss, or when I watch my students completely nail a performance in front of a packed house. I don’t cry in normal movies. I thought E.T. was boring and Terms of Endearment didn’t move me either. I also don’t watch sappy movies. LMAO! I know, I know! What kind of romance author am I?! But, I did cry when Spock died in Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan and when Gandalf fell in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

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

Since my life has surrounded the nerd culture for the whole of my life, I have lots of fandoms that influence me. I have also been surrounded by the performing arts and these have been woven into a couple of my heroines in my paranormal series. In my first book, Spirit Fall, my heroine is a dancer disillusioned with life and is brought down from the edge of suicide by a handsome hero. My third book in that same series, Spirit Song, tells of a torch singer held prisoner by a sleazy mobster in Chicago and finds an unlikely savior in a reluctant Guardian Warrior. It’s hard not to infuse some of yourself into your stories. Everyone does drink coffee. That is a requirement. I even found a way to make coffee appear in a different universe. It’s that serious.

Is there anything else you want to add about the story, series that has not already been mentioned?

This is only the beginning. I wrote To Discover a Divine with the idea of it only being a trilogy, but my muse wasn’t having any of that. So, this is the gateway to a whole new universe of tales from the Dantaran Galaxy and I hope to share many more stories as times goes on.

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

I’m a bit old school and I really do like Facebook. However, that being said, I am on Twitter and Instagram as well. I answer emails, my semaphore and smoke signals are a bit weak, but I’d be willing to brush up on them if needed. Just drop by my website, my Amazon Author page or find me on the interwebs.

Interview with Author Lyndi Alexander

It is a pleasure to welcome Lyndi Alexander author of THE LOST CHORD.

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

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

THE LOST CHORD is a musical sequence of notes that can either heal or destroy a group of multi-dimensional universes in which our characters live. A prophesy from long ago tells that this chord may be produced by the vibration of seven souls—and the Conductor must find them all if he is to save everyone.

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

I’ve written young adult novels previously, but this one is special, because the heroine is on the autism spectrum. I’d raised one family and then remarried and ended up with three children on the spectrum, two boys with Asperger’s and a daughter with more “traditional” autistic traits. In this book, I was able to model Bee Warrick after my daughter Tasha, who not only educates the other teens on her fantasy adventure but also the readers of the book on the happy surprises that can come from being different, but not less than, neurotypical people.

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

I’ve been a published writer for over 40 years, and I’m not sure I really am sane, at this point. LOL! But I’ve been a single mom, and a law student, and a newspaper reporter, and a lawyer, and I’ve always needed to be strong and put myself out there. I think my characters—particularly the women in the Pittsburgh Lady Lawyers series—do reflect that need to overcome obstacles and make things happen.

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

I had to learn about musical chords and composition and also string theory! It was a big stretch. Fortunately, they make an Idiot’s Guide to both.

What makes you laugh?

Watching toddlers enjoying themselves, giggling. Especially with puppies.

What makes you cry?

Watching Gandalf disappear over that ledge in Lord of the Rings. Kills me every time.

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

I’m a serious nerd, so all things fantasy and sci-fi. Writing as Lyndi Alexander, I’ve written a number of each category, and I do try to Easter-egg some things in each story that other nerds will appreciate.

Is there anything else you want to add about the story, series that has not already been mentioned?

The book may have an autistic heroine, but the story is told through the eyes of five other characters as well, including Cory Briggs, who’s a serious gamer and plays in a garage band with his friends, and Devlynn Kayne, who comes from a planet where blacks are the majority. Both boys and girls can find a character to reflect their point of view, and someone to identify with.

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

They can leave word at my Facebook page, at Goodreads or email me at lyndialexander at gmail dot com. You can learn more about my latest release by viewing the Book trailer or visting THE LOST CHORD buy link page.

Interview with Author Catherine Cerveny

It is a pleasure to welcome Catherine Cerveny author of the Felicia Sevigny series.

Welcome Catherine 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?

All the novels in the Felicia Sevigny series refer to luck. In the first book, we learn that the main character has a weird genetic quirk known as the luck gene that essentially ensure events always go in her favor—even when things seem to be going badly for Felicia. In the first novel, she learns there are rules for the luck gene, hence the title THE RULE OF LUCK. But it also refers to the fact that her life is controlled and ruled by luck—she just never realized it. In the second book, THE CHAOS OF LUCK, she hopes things will run more smoothly for her, but they don’t. The luck gene throws all her careful plans, including her love life, into chaos and makes her feel like luck’s pawn. In the third and final novel of the trilogy, THE GAME OF LUCK, Felicia finally asserts control over her life. She refuses to be used like a chess piece and is determined to take charge rather than be used and manipulated by those in her life, and by her own luck gene. If luck sees her life as a game, she’s determined to win it once and for all.

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

I love it when the characters’ names mean something or there’s some hidden mystery behind them, although I don’t always go out of my way to make it happen when I’m selecting names. Sometimes, I just like how the name sounds or looks on the page. In the case of THE GAME OF LUCK, Felicia’s name means “lucky” and since this book was about a woman who discovers she has a luck gene, I thought the name was really appropriate. As for the male lead Alexei Petriv, the name Alexei means “helper and defender of mankind” which I thought was a great fit given his overall character arc. At the beginning of the series, he’s a very flawed character, merely following orders as he pushes the Tsarist Consortium’s agenda regardless of what it might mean to humanity’s future. He sees himself as being set apart from humanity but not of it. However by the end, he is transformed into someone who wants to protect what it means to be human and take a role in determining its destiny.

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

I’ve always loved science fiction—and space in general. I love the “what if” questions sci-fi poses and the mysteries it explores. Are there really aliens out there? What are other planets like and can we live on them? What would it take a terraform another planet? How would we get there? I also love the action and adventure angle, where characters were actually doing something instead of standing around and talking. Plus I love seeing characters fall in love in such adverse conditions, watching their relationship form in a pressure cooker, so to speak. When I was a kid growing up, I was exposed to a lot of action and adventure movies—Star Wars of course, but also Star Trek, and Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Spider-man, Doctor Who, and so on. I read comics and played with action figures (by the way, Barbie and Han Solo can totally get married if they want to). I wanted to go to Narnia and Camelot and Fantasia, or anywhere that wasn’t ordinary life. So, I would have to say I was inspired to write in the science fiction genre by a childhood spent indulging my imagination and always wondering “what if”.

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

In The Game of Luck, I actually spent a lot of time researching dogs. I wanted Felicia and Alexei to have a dog, though I don’t have one myself—I seem to be allergy to everything these days. Given that I don’t know very much about dogs, I spent a lot of time researching dog breeds and behaviors, and asking friends to share their funny dog stories. So while I was researching planet terraforming and genetic manipulation, I was also trying to decide what sort of dog I wanted my characters to have—a Russian spaniel, by the way.

What makes you laugh?

My sense of humor is pretty dry and sarcasm is my go-to-move. I love wry, self-aware humor that’s a little off-beat and out in left field. You may not get it right away and you might have to work for it, but once you do, it’s that much more enjoyable. One of my favorite TV shows of all-time is the US version of “The Office”, which not everyone gets or finds funny, but I adore. I think that same wry sense of humor is in my novels, or I like to imagine it is.

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

The best way to interact with me is probably on Twitter. I’m on there most often. I just started with Instagram so the landscape there is pretty dry and dusty, but I’m trying to remember to post things there as well. Readers can also reach me through the contact form on my website. And of course, I’m on Goodreads and be reached there as well. I do have a Facebook page where I post things, but it’s more for family and close friends.

Interview with an Author: Michelle M. Pillow

It is a pleasure to welcome Michelle M. Pillow author of Space Lords 4: His Earth Maiden.

Welcome Michelle 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.

Thank you for having me!

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

The Space Lords series was a series installment in the sci-fi romance Qurilixen World collection. It came naturally as the characters from previous series (Dragon Lords, Lords of the Var) began leaving their planet for the high skies. The titles of the Space Lords series has to do with a curse the pirate crew received while “visiting” a planet. Each part of the curse relates to a different element on that planet, thus: His Frost Maiden, His Fire Maiden, His Metal Maiden, His Earth Maiden. Wood will be the next element.

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

I started writing historical romances and thought I would never do anything else. In 2004, after my first book a Regency ghost story romance, the publisher contacted me because they needed authors to fill out their Sci Fi Romance list. I agreed with the idea that I’d do this one thing for them, and then get to back to historical “my true passion.” Those first Sci Fi books, Dragon Lords, a futuristic dragonshifter series, grew into the Quirlixen World collection with 34 books within 7 series installments and growing.

It’s comical to think of now since I don’t write historical much anymore. My career took off from there, and I now I’m best known for futuristic, sci-fi and paranormal romance. However, I’ve written in a lot of different genres—contemporary, historical, fantasy, paranormal, urban fantasy, etc—and have recently released my third cozy mystery.

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

It’s doing things away from the computer to refill the creative well. Often, that is when the best ideas strike, or I’ll be doing research for a book. Experiencing something makes you better versed to write it. Not that I can take off into spaceships, but I can tour a ghost town like what is in my newest cozy mystery, or I can interview an expert in paranormal investigations on their techniques, or climb Mayan Temples in Belize.

What makes you laugh?

I love to laugh. My husband and I joke around all the time. Usually it’s the silliest stuff.

What makes you cry?

Grey’s Anatomy. Everyone kept recommending it so I recently binge watched it and I think I cried like every episode. My husband probably thought something was seriously wrong with me. LOL

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

I absolute LOVE horror movies. Scary, campy, phycological, it doesn’t matter. I have some darker books, the series Tribes of the Vampire, that does reflect a horror quality. I’d love to be able to write a straight thriller or horror if time allowed.

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

I love talking to my readers online. They can usually find me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Michelle M. Pillow, Author

NYT & USAT Bestselling Author Michelle M. Pillow is an award-winning romance writer with over 100 published books over the course of her nearly 15-year career. She is best known for her Quirlixen World including the series: Dragon Lords, Space Lords, Lords of the Var, Galaxy Alien Mail Order Brides, and more.

Michelle is always up for a new adventure or challenge, whether it’s a paranormal investigation of an old Vaudeville Theatre or climbing Mayan temples in Belize. She was a refugee extra on SyFy’s Z Nation (2016).

Website: www.michellepillow.com

Qurilixen World: https://michellepillow.com/dragonlords/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMichellePillow/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/MichellePillow

Instagram: https://instagram.com/michellempillow/

Upcoming/Newest Release:

Better Haunts and Garden Gnomes, (Un)Lucky Valley Book 1, Cozy Mystery Paranormal Romantic Comedy

Available starting June 26, 2018

Welcome to Lucky Valley where nothing is quite what it seems.

Lily Goode wasn’t aware she had an inheritance waiting for her in the form of a huge Victorian house in Lucky Valley, Colorado. Life might finally be coming together for her. That is if you don’t count the endless home repairs, dealing with eccentric Aunt Polly who claims they’re both witches, and Nolan Dawson the handsome home inspector who seems to have it out for her, then, sure, life is grand. Oh, and not to mention the strange hallucinations and garden gnomes who are far more than lawn ornaments.

If mysterious accidents don’t do her in, then the rebellious gnomes just might. With the help of Aunt Polly, it’s up to Lily to discover who’s sabotaging her new home and trying to drive the Goodes out of Lucky Valley once and for all.

Interview with a Fangirl: Indrani

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

Today, it is my pleasure to interview Indrani, @Indranee, who is a Writer/Editor and of course a Fangirl!

I became aware of Indrani through the Twitter Star Wars Fangirl Community!

Welcome Indrani 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?

When I was in my early teens for Star Trek and just last year when I watched The Last Jedi, for Star Wars, even though I’d been a casual fan of the franchise since A New Hope was first released when I was young.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

It helped me connect with other fans, and discuss topics and also meet some like-minded folk and even get into groups to go to conventions with. This primarily happened with Trek, but also Star Wars. However, I’ve also had some bad experiences with fans who are overbearing and plain nasty and want to hammer home their ideas at the expense of anyone elses. I also don’t like Stans in general (even though I’m a ‘shipper of all sorts of stuff LOL), and I think there is a particular contingent of Stans or ‘shippers who get very unpleasant on social media.

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

I first watched Star Trek (OST) when I was very young, in grade school, and then the movies, then TNG, then DS9, VOY, ENT, etc. I fell in love right away but there was a guy in my high school who was a HUGE Trekkie upon whom I was nursing a fair-sized crush, and I suspect that might have helped things along a bit! LOL. Lately, I’ve become very impressed with ST: Discovery and have acually paid to watch it.

I first watched Star Wars when A New Hope was released and watched the rest of the OT, but didn’t become a fangirl even though I liked the movies. The PT didn’t help much although I didn’t dislike it. I just wasn’t drawn to it. Perhaps I felt like I would betray Trek if I loved SW too much, but this wasn’t a conscious thought. I didn’t read any SW/EU novels (I’ve obsessed over Trek novels over the years), and didn’t watch Clone Wars, etc, either. I became a SW fangirl after I watched TLJ. It completely changed my mind about the SW OT/PT/ST ribboned connection, and I’m now a heavily invested fan of 9-film Skywalker-Solo drama LOL.

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

The Trek community has been close to my heart for a long time and I have a lot of friends with whom I’m close whom I met online and via SM and discussion boards. Some of these friends became my real life friends and I admire and love and value them. I’ve written fanfic with them and also written non-Trek work with them. Trek is an intimate and ongoing part of my life and its values.

I’m just now beginning to make some friends in the SW community, but it’s not at the same level yet. I’m taking things slow… I’ve met some interesting people through the Reylo community and have discovered some great fanfic writers.

What else do you Fangirl about?

I love The Americans, Timeless, Sherlock (love SherLolly!), and a lot of Netflix original dramas.

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

I think I’ve realized that it’s actually harder to be a Star Wars fangirl than to be a Trek fangirl!

I never thought that I would feel this way when I first became interested in the Sequel Trilogy, but the nastiness toward it from the original fanboys is certainly astounded, to say the least. I’m also discovering that women who like Star Wars seem have a more difficult road to travel in terms of the attitude of the rest of the fandom. I’ve noticed strains of belittling and condescension toward the SW female fans from some contingents of male SW fans that I never encountered in the Trek community. These negative reactions are strewn all over Youtube vids, Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter

Throughout my life as a female Trekkie, I’d always felt as if I was part of a special, treasured group… sure, there were a few patronizing groups here and there, but Trek fandom is so varied and also Trek series and movies are so used to being reinvented that there’s a tendency for the larger fandom to be much more accepting of variety. Add to this the fact that Trek has always had women “on top”, meaning within TPTB. D.C. Fontana, Majel Barrett Roddenberry, Nichelle Nichols, Nana Visitor, Kate Mulgrew, Jeri Taylor (who was a primary writer/producer on Voyager, etc… and many novelists and scriptwriters/producers form parts of the hefty backbone of Trek-lit and screenworks.

Compared to this, I feel SW has been traditionally more male-centric, and brilliant actors and writers like Carrie Fisher have correctly avowed that this needs to change. Thankfully, I see this change happening recently, and I believe Twitter and Tumblr are in fact part and parcel of this change, because SW writers, including Storygroup writers as well as novelists seem to routinely interact with fangirls within the community, leading to a healthy amount of discussions and give and take of info and opinions. Despite the ever-present “nastiness” that’s always lurking within, I think Social Media, especially Twitter has been a breakthrough platform for this communal exchange. So, in many ways, SM is a double-edged sword.

Where can others interact with you?

They can Tweet or DM me @indranee

Interview with a Fangirl: Jess

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

Today, it is my pleasure to interview Jess!

I became aware of Jess through the Twitter Star Wars Fangirl Community!

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

Thanks so much for having me and I had a fun time answering them!

When do you realize you were a Fangirl?

I was in high school before I was really able to share my fandom with others. Once I was able to talk to other fans and geek out with them over our shared love of Star Wars I really realized that my love wasn’t going to fade. So I would say I was about 16 when I knew that I would be a fan for life.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

Most of my fandom experience has been a smaller face to face experience. I met some friends in high school and college and shared my fandom with them. For most of my fandom journey my community has been really small, just friends that I’ve made over the years.
It wasn’t until the few months leading up to Celebration Orlando that I realized there is a much wider fandom community that I have access to. I think it’s a great way to connect with other fans and build friendships. I just joined a couple facebook groups that were created by my favorite podcasters. I’ve gotten more active on Twitter and Instagram and it’s like a whole new world of fandom.

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

Star Wars is my first love of fandom. My older brother say the original trilogy in theaters when he was younger so he would watch them with me when he would babysit me. Star Wars was such a part of my childhood that I don’t remember the first time I watched it. I feel like I was born a Star Wars fan because I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t a fan.
I was the same way with Disney, I grew up watching the movies and playing princess dress up.

Harry Potter was another big impact on my life and is very special to my heart. My dad stumbled upon the first book before it got really popular. He impressed upon me and my older brothers that we needed to read this book. We all took his advice, and my brothers were able to share them with his kids. It was the first, and really the only fandom that we share together as a family.

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 Star Wars fans are some of the nicest people I’ve met. Anytime I see someone in Star Wars apparel or a tattoo I’ll geek out with them about it and everyone is always nice about it. Everyone needs a sense of community and belonging. I’ve always felt like I belonged in the Star Wars fandom. I’ve never has to prove myself, I’ve always been accepted. As a woman I’m so grateful for the positive experience I’ve had as a fangirl.

What else do you Fangirl about?

I have quite a few fandoms that I ascribe to. Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Disney, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Avatar: The Last Airbender (the cartoon), the Bloody Jack series of novels by L.A. Meyer.

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

I had a pretty good experience as a young fangirl, but I wasn’t able to fully fangirl out and share my fandoms till I was in my teens. I’m so happy about the world we live in now, with shows like Clone Wars and Rebels, and the new movies there are so many awesome women for little girls to look up to. I saw so many young girls cosplaying as Sabine at Celebration. I saw so many families cosplaying together and sharing the fandom as a family. Star Wars has this wonderful way of bridging the generational gaps. I truly believe that The Force is for everyone and it’s becoming more and more socially acceptable to be a fanperson. I think we should rejoice at how far we’ve come and keep the momentum going. We can push the boundaries further and be an example for representation and equality. Star Wars has always been ahead of his time and pushing the boundaries of what is possible. I really look forward to see how the franchise and the fandom grows over the rest of my lifetime.

Where can others interact with you?

I can be found at @Huttslayer91 on Twitter and Instagram. I’m also a part of the Skywalking Through Neverland and Fangirls Going Rogue Facebook groups. I hope to start my own podcast with my best fanboy here soon, so I will have that information on my Twitter and Instagram once that gets off the ground.

Interview with a Fangirl: Carol 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 Carol G, who is a geek Mom and Lead Moderator of the Collider Jedi Council Fan Group on Facebook.

I became aware of Carol through the Global Star Wars Fangirl Community and I am very happy that she agreed to this interview!

Welcome Carol 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 guess I always was, but I became more nerd about Star Wars when they announced Episode VII was in production.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

Helped a lot. I’m 39, so I belong to a generation that had to wait for a magazine to be published, or to a TV show or documentary to come up to get extra information about my fandom, and today, you can learn something new, or check canon facts instantly.

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

I don’t remember exactly when I watched it, but it was my Father’s VHS OT collection, so, a long time ago, much before the prequels. I loved it immediately, I remember being a little girl and wanting a robot R2D2. But it has grown exponentially after Episode XII, due to the material and availability of extra information. I want to know more. Harry Potter and Game of Thrones are my other fandoms, but more secondary.

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

The Star Wars fan base is very diverse. Fans tend to disagree a lot, so I learned patience and respect. Not that I wasn’t respectful before, obviously I was, but now I have learned to manage it on a Social Media level. I don’t know the person on the other side, their life, their problems, so I don’t go for arguments, especially from the “always negative” fans. If I see that a person is from a group that has other opinions, I just “move along”, let them be. Also, I have learned a lot about Social Media itself, moderating a SW group on Facebook. Met new people, with both similar or completely different interests, but the same love for SW.

What else do you Fangirl about?

Only SW, GOT and Harry Potter. Their material and lore takes all my spare time.

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

Being a Fangirl is awesome, but my advice for the newcomers are: read, learn, think for yourself and make your own conclusions. Write them if you like writing. Share your ideas, there’s always someone who will relate to them. Don’t be shy if you belong to a group in that is mocked a lot in fandom. Don’t argue with Lucasfilm people online, it’s not nice. And most of all, don’t fall into traps, don’t let the negativity reach you, that person doesn’t know you, the real you, so don’t let online bashing ruin your day.

Where can others interact with you?

You can find me on Twitter @carolgtweets

Interview with a Fangirl: Shay

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

Today, it is my pleasure to interview Blogger, Podcaster and Fangirl Shay!

I became aware of Shay through the Twitter Star Wars Fangirl Community!

Welcome Shay 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 actually didn’t realize I was a “fangirl” until fairly recently. I’ve always been really into sci-fi, fantasy, and the like, and I have that kind of personality where, if I set my mind to something, I pretty much never let it go. I’ve been crazy about Star Wars on and off for years, but only a few years ago did I actually really begin to be more open about it, discovering podcasts, fan sites, cosplay, and all the other awesome aspects of it.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

Shay with Sisters and Friend

For me, social media has been very helpful, though I’ve only had limited exposure to it. I just began with Twitter a few months ago, and it’s been a big help in keeping up-to-date on all the news, theories, and getting connected with all the other amazing fans out there.

One of the biggest things that got me back into Star Wars, and caused me to be as active in it as I am now, was getting to know several other major Star Wars fans about my age though a chat-board. All of us started talking about it together, and it was actually through people on there that I was first exposed to terms such as “fangirl”, “shipping”, and “feels”.

We all help each other grow in our love for the series, talking through all our theories, and sharing our knowledge with others who are new to it all. It was amazing. In fact, those guys are the biggest reason why The Elven Padawan even exists today; had it not been for their enthusiasm and overwhelming support when I first mentioned the idea of starting my own podcast, I probably never would have started that endeavor. Because of each other, we’ve all gotten way more involved in this stuff than we ever intended to be, and it’s been a fantastic ride all the way.

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 when I was very young, probably around the age of three. I still remember walking into our media room and finding my dad watching The Phantom Menace. I was immediately drawn in by the odd green guys with funny hats and no noses, and the girl with the enormous red dress who looked like she was wearing an upside-down chandelier on her head. I watched the prequels a lot over the next several years, and absolutely loved them, even though I didn’t totally understand all the details of the story.

For some reason, my love for the movies died away, and I went through a lapse where I could care less about Star Wars. I basically avoided it as much as possible. Then all of a sudden, several years ago, my dad bought and began watching through the entire saga with my sisters, and I found myself right in the middle of it again. Then came the announcement of work beginning on another movie, and by the time The Force Awakens released, I had become a big fan of the animated branch of the story though Star Wars Rebels.

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

You can always find something to talk to people about. There’s no excuse to not be friendly to people just because you’re completely different. To quote an old Jedi proverb we first heard from Bail Organa, “The smallest gesture of kindness can fill a galaxy with hope.” One of the greatest kindness I can show, or that you can show me, is taking the time to talk to me and listen to what I have to say. I’ve made very good friends with people I know only through internet correspondence, and had great conversations with people, all starting with each of us finding out that the other liked the same story. That’s amazing to me, how a teenaged girl can just walk into a random comic book store a state away from where she lives, and strike up an in-depth conversation with a middle-aged man who works there about Grey Jedi, whether Luke actually has to be the only Force-user in the Rebellion, and if Kanan Jarrus is technically a Jedi Knight (and yes, this actually happened to me this summer!).

What else do you Fangirl about?

I was introduced to The Lord of the Rings series a couple years ago, and immediately picked up with that franchise. It reminded me a lot of Star Wars in many ways, and I loved how deep and involved it was, with all the different locations, time periods, races, and cultures of Middle-Earth. Since I saw the movies first, they always hold a special place in my heart, but nothing compares to Tolkien’s original books. And yes, that includes The Silmarillion, Beren and Luthien, The Children of Hurin, not just LOTR and The Hobbit.

I’m also a huge reader, so if I’m not talking the ears off someone about something that’ll have an 80% chance of turning fandom or philosophy related, planning another cosplay, or trying to figure out lightsaber moves in the driveway with a bamboo pole, I’ve probably got my nose stuck in a book somewhere.

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

Don’t be afraid to get your voice out there because you don’t have the same opinions and thoughts as everyone else in the fandom! A lot of my own theories and the things I believe are totally different than the ones currently trending with a lot of the loudest voices in the fandom, but that’s OK. You’ll find that if you get your voice out there, there are a lot of people who think like you who will come out, too. I never thought I’d find other kids my age who were as involved in the deep aspects of the mythology of Star Wars as I am, and who draw the same connections to real-life things like history and theology, but I started talking and putting myself out there, and I’ve connected with some great people. And you’re going find a lot of people who might not agree with you all the time, but are still supportive and awesome and try to help you out anyway. There are still those out there that like to look down on you because you love a certain trilogy, or like Tauriel even though she wasn’t in the book, or just for being a fangirl in general, but don’t let that change who you are.

Where can others interact with you?

Interact with me via…
The Elven Padawan podcast and site or on Twitter: Elven Padawan (@ElvenPadawan

Interview with a Fangirl: Savanna Kiefer

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

Savanna at the Solo A Star Wars Story Premiere

Today, it is my pleasure to interview Blogger, Podcaster and Fangirl Savanna Kiefer!

I became aware of Savanna through the Star Wars Fangirl Community and count her as one of my Fangirl inspirations!

Welcome Savanna 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 realized I was a fangirl when I started to meet other fangirls that were just like me! At first, I didn’t know there were other girls who loved Star Wars! Thankfully I was welcomed into an online community when I was in my early teens and that group of girls really shaped who I am today. That’s when I learned I should be proud to consider myself a fangirl and celebrate all the other ladies who loved the same things as I did.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

Social media has really helped me become more confident in myself and allowed me to make lifelong friends! I joined Facebook and Twitter when I was around 13-years-old. That’s when I really started blogging and meeting other girls who were interested in Star Wars too. I’m super thankful that now I have a really supportive group of people, both men and women, following me across all my social media. It’s nice to have a whole army of people to have your back when times get tough and friends to celebrate with when things are good!

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

I grew up in a family that loved Star Wars and watched the movies pretty much every single day of the week. I always enjoyed the movies, but I really didn’t claim the fandom as my own or consider myself a fan until I started watching Star Wars: The Clone Wars. That show really catapulted my fandom into something bigger than I could ever imagine. All because of one animated TV show, I’ve had the most amazing opportunities in my life and met incredible people.

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

Gosh, I’ve learned so much from the Star Wars fan community! I think the best lesson has been the fact that I will ALWAYS have a family in the community. Obviously, I have my real family, but my Star Wars family is super special. I’ve met friends all over the world who love Star Wars just as much as I do and they’ve blown me away with kindness throughout the years. Sometimes I get hand-written letters from other fangirls that I’ve briefly met in person at a convention or just chatted with online and that’s really cool.

What else do you Fangirl about?

I’m a huge Indiana Jones and Disney parks fangirl! I grew up in central Florida near Walt Disney World and lived in Anaheim last year near Disneyland, so I think Disney definitely runs in my blood. Indiana Jones is great because A) Harrison Ford is the lead star and B) it’s just a really fun adventure series.

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

Never, ever be ashamed of loving the things you love. No matter what it may be, wave your geek flag high and proud!

Where can others interact with you?

You can find me on Twitter and Instagram @savanna_kiefer. My Facebook page is www.facebook.com/TheDorkyDiva and you can find all sorts of fun fandom related posts at www.TheDorkyDiva.com.

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