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Interview with a Fangirl: Amy Richau

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

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


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

When do you realize you were a Fangirl?

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

How has social media helped or hindered you?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What else do you Fangirl about?

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

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

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

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

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

Where can others find and inteact with you?

You can follow me on twitter @amyrichau

Interview with a Fangirl: Shelby

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

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

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

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

When do you realize you were a Fangirl?

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

How has social media helped or hindered you?

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

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

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

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

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

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

What else do you Fangirl about?

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

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

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

Where can others find and inteact with you?

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

Interview with Author Stephanie Osborn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What makes you laugh?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What makes you cry?

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

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

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

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

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

###

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

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

Division One series

Division One series

About Stephanie Osborn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Mystery continues.

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

Interview with a Fangirl: Andrea

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

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

Andrea as General Leia

Andrea as General Leia


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

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

When do you realize you were a Fangirl?

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

How has social media helped or hindered you?

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

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

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

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

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

What else do you Fangirl about?

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

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

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

Where can others find and inteact with you?

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

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

Thank you and May the Force Be With You!

Interview with Editor: Corie Weaver

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interview with a Fangirl: Christina

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

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

Christina proudly wears her favorite HerUniverse Star Wars tee!

Christina proudly wears her favorite HerUniverse Star Wars tee!

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

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

When do you realize you were a Fangirl?

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

How has social media helped or hindered you?

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

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

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

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

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

What else do you Fangirl about?

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

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

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

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

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

Interview with a Fangirl: Nikky

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

Today, it is my pleasure to interview fellow fangirl, Nikky Winchester!

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

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

When did you begin to realize you were a Fangirl?

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

How has social media helped or hindered you?

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

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

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

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

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

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

What else do you Fangirl about?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interview with a Fangirl: MandaTheGinger


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

Today, it is a great pleasure to interview fellow Fangirl, Amanda Cherry aka @MandaTheGinger on Twitter.

MandaTheGinger is an actor, author, mom, and nerd who recently returned to the Seattle area from a year abroad in Berlin, Germany. She’s a contributor to Tosche-Station.net who never misses the opportunity to extoll the many virtues of Princess Leia. I became aware of Manda through my interaction with her in the Star Wars Fan Community via Twitter.

Welcome Manda to The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl. It is an honor that you took the time to answer these questions about being a Fangirl.

When do you realize you were a Fangirl?

I think the first time I saw the term in use, I was like, “Hey, that’s me!” I’m super into the things I’m into, and I love that there’s such a thing as the FANGIRL moniker- I wear it with pride.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

Oh, gosh… there’s a long story here. I’ve written fanfic since before that term had been coined, and years ago I was bullied out of a fandom by people who decided (for reasons unknown to me) that they didn’t want my writing on their website. That scared me away from engaging with fandom online AT ALL. Many years later, I had a fan (now friend) reading a Star Wars fic I wrote encourage me to come talk SW on Twitter. And I’m so glad she did! I started out following Pablo Hidalgo and it just grew from there. Now I follow and am friendly with several well-known Star Wars personalities and bloggers, have had articles published, am a contributor to Tosche-Station.net and the Thrawncast, and ChairPrincess of the Carrie Fisher Memorial gala during Celebration Orlando. All of that is thanks to Twitter. I was even able to trade tweets and be friendly with Carrie Fisher before she passed. Had it not been for social media, that could never have happened. I absolutely credit the online community of Star Wars fans and pros for the awesomeness that is my life these days.

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?

You can probably look up exactly what year this was, but my guess is that it was 1984 or so. We had HBO at home and they were showing all three Star Wars films back-to-back-to-back. My mom had it on while I was playing and I looked at the TV just in time to catch the speeder bike chase in ROTJ. And there, on my TV, was a lady – with flawlessly braided hair – out-shooting and out-flying these guys who were clearly professional soldiers. And I was enthralled. I said something to my mom about it, and she told me, “That’s Princess Leia.” Now, can you imagine a more exciting thing to a 4 year-old girl than that? SHE’S A PRINCESS!!!???!!! That was the greatest thing ever. I sat and watched the rest of the film only to learn that she also has THE POTENTIAL FOR MAGICAL POWERS!! And thus began my life-long love of Leia Organa.

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

I have learned that fandom is what you make of it, that there are good and bad people with good intentions and bad intentions anywhere you care to venture, and that maintaining a good circle of positive, inclusive, trustworthy people is key to happiness. These are all lessons that have come out of fandom and made everything in life better.

What else do you Fangirl about?

Although Star Wars pretty much takes up my life right now, I’m also into other things. I’m a big fan of Star Trek- The Next Generation being my absolute favorite of the properties. I was even part of a Star Trek fan series years ago. And I’m a Harry Potter fangirl as well. I spent five months working at Harry Potter: The Exhibition, and it was the best job ever. I’m a poster girl for Slytherin- I even coach the Slytherin team during the Rat City Rollergirl’s Hitditch Cup!

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

We fangirls need to stick together. Seriously. When I see or hear women in fandom tearing each other down it really bothers me. There are enough things in this world that work against women that we’re not doing anyone any good when we turn on each other. Disagreements can and will happen, but in the end women in fandom need to have each other’s backs.

Anything else you want to share with us that is coming up soon?

I am the ChairPrincess of the Drowning In Moonlight gala honoring the life of Carrie Fisher during Star Wars Celebration Orlando. During Celebration, I will be onstage as moderator of the anti-bullying panel on the Star Wars University stage and a performer in “Whose Line is it, Alderaan?”.

Thanks again Manda for taking the time from your very busy schedule to answer these questions.

Interview with a Fangirl: Hansi


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

Today, it is a great pleasure to interview fellow Fangirl, Hansi.

I became aware of Hansi through her interactions with fellow Fangirls via Facebook and Twitter while she when she first started working on Squee!

Welcome Hansi to The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl. It is an honor that you took the time to answer these questions about being a Fangirl.

When do you realize you were a Fangirl?

My Post Producer, Chinisha Scott cosplaying as our logo Troubled Girl and myself at NYCC.

Chinisha Scott cosplaying as our logo Troubled Girl and myself at NYCC.

I think I’ve always been a Fangirl, I remember getting a autographed Adam West Batman photo as a little kid but BTVS was the first TV fandom where I had to collect all the DVD sets, action figures, trading cards and trade paperbacks. It was the fandom that first led me to the message boards and I discovered I had a NEED to have that show and everything about that world as a part of my life.

Cecilia Tan describes that need to interact with a media property really well in our pilot episode. That need is not just about the media -it’s also about you -its a reciprocal thing, it speaks to a need you have and helps you become who you are.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

Social media has been a huge help. I’ve made so many close IRL friends via social media. There’s a great community of fans around all of the shows I love; Supernatural, Preacher, Penny Dreadful, Whedonverse, AHS, TWD. We are always in contact discussing our shows, or planning meet ups, organizing for activism or supporting each other’s projects or just being there for each other emotionally.

Initially, I planned on making Squee! a feature documentary but I think thats almost an outdated medium, especially for fandom. We realized that releasing it as a web series was a much more direct way of reaching our audience.

I wish I had thought of it sooner. I’ve been shooting since 2012 so we could have been a few years into the series now. It also really gives us the freedom to make short episodes on all different topics within fandom and get immediate feedback. You know, most no budget indie documentaries take many, many years to shoot, post produce and then start screening so it takes years before you can get any kind of feedback. We’re currently working on a series of shorts about fan works starting with cosplay, then fanfic, crafting, etc.

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 fell into Buffy The Vampire Slayer because I was working as a satellite feed operator at a post house and they ran the feed for whatever Buffy was on -UPN or WB at the time so I saw it every week while I was working and somewhere along the line I remember thinking “Wait, what is going on here?” And I was hooked. It was already the start of the 5th season so I had to go back and start at the beginning of the series and watch them in order. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched them. For years whenever I was having a hard time in my life, I’d hibernate and watch a Buffy mini-marathon and cry my eyes out and then come out feeling better and stronger. That’s what Buffy gave me. And I’ve loved Joss Whedon ever since. In fact, I passed him on the street a few years ago in NYC. It wouldn’t have been appropriate to stop him but I did catch his eye and said “Joss, I love you!” and without missing a beat he said “I love you too. Huge squee moment!

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 made so many wonderful friends all over the world. I’ve gotten huge support for my Squee project. I’ve learned so much and been empowered and accepted. Fandom is an amazing community, but as my co-creator Lynn Zubernis says, it’s not perfect, we’re still human and there are shipping wars and rivalries but for the most part it’s the most welcoming community I’ve ever experienced.

What else do you Fangirl about?

I’m a huge horror geek, I’m an acafan and love meta, there are tons of shows, Archer, Bob’s Burgers, Sherlock, X-Files, Hannibal, and lots of creators; Bryan Fuller, Whedon, Tarantino, Coen Brothers, B-movies, podcasts. I’m a huge pop culture Fangirl. There are just so many things!

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

That being a Fangirl is one of the best things you can be. It’s empowering to be able to say I love these things. It makes you want to create. You take that passion and use to it for whatever, writing fanfic, crafting, interviewing, podcasting, research, memes-whatever. Fangirling is all about love and that’s a positive and beautiful thing.

Please share more about #TeamSquee and the Fangirl Web series, Squee! 

Presenting our panel at Emerald City Comic Con with (from Left) Tea-bery Blue, Myself, Julie Hegner from On Wednesdays We Wear Capes, Jessica Mason, contributing writer to The Mary Sue, my co-creator Lynn Zubernis author of Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls.

Presenting our panel at Emerald City Comic Con with (from Left) Tea-bery Blue, Myself, Julie Hegner from On Wednesdays We Wear Capes, Jessica Mason, contributing writer to The Mary Sue, my co-creator Lynn Zubernis author of Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls.

#TeamSquee is my crew and we are:

Hansi Oppenheimer (Producer/Director): I’m most well known as the Creator of the feature documentary Color Me Obsessed: A Film About The Replacements. The film is the history of the band as told by their fans. Prior to that I made a short documentary about love spells called Riding The Broom that was picked up by Universal’s online site, Hypnotic.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis (Co-Writer & Co-Producer): Lynn is well known in the Supernatural fan community for her excellent books on fandom and her coverage of conventions.

Chinisha Scott (Post Producer and Editor): Chinisha is a filmmaker and educator. She leads the Young Women of Cinema Program at DCTV in New York– a program that assists young women to digest and understand the gravity of representation in the media, as the participants create their own original projects.

Devon Halley (Bonus Episode Editor) A professional editor, he works at Jove.com. He helped me on the original presentation we did to get Color Me Obsessed made.

We’ve also had invaluable assistance along the way from the hundreds of fangirls who we have interviewed, helped us to transcribe hours & hours of footage, given us feedback on rough cuts, cosplayed as our logo Troubled Girl, bought t-shirts and mugs, and helped spread the word. Gingerhouse created our logo cosplay costume based on an original drawing by artist Jane Russell.

Where can other Fangirls learn more about Squee?

Episodes of Squee are available on Youtube at no cost and more episodes will be posted here when they are available.

We’re currently touring at conventions screening Squee and presenting panels about being a Fangirl. Our next appearance is at http://www.newenglandsupermegafest.com in Marlborough Mass ‪on Saturday 4/8 11am-12pm‬. You can also find out more by visiting our Patreon support page https://www.patreon.com/SqueeFanGirlProject, Twitter @troubledgirl, Facebook/ and Tumblr.

Thank you again so much Hansi I really appreciate it! Also good luck with your Fangirl project Squee!

Interview with a Fangirl: Amy Ratcliffe


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

Today, it is a great pleasure to interview writer, podcast co-host and fellow Fangirl, Amy Ratcliffe.


I first became aware of Amy through the Full of Sith Podcast and of course following her Fangirl adventures via Twitter.

Welcome Amy to The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl. It is an honor that you took the time to answer these questions about being a Fangirl.

When do you realize you were a Fangirl?

Hmm. Probably in high school when I scoured Wheel of Time message boards and participated in a related roleplaying community. Or maybe later when I became addicted to a Battlestar Galactica fan group on Live Journal. I don’t know if I can pinpoint the exact moment.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

Social media has definitely helped me find likeminded individuals. One of the reasons I signed up for Twitter was to connect with other ladies who also enjoyed Star Wars. I ended up meeting all of my closest friends (who are local to me) on Twitter first. It’s made it easier for me to get to know others at conventions because I’ve already established an online relationship of sorts with them.

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 in high school. I was 16. My high school boyfriend wanted to see the rereleases in the theater, and I was curious. I loved them, but I didn’t fall head over heels in love with Star Wars until many years later when Star Wars: The Clone Wars debuted.
My first sci-fi experience was Star Trek: The Next Generation, and though I enjoyed it, I never latched onto Star Trek like I did with Star Wars.
My first fandom was probably Wheel of Time. I picked up those books early in high school and devoured them. I later joined fan sites – I think one was called the White Tower – and devoured theories. I longed to be an Aes Sedai.

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 community constantly enriches me. For the most part, it’s a positive and energetic group that discusses and creates. The creativity always astounds me, whether it’s a theory I’ve never considered before or seeing handmade costumes and models. They inspire me to be welcoming and to do my part to contribute positivity.

What else do you Fangirl about?

Oh man. Fangirling about Star Wars takes up a lot of my energy and free time, but I’m also quite enthusiastic about: Disney, Disneyland, Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit, Supernatural, Battlestar Galactica, Harry Potter, most shows on The CW, and Doctor Who.

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

Never be afraid to express yourself about what you like. Don’t suffer fools or gatekeepers. Most importantly, have fun.

Amy Ratcliffe is a writer and geek passionate about Star Wars, Disney, and coffee. You can find her work at Nerdist, StarWars.com, IGN and in Star Wars Insider magazine. Follow her fangirl adventures via Twitter or Instagram.

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