17 May 2012

Why Join a Fan Club?

This month at BTV, we've been discussing fans, fandom and fanning. Well, nobody has talked about fanning, unless you count the fanning one might need to do after seeing the book cover of Bianca D'Arc's new release: http://paranormalauthors.blogspot.com/2012/05/brotherhood-of-blood-wolf-hills.html. Other fanny (heehee!) posts include

http://paranormalauthors.blogspot.com/2012/05/what-im-fan-of.html -- Amy Ruttan, with a list of 10 things she is a fan of.

http://paranormalauthors.blogspot.com/2012/05/im-fan-of-fans.html -- Sela Carsen, writing about what it's like as an author to be fans of other authors.

http://paranormalauthors.blogspot.com/2012/05/celebration-of-fans.html -- A Catherine Noon, writing about all types of fans, from Chicago fans to Star Trek fans.

http://paranormalauthors.blogspot.com/2012/05/celebrating-fan-in-all-of-us.html -- Jean Marie Ward, writing about fanfiction before the days of 50 Shades of Twilight, I mean, Grey.

I myself have experienced fandom from both sides. While I never wrote fanfiction, aside from one Supernatural spoof I wrote for a friend, I read quite a bit of fanfiction of a show I wanted to love but which was failing to live up to its potential. What drove me to read the fanfiction was my disappointment in the show, though, and I gather that what drives a majority of folks to read fanfiction or write it themselves is their love for a show or book series. I did grow out of my disgruntledness (is that even a word??) and even managed to make myself a few great friends to show for my time in the fanfic trenches, which is one of the things Jean Marie discussed in her blog (linked above).

From the other direction, one of my creative endeavors used to have tons of fans worldwide because I shared something with the world of which I am a huge fan. No, not my publishing career -- I only wish I had tons of fans worldwide! -- but my cat's website, www.meankitty.com. Back in the nascent days of the internet, before LOLCats (DAMN THEM!), Meankitty.com got thousands of hits a day. She got lots of fan mail and plenty of submissions of new cats for her gallery. She also got hate mail, but it was more of a hoot than most of the fan mail. The things people feel compelled to yell at you about because you happen to maintain a funny website about cats is pretty incredible. And, as with my fanfic reading, I met several folks through Meankitty with whom I've stayed in touch.

I don't know what fans did in the days before the internet -- write lots of letters to Shawn Cassidy on pink notebook paper, I guess, and Jean Marie also talked about the old-style fanclub newsletters -- but I do think the internet has definitely facilitated fan culture. Folks from all over can meet groups of "their people", no matter where everyone lives. There's something for everyone.

And why join a fan club? Sometimes it's that group, that culture, that lures in and pleases the fans as much as the original show, series or activity (like knitting!). I've heard such amazing things about DragonCon, for example, and other large conventions geared toward fans, and it makes me want to go, just to immerse myself in people who...who love cool stuff! Even though I'm not a particular fan of their obsessions, I think I'd really enjoy it.

Well, except for the fact I don't like large crowds. Or being too hot. Definitely not a fan of large crowds and being too hot.

So what fan clubs are you in? What punches YOUR fandom buttons? Love of a show...or disappointment in it? Love of a fandom...or an actor or actress? Love of yarn? Love of cats who can't spell? Whatever it is that you love, there's probably a fan club and a fandom out there for it. And if you want to join the "Jody Wallace, Author" fanclub, first you'll need to be the president, and then you'll need to find some other members (PS Don't even bother asking my MOM, she hates my books), and then I'll help you guys come up with a secret handshake. Just let me know!

Jody Wallace
When is an alpha not an alph-ass?
Pack and Coven: http://www.jodywallace.com
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