Last week, Steph Bowe wrote a post about how she is not a fangirl. She's a fan of things, of course, but she's not obsessive. And it's a little embarrassing that I, a grown adult, am being out-matured by a 16-year-old, but there you go.
Because I'm totally a fan girl.
It started when I was 12, with a band, and then there was a book (and it's author), and then there was another band, and then a tv show, and another tv show, and now there's another band. I'm not one of those fan girls who falls in love with whatever's popular at the moment; in fact, the things I have fannish love for are about 50/50 split as to whether they're generally popular or not. But there's usually something.
And just like Steph can't explain why she's not a fan girl, I can't explain why I am one. Why do I spend hours of my life engaging with a cultural artifact that doesn't engage back? I've flown across the country, waited in line for hours, suffered through rain and sleet and dark or night, and spent money I shouldn't have spent to indulge my love for these things I love. I've even bought books in hardcover!
Some people think that this tendency in an adult is silly or immature. Maybe it is--I don't care. Because, honestly, part of the reason why I write, part of the reason why I'm so attuned to character, is because I'm such a fan girl. I hope that my books, my characters, turn teenagers into screaming fangirls and boys. Popularity is not something that the writer can control,* but if I as the writer could have the effect on one teenager that some of these books and bands have had on me? That would be the ultimate.
And now I have to go. The current love of my pop culture life has a new album out and I haven't memorized all the words yet.
* Lessons learned from fanfiction: you can never predict exactly what the audience is going to respond to.