This month’s Author Takeover sees Lucy Saxon, author of Take Back The Skies, discuss growing up in the world of fandom, its pitfalls and how it can change your life. Lucy wrote Take Back The Skies as part of National Novel Writing Month when she was just sixteen years old and now has a six book deal with each novel set in a different continent of her Steampunk world of Tellus. See our review of Take Back The Skies here and look out for book two which will be released next year.
You can find out more about Lucy on her website, www.lucysaxon.com, or by following her on Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr. Lucy is also our guest on our Alohomora! podcast, Episode 114 to be released later today so check out the show to hear more!
In Defence of Fandom
I will be the first to admit that fandom takes up more of my life than it probably should. I’ve been involved in fandom since I first stumbled across the Harry Potter section of fanfiction.net at the tender age of twelve; since then, I’ve had a lot of free time, and the majority of it has been devoted to fandom.
Still, I’m not going to deny or apologise for that. It often feels like fandom is like Fight Club; you don’t talk about it outside of people who are already involved. Fandom has the reputation of being full of weirdos and stalkers, of being nothing but crazy teenage girls who write smutty fanfiction and draw NSFW fanart. Yes, fandom contains crazy people. Whatever fandom you’re in, there’s always going to be a select group of them that take it too far.
But the crazy ones aren’t usually the ones creating the fanart and fanfiction; those people are too busy dedicating their time to their chosen art to be overly vocal in fandom. And, like with anything, the most vocal fans are often the ones that the rest of the fandom wish would pipe down a bit.
The majority of people in fandom are intelligent, thoughtful, dedicated individuals with interesting views and opinions. Fandom teaches people to be open-minded and imaginative, taking the world of canon and delving deeper, making entire novel-length stories out of a small paragraph of text. To paraphrase John Green, fandom allows you to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff; and not even just fandom stuff. I often find that being in fandom means leaving behind the reservation and uncertainty that might cause you to stay quiet about something that interests you. In fandom I can have a three-hour conversation about the intricacies of the Wizarding World, and then go on and have a similar length conversation about the laws of physics or Greek mythology.
Fandom is where I learnt to write, and where I learnt to be proud of my writing. Fandom is why I learnt to sew and paint and make armour out of cardboard, and where I found people who would do so alongside me. Fandom is where I learnt about equality and respecting others and how amazingly diverse the world is. Fandom is where I met my best friends, and where my friends met their partners. Fandom is where I learnt that I could be completely myself and people would still enjoy my company. Fandom is having people on the other side of the world that I’ve never met be more interested in my life than people I see every day. Fandom is comfort, and support, and family you choose for yourself. And fandom, like Hogwarts, will always be there to welcome you home.