From time to time, the OTW will be hosting guest posts on our OTW News accounts. These guests will be providing an outside perspective on the OTW or aspects of fandom where our projects may have a presence. The posts express each author’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. We welcome suggestions from fans for future guest posts, which can be left as a comment here or by contacting us directly.
Foz Meadows is a genderqueer author, blogger, reviewer and poet. Her most recent novels are An Accident of Stars and A Tyranny of Queens, and she also enjoys writing fanfic. You can find her on Twitter and Tumblr.
How did you first get into fandom and fanworks?
It’s somewhat tautological to say that being a fan was what brought me into fandom, but that’s kind of the way it goes: if you love something enough, persistently and vocally enough, then sooner or later, you run into other people who love it, too. In my tweens and teens –- which is to say, in the late nineties/early noughties –- online fan communities were still pretty new, and having the internet at home was still a novelty. I didn’t have any idea that fandom, as a collective thing, existed; I just knew what I liked. My friends and I would co-write Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time fanfic by cramming around a single computer; I’d wait patiently through the interminable load-times of our 56k dialup connection to look at fanart on Elfwood, often getting book recommendations from user profiles in the process; I hunted down more than one Dragons of Pern website to create my own Anne McCaffrey characters and attempt to download tiny, early gifs of collectible dragons; and I definitely wrote a few Quistis x Irvine FFVIII fics on the privacy of my old desktop, but I never had a language for what all that meant beyond “I like this stuff, it’s fun.”
I never stopped loving stories that way, but it wasn’t until I fell into Supernatural that I came into modern fandom proper and realised there were whole communities founded on sharing that passion. Say what you will about Supernatural and its hardcore dedication to pairing the sublime and the ridiculous: it’s so absurdly long-running that the process of creating, consuming and collaborating around it has, I would argue, had an impact on myriad wider fannish practises.