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.
Lee is the founder of Carnation Books, and her goal in life is to read as much fanfiction as humanly possible. She lives in Silicon Valley with her programmer husband, their two cats, and one very cute dog. You can find her on Twitter. Colleen is a 30-something mom of two who has been in fandom in some capacity since the age of 14. She can be found on Tumblr and Twitter.
How did you first get into fandom and fanworks?
Lee: Back in 1996, a kid in my fifth-grade class told me about this cool TV show The X-Files, where these two FBI agents investigated paranormal phenomena (he probably didn’t phrase it quite like that, though). We had just gotten the internet at home, so the first thing I did was go to Yahoo! (which was an index of websites at the time) to find websites about The X-Files. I was enthralled, and spent the next few weeks reading detailed summaries of every XF episode that had aired up through the fourth season.
After I’d memorized everything about the entire first couple of seasons, I was desperate for more Mulder and Scully, so I wondered whether anyone had written stories set in the XF universe. Once I stumbled across an XF fanfiction webring, I was hooked; I spent the whole summer of 1996 carrying around a yellow accordion folder full of Mulder/Scully Romance fanfiction that I’d printed out. We had a dot-matrix printer, which meant that I’d spend hours tearing the dotted edges off of the paper and then carefully tearing the perforated paper into individual sheets.
I wrote my first fic when I was 11. Besides my obsession with XF, I was also into New York City and the TV show Friends, so I wrote a crossover wherein Mulder and Scully went to New York City to solve a case, fell in love (of course), and met up with the cast of Friends. It’s been lost to the tides of time, which is too bad, because I would love to go back and read it, but I was too shy to post it anywhere, and cloud storage hadn’t been invented yet.