We’ve been in love with this Show and part of this amazing fandom for eight years. It’s been eight years of incredible highs and more than a few painful lows, but – improbably perhaps — we’re still here. Still in love with Supernatural and still grateful to be part of the best fandom in the world. So we wanted to take a few minutes and say thank you.
When we fell for SPN, we fell hard. Like, who needs food or drink or pretty much anything else when you can watch back to back episodes, hard. Once we fell for the Show, we discovered the fandom. A virtual community of all kinds of people from all over the world who had one thing in common – we were all head over heels for Supernatural. Finding SPN and finding fandom felt like coming home – for the first time, we felt like we could be who we really were, say what we really thought, love what we loved. The creativity of fandom overwhelmed us in the best of ways, with its thoughtful meta, gorgeous fanart and vids and cosplay, and fanfiction that was better than 90% of what was on the shelf at Barnes and Noble. It was freeing, inspiring, life-changing.
It didn’t take long for us to discover that fandom was like any other group of people – there were differences of opinion, jockeying for position, struggles over who would be the BNFs (big name fans). Some fans watched for a glimpse of Sam and Dean and Cas shirtless; some fans really did watch for the plot. Many of us watched for both, greedy fans that we are. Some fans watched to ship, and some fans didn’t want any ships to distract from the action. When fans disagreed on how to watch, there were heated accusations of “doing fandom wrong”. It took us a while to realize that dissension is the price of passion. We all watch for our own reasons, and those reasons are deeply, vitally important. We want to see what we want to see, and we want it badly. The intensity with which we are all invested in the Show and its characters sometimes bubbles over into name-calling and accusations, but at the end of the day we’re all here, part of the same Family. We squabble, we hurt each other sometimes (it’s a lot like a long-term sitcom Thanksgiving dinner…) But over the past eight years we’ve seen the SPN Family pull off miracles – supporting each other, winning award contests, working for change, making the whole world better. I’m still so proud to be a part of it.
Two years into our love affair with SPN, we decided to write a book. Mostly, we wanted to tell the rest of the world the real story of fandom – that being a fan (especially a Supernatural fan) was nothing to be ashamed of, and in fact, was pretty damn awesome. We’re professors – Kathy’s a literary scholar and Lynn’s a psychologist – so we wrote from an academic viewpoint. But we’re also passionate fangirls, and we were determined not to suppress our squee. How could we tell the real story if we couldn’t tell it as who we were – fans!
That brings me to the gratitude. First, to the cast and crew of Supernatural, who welcomed us onto the set and behind the scenes and shared their thoughts and feelings about the Show and its fans so candidly. We never expected Jared and Jensen and Misha and Eric Kripke and so many others to actually want to contribute to the books, or to be so generous with their time. They answered all our questions (most of which were anything but the sort of thing journalists usually ask!) and then asked as many questions back. They were as curious as we were about the phenomenon of fandom and SPN. The SPN crew were just as eager to share their thoughts, and help us understand the integral part that each of them plays in bringing the Show to life. Once the books were published, they surprised us even more by reading them! Jared told us that reading the books has helped him understand SPN fandom, which is very important to him. We understand that he talked about Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls in his meet and greet last weekend at Burcon, saying very positive things about fandom culture and that he finds it amazing that fans are able to go out and express themselves. He was passionate when he said that he hopes we all know how amazing this is, and that we’ll continue to maintain that culture. “Fandom is the place you can be yourselves,” he said, “And you shouldn’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”
That is exactly the message of our books – don’t be ashamed. Like what you like, love what you love. Celebrate that passion. The fact that Jared Padalecki said it to a room full of fans in talking about “Fangasm” overwhelms me with gratitude. I’m so thankful that he took that message from our books. That he can see all the good in fandom that we were trying to convey literally gives me goosebumps.
We’re blown away by the actors’ support. Jim Beaver, whose four hour interview with us in his living room culminated in some rather humorous circumstances, told us he read Fangasm in one night, and gave us four stars on Goodreads, despite insisting we owe him a good night’s sleep. Who expects the actor you interview for your book to rate it on Goodreads?? Jensen Ackles told us that his wife, whose interview with us in a convention green room was a comedy of errors and technical difficulties that had the uber patient Danneel crawling under tables with us to find an outlet, read it in two nights with JJ looking on. Misha Collins wrote a chapter for our new book Fan Phenomena: Supernatural, coming out next year. So did Richard Speight and director of photography Serge Ladouceur. Matt Cohen, Chad Lindberg, Rick Worthy, Ty Olsson and so many others have tweeted their support again and again. The Supernatural writers — who, btw, are an awesome bunch of human beings — have also been wonderful. They sat down and helped out at our table in the vendors room at Burbank Con. Robbie Thompson bought his own copy of Fangasm. Never in our wildest dreams did we think that the SPN actors and writers would read our books, let alone like them! Thank you all for making the Show that we love.
I saved my most heartfelt thanks for last. Thank you, fellow SPN fans, for just being you. For loving this amazing Show for all these years. For voting your fingers sore, and spending your hard-earned cash on DVDs and downloads and tee shirts. For writing fic that I’ll remember forever, creating art that leaves me breathless, making vids that make me sob. For challenging my assumptions with thoughtful meta and getting me through hard times by bringing the Pretty on Tumblr. For a million chats on Twitter and Facebook, and the solidarity of my community on LJ. I’m grateful for every comment we’ve gotten on every post and tweet and photo – both the ones that passionately disagreed and the ones that said “OMG yes, you said what I’ve been feeling!”
I’m especially grateful for everyone who has read Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls and taken the time to tell us that it’s meant something to you. That you thought you were “the only one who felt this way” and now you know better. That you feel more a part of the Family than ever before after reading it. That it stretched your assumptions and made you think and maybe changed your mind about something. That you love Jared, Jensen and Misha even more after reading it. We’re humbled and honored by every one of you who came to find us at the last few conventions to tell us how much the book meant to you – that is exactly why we wrote it. For the fandom we love and call home.
Happy Holidays, whatever and however you celebrate, SPN Family. We’re grateful for you.