It’s the season in which we celebrate what we’re thankful for, and this year I’m very thankful for a television show. Not just because it has brought me tremendous joy over the past twelve plus years, or because it has allowed me to find some of my closest friends, or even because it has gotten me through some tough times. This year I’m thankful that Supernatural and the special people who make the show and are fans of the show allowed me to give something back to the community I love – the SPNFamily.
Even at this time of year – maybe especially at this time of year – many of us are hurting. As a psychologist, I know that better than most. Anxiety, depression, self doubt, and loneliness make life a lot more challenging. One of the things that helps is feeling like you’re not alone in your struggles, particularly if people you relate to or admire have been through some of the same challenges. That was the idea behind Family Don’t End With Blood, a book with chapters written by most of the actors on Supernatural as a message of support and encouragement to the fandom. When you hear that the Supernatural actors have doubted themselves, fallen into despair, even wondered if they could get up again and keep fighting – but that they DID – and you read it in their own words, raw and uncensored, that is the best kind of inspiration to do the same. I was honored to work with the actors and fans to put this book together.
Since Family Don’t End With Blood has been published, we’ve received countless emails, tweets and messages about how someone read the book when they were at their lowest point, and this was the thing that convinced them to keep fighting. That words written by Kim Rhodes or Briana Buckmaster or one of the other actors rang so true they felt understood. That words written by Jensen Ackles or Misha Collins or Jared Padalecki convinced them they really were not alone. The actors have heard the same from many fans, on social media and at conventions. We are all so very grateful. We wanted the book to make a difference, and we are absolutely blown away by how much of a difference Family Don’t End With Blood has made.
The stars of Supernatural were in Washington DC for a convention with Creation Entertainment a few weeks ago, celebrating the success of Season 13 of the show and answering fans’ questions. Many of the actors appearing at the convention also wrote chapters in Family Don’t End With Blood. Both fans and actors shared in the book how the show has made an impact on them, changing lives and in some cases even literally saving lives. As fans, we often take this for granted, knowing how life-changing it can be to be passionate about a television show or a film or a band or whatever it is we geek out about. But in the case of Supernatural, the show and the fandom have had an equal impact on the actors, including the two actors who bring the iconic characters of Sam and Dean Winchester to life, Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles. At the convention, Jensen and Jared were onstage for a panel and were asked by a fan about their experience writing chapters in Family Don’t End With Blood. They shared some insights about that process and about working with me as editor of the book (both seriously and with playful ribbing, which is par for the course with Jared and Jensen).