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“Still Into You” – Our Thanks to the SPN Family

November 28, 2013
Photo by Chris Schmelke

Photo by Chris Schmelke

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.

Photo by Chris Schmelke

Photo by Chris Schmelke

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.

Collaborator Misha Collins

Collaborator Misha Collins

Collaborator Richard Speight Jr.

Collaborator Richard Speight Jr.

Writer Robbie Thompson helps us out

Writer Robbie Thompson helps us out

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.

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17 Comments leave one →
  1. Crystal Little permalink
    November 28, 2013 10:32 pm

    Omg I haven’t read ur book yet being broke sux but I really do love this article and as soon as i can I’ll read it this fandom is the best I have been one since the pilot and never been ashamed to hide it lol. Thanks for the lovely article ladies ur awesome. Crystal

  2. robinhelene permalink
    November 28, 2013 10:33 pm

    I love you ladies! And your marvelous book, too! Happy THANKSGIVING!

    Love from your fellow fan,
    Robin

  3. Marie-Helene permalink
    November 28, 2013 11:49 pm

    Hello, i french fan, i don’t speak english and read very wrong.
    Can you make a french version !!
    I really would like to have your book.
    Thanck you for all. And Yes SPN Family is a wonderful and best.
    Marie-Helene

  4. November 28, 2013 11:53 pm

    Congratulations, that’s great!.
    I ´m from Mexico. :D
    Questions…
    How could I get a copy of this book?
    You guys can send copies to other countries?
    I want to read now!

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
    *HUGS AND LOVE*

    • Daw permalink
      November 29, 2013 1:59 am

      i WANT TO READ IT SO BAD!!! But i live in Argentina… how can i get a copy of it??

    • marie helene permalink
      November 29, 2013 12:49 pm

      On “AMAZON” seemingly

      • December 7, 2013 7:51 pm

        You can buy the e-book and read it on your PC/ Laptop/ Tabled/ Phone i.e.
        It’s what I did, I just couldn’t wait for it to be delivered ;)

  5. November 29, 2013 2:49 am

    Wonderful article and wonderful sentiments. I’ve only discovered the Supernatural family in the last couple of years (after watching the show since the beginning). The fandom has added a whole new level to the experience, as has attending my first Creation convention this year in Vancouver. I was blown away by the generosity of the cast & crew towards the fans… and just the fun of it all… plus, of course, meeting fellow-fans.

    I’m halfway through your latest book… and loving it, as I did your first book… thanks :)

    Oh, and happy thanksgiving to you & everyone in the US. We don’t have thanksgiving in Australia, but I feel very thankful and lucky to have this show and to be part of this fandom :)

  6. November 29, 2013 11:12 am

    Hello, my name’s Dani.
    Now I’m reading your interesting book – slowly -because I’m Italian and
    I don’t speak English very well. I’m translate it. Hard work.
    Excuse me about English grammar errors.
    Thank you. Ciao

  7. Kimmie permalink
    November 29, 2013 12:19 pm

    This article is great. You are exactly right about the fandom of Supernatural. I have never watched a show that has drawed me in so quickly and has kept me so addicted. Reading Supernatural Fangirls let me know I wasn’t the only one who has felt this way. I enjoy reading your tweets and seeing the pictures. Keep up the great work ladies !!!!!

  8. November 29, 2013 3:25 pm

    Wow. Well alright, I must admit I started fighting against tears while reading. It feels sort of weird saying this but I just got vey emotional.

    I think it’s time to say thank YOU. I’ve read the book and it’s clear it gave me a new perspective on how to view & love fandom.

    I’ve always been proud and happy to be part of the SPNFamily. It always felt special, a great place to be. Seeing people understanding the things you love and more and sharing it through art, words, pictures etc… I love a lot of things but nothing feels more right than to love SPN and to be willing to share and show this love.

    Even though fandom taught me who I was and what I was capable of and no matter how right it feels I never truly reflected on what it really meant nor did I realize that I was completely living a double life. Having two identities. The one in the fandom and the one people in my life know. “Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls” opened my eyes.

    I was aware that I was so protective of my identity in the fandom and yet not assuming it with people outside of it. I just never thought it problematic until I experienced the feeling of euphoria at my first convention and how strange it looked like to my family. How saying “IT’S NOT JUST A TV SHOW” sounded superficial to them. So I just stopped broadcasting my love for it. It became personal but not for the right reasons.
    While reading your book I was stunned with admiration for what you did but I was mostly full of gratitude that someone would be trying to make some wrongs right by saying the truth. The fact that you were so honest inspired me.
    I realize now that being part of a fandom (which is a full time job really!) is not something I should hide because some people can’t understand it. Since I read the book I am proud to say I am in a Fandom & to try and explain that it’s not just about fangirling and squees, even though yeah… It’s also about that and it feels damn good to be passionate and not to be dictated how to be passionate about something.

    So I don’t know if you guys are doing Fandom better than others & being BNF, but I know that I am a fan of yours and your work.
    I just want to say thank you because being a SPN fan is even better thanks to you. Thank you for all you share during cons and for writing such a great book.

    • December 7, 2013 8:00 pm

      Wow! You just wrote down exactly how I feel as well. I got drawn into Supernatural after watching a J2 convention video, which I knew was going to be a big mistake (cause of you know addiction to TV-Shows :D ), but I also knew I had to. When I did it grabbed me by the throat and it hasn’t let me go yet…. And I’m glad it hasn’t. I love the show, the creativity, the cast and crew and how they create this masterpiece. I love the family, cause I feel like home, I feel like I can be myself, even though I haven’t met any fans in “real” life, but only online. I am proud to be a fan and I’m not going to try and explain myself to anyone any longer, it’s what I love and I don’t care that other people don’t get me because of this.

      So thank you for writing down exactly how I feel. Feels good to read this from someone other than me ;)

      Happy weekend! <3

  9. Nightsky permalink
    November 29, 2013 6:27 pm

    It is clear that you wrote every word of this letter from your heart, just as you wrote Fangasm.
    Thank YOU for your support of fandom. Your insights into the passion, for all the good AND bad it brings, helps so many people understand, accept and persevere. Your eternal optimism is a gift to us all. Thank you for sharing it so freely with all of us.

  10. Karen Broderick permalink
    November 29, 2013 9:48 pm

    Lovely article. We are thankful for you too, that you so beautifully gave voice to what so many of us were thinking about the show and the fandom. Hugs and best holiday wishes!

  11. December 1, 2013 2:29 am

    I’ve got every variation of feels after reading this, which brings me to wonder — which I hope isn’t completely off-topic — but is there any accuracy to the traffic confrontation Misha was involved in today? I’m still a little unnerved reading about it from the minimal sources online :(

  12. December 7, 2013 7:50 pm

    Thank you so much for writing this. The book is amazing and it also showed me, like you said, I’m not the only one. I love how you wrote it and I’m going to read it again very soon. This book definitely makes me feel part of the family even more and I’m so excited to meet the cast and crew when I finally can (VegasCon in 2015). I know I have to wait a while, but when I can finally come over I know it’s going to be more than I expected. Not just from the cast and the crew but also from the other members of this family. And that is also something you gave me with this book. So THANK YOU for writing it and making me (and loads of other fans) not feel like crazy weird people who are in love with a “TV-Show”.

    -xxxx- ils

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