Fan Clubs

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Di Pharaoh Francis was supposed to post today, and she is not well. So I thought I’d toss in an extra. Hey! Mercy Blade came out this week, and I am deep into PR! So – let’s talk about the antiquated fan club and how it has evolved in today’s world.

Once upon a time writers had fan clubs, people who wrote them (paper letters in script, with postage stamps) for autographs, wanted (and framed) autographed photos, who loved the writer’s characters, who adored the writers themselves and the imaginary worlds so much that they wanted to live there. Some even believed that the characters were real. (Remember Misery…?) These fans of yesteryear wanted the insights on the next big happening, they collected gimmes and freebies (giveaways) and kitch, and collected book posters from the local indie bookstore.

Well, the Fan Club isn’t gone. It has simply evolved into today’s version – the online readers who gather at e-sites to talk about their fave characters.

Charlaine Harris (if you haven’t read her books get a move on! I adore Charlaine Harris and her characters! All of them!) has a *huge* website and one section, called the Community Board, is dedicated to other writers. Yep, you heard me right. Other writers. And there, fans can open new sections or pages and post all sorts of, well, whatever, about their fave writer and characters. It is monitored, so no bashing is allowed.

There, I discovered some Faith Hunter fans. They are dedicated readers of all things urban fantasy, and they set aside one small segment of their lives for Jane Yellowrock. They got together on Charlaine Harris’s Community Board, formed a group, and there they post thoughts, hopes, and have deep discussions on the characters’ lives. Oh – and me. :mrgreen:   I discovered this group of readers, now named the Puddy Tats, last year and have been making semi-regular stops there to chat.

Are they like an old fashioned fan club? Yes and no.

The Puddy Tats hit me up with what they hope will happen to Jane Yellowrock next. They get first glance at snippets from upcoming books, hints of what is going to happen between the characters. When I have freebies, I tell them first. I also bounce ideas off them. If they like the concept, then they tell me YES! If they don’t, they ignore it all or give me good feedback. And we have become pals. To take a look at the future of fan clubs, here is a link to Charlaine Harris’s Community Message Board.

CHMB

To see the Puddy Tats, click on the Faith Hunter link.
Faith
FaithHunter.Net

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8 comments to Fan Clubs

  • This is so cool! The “other writers” site is neat, and generous from CH. I’ve heard some writers are wary of fan clubs, esp. where fans discuss what they want to have happen with characters, because of fear of a “fan” standing up and saying “I gave you that idea so you owe me money!” phenomenon. I think it was here, at MW, where I heard of something like that happening to an author who read fan-fic from her fans. I know I have things I’d like to see happen, but it’s never occurred to me to tell an author what I think they should write. (Unless I’m in a critique group with them). I think it’s neat that you’ve found a fan sounding board!

  • Mostly, I just tell them Jane won’t sleep with Bruiser in the near future. 🙂

  • Unicorn

    Go Faith! Cool that you have a fan club. When I’ve read a decent amount of your books, I’m pretty sure I’ll be joining. 🙂 Having someone to bounce ideas off is so helpful. But I’m curious. Why the Puddy Tats?
    Thanks for the post. Hope Diana gets well soon.
    Unicorn

  • Unicorn, there was a an old cartoon where a yellow bird in a cage says, “I thought I saw a pussy cat.” but it always came out as, “I taut I saw a Puddy Tat.”

    Jane is a pussy cat (mountain lion). Rick has cat tattooes. So, Puddy Tat… Clever, if you are old enough to remember the cartoon!

  • Deb S

    Hope Diane feels better soon! I’m finally feeling human myself after 2 weeks of sore throat, fever, cough, and killer congestion. Breathing is not over-rated.

  • Unicorn

    Oooh… now I get it. I guess I’m too young to remember the cartoon. Oh, and I probably also live on the wrong side of the globe, which explains why I sometimes comment at midnight. 🙂 Yeah, it is clever.

  • Oh Deb. There are some nasty illnesses going around now. I am glad you are better.

    Unicorn, I actually do remember that, now that you reminded me.