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