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"Chloe Harris" really is the pseudonym for two writers, Noelle and Barbra, who've joined forces to write intriguing and sexy stories. A quintessential eccentric southerner, Noelle seems to find a story in almost everything. Ever ambitious to change her stars, she has a degree in Communications. Barbra lives together with her cat ('Princess Mimi'), who isn't very happy that she is spending so much time on writing. But this folly of the living can opener with opposable thumbs is mostly tolerated.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Fangirl Phenomenon

I recently read on an author’s BBS that I on rare occasions skim, that there was a smear campaign afoot and ppl were purposely out to ruin said author. I was shocked. I couldn’t believe things like that could happen. Alarmed and intrigued I checked the reviews on Amazon and B&N etc but the negative reviews there were well thought out, supported by fact and didn’t seem malicious. So then I Googled for any bad press, negative websites, blogs etc. Still Nothing. Maybe they’ve done a successful job at quelling it.

Anyway, in my search I did stumble across an interesting old blog on Romancing the Blog by AngieW about fangirls http://www.romancingtheblog.com/blog/?p=366. Something said author has in abundance. Granted I knew what a fangirl was, I just didn’t know there was a name for it and that it’s a much bigger phenomenon than I was aware of. AngieW defined a Fangirl as:
An obsessive fan who desires to know and follow every detail of an author and their characters’ lives. No detail is too big or too small. She will faithfully follow her beloved author across the internet, gushing endlessly about the wonder of her adored author’s every word—including but not limited to grocery lists, blog entries, and message board posts. Woe to any who dare suggest beloved author’s book was poorly plotted, written, edited, or otherwise had flaws. Faithful fangirl will rip you to shreds on one screen while typing furiously on the other to summon the hordes of hell(otherwise known as rabid fangirls) to join her in righteous fury and indignation that anyone had the temerity to insult their wonderful author’sliterary genius.
To me, I think it’s more prevalent in Paranormal only because that’s my background and I’ve had the misfortune to witness it in that genre not only on the internet but in living very scary color. I’ve been behind a fan at a signing that missed her three year old’s birthday to fly 300 miles to give an author a statue as part of her campaign to gain exclusive rights to one of the author’s characters as “hers” on the BBS and loops. Like I said, scary.

Being a person that is interested in human nature, I find this whole thing completely fascinating.
What are your thoughts? Published authors, do you have or have you had fangirls? Is this phenomenon big in other genres as well? Do you think it’s irresponsible of an author to encourage fangirl behavior? Is there anything authors can do to stop it or at least discourage it?



Sarah J. McNeal said...

starrynite02I've never experienced "fangirls" and hope I never do but I don't really know that there's anything an author can do to discourage them. We work hard to get a fan base in the first place. Psychos and wierdos may not be detectable when you're at a book signing or chatting on a readers' loop. What a frightening world we live in.
Sarah McNeal

Candy Halliday said...


Your post made me shiver - and immediately made me think of the Stephen King book "Misery" that was also made into a movie staring Kathy Bates and James Caan.
As a published author, there are some things you simply have to accept as truth - some people are going to love you and some people aren't. And once you put yourself out there, you're always open game for both praise and critisism.
But as for the idea that an on-line smear campaign could actually ruin an author's career - I highly doubt that. In fact, the more controversy involved in anything in life, it's only human nature for us to check things out so we can form our own opinions.

For example, does the name James Frey ring a bell? I read somewhere that after Oprah's public scolding of Mr. Frey on TV over his trumped-up autobiography "A Million Little Pieces," his book sold another gazillion copies almost over night.

So nasty "fangirls" out there might want to take notice - you're basically giving that author's career you're trying to ruin a HUGE boost! :)

Candy Halliday
Warner Forever