In case you did not know, I’m pretty much addicted to the internet. I clearly spend too much time on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Tumblr, but I’m not ashamed. I like to think that I’m constantly discovering new and exciting things: great artists, writers, or cool people in general. The weird thing about this is that there is a drastic disconnect for me from seeing (or sometimes interacting) with people on the internet than in real life. I do put awesome content creators on a pedestal reserved for Grumpy Cat or Beyonce. They deserve it though.
When I was an intern at Touchstone, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, I was attending an editorial board meeting and they discussed possibly acquiring The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet. I flipped! I went on a tangent about how awesome it was and that I had written a paper about it for my transmedia class (which I was taking at the time, part of that paper also appeared in my thesis on transmedia). The editor was a bit on the fence, but still interested, and called a meeting with the author and his agent. I wasn’t expecting anything more after my mini-speech at Ed Board to come from it, except finding out whether or not they would get the rights to the book. On the day of the meeting they asked me to attend! (“Where’s the intern that likes the YouTube?” or something like that.) I met Bernie Su, the creator of the web series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, a transmedia enterprise under the production company Pemberly Digital. You may have also heard they are publishing a second book about Lizzie’s sister, Lydia!
Bernie Su was very sweet and respectful and I tried to be as well, but I could not stop smiling! I’m sure I looked like a crazy fangirl, but I promise had the very best intentions. I was so excited and nervous! A real life person from the internet is here in real life! Bernie said that he thought it was cool that I wrote a paper about The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. (Thanks, Bernie!) Since it was also the day to choose whether or not Touchstone was going to buy the book and the day Bernie was going to decide what publisher to go with, I’d like to think I had a minuscule influence on that decision. It was my last day of my internship, so honestly, it was pure luck that I was able to be there that day.
The previous fall, I went to ComicCon and I met The Oatmeal at his book signing. It wasn’t a shake-hands-and-have-a-conversation type of meeting, but he signed and drew bat cat in my copy of How To Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting To Kill You. Again with the smiling slash nervousness!
I’ve also met regular people from Twitter in real life. We both happened to be members of Young To Publishing Group (YPG), but connected on Twitter through a reason I can’t remember now… but the point is, we met in real life and were able to commemorate it. She’s pretty cool and I look forward to seeing her at YPG events/ Twitter.
Most recently (and the inspiration for this post) was that I was able to meet the creators of the podcast Welcome To Night Vale. Whenever a conversation pretentiously turns to podcasts, I always bring the show up 1) because it’s awesome, 2) it’s better than Serial (I’m so tired of hearing about it!) and 3) because it’s the only podcast I can stand to listen to on a consistent basis. I’m going to gush a bit because I need to admit that I don’t like listening to audio books, I get distracted too easily. So the fact that Welcome to Night Vale keeps me constantly returning for more means a hell of a lot.
I was on my way to lunch at work at the cafe one floor below where I normally sit. I usually eat at my desk, but I ran into my work friend and we decided to eat downstairs. I walked down before her and moved past a group of people near the elevator. (I will also preface this by saying I have a tendency to eaves drop.) So I walked by and heard a familiar voice that I immediately recognized as Joseph Fink, who does the introductions to most of the shows. I turned around and came over to the group, “I’m sorry to interrupt, but I recognized your voice.” They laughed. I shook hands with Joseph Fink, then I turned to the person next to me, Jeffery Cranor, and shook hands with him. I said I was a fan and remember introducing myself to other people, my co-workers, but I forgot their names almost immediately. Of course, I was smiling like an idiot again! Never could I have imagined that I would meet someone like them! Anyway, I kept it short and left soon after wishing them well on their book and the rest of their days. And of course I tweeted about it.
Internet people are real people, too! The lesson I’ve learned from these encounters is to control my grin, keep the conversation short, and always say how much of a fan you are. Can’t go wrong, right? Maybe in the future, I’ll actually take pictures with internet people so it will be more real!
~Back to fangirling~