A few weeks ago, I attended the Fangirl book signing in Washington, DC, where Rainbow Rowell, author of Attachments, Eleanor & Park, and Landline (Spring, 2014) gave an inspired talk to a packed room. She spoke on her love of fandoms, her writing process, music and more. She spent an hour speaking and answering questions from the audience, and had I not been a fan of hers prior to this event, I would have walked out of the room with a bag full of newly purchased books.
It only took me a couple of days to read Fangirl. Why? Well, it’s mostly because this book was written for us. And, who do I mean by “us”? I mean the girl (or boy) who was awkward in school, who didn’t know what label she fell into. It’s for the girl who spent her days reading inside, instead of spending time out in the sunshine. It’s for the girl who lost herself in a world of magic, wonder and imagination because sometimes that world, and those words, were the only friends she had. Simply put, Fangirl is a love letter to fandom.
“There are other people on the internet. It’s awesome. You get all the benefits of ‘other people’ without the body odor and the eye contact.” –Fangirl, page 147
In this book, we meet Cath, a college freshman, who is a fanfic BNA, (that’s “big name author” to you non-fandom folk), in the (fictional) Simon Snow fandom. She writes as an escape from her own life where she has terrible social anxiety, a not so great family life, doesn’t quite know how to make friends, and was recently told by her own twin sister that they need to spend more time apart while attending the same college. She has a roommate — with a charming, sometimes, maybe boyfriend — who’s her complete opposite, a campus that seems too large for her, a dad struggling to watch his girls leave the nest, and the pressure of being an 18-year-old girl. We watch her struggle and grow as she decides whether or not being a fangirl is holding her back, and if she can navigate college and, frankly, life, on her own.
Here at Keysmash, we are incredibly lucky that Rainbow Rowell took time out of her insanely busy schedule to answer a few questions for us about her book! Check out what she had to say: