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five . . . . . Fear and Loathing in Vancouver We are not optimists by nature or conditioning. Kathy quietly moves through life on the assumption that nothing will work out and that complete happiness is a media construct, something that happens in films and Jane Austen novels but never in real life. Lynn is right there with her for the most part, though perhaps less quiet in her assurance that doom lurks behind doors number one, two, and three. There are no safe options and no sure bets. So we returned from California encouraged by our informal discussions with Betsy Morris and our brief chats with Jared and Danneel and Jensen, but we had no expectation that this kind of luck would continue. “Why would it?” would have been Kathy’s first question. There really is never a good answer (incontrovertible proof will never present itself), which only proved her point. Lynn would open her mouth to offer up an answer, stay like that for a moment, and then sink back into silence. We’re also introverts. Kathy is painfully shy and avoids most situations that require her to talk to people she is unfamiliar with or to speak in public . The irony that her job requires just that of her on an ongoing basis is not lost on her. For her part, Lynn has learned to talk enough to mislead anyone into thinking that she’s the life of the party. Add to this the fear we all have of talking to anyone who’s on the celebrity side of the fence and you have two anxious, pessimistic women whose every instinct told them not to reach out to people and never, ever to hope that they might reach back. So when Lynn summoned every ounce of courage she had and emailed Adam Malin, the co-owner of Creation Entertainment, described our book, and asked if he’d be available for an interview at the upcoming Supernatural fear and loathing in vancouver 77 convention, at first she didn’t even bother to tell Kathy she’d done it, so sure was she that it would come to nothing. “I did something,” Lynn said one weekend, when Kathy was visiting. Of course Kathy’s mind immediately went to the darkest places it could go. Bodies in the backyard? Sex tapes on the Internet? Answering one of those emails from Nigerian businessmen? “I didn’t want to tell you until I knew what would happen.” Lynn waited a beat to let the anticipation build (as any good fanfic writer would) and then spilled. Adam had responded immediately and thought that our book sounded exciting. We would interview him in Chicago. The research began in earnest. We spent a week at the beach (nominally on a joint family vacation) joined at the hip, scouring the show’s online fan communities, learning as much as we could about the (at that time still short) history of the fandom. If we were going to start interviewing people, we needed to know what we were talking about. We found out that the first Supernatural fan fiction community was created well before the pilot aired (based on Comic Con buzz from the previous year) and that the first Wincest fanfic was posted within twenty-four hours of the pilot airing. The first No-Wincest community was started shortly thereafter. Our family members occasionally rolled their eyes, wondering how much more of our lives was going to be taken up by this “fan thing” and silently contemplating an intervention. Perhaps those theories of fan psychology that viewed being a fan as an addiction really were onto something after all. At the time, we didn’t see it that way. “What are you reading?” Lynn’s son asked as we all spread our towels and beach chairs out on the sun-warmed sand. “Theorizing Fandom,” Lynn replied enthusiastically, with a highlighter between her teeth. Jeffrey rolled his eyes. “Good beach book.” “Stop reading!” Lynn’s daughter ordered. “Come play Frisbee with us.” “She loves fandom more,” Jeffrey observed, only half joking. Meanwhile, Kathy’s nose was buried in Convergence Culture. “Work at the beach?” her daughter sighed, somewhere between accusation and capitulation. Kathy wasn’t sure that her daughter bought that this was actually “work” either. We weren’t entirely unsociable. We did pause at the appropriate times 78 chapter five to eat because our families made us and because you can’t go to the Eastern Shore of...


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