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June 21st, 2007

This topic has been on my mind for several weeks. Been fighting with how to broach it and haven't had much success figuring out the best way. So I figured I'd just jump in with both feet and see where it took me.

Before I became a published author, I was fan. Still am a fan. Will probably always be a fan of something or other till the end of my days. Being a fan is an exilirating thing. Full of possibilities, excitement, drama, and agnst. Depending on how deeply something touches your heart, it can even make dreary days pass faster, giving you something to look forward to seeing or hearing when you get off work.



In our generation, the possibilities have never been so ripe for fandom. Shows, books, music, movies can touch people in the millions. All those people can then share with you the same thrill for the particular thing. The internet and email have opened up the virtual world so that no matter where you live, you can find people who love the same things as you. In mere moments, you can share news, gossip, rumors, ideas on your favorite episodes, actors, authors, plots. You can share homemade videos from clippings made from the shows, buy goods related to people or things, and have them sent to your very door in days.



Fan sites and news sites will have intimate details of every aspect of an author, model, actor's life all just a few keystrokes away.



So at what point is enough, enough? From talking to other authors, from hearing stories at or about conventions, there is a very dark side to fandom. A side that crosses the line from enjoyment and information of shows, books, actors, authors to invasion and madness.



Celebrities are expected, heck anymore, required, to have face time with their fans. Interaction with those who enjoy their work or product creates a feeling of closeness between all parties, and is normally a celebrity's way to give back to those who have supported them in their endeavors and at times even ways to get new supporters. It can be a healthy and mutually beneficial experience. They respect you for your patronage, you respect them for their work. But then things can also get ugly.



This may seem like something inane and rather obvious to state but...celebrities are people too! They have feelings, desires, frustrations, family. They covet time alone, want other to respect their space, want moments of peace and quiet. Heck, we all do! Yet respecting or even realizing they want and deserve these most common of things at times goes out the window.



To some, because a person is a celebrity, they suddenly aren't people anymore. They have become things -- property. As if the normal rules that apply to getting along and with everyone else around you no longer apply - when nothing could be farther from the truth!



You're an actor or author and you go to a convention. People ask you if you'll take a photo with them, and doing your bit, you say sure. So far so good. But then as the individual poses for the picture, the fan reaches behind them and squeezes their bum! Goodness! While the fan has just received the thrill of a lifetime, what about the poor celebrity? If you were the fan and someone asked to take a picture with you, you'd scream bloody murder if they took such a liberty on your own behind. So then why are there fans that can't see they shouldn't do these things others?



And what of people, who, due to the demands of fans and the fact money is a factor, will go out there and pursue celebrities when they are not working, when they are trying to live their lives and invade their privacy so they can spill to the hungry masses every detail of all they see and do?



Stephen King was forced to buy the van of them man who ran him over just so it wouldn't be placed on eBay and bid on! The man was HIT, almost KILLED by this vehicle. Is buying it as a fan any real way to actually show you admire the man's work? How could anyone believe he would ever want you to do that? And that he would be happy about it?



Then there are the cases of stalking. Of fans telling others they are dating celebrity so and so, or married to them in secret, starting rumors and who knows what else. Some even seem to enjoy causing turbulence for the person they supposedly admire, bad mouthing them on the internet or in public. They don't even know the PERSON behind the character or writing they seemingly like. Yet it is as if they feel they OWN them.



As fans we must learn where the line is and not cross it. Let's respect them, respect their space, and who they actually are -- people. Just like you and me. :P




Gloria Oliver
www.gloriaoliver.com
Unveiling the Fantastic





Tags: ; ;
Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic
www.gloriaoliver.com

Novels


JEWEL OF THE GODS

(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!


Excerpt:
"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."





INNER DEMONS

(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!


Excerpt:
The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."



THE PRICE OF MERCY

(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Excerpt:

Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.




CROSS-EYED DRAGON TROUBLES
(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”

Excerpt:

“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.



WILLING SACRIFICE
(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”

Excerpt:

Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”



IN THE SERVICE OF SAMURAI
(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”

Excerpt:

Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.



VASSAL OF EL
(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”

Excerpt:

Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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