The Mirror of Fandom

Harry's Two-Way Mirror (Harry Potter Wikia)
The thing that fascinates me about fandom is how sociable it is, that it grows through a sense of community—a community you choose to be a member of.

I was first struck by this during the heyday of the Harry Potter publishing phenomenon. Fans of all ages lined up at midnight to put down good money for the latest book. Wow. What a concept! Who'd have thought it possible?

Yes, the books were delightful, funny, quirky, entertaining, and imaginative, with a strong moral core. But the fans. The fans were THE BEST FANS EVER. Because being a Harry Potter fan meant something; it meant you were funny and quirky and entertaining and imaginative, too, and that you believed in the power of right over wrong. If you stood in a line with another Harry Potter fan you knew you were safe, that you'd probably like them if you struck up a conversation. So you did. Well, I did, anyway. Often. Even at midnight. Especially at midnight. 

The spirit of the fans reflected the spirit of the book.

So, here's a thought...

It's a rare writer these days who doesn't dream of having fans at some point, but how many of them consider the KIND of fans they invite into their life when creating their fictional world?

Perhaps if you find dark, troubled, even mean-spirited characters fascinating you won't mind attracting dark, troubled, mean-spirited readers.

Or would you?

In the past a writer could write what they wanted to without considering these questions. Just as they could write in different genres if they wanted to, without publishers and agents reminding them about the importance of building a recognizable 'brand'. They were also able to live outside the glare of publicity. But all that has changed. 

So what do you think? Should we ignore or consider the nature of the snowball we send rolling down the mountain when we choose what to write about?

Or am I talking a load of twaddle? 

The Mirror of Erised (courtesy of Harry Potter wikia)

LIA KEYES is represented by Laura Rennert, of Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

A British expat, she's currently finishing a fantasy adventure for young adults. You can find links to her online haunts on her website.

Lia's other musings


I have thought about this, Lia! And I want all the Firefly fans. The main problem with this is that Firefly's already been done. And I don't write science fiction (yet). :)

Oh, Firefly! And I never found out who Preacher really was. SO bummed. Ooops - I guess that makes me a Firefly fan. ;)

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