Eight years ago, Pepper and I "met" online. We'd known of each other for several years, but it took an online roleplaying community for us to start interacting and become friends. What kind of roleplaying was it?
The kind generated by a cult TV show. Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
So when Pepper came to me with the idea about writing a story that takes place at a fan convention, I jumped at it. Being fans is what we know best. We've both attended fan cons, just like Ryan in Between the Shadow and the Soul, though unfortunately not together. We've both had the chance to sit in on Q&As about our favorite TV shows, stand in long lines in wait for that thirty seconds of seeing our celebrity crush in person, and congregate with other fans to dish about all our favorite parts of the show. Getting into Ryan's head was easy.
Because fan conventions? So much fun. Being surrounded by people who love something as much as you do is always intense, and when you toss in the adrenaline created from the anticipation of getting up close and personal with the stars, your weekend gets even more memorable. The first time I met James Marsters, who played Spike on Buffy, I was tongue-tied. If it hadn't been for my husband standing behind me, I would've walked away without ever uttering a word.
Pepper's first experience was far better than mine. She met Danny Strong, Jonathan from Buffy. He was just sitting in the general signing area with some girl, charging for autographs but not for pictures. Pepper said, "I'm really nervous," at which point he laughed and said, "Don't be, she's just like you and me." At which point he agreed to take a picture, because yes, he really is that sweet.
Ryan's first introduction to Johnny is just as memorable. He arrives in Tahoe for the first annual Shadows and Souls convention to discover the con hotel has lost his room registration. Unwilling to try a different hotel and miss out on a lot of the socializing he's looking forward to, he waits in the lobby in case something opens up. When Johnny, his favorite star from the show, arrives and says he only needs one of the two rooms he had reserved, Ryan leaps forward to make sure he doesn't miss out on the chance to snag the empty suite. That starts them on what turns out to be a weekend filled with hot kisses, angry ghosts, and reeling passions, but if you want to know the specifics, you'll have to read the story and find out.
So tell us. Have you ever been to a fan convention? Is there an actor or celebrity you're dying to meet? Share your best fan stories in the comments!
Between the Shadow and the Soul by Jamie Craig is now available at Amber Allure.
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