Way back in the day…about 2005 to be precise, my mother introduced me to her favorite television show – The Gilmore Girls. I then discovered that many of my siblings, nieces and nephews were also Gilmore Girls junkies. Shouldn’t have surprised me. We tend to talk fast and quippy, and I think pop culture references are embedded into our genetic code. This show was made for my family. I even have great-niece named Lorelai.
But my love of the Gilmore Girls runs a little deeper than the usual. You see, it was my need to worship at the altar of Lorelai and Luke that led me back to my dream of one day being a writer.
Yes, I was a fan fiction writer. As a matter of fact, between 2007 and 2010, I wrote over a half million words dedicated to my beloved Gilmore Girls and The Office (JAM!). Through my fan fiction, I made the online acquaintance of a group of women I now consider some of my best friends. They were the ones who encouraged me to write original fiction.
I wrote the first chapter of my first novel as a birthday gift for one of them. Another has since become a published author in her own right. She has also been my critique partner for every book I have ever written. As of today, I’ve had 30 novels and novellas (between two pen names) and 12+ short stories that have been published, so she’s definitely overworked, but never unappreciated.
The rest are the most ardent and supportive friend-fans an author could ever have. We meet once a year as a group to spend time together. Some come every year, others as they can. We’re always open to breaking in a few newbies as well. We have a few Canadians in the ranks, an Aussie, a sleek little German import, and a baker’s dozen or more that come from all areas of the States. Over the past seven years, we have terrorized Kansas City, Nashville, Raleigh, Greenville, Atlanta, San Antonio, and just last February, Las Vegas, baby!
It seems crazy to say that a television show had a major impact on my life, but it’s true. If I hadn’t spent an hour watching episode 2.16 ‘There’s the Rub’ with my mommy one afternoon, none of this would have happened. I wouldn’t have met this wonderful group of women, traveled to all these fantastic cities, or learned the joys of Fantales, Mint Slice, Clodhoppers, and OMGs.
And I probably would never have pursued my dream of writing my own stories.
So thank you, Amy Sherman-Palladino and all involved with bringing this show to life. You certainly changed mine!