I am a real geek. I thought I should get that out of the the way first. I love going to conventions and meting the actors from Star Trek, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica etc. I help out at the conventions doing all sorts of jobs including keeping queues at photoshoots moving, sitting beside guests and assisting them as they sign autographs, general dogsbody, and helping out with the catering for guests and crew. They are always very busy but ultimately fun weekends.
Through the conventions circuit I have witnessed a number of reactions to meeting an idol.
1. Catatonia – these people just stare at their idol adoringly and are unable to form a coherent sentence or sometimes even meet the celebrity’s eye. I always wonder how much they kick themselves afterwards or if they remember it as a blissful moment.
2. Effusiveness – “I love your work,” “I’m your biggest fan,” “you’re my favourite Star Trek Captain.” the last one was exactly what I said to Kate Mulgrew (Captain Janeway in Star Trek Voyager) the first time I met her. I still cringe at that. Usually these people end up in tears either in front of the guest or just after they leave their presence.
3. The clever questioner – The person who thinks they are asking a really novel question – “How long did it take to put on all the make up?” “Do you not think your character and Chakotay should have got together?” “Will the show ever get a movie made for it?” When you sit with a guest you hear the same questions asked all day. The mark of a good actor is that they don’t look as if it’s the hundredth time that day they’ve been asked that.
4. The person who really spends too much time thinking about these things. “In episode 21 of season three, when you beamed down onto that alien planet and lost your communicator badge, why did the crew not search for you using biometric technology?” Gah! Cos it’s a TV show?
There are of course a number of other rewactions but these are my favourite. But these reactions are caused by fantasies, whether they be fantasies of what you will say when you eventually meet your idol, or fantasies about what will happen in the aftermath. As someone with an over-active imagination, I usually get as far as driving them back to my place and stripping their clothes off half-way up the stairs.
It was these fantasies which fuelled the writing of Fan Girl and the Geek. I like to call it my fantasy autobiography. What if I did meet my idol, or even someone from a show I love and we got on really well? Would I go for it, seduce them, play hard to get? What would you do?
Sadly, I suspect I will never know. But at least I got to live out my fantasies through the eyes of my heroine Shona Ross.
Fan Girl and the Geek will be available from http://pinkpetalbooks.com from 27th September 2012.
Rhett Williams, the hunky captain on the TV show Starship Einstein, is coming to a convention in the UK, and Shona Ross is determined to meet him. Having spent years dreaming about the handsome actor, she nurtures dreams of becoming more than just a fan.
When Rhett does not live up to expectations and leaves Shona despondent, Daniel Adams, the geeky kid from the show, befriends her. Only he’s no longer a geeky kid. In fact, her attraction to him is almost interplanetary. Can Shona get over her infatuation, forget about Daniel’s weak role, and see the man for what he is now?
“This is the life.” Shona held onto the rail at the deep end of the pool, and kicked her legs leisurely. They had the pool to themselves, and the night air was warm. The stars shone clearly in the black sky above the rural resort.
There was a splash at her side as Kirsten took off for another couple of lengths of the pool. Honestly, the girl was incapable of just relaxing and enjoying the water. If Shona had been willing, they would now be engaged in a long race to see who could swim fifty lengths the fastest.
She didn’t bother to look when there was another splash at her side. She assumed Kirsten had come back to tell her something. “What time is the opening party, anyway?”
“Nine o’clock.” The deep American voice startled her and caused her to let go of the railing. Luckily she was still kicking her legs and was able to adjust herself to tread water.
“I’m sorry,” he said taking her hand and guiding it back to the railing. “I didn’t mean to startle you.” She looked up into a pair of dark, velvety brown eyes, which looked concerned but had a glimpse of mischief in them.
“It’s OK. Thanks.”
“I know. Umm, I mean, nice to meet you. I’m Shona.”
“Not always. Scotland can be pretty wet and cold most of the year.”
“So I’ve heard, though I’ve never been. Are you an attendee at the convention?”
“No, I’m crewing.”
His gaze flicked down towards her breasts and back up to her face. Her cleavage was very obvious in her swimming costume, and she grimaced internally. He was used to Hollywood women who were flawless and all a size zero. She had an ample butt and a couple of love handles.
She noticed Kirsten slipping out of the pool and giving her a little wave as she disappeared into the hotel, wrapped in a towel.
“I hope we get the chance to talk at some point over the weekend.”
“That would be nice. Anyway, I’d best go and get ready for the party. It takes ages to dry my hair.”
She needed to get away from his intense gaze. It was making her heart flip in a way that it hadn’t for a long time.
“I’d better do a few laps. I’ve been eating rubbish for two days. I’ll be like Man Mountain if I’m not careful.”
This time she allowed her own gaze to flick over his perfectly formed pecs and the flat, ripped stomach that he was patting.
“Is that a lame attempt to get me to tell you that you’re not fat?” she teased. “I thought it was only women who fished for compliments.”
Daniel threw his head back and laughed. “Am I so transparent?” he asked, the gleam back in his eye.
“I’m afraid so.”
“It’s nice to meet someone at one of these conventions who doesn’t want to just flatter my ego.”
“Sorry, the Scots just don’t do flattery and ego massage.”
“In that case, I look forward to visiting.”
“You can always stay on my couch.” What was she saying? She’d just invited this actor to come and stay with her. Even though he’d never take her up on the offer in a million years, it was still a bit forward. “I’m sorry,” she spluttered. “I meant…”
“I’m sure your couch would be much preferable to a bed in a faceless hotel chain,” he grinned.
“Well it’s an open invitation to anyone who was in the cast of Starship Einstein.”
“I’ll be sure to spread the word,” he grinned.
“Hotel Ross is now open.”
He laughed again.
“It was lovely meeting you, Shona.”
“It was nice to meet you too, Daniel. I hope you enjoy the convention.”
“This one certainly has its appeals.” His gaze held hers, and she was unable to tear her gaze away from him. “Well,” he said, clearly feeling a little uncomfortable, “I’d best…” He pointed at the pool, and she smiled and nodded, then watched as he swam away.
Surely he wasn’t interested in her. But he’d made all the right overtures. Anyway, he lived in Los Angeles. It was silly even to think about such things.