From time to time, the OTW will be hosting guest posts on our OTW News accounts. These guests will be providing an outside perspective on the OTW or aspects of fandom where our projects may have a presence. The posts express each author’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. We welcome suggestions from fans for future guest posts, which can be left as a comment here or by contacting us directly.
Cait Coker is a genre historian with a background in fan history, women’s writing and publishing, and print history. Her essays have appeared in The Journal of Fandom Studies and The Seventeenth Century, among others. Today, Catherine talks about the issues raised in her Transformative Works and Cultures article titled “The margins of print? Fan fiction as book history.”
How did you first get into fandom and fanworks?
I was a teenager back in the 1990s when the Internet was becoming more widely available, and I came across a book on sale at Walmart (I was a kid in a small town, what can I say?) called Net Trek, which was a guide to Star Trek sites and listservs online….with a whole chapter dedicated to fan fiction (and even a little bit about K/S slash!). A few months later I got my first computer (and the Internet) and immediately started looking for fan fiction for all of my favorite shows, and soon after started writing stories myself. It was all downhill from there!