(Written exclusively for Uppercase by Anna Breslaw)

Like Scarlett, I was really into certain fandoms (Buffy, Harry Potter, certain Final Fantasy games and obscure/darker anime series) and took to the Internet to find likeminded people. I wrote some fanfiction but more often participated in real-time AOL RPGs—which is collaborative fanfiction, kind of—which surely don’t exist anymore, because I’m old.

Unlike Scarlett, I had a group of friends at school who were also into it, and from seventh grade to about tenth grade we’d tag along every summer with one of their big sisters (also a fangirl) to Otakon, which was in Baltimore. We all shared a hotel room and slept on the floor. I had my second kiss—and first good kiss—at Otakon, in fact.

The common misconception about people in fandom, or people who become friends online, is that they’re weird or losers or antisocial. But my own experience with fandom as a teenager taught me that wasn’t true, and hopefully that’s clear in the book. When you’re passionate about the world of a show, video game, band, or anything, you naturally want to seek out like-minded people and make the party bigger.

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