I have been a fan of so many different things for so long that it’s probably apt to say that I’m a fan of fandom in general. My second book, THIS ADVENTURE ENDS, deals in part with fandom—specifically, the fandom for a fictional supernatural-themed tv show inspired by MTV’s Teen Wolf, and the fan fiction coming out of such a fandom.
With FOOLISH HEARTS, I wanted to explore a different type of fandom—that of a boy band. It’s different from television or movie fandoms, where you’re dealing with fictional characters, the actors that play them, and the show-runners and writers that control their fates. In becoming invested in a band, it’s very much about the music, but also in part about the interactions between the people in the band, how they got there, where they’re going, and who they are as people. It can feel more all-encompassing at times, more unpredictable, but that’s part of the fun.
The first boy band to catch my attention was NSYNC; I was in elementary school when they hit it big, and I had an instant favorite—Lance Bass. I remember throwing a party with my friends on Lance’s birthday one year. We ate Lance’s favorite foods, brought our favorite Lance pictures from teen magazines, and discussed our favorite Lance facts. I eventually moved on to new favorite musicians and music groups over the years, but I’ll always have a special fondness for Lance!
In FOOLISH HEARTS, Iris is a fan of a boy band called This Is Our Now, or TION. Formed on a reality tv show, TION is more heavily inspired by a boy band of recent years: One Direction. Iris’s own particular fave in TION serves as a constant for her—a role model and an inspiration and someone she cares deeply about. Iris’s love of TION comes as a major surprise to protagonist Claudia, but it serves as an unlikely point of bonding between the two of them. In my experience, being a fan can enrich your life, and can serve as a foundation for new friendships and new experiences. I loved the opportunity to weave fandom into the arc of Iris and Claudia’s friendship.