After the Hugos is before the Hugos, so here is another Fancast Spotlight for your consideration. For more about the Fanzine/Fancast Spotlight project, go here. You can also check out the other great fanzines and fancasts featured by clicking here.
Today’s Fancast Spotlight is something a little different, because the fancast in question is in German, though the interview is in English.
So I’m happy to welcome Dennis Frey of Dennis Frey Books to my blog today:
Tell us about your podcast or channel.
I do a lot of content on creative writing on Twitch – lessons, reading excerpts from the community and my own books, longer workshops, throwbacks to the first works of different artists… aaaand it’s all in German. Sorry.
If that’s fine with you, there is about 100 hours of writing content from the streams on my YouTube Channel.
Who are the people behind your podcast or channel?
That’s all me – which is why all the YouTube stuff is uncut. I just don’t have the time to do best offs.
Why did you decide to start your podcast or channel?
When Corona went in full swing I couldn’t go to book fairs anymore which was where I sold most books and made about 80% of my income. With that gone I had to get creative and started online readings which softened the blow a little bit but was a lot of fun. So I just kept going even after book fairs were back on the menu.
What format do you use for your podcast or channel and why did you choose this format?
I started with just reading my own works but quickly realized that I would hit a wall pretty soon, where I would be out of interesting things to read. As I had already been doing writing workshops in schools and at conventions I just took that to Twitch and it has been quite popular. Another popular format that I’m bringing back soon was “Cringe” where successful artists would show the very first steps they took and compare them to their latest – mostly to encourage newcomers, but also because it’s absolutely hilarious. The idea for that came when I found my horrible, horrible first try at writing from when i was eleven.
The fan categories at the Hugos were there at the very beginning, but they are also the categories which consistently get the lowest number of votes and nominations. So why do you think fanzines, fancasts and other fan projects are important?
Could there be anything more amazing than getting so pulled in by a work of fiction that you are willing to sacrifice your own free time to create something related to that?
I can actually see that from different angles. As a writer I had people draw fan art and write fan fiction about my stories and the feeling is AMAZING. Those are experiences that keep me motivated years after those readers showed me their projects.
As a writing coach I keep telling people to start with fan fiction when they want to get into creative writing because it simply is the best way to get used to the process without having to start from scratch developing all characters and worldbuilding.
As someone who has been extremely invested in a lot of fandoms in my life I can just say that half the fun is meeting other fans, debating where the story is and might go, what made us fall in love with a character, or – let’s face it – shipping.
All those fan projects are what keeps the work alive for more than just one read or one viewing.
In the past twenty years, fanzines have increasingly moved online and fancasts have sprung up. What do you think the future of fan media looks like?
I suppose we will stay mostly online. When I think back to my early teenage years it was basically impossible to find other fans of that obscure anime you found somewhere. If you were into something else than Star Wars, Star Trek or (a little later) Lord of the Rings and not living in a major city you were pretty much out of luck. Now it doesn’t matter what show or book you love, just a few clicks away there is a fanbase you can connect with. People that can become “your crowd” – or at the very least people that have a shared interest.
That won’t go away, because it is such a luxury (that a lot of fans are not even aware of ^^)
The four fan categories of the Hugos (best fanzine, fan writer, fan artist and fancast) tend to get less attention than the fiction and dramatic presentation categories. Are there any awesome fanzines, fancasts, fan writers and fan artists you’d like to recommend?
There is one fan art channel on YouTube that became very close to my heart:
At “North of the Border” Adam creates amazing clay models of his favourite characters from films and gaming – and it is so relaxing to watch.
Where can people find you?
On Twitch, for writing, gaming and a lot of talking: www.twitch.tv/dennisfreybooks
On YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@DennisFreyBooks
On Twitter, for education on autism, writing stuff and German humor (I promise it DOES exist!): www.twitter.com/dennis_the_frey
And on Instagram for my attempt to wrangle a platform that uses more than words to convey what i want to say: www.instagram.com/dennisfreybooks
Thanks for the interview! That was something completely different from what I usually get asked and it is surprisingly refreshing to be forced to actually think about the answers instead of just writing the same stuff for the hundredth time 😀
Thank you, Dennis, for stopping by and answering my questions.
Do check out Dennis Frey Books, cause it’s a great fancast.
Do you have a Hugo eligible fanzine/-site or fancast or a semiprozine and want it featured? Contact me or leave a comment.