wontseekatie asked: Can you please address your decision to have Harry Potter exist in the Fangirl universe? I'm sure there are reasons behind and and I'd love to hear them.
Rainbow:OH MAN, THIS QUESTION.So, Simon Snow, the character whom Cath writes fanfiction about, pretty obviously takes up the same place in her world as Harry Potter does in ours.Simon is a very different character from Harry, but the Simon Snow phenomenon is definitely an analog for the Harry Potter fan experience.SO HOW CAN HARRY POTTER AND SIMON SNOW BOTH EXIST IN MY BOOK?Here’s how Harry Potter is introduced in Fangirl — Cath is explaining slash to Levi, specifically why she ships Simon with his antagonist, Baz. And Levi says:"I don’t know. It’s hard for me to get my head around. It’s like hearing that Harry Potter is gay. Or Encyclopedia Brown."My intention with that line was, one, to be funny. And two, to wink at the reader. Because anyone who tries to explain a slash relationship outside of fandom will inevitably hear, "But Harry Potter can’t be gay!"Or, "But Captain Kirk can’t be gay!"This was me looking at the reader, winking, and saying, "Yep. That’s what I’m doing here."I thought a bit about how Harry and Simon could co-exist in Cath’s world, then decided it would be like Star Wars/Star Trek, ‘N Sync/Backstreet Boys or Marvel/DC …Mostly, I figured people wouldn’t take the line very literally; they’d just wink back at me and move on.That said, this line was something I asked my editor, agent and beta reader about during copy edits. (I start questioning everything during copy edits.) I asked them all if the line bothered them, whether it gave them Simon/Harry dissonance. And they all said no — that they really liked that line, and that I was over-thinking it.I pay a lot of attention to consistency and continuity in my books (I checked every reference in my first book, Attachments, to make sure they were accurate to 1999), so it drives me crazy that this line is driving anyone crazy. I hate that it’s a distraction.The Harry Potter reference doesn’t bother me, personally, but the fact that it bothers other people makes me want to change it in the book. I’m actually going to talk to my editor about whether it’s even possible to change it.
Also, I’m going to make Greedo shoot first.
Here’s me answering the MOST asked question about Fangirl.
What do you think? Would you miss the Harry Potter reference if I took it out? (Still not sure whether that’s allowed …)
I have always read this type of nod as almost a legal disclaimer. “Obviously this character can’t be [person in the real world who is clearly this character], because I’ve mentioned [person in the real world] here by name, so, you see, they are two different people. Obviously.” In this case, though, Simon is really nothing like Harry, so the mention isn’t necessary from that point of view.
It did seem a little odd, though, that Cath and Wren would love Simon Snow so much and not care about Harry Potter even a tiny little bit? And never mention him at all outside of that one little wink?