I have a couple of hundred fans, this is odd, it's weird in some cases and has already led a few years ago to issues that was quiet scary. I refused to meet up with someone as I felt they were being too fanatical and this resulted in a hate campaign against me. This was resolved mainly due to the behaviour being against the law.
This has not put me off of having fans as most of them are lovely and more so a lot of them have become friends in one form or another and with some of them the fandom is mutual. Add in social media and the fact I take part in various author/writers chats and I end up talking to C J Cherryh and Anne Rice and the like in recipricol conversations. The same goes for the science writers and artists and in some cases bands.
Now I have a mix on my various feds of people I know and people I don't but who's work I like - people I suppose I am a fan of. Mainly it is people I find inspiring or interesting. But I don't tend to follow the fashions as it were so I don't really know who is famous and who is not. I have countless stories of me turning down going for noodles with someone who was going of to have lunch with Nick Cave and of informing Cory Doctorow that his coat was really zippy and that I liked it. Al has tried to tell writers that I am a writer too and I have just shrugged and said things like, 'yeah but its only scifi and horror and a bit of poetry', and this years piece de la resistance turning down the chance to read my poetry out to a room full of important and famous people as I had Jean with me and she needed to be in bed early as she had a jujistu tournament the next day - with hind sight this are miss chances but I just don't really segment people in my head.
I am my own worst enermy and have even suffered the 'oh my god I have fans and they expect the same stuff from me all the time... I can't do that!' when I first found out people were reading this blog I struggled to continue and by people I don't mean our friends we'd told about it but all the others who had found us and found what we had to say interesting. And then I found the oppersite, the feeling that I was only writing to audience and that I could not be true to self as it might offend or bore or worse upset my mother. These were the demons of fandom as I saw it.
After the stalker incident I did worry and I stepped back a bit from public stuff both real life and electronic as I was realised that I feared becoming too famous (I know it's unlikely that that would happen and that it is probably arrogent to think that way but I am giving you my thought process here). How much did I want to be in the public eye etc... but I couldn't not write so I tried a psydonyme and that worked and got me back on track.
Part of me is always nervous of being 'fan-like' about people who's work I admire, having had the stalker, and others who hate my stuff and yet others who think everything I do is amazing and just stare at me waiting for me to say something. And then I realised that I am in this sort of bizar state of mind where the whole world is a sort of extended village for me. Social media has shrunk things but so has the activities I take part in in the physical world. I go and see my friends play and I tweet them to say I enjoyed it as I had to leave before the end of the concert to catch the train and then I go and see Gotye and do pretty much exactly the same thing.
I just find the concept of fans and fandom and fanfic and everything a bit strange even though I am part of it from two different sides.
Of course being shy means that I get as nervous over saying hello to the girl who had organised the charity performance I did Thursday night as I did when meeting members of the Royal Family.
This is something I puzzled over after the weekend as well, I get prizes for my art, I get them shown at International Conferences and so on and yet in a village that I lived in for 6 years... meh. It's like the issue of me being invited to read in Oxford and Bristol and so on and yet the towns near me.... I get completely over looked. Part of it is going to be that I am not main stream so I suppose that I am not in an area with enough population density to have people who appreciate my work.