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GRRLTalk: Julie Murphy
Julie Murphy has long been a mainstay in the contemporary YA world with bestsellers like Sweet Pea or Dumplin' (which was adapted into a very fun Netflix movie), and now she's entering the world of genre with a brand new novel about our favorite fat girl superhero from Valiant Comics: Faith. Murphy's novel, Faith Taking Flight is a loving, thoughtful, and thoroughly entertaining take on Faith's origin story. Suffice to say we're big fans of the work here at SYFY FANGRRLS and so of course we had to know more about Julie and her geekiness!
What are you currently FANGRRLing over?
So much! Schitt's Creek, Animal Crossing, Holly Black's The Folk of the Air series, Lore Olympus, Leah Johnson's You Should See Me in a Crown, and Tessa Gratton's Night Shine.
What was your first fandom?
Does The Wonder Years count? I was constantly around adults, so I didn't get a lot of kid programming. I also wasn't big into traditional geek culture as a kid, but the first things I remember obsessively consuming were The Wonder Years (and later Boy Meets World), Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken, and Now and Then. Of course, I hit all the big hallmarks of my generation too, so every live Nickelodeon show (OMG All That), The Baby-Sitters Club, Sweet Valley High, R.L. Stein, and Stephen King. I think the thing that really got me into epic stories though, was Clan of the Cave Bear, which was also my first sex talk.
When you were a kid, what was your most prized geek possession?
My VHS of Anne of Green Gables (not the official box set, but the bootleg recorded one). A close second would be my Now and Then soundtrack cassette tape.
Who was the most instrumental in getting you into geek culture?
I didn't fall into more traditional geek culture until seventh grade, and as much as I hate to admit, it's due to the silly boys I had crushes on. Being a fat kid, I was automatically relegated to the “geek” crowd, but it turned out that we had totally different cultural touchstones. So, at first, it was just me trying to have friends and find common ground with people who were in the same place on the social food chain as me. Luckily, I soon discovered theater, which was my exact flavor of gay and geek culture.
What are you most geek-curious about?
I like it pretty morbid! Death culture and the history of death culture always gets me.
Do you collect nerdy stuff? If so, what?
I'm too much of a natural hoarder to allow myself to collect anything too big, so the usual fare like buttons, patches, and stickers that I never actually use because I'm eternally searching for the right "spot." I have a commitment problem.
Do you cosplay? Follow up: if yes, what's your favorite that you've ever done? If not, what would you dress as?
I don't cosplay for the sake of cons, but I'm a very aggressive celebrator of Halloween. Some of my favorites have been Lizzie Borden, Ursula, and Winifred Sanderson.
What's something geeky that you will always spend money on?
Books. So many books.
If you could do a TED Talk on anything fandom-related, what would it be and why?
I would probably want to talk about how we quantify fandom or nerd culture. Thinking back to middle school and those nerd boys I was so eager to impress; I wish I just would have understood that they weren't better or more interesting than me. We were just passionate about very different things. Nerd culture is much broader and more expansive than that. And also, Diana Barry and Anne Shirley's ~gay~ energy.
If a studio came to you and said they would adapt anything you wanted, what would it be and why?
Oooooo! I feel like I wanted to a new B.S.B. forever and we finally got that, so I think I'd like to really lean into 17-year-old Julie here and say House of Leaves. Give us a nonsense House of Leaves movie! (That new Kevin Bacon movie looks like it's close, though!)