Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Outlander - 'The Fans Who Make It' - Series by Roma Sars

Hello everyone! (From Roma Sars on "My Outlander Friends" on Facebook)

As a member of the Outlander fandom, I have visited many websites and blogs by fans who interview the actors, production staff and others involved with the making of the Outlander series.
I have also seen fans collect tens of thousands of dollars for the charities of their favourite actors, as well as fans making the most beautiful art and videos, all dedicated to the Outlander story.

What motivates the fans do this? Why have some of them devoted the best part of their days to the Outlander story?
So far, no-one has interviewed these fans who are behind these websites, blogs and twitter handles, some of them with thousands of followers.

So, I thought that I should be the one to do that, and I have approached some of them and found them conducive to do interviews.
In doing so, I hope to understand this obsession which has taken a hold of me ever since I discovered the Outlander story in 2015.

This will be the start of my “Outlander- the fans who make it” series of interviews.
I hope you will like what I will post, as I am sure I am going to enjoy doing it.

(This interview has been conducted by Roma Sars of, My Outlander Friends!)

The next interview in the ‘Outlander- the fans who make it” series is with Kathryn Elliott, aka Laugh Outlander on Twitter and Facebook, with thousands of followers.

I enjoy Kathryn’s elegant and intelligent humour and find her a huge asset to our fandom.

Please tell us about yourself.
I’m Kathy Elliott – wife, mom and extrovert. My age is somewhere between finding-herself and can’t find my keys. I live in Connecticut with my husband and two college age sons and our puddle-of-love-Labrador, Maggie.

Professionally, I spent the first 20 years of my career as a publicist – first in music and then, (dramatic horror, music) politics. I believed in the men and women I worked for, but eventually Washington bureaucracy drained my will to live, and I turned to non-profit fundraising for a series of Connecticut based charities. And like so many American families struggling to secure long-term financial stability, I work a second job as an office manager for an incredible physical therapist. It’s nice to have an on-call expert for the aches and pains of aging!

Oh, I’m also a contracted writer for a few local publications, and I’m a published author. {Insert Shameless Plug} My first book, ‘Adding Lib’, is available on Amazon in all formats, as well as through my publisher, The Wild Rose Press. I’m woefully behind on the next in the series, ‘Finding Caroline’, but can hopefully spend more time on it when my youngest is off to college in the fall; the empty nest will fill with a little more creative time.

How long have you been doing your memes for Outlander? Is this the only show you do memes for, or do you also do this for other shows? 
I only do goofy memes for Outlander, and I guess LaughOutLander has been up and running for a little over two years?? Can’t remember exactly. Before this, I crafted a few memes for my favorite cohort-in-crime, Outlander Ambassador and a few other larger accounts from my personal Twitter, CandidKathryn.

How much time do you spend every day on Outlander? 
Depends on how much time my darling husband spends watching sports. If the Yankees, Steelers or Rangers are on – I’ve got a few free hours to kill. That’s typically when we snuggle on the couch – he yells at the game, and I make a stockpile of memes. It’s the pinnacle of love.

So…to answer your question, on a normal day, I try not to spend more than an hour on Outlander related social media. The books, however - they’ve been known to happily eat up entire days, weeks and months of my time. ☺

What do you like most about the Outlander books and show? What do you like the least? 
Least – Fans policing fans. The cyber Gladys Kravitz mentality is ludicrous.

Most –The cast’s relentless commitment to charity, and continual efforts to use their tremendous platforms to speak up for those in need.

On a very personal note, Caitriona, Sam and Graham helped bring awareness to our friends Jeff and Sandy’s charity, The Caroline Previdi Foundation, in memory of their vivaciously-perfect daughter, a victim of the Sandy Hook tragedy. There are no words to adequately describe my gratitude.

Which character in Outlander is your favourite? Please explain why. 
Character? Lord John Grey. He epitomizes the ultimate gentleman; charm, intellect and can we talk about that razor sharp wit!?! Above all he’s admirable, owns who he is and loves unconditionally – perfect.

Now if you want to know which actor is my favorite – Tobias Menzies. No contest. Talent incarnate. I was a fan before Outlander, and will be well after.

How has Outlander affected your life and/or lifestyle?
Honestly, my home life/lifestyle has not really changed. I’m still the same overscheduled mom with too many commitments and not enough time. But Outlander has, without question, brought me an incredibly diverse and spectacular new circle of friends.

I’ve met some amazing women here. Strong, beautiful souls who shared incredible experiences with me, opened their homes and hearts and formed unbreakable friendships. I had no idea a story could connect me with strangers from all corners of the globe, whom I now call cherished friends.

Is this the first fandom you are a member of? What made you decide to join this fandom, rather than any other one? What do you like and dislike about this fandom?
First… and last fandom. If it weren’t for the aforementioned friends I’ve come to love dearly, I would have left ages ago. Confession – I’ve got a temper. (Shocker, right?) This is the reason I keep my follows extremely limited. The less I see – the less likely I’ll stigmata my tongue trying to keep my anger in check.

Have you met Diana or any of the actors of Outlander? If so, which personality did you enjoy meeting the most? If not, who would you like to meet the most?
I’ve met Diana twice; the first was at a writer’s conference. I’m fairly certain I said ‘hello’ – but I was so nervous, I forgot vowels and drooled a little. Not my best day. 

As far as the cast, I’ve had the privilege of meeting several of the talented men and women who make up this fabulous ensemble – and I say ensemble because I view Outlander as a team – no one performer more talented than another. I’ll give you a synopsis (dreaded writer word) of my experiences.

Gary – I love him, and our late night Facetime chats with my husband. A gem.

Graham – Best hugger in the universe. Period!

Lotte – Incredibly friendly and gracious – even in line for the ladies room.

Duncan - <girlish giggle > No one eye-flirts better.

Nell – Would make a deal with the devil for her GORGEOUS skin! Not to mention personality. xo

Will – Dr. Abernathy’s got grooves!! Man knows his music. Impressive!

Grant – A bear of a man with the soul of a poet. (and saintly wife!)

Stephen W – Amazing listener – even when I gush. Sings like silk.

Steven C – Born entertainer. Also, needs occasional kilt supervision. Avoid NY wind.

Rik – Never battle wits with a man whose dimples possess superpowers. Unforgettably charming.

Sam – A gentleman -who treats you like the only person in a crowded room.

Caitriona – The beauty on the outside can’t hold a candle the beauty within. Grace.

What keeps you connected to the Outlander fandom? 
That’s an easy one – the people! Don’t misunderstand, I love Diana’s books, and the adaptation is one of the best I’ve seen, but it’s the friends I’ve made here that make this journey worth taking. Eventually the show, and yes, the books will stop. But the relationships - those are forever.

What do you have coming up next?
Damned if I know! LOL! For now, I’m going to keep making an effort to bring a smile to those who need it most. Like EE Cummings said, ‘The most wasted of days is one without laughter.’

Facebook: Laugh Out Lander
Twitter: @LaughOutlander

All added graphics and edited formats for this blog done by Dorianne Panich

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