Hi, all! I’m Amy Ratcliffe, and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and interacting with some of you on the Her Universe forums. I’m excited to be here as part of the Year of the Fangirl project, and I think you will all love what’s ahead. I know that as a fellow geek girl it’s been important for me to know I’m not alone, and I feel like I’m surrounded by more awesome, smart, creative women now than ever before in my life.
I’m a late bloomer in a lot of ways. Though I stumbled into science fiction in junior high with a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode (it was “The Game” if you’re curious), I didn’t really go all in until a few years later in high school. I started reading The Wheel of Time series and other fantasy books, and Star Wars wasn’t on my radar until the special editions of the original trilogy were released in theaters. It seems crazy to me now, but I don’t remember ever hearing about Star Wars until the day my boyfriend said he’d bought us tickets.
I also started attending renaissance festivals and dressing up for them – I definitely didn’t know the word cosplay then – and eventually made it to my first convention. My focus was gaming; I was just getting into Dungeons and Dragons, a few other tabletop RPGs, and strategy games.
Things quickly spiraled from there. The Clone Wars pushed my adoration for Star Wars into an obsession. I discovered comic books. Battlestar Galactica, Firefly, and Lord of the Rings came into my life. I started experimenting with cosplay. I attended my first San Diego Comic-Con. I learned how my love of writing fit in with my geek lifestyle. It was a whole new world, and I felt like I finally found my place.
Along the way I did encounter some trolls and people who didn’t think ladies belonged in certain spheres. Honestly, I still run into that problem. It’s frustrating, but the number of amazing and supportive women (and men) I’ve met because of my passions is far greater. I realized many ladies had similar interests, and I’m fortunate to have several close friends who are not only wonderful but who will discuss the psychology of Spider-Man and make Star Wars shoes with me. It makes all the difference.