I totally credit ZQ with getting my creative juices flowing again, even though he never so much as said hello to me, nor did I ever meet him anywhere (and I know many fans who have). Although I’ve written off and on since I could hold a pencil, I’d gone through a long stretch where I wasn’t writing at all. Didn’t even occur to me. Instead, I was taking pictures and learning how to be a photographer.
Back in the day, I was a Sarmy member. That stands for Sylar’s Army. Yup, I was a big fan of Heroes and Zach Quinto. I adored Sylar. He was so deliciously evil, he made me drool. I wanted to fuck that guy. Sure I knew he was only a character but that was part of the charm. I wrote fanfic about Sylar, most of it buried on the computer somewhere. Some of it was even good, but mostly, it got me writing again.
When Zach created a site where his fans could gather and worship him on bended knee, I leaped at the opportunity. I was down there on my knees along with everyone else, and it was fun for a long time. I named the place (ZQC, which stands for… well, ZQ community), I helped shape its culture and set the tone.
I was laid off that year and I spent it writing and taking pictures. It was then I developed my lean, clean style. Writing every day for hours at a time is the best possible way to get the mojo back. That was also the year I discovered slash was not just fanfic. It was also a little-known publishing niche and I wanted in.
So I wrote, and I wrote some more, and finally, I thought I had something good enough to submit for publication. I was encouraged by a person I met on Zach’s site, someone I became friends with in real life. She showed one of my short stories to a couple of people in the business and they said, “Yup, this person is a writer. This can be published.”
That was a scary moment for me, because it meant I had no more excuses for avoiding what I now see was inevitable. I had to send that sucker in. Three days later, I got an email saying it had been accepted.
While all this was going on, I was still hanging out at ZQ’s site and somewhere along the way, I was made a mod. That’s shorthand for ‘moderator.’ Without my knowledge or acceptance (not even kidding about that; I was told after the fact, when I emailed the webmaster after discovering I could do stuff), I was given powers few civilians should have.
I could ban people, delete posts, and even email ZQ himself. I never did though. I’m not a complete idiot. Heh. But I could have if I’d given my inner stalker free reign. I still wonder what I would have said to him. “Hi, this is Fen. How’s your day going?” Riiiiight.
The webmaster insisted I tell no one about this, and though it ruffled my feathers–who wouldn’t want to tell their friends they were modding a hot young actor’s personal web site?–I kept the secret.
Why am I spilling it now? Because the site is moving to Facebook and I can’t stand that place, so my modding days for ZQ are over. Also, I wasn’t asked to mod on FB, nor was I told the site was moving. That hurt, considering the time I spent there doing my job, but the celebrity crush is long since over and I’m too busy these days anyway. It worked out the way it should. Modding lasted about three years and hey, it’s time to move on. I still think he’s a sexy mofo, with the added bonus of having a well-developed brain and a vocabulary he’s not afraid to use, and I’ll continue keeping tabs on his career, but not with the almost rabid attention I once gave him.
During that year I was laid off, I was floundering. I was alone, a little scared, and looking for direction in my life. Zach and his site were a welcome distraction; it was so much easier to think about that than my problems. Because a friend turned me on to Heroes one weekend (we watched the entire first season in two days) and I fell for Sylar, I became a published writer.
And that’s the story of how Zach Quinto got me published. ;/ Crushing on a celebrity is harmless (unless you really are a stalker, and I did run into a couple of them), sometimes inspiring, often ridiculous, and ultimately left behind. I’m dead certain it will never happen to me again, despite having led to my career as a writer. I also made some good friends. All in all, a positive experience, and one I’ll remember a long time. Thanks, Zach. I owe you. If you’re ever in St Paul, give me a call. We’ll do lunch.