Author Rainbow Rowell chats to us about fandoms, Star Wars and her brill World Book Day story, Kindred Spirits

All the important questions like what her Jedi name would be

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Author Rainbow Rowell chats to us about fandoms, Star Wars and her brill World Book Day story Kindred Spirits
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If Fangirl, Eleanor & Park and Landline are firm favourites on your bookshelf, then get excited because our number one literary girl crush Rainbow Rowell is BACK, and she's brought a brand new, beyond brilliant read for you to get stuck into.

Kindred Spirits tells the story of Elena, a die hard Star Wars fan who decides to queue outside her local cinema to see the new movie. Having imagined every fangirl's dream to be waiting outside, she's not expecting to wait with just two other people; to have to pee into a collectible Star Wars soda cup behind a dumpster, or to meet that unlikely someone who just might truly understand the way she feels.

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Rainbow's written the short book especially for World Book Day 2016, and seeing as that's TODAY, we've had a chat with the author herself about the wonderful world of fandom, her unbreakable love for Star Wars, and what else she's got up her sleeve for us.

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HEY RAINBOW, thanks so much for taking the time to have a chat with us, we love ya. Can you sum up in a couple of sentences why people should spend their precious World Book Day token on Kindred Spirits?

HEY! THANK YOU :) And, sure! Kindred Spirits is a light-hearted, romantic look at how fandom brings people together – and how individual fandom is. We all love the things we love in our own way.

Kindred Spirits is technically a novella, so it's much shorter than your previous books. Was it a challenge to tell a story that readers can connect with in a shorter amount of time?

Much, much shorter. And yes, it really is a challenge. This is my second shorter story – I wrote one for the My True Love Gave To Me collection – and the shorter format doesn't come naturally to me. I tend to come up with novel-size ideas with lots of twists and characters. I wrote most of Fangirl in the same amount of time that it took me to write this story.

Do yo think that the Kindred Spirits gang are characters you might revisit? Elena is such a likeable girl who we want to be friends with, or at least know more about – hint hint.

Hmm, good question. I really do love Elena, and she was partly inspired by a friend. But I purposely didn't let myself get carried away with any of the characters because I couldn't let this erupt into a longer story. 

That's what happened with Carry On: I started it as a short shory and it turned into my longest novel. Maybe I'll revisit Elena and Gabe when the next Star Wars movie comes out.

The story delves into the wonderful world of fan culture in the perfect way, and you're already known as a huge supporter of the fan fiction community. What is it about fandom that you love SO much?

I guess I think of it as my own culture. I've spent my whole love loving things to excess, and I was a fan back in the pre-internet days when fandom was a much lonelier concern. 

One thing I wanted to write about in this story is how diverse the fandom experience is. There's no one, correct way to love something or to express yourself. Much like Elena, I'm usually a fandom lurker. I get really nervous when I'm with other fans, in face-to-face situations.

The friendship that Elena finds in the Star Wars queue is EXACTLY what it's like to find friends through fandoms. It must be a great feeling knowing that people have made friendships like that over their love for your own books.

Oh, it is. It's the best feeling. I love it when people tell me they met at one of my events or through a conversation about my books. It makes me feel like I'm part of a larger community of kind, thoughtful people. I've also made real friends of my own through my books. I never anticipated that, and it's been wonderful.

This is your chance to unleash your inner fangirl on us. We're gonna guess you're a pretty big Star Wars fan? What did you think of the newest movie?

I am a big Star Wars fan; it was my first real fandom. And I really liked the new movie! I was very anxious about it, bceause the prequels were sort of heartbreaking for me. But I ended up liking it - and loving the new characters. Every time Rey or Finn was on screen, I was happy.

Is there anything that you'd be willing to camp outside for four days for? What's your most fangirly fangirl moment ever?

Whoa! Maybe not anymore. I need sleep so much more than when I was younger. My most fangirlish moment was probably going to the first Star Wars Celebration in Colorado, and waiting in line in the mud and rain, hoping to see actors from The Phantom Menace.

If you were gonna be a Star Wars character, what do you reckon your Jedi name would be? We're guessing you'd have a rainbow lightsaber.

Ha! Maybe Rayan Bo - does that sound Star Warsy enough? Rainabo Pagesweeper.

The cover line to Kindred Spirits is 'This is one line she'll never forget'. What's one line (as in, your favourite quote EVUH) that you'll ever forget? 

I see what you did there! I have a terrible memory for quotes. But we're talking Star Wars, so I'll go with my favourite Yoda line - "luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."

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Your new full-length book Carry On is also out now, AWOO. What's this one all about? It sounds like it's pretty different to Fangirl and Elenor & Park.

It is. Carry On is a fantasy - a chosen one story about a powerful young magician named Simon Snow, who's supposed to save the world. But he can't quite sort it out! He's not very good at magic, and his mentor's ignoring him, and he might be falling in love with his nemesis. He's basically the worst chosen one who's ever been chosen.

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Thanks Rainbow, you da best. 

Don't forget to grab a copy of her new short read Kindred Spirits, out right now especially for World Book Day 2016. And if you've got a £1 WBD token, you can even get it for FREE. Result.

Big fan of Rainbow? Gonna be checking out Kindred Spirits and Carry On? Let us know with a tweet to @Sugarscape.

NOW READ THIS LOT TOO

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