Let’s talk shipping with Amanda Diehl…
Many believe that shipping came into existence with the X-Files and then Twilight…I feel like shipping has long existed before either of those, but perhaps they popularized it. I’m sure many of us who read books or watched TV/movies at a younger age started shipping before we even realized what it was. I would watch Sailor Moon or Beauty and the Beast and think to myself… man, I really wish so-and-so would kiss right now.
What is it about wishing for a particular romantic relationship that appeals so much?Truthfully, it’s torturous, especially if the pairings you ship aren’t “canon” or would otherwise believably happen in a storyline.

But it really taps into our imaginations, like “if I had control, what would I do with these characters?”. Answer: mostly kissing stuff.

Romance is such a pure thing though. As a lifelong romance reader, I know there will always be a happily ever after and I think it’s so sweet of fans to want to transpose that HEA onto characters they love.
What are your favourite ships?Oh boy. Draco and Hermione from Harry Potter. Star Wars’ Rey and Kylo Ren. Sarah and Jareth from Labyrinth. A lot of the ships I love have a very clear enemies to lovers antagonism and the heroes are often, well… assholes. Though not a model for healthy, real life relationships, there’s something I just love about the heroine trying to heal a man with her affection. Or a powerful man succumbing to the heroine and begrudgingly realizing he has feelings for her.
Talk to me about wrongshipping…So wrongshipping is when you pair two characters together who clearly SHOULD NOT be romantically involved. Literally, all my ships are wrongships. The heroes are terrible and borderline irredeemable and there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell they’d work out if we weren’t stretching out imaginations.
But to be honest, I kind of hate the term. Not that it’s a reflection on me choosing these ships are “wrong” but rather the characters are “wrong” for one another. To me, shipping is shipping.
Can you name some of the bigger online fan communities associated with shipping?Oh boy. Well shipping is definitely why fanfic is here and if you’re after fanfic, there’s the site Archive of Our Own (AO3). There are all sorts of fandoms from comics to video games to books. You can search by characters, explicitness, and a whole host of other criteria. There’s also FanFiction, which is where I started reading, but AO3 is definitely better. Additionally, Tumblr (though they are cracking down on adult content) houses a lot of graphics and artwork made for certain ships.
Can you name some of the bigger online fan communities associated with shipping?Oh boy. Well shipping is definitely why fanfic is here and if you’re after fanfic, there’s the site Archive of Our Own (AO3). There are all sorts of fandoms from comics to video games to books. You can search by characters, explicitness, and a whole host of other criteria. There’s also FanFiction, which is where I started reading, but AO3 is definitely better. Additionally, Tumblr (though they are cracking down on adult content) houses a lot of graphics and artwork made for certain ships.
There are many authors who got their start writing fanfic and some even do it on the side. Writing duo Christina Lauren started that way and I know author Suleikha Snyder tweets about the fanfic she’s working on. ♥

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