Pop Stand Express Interview with Susan M. Garrett

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Pop Stand Express Interview with Susan M. Garrett
Interviewer: Marie Antoine
Interviewee: Susan M. Garrett
Date(s): 1986
Medium: print
Fandom(s): fandom, zines
External Links:
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Pop Stand Express Interview with Susan M. Garrett was published in Pop Stand Express #13.

Part of a Series

Interviewer's Introduction

For most of us it would be difficult (if not impossible) to cite the exact date we entered fandom. Not so, Susan Garrett. As a senior pursuing a degree In literature at the University of Dallas, she vividly remembers the afternoon of January 15, 1983, as one spent getting feedback on some of the stories she had circulated among fellow students and friends from a local Dr. Who club to which many of them belonged. Somewhere in the midst of "...this is good—change that—leave this alone..." someone casually announced: "You should try to publish some of this stuff." Although fandom proper was still an unknown, a decision was reached to assemble the stories and create a small publication entitled "Time Winds" and distribute it through the club. It wasn't long before someone Introduced her to UT and Datazine and her official entry into fandom was complete.

Some Excerpts

On her press:
I started Penguin Press primarily because I couldn't afford to put out a zine with the printers I had in Toms River. Having lived in Dallas and Boston, I'd lived In areas where printing was fairly cheap, and it wasn't unheard of to get 3-4 cents a page. Around here the cheapest I could get was 6-9 cents a page, which was really preposterous. So I came up with the idea of leasing a small photo copier and started printing my zines myself.
On the The Karenina Continuity Chronicles:
wrote a story based on "The New Avengers" featuring Karenina. A friend of mine read it and told me that I really needed to resolve the ending. I said okay, and wrote a second story a few months later, printed them both In "Wynter Tydes" which was a small publication I had put out at the time, and then forgot about it. Well, the second story was very open-ended. Karenina takes a plane from England to the U.S. and during the flight she meets Michael O'Leary, who is Remington Steele, coming over at the same time. I put it in as kind of an in-joke to see if anybody would pick it up. Several people did, and they started writing to ask when I planned to continue it, even though I never seriously gave in which Emma Peel is being hounded by a man who was fired by her father. In this episode we learned that Emma's maiden name was Knight, that her father was the head of Knight Industries in England, that he had a brother in the U.S. that was the head of Knight Industries in America, and that after the father died, she had taken over the business for him in England. So, being that this was such a coincidence with "Knight Rider" I thought, as long as I have her coming to America, maybe I can tie this into a story. I mentioned this to Guy Brownlee in Texas during a late night phone call, and he mentioned that there were lots of other coincidences, so we tried to see how many we could come up with. You know, things like, Jamie Sommers and Jim Rockford having the same phone number except for the area code, and, uh, like in "Return of Man From UNCLE" when James Bond shows up...little things like that. So I said, why don't I just go ahead and instead of writing a solo or story, come up with an adventure, and we can use these little end and tie-ups to create a tapestry. The first thing to figure out was what material would be used. We decided only media shows or movies that occurred in a basic real-type earth, or current time, should be utilized. From there the plot sort of evolved on its own.
On new accessibility:
Cable Is a godsend to fandom. It has made available things that five years ago you never would have dreamt of seeing again. Who would have thought all of the MUNCLE episodes would be available again, or Dark Shadows? If anybody had told me I would be spending 3 years of my life taping a soap opera everyday I would have said they were crazy. But I did it, because I was so afraid I would never see it again.
On taking chances:
I would like to see a lot more people taking chances with what they'll print. Not necessarily with something that's controversial, but I'd like to see somebody try some interesting stories. My brother told me the other day that he would like to run an ad and find out if anybody would be interested in contributing to a zine that had a thematic nature about religion. Not that the story would have to be about religion, but do they know what religion the character is, and if they wrote a story, would the character's religious beliefs or non-religious beliefs determine how they dealt with a particular situation. It was a very interesting concept, but as we sat there and discussed it, we got very depressed. We imagined people saying, "That's very interesting," but they would be too afraid to submit something, or they would be more content to sit back and write a story that would be accepted for a general media zine, than try to do something for a one-shot like this? I don't know if he'll ever go through with it, but I hope he does. I think there are a lot of interesting ideas out there, but they're not getting done simply because there aren't many places to air these views. A letterzine is pretty much a one media type of thing—you like this, or you don't like that. It never really gets beyond the basics.
On the exhilaration of creating:
There Is no other feeling like standing there after you've put the staples In the first copy. It's not so much the selling or the LoCs. It's that one moment when it's printed and you're holding it in your hand, knowing that you put it together. Or, if it's a group and the first collated copy makes it down the line and everyone shouts, "Yaaaa! - We're through! Only 400 more to go!" But for that one brief shining moment. It's Camelot.