Susan L. Williams

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'You may be looking for the Blake's 7 and Sandbaggers fan, Sue Williams.

Name: Susan L. Williams, Susan Williams
Fandoms: Lord of the Rings, The Sentinel
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Susan L. Williams was a fanwriter, publisher, and artist.

Most of Williams' fanworks focused on The Sentinel and Lord of the Rings.

Zine Publisher

Williams, along with D.L. Witherspoon and Kandace Klumper, ran Skeeter Press.

Williams also ran SpiderWeb Press.

Participated In



Cascade Beyond the Veil | Devil You Know | Holiday Sensations | Leap of Faith | Masks | Merged Worlds


In 2000, Williams was interviewed at The Cascade Library. See full interview at Cascade Library Interview with Susan Williams.

Some excerpts:

[Regarding zines]: I expect that netfic will become more prevalent as more fans get online. It's amazing to me how many fans aren't online at all. I also think that, if the cost of zines keeps rising, they are likely to price themselves out of existence. Of course, I am in no way an expert on any of this, so feel free to ignore me completely.

My first fanfic story was The Devil You Know. I wrote it in September of 1996, in about three weeks, which is extremely fast for me. I don't remember exactly when it was posted, but it was the first Sentinel story to deal with rape, and it caused quite a ruckus. I was accused by one individual on a list of being anti-gay and anti-slash, which made no sense at all, since it's a gen story and there are no gay characters in it. Aside from that, I was thrilled by its reception. I've kept every single LOC I've ever received on it. Pro stories don't tend to get feedback, which is a shame. Feedback is a wonderful thing. <g>

[The story I'm most proud of is] Masks, I think. It's the sequel to The Devil You Know, and it covers the aftermath of the rape and Blair's recovery, as well as its effect on Jim and on their friendship. I had a hard time with it, because there was so much to deal with, and I wanted to do it right, to make the story both realistic and exciting. I'd read too many stories where the character makes an almost instantaneous recovery or is completely unaffected emotionally, and that's just so implausible. I've had a lot of positive feedback on the story, but what makes me proudest, and saddest at the same time, are the letters from people who have either been through a similar situation themselves or are close to someone who has, and who have told me that I got it right, and that the story somehow helped them.


Susan, The Teddy Lady

Williams created fannish teddy bears.

Some of William's bears were based on The Lord of the Rings. Williams also made Sentinel bears.

After receiving a cease and desist letter from from Lord of the Rings TPTB, she renamed them as generic "fantasy" bears.

The original Lord of the Rings bears are here.

The bears, stripped of Lord of the Ringedd-ness are here.

The "Hobbbears story:

What goes into making the hobbears? Research, research, and more research; hunting through stores and the internet for exactly the right fabrics, wigs, buttons, clasps, and accessories (or as close as can be had); making patterns; making test-clothes; fitting them to the bears; changing the patterns; changing the patterns again; and finally, making the clothes themselves.

Over a period of several months, I saw The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in theaters 31 times, searched the internet for stills that might show details not readily visible in the film, and studied every book available, particularly the costume section of The Art of The Fellowship of the Ring. I sought out and purchased the most accurate fabrics I could discover, in several cases discarding what I had already bought in favor of a new, closer find. I covered page after page with sketches of the costumes, and guesses about how they were constructed. If possible, I wanted every detail to be perfect.

There are, of course, no patterns for hobbit bear clothes. I had some experience in making patterns to dress The Sentinel bears, but Jim and Blair's clothes were nowhere near as complex as the hobbits' costumes. With some help from a basic sewing book, I drew the patterns and made costumes from inexpensive test fabric. Samwise served as my model, patiently trying on everyone's clothing, even Mr. Frodo's, and holding still while I pinched, and folded, and stuck him with pins. As a reward, his clothes were made first. Except for his coat. Pippin tired of always being last and insisted that his coat should be made first, and so it was.

The last step was ensuring that each hobbear had his hobbit curls. Each had his wig glued to his head, and with the exception of Merry, received a haircut. Pippin's hair was originally longer than his body, but it had the curl and color I wanted, so I clipped away and Pippin eventually emerged.

All told, the actual construction of the clothes and fashioning of the wigs took about a month of nights and weekends, or approximately 125 hours. The embroidery on Pippin's shirt alone-done on a machine-is five hours' work; Merry's frock coat, ten. They're not easy, or simple, but I love making them. [1]

Later, Williams explained how the bear process and how she got the name, "The Teddy Lady." Her story purposely leaves out any specific reference to Lord of the Rings due to a cease and desist letter:

Once upon a time, I had the opportunity to meet an actor who was one of the stars of a popular movie trilogy and went on to be part of the ensemble on a popular television series. (Due to a cease & desist order from certain companies, I will not name names.) Upon meeting him, I presented him with a bear dressed in the costume of one of his well-known characters. He was quite taken with the bear, referring to it as a “mini-me.” Later, he autographed a photo for me, addressing it to “Susan, the Teddy Lady.” Thus I received my name.

Since then, I have dressed bears in the costumes of a number of other characters. I have also done original costumes. Though I do not make the bears themselves, I carefully study the characters’ costumes, purchase the closest fabric I can to the original, design patterns and fit them to the bears, make the clothes, including as many accurate details as possible, attach the wigs, and give them haircuts. As you may imagine, this is a long process, but one that I thoroughly enjoy. [2]