Author Spotlight: Felicia Day

felicia day author spotlightLos Angeles Times

If you’ve heard of Felicia Day before, it’s most likely because you’ve seen her somewhere online or on television. Despite her most recent roles, which have brought a lot of attention to her name, including her role as Charlie on Supernatural, and Kinga in Netflix’s recent reboot, Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return, Day is much more than an actress and musician.

In fact, if you have ever played the online MMORPG, World of Warcraft, chances are you have heard of The Guild, which was written by Day. Although it started out as a popular web series in the early days of YouTube, there is also a series of graphic novels that serve as a prequel that has recently been collected in The Guild Library Edition. Furthermore, Day also authored an incredibly inspiring memoir back in 2015, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost).

While many people do not immediately associate Day with the word author, she has a very large literary presence. In addition to writing and creating The Guild (both the online series and the graphic novels), she also created and starred in a second web series, based on her role in the second Dragon Age video game, Dragon Age: Redemption. Furthermore, although her memoir is the only book she has written, she has expressed interest in eventually delving into the world of fiction, according to her Goodreads profile. In addition to her growing presence as a writer, Day has a massive following on Goodreads. Not only is she the ninth most followed author on the site, but she also runs a monthly online book club, Vaginal Fantasy.

felicia day author spotlight
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Who is Felicia Day?

(Amazon, $7.08)

Day is many things. She’s a talented violinist. In fact, she was accepted to the Julliard School but turned it down in favor of attending the University of Texas. She attended college at a very young age after being home schooled and double majored in mathematics and music performance. Day also has a beautiful singing voice, which has appeared in a number of different things, the most recent of which was an episode of the popular children’s show, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

Growing up, Day was interested in acting and appeared in many small theatrical performances as a child. After graduating college, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting, which proved to be more difficult than she could have imagined. Her struggles eventually led her to create the web series, The Guild, which is very much a reflection of her own life. From her passion for gaming and struggles with mental illness, her role as Cyd in the online series was inspiring and relatable, to say the least.

To this day, she considered an idol for many who are into the video game and geek culture. Not only has she proven that it is perfectly okay (and normal) to be weird, but she has also made it clear that being a girl that is into video games, as well as the nerd and geek culture, is acceptable within a community that can be very toxic. Not only does The Guild demonstrate the good in video games through the formation of communities, but it offers hope for those who feel left out for being different. Furthermore, the creation of the online community, Geek and Sundry, provided gamers with an online outlet for acceptance. From graphic novels and tabletop games to Dungeons and Dragons, book discussions, video game playthroughs and more, Geek and Sundry is an incredible online community dedicated to geek culture.

Day is also an avid supporter of giving back. Not only does she actively interact with her fans at conventions and online, but she occasionally streams on Twitch, which resulted in the formation of the Team Hooman community. Proceeds from her Twitch subscribers go towards charity; there have also been t-shirt sales that have gone towards the Wildlife Learning Center, as well as anti-bullying charities.

Where Should I Start?

While it might initially seem difficult to pick up Day’s written works, given that they are very much about gamer culture, it’s not as hard as you might think to understand the references that she makes! Depending on your familiarity with video game culture, there are two starting points that I would suggest.

If you are looking for something that is incredibly charming and witty, and want to learn more about Day, pick up her memoir, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) first. Written in her own voice, Day recounts her strange upbringing, arguing that everyone is different and that’s perfectly okay. If you have ever felt insecure about yourself or your hobbies, Day’s narrative will make you feel accepted in a world that can be full of hate. Not only does she offer advice towards reaching your goals, but she offers empathy and support for those who have struggled with depression and anxiety. As an added bonus, Never Weird is full of awkward, yet incredibly relatable stories that will make you laugh and realize that you aren’t alone in the world.

If you are more familiar with video game culture and are more of a visual reader, you will want to start with The Guild. Not only will the graphic novel let you know a little bit more about Day, as main character Cyd is loosely based on her real life experiences, but it will introduce you to the world of online gaming. From the unique back stories and quirky personalities of all of the characters to the sense of community that unfolds as they begin to learn more about each other, The Guild is a great opportunity to learn more about the world of online MMOs. And, for those who are already familiar with the gaming platform, The Guild will recall fond memories with your guildmates and will leave you laughing out loud.

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On the off chance that you don’t feel comfortable reading either of these until you become more comfortable with Day’s work, there are a few other opportunities for you to learn about her and decide if her style is your thing. The Flog and Co-Optitude, two shows that appeared on Geek and Sundry, will give you the opportunity to learn about Day firsthand.

What Else Has Felicia Day Done?

Day has appeared in everything from television commercials and web series, to film and television shows, even doing voice overs for animated cartoons and video games. She played Vi in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Penny in the online web series musical, Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog, and Dr. Holley Martin in the science fiction show, Eureka, which appeared on SyFy. Although she has appeared in countless other things, besides her recent appearances in Supernatural, Mystery Science Theater and My Little Pony, she also voiced Betty in Adventure Time.

Alongside her television and web series appearances, she has been on numerous shows on Geek and Sundry, including TableTop, Critical Role, Felicia’s Ark, and Spellslingers. She also holds a monthly online video discussion for Vaginal Fantasy, in which she discusses the pick of the month alongside Veronica Belmont, Bonnie Burton and Kiala Kazebee.

What is Vaginal Fantasy?

Vaginal Fantasy is an online book club on Goodreads led by Day. The club currently has almost 18,000 members who participate in monthly readings as well as online (and real life) discussions after finishing the chosen book of the month. Vaginal Fantasy focuses on books in the romance genre with strong female lead characters. Overall, the picks tend to be cross genre, favoring fantasy, science fiction, and historical fiction alongside romance. Two books are picked each month, one by one of the hosts, and one through a poll conducted by members of the club. Although the host chosen book is the only one that will be discussed in the formal Vaginal Fantasy hang out for the month, the alternative picks serve as an additional title to add to your TBR, or as an alternative in the event that you have already read the book chosen.

Anyone can join the club, and its a great way to find new reads if you are into twists on the romance genre!

Why Felicia Day?

Day is an inspiration in many ways. Even if you don’t feel particularly drawn to any of her written works, I can guarantee that she has done something in the past that will appeal to you. Learning about her life has proved to be an incredible motivation for me personally. I have always looked up to Day, but after reading her memoir, I was able to overcome a lot of the insecurities that I had about myself. By reading her works and immersing myself into the online communities that she has created, I have experienced more than I ever thought I would, as I have found the motivation and inspiration to branch out and try new things (and embrace my inner weird).

You can learn more about Felicia Day by checking out her personal website, Tumblr, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.

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Melissa Ratcliff
Reader, Writer & Translator. Cats, books and video games are my life.