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The Instant New York Times Bestseller—Featuring a Foreword by Joss Whedon
“Felicia Day is a lot of fun, and so is her book.” —George R. R. Martin
From online entertainment pioneer, actress, and “queen of the geeks” Felicia Day, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is a “relentlessly funny and surprisingly inspirational” (Forbes.com), memoir about her unusual upbringing, her rise to internet stardom, and embracing her weirdness to find her place in the world.
When Felicia Day was a girl, all she wanted was to connect with other kids (desperately). Growing up in the Deep South, where she was “home-schooled for hippie reasons,” she looked online to find her tribe. The internet was in its infancy and she became an early adopter at every stage of its growth—finding joy and unlikely friendships in the emerging digital world. Her relative isolation meant that she could pursue passions like gaming, calculus, and 1930’s detective novels without shame. Because she had no idea how “uncool” she really was.
But if it hadn’t been for her strange background— the awkwardness continued when she started college at sixteen, with Mom driving her to campus every day—she might never have had the naive confidence to forge her own path. Like when she graduated as valedictorian with a math degree and then headed to Hollywood to pursue a career in acting despite having zero contacts. Or when she tired of being typecast as the crazy cat-lady secretary and decided to create her own web series before people in show business understood that online video could be more than just cats chasing laser pointers.
Felicia’s rags-to-riches rise to internet fame launched her career as one of the most influential creators in new media. Ever candid, she opens up about the rough patches along the way, recounting battles with writer’s block, a full-blown gaming addiction, severe anxiety and depression—and how she reinvented herself when overachieving became overwhelming.
Showcasing Felicia’s “engaging and often hilarious voice” (USA TODAY), You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is proof that everyone should celebrate what makes them different and be brave enough to share it with the world, because anything is possible now—even for a digital misfit.
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About the Author
Felicia Day is a professional actress who has appeared in numerous mainstream television shows and films, including a two-season arc on the SyFy series Eureka. She is currently recurring on The CW show Supernatural. However, Day is best known for her work in the web video world, behind and in front of the camera. She co-starred in Joss Whedon’s Emmy Award-winning Internet musical, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. She also created and starred in the hit web series The Guild, which ran for six seasons and is currently available for viewing on every major digital outlet, including Netflix.
In 2012, she launched a YouTube channel called Geek & Sundry. The network has garnered more than 1.3 million subscribers to date and more than 200 million views. In 2014, the company was purchased by Legendary Entertainment. Day continues to act as CCO and develop web content and television projects with Legendary as a producer, writer, and performer. She is also extremely active on social media, has over 2.3 million Twitter followers, and is the eighth most followed person on Goodreads, where she is also the founder of Vaginal Fantasy, a romance and fantasy book club with more than 13,000 members.
Table of Contents
Foreword Joss Whedon xi
1 Why I'm Weird 13
2 What Avatar Should I Be? 33
3 Jail Bait 57
4 Holly wood: Not a Meritocracy? 81
5 Quirky Addiction = Still an Addiction 105
6 The Guild: A Ruthless Beginning 125
7 Web Series: A DIY Journey 145
8 WE MADE SOMETHING! #lookit 169
9 Convention Fevah 193
10 The Deletion of Myself 213
11 #GamerGate and Meeeeee! 233
12 It's Been Real 253
Book Tour! 259
Thanks, Guys! 277
Reading Group Guide
This reading group guide for You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.
The instant New York Times bestseller from the “queen of the geek girls” (George R. R. Martin), You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is web entertainment pioneer and actress Felicia Day’s memoir about her unusual upbringing: how she overcame anxiety, depression, and a gaming addiction and became phenomenally successful online by embracing her own weirdness.
Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. Joss Whedon’s Foreword says that we live in a culture that makes it hard to be weird, and there are many moments in Felicia’s memoir that portray the difficulty she’s had finding a place to belong. What are some of your own most notable moments of not fitting in because of your passions?
2. How does homeschooling help Felicia’s development as a child and how does it hinder her? Do you think being homeschooled can be more valuable than attending a traditional school?
3. Felicia begins chapter two with a particularly good coffee mug slogan: “Knowing yourself is life’s eternal homework.” How do her various passions in her teenage years (culminating in her discovery of the internet and the Ultima Dragons) come together and contribute to her sense of identity?
4. Felicia’s takeaway from her days as a college overachiever is that striving for something is only worth it if you have the right motivation. What are your own right reasons for doing your best? Think outside the box here, and share with your book club.
5. Check out the beginning of the “Let’s Try That Whole ‘Writing’ Thing Again” section on page 129. For someone as busy as Felicia is, she finds a lot of value in being bored. Do you agree that boredom can be productive? Why or why not?
6. Felicia is candid about her struggles with writer’s block, a full-blown gaming addiction, and severe anxiety and depression—and how she reinvented herself when overachieving became overwhelming. How does the pursuit of perfection drive her achievements? Do you think perfectionism is necessary for high achievement?
7. Felicia admits that the pressures of success can sometimes be more difficult to manage than failure. Do you agree?
8. How do you overcome negative or self-defeating thoughts in your own creative life?
9. Felicia isn’t just talking about World of Warcraft when she says that “crusades are part of my DNA.” Do you think she would have been as successful without having to fight for her dreams? Does being underestimated play into her success?
10. For Felicia, there is a fine line between happy obsession and anxiety. Do you think worry is a necessary part of a creative life? Why or why not?
11. A homemade aesthetic is key to Felicia’s projects, from her self-devised homeschool curriculum to her set design for season one of The Guild to her superpopular YouTube projects. Were you surprised by this commitment to old-fashioned DIY, since she’s known as such a tech-savvy internet personality? Why or why not?
12. Fan conventions like San Diego Comic-Con are a big part of Felicia’s life and work. What role do you think they played in the development of her career? Why do you think Cons have become so popular in recent years? Have you ever been to one?
13. Representation is a big buzzword in discussions of gaming culture, as leaders like Felicia work to make the internet a safer and more creative place for people from all walks of life. Whether your thing is crocheting or coding, how do you and your book club members work to make your passions more inclusive?
14. “‘I am determined to create something or express myself, no matter how hard it is, even if my mom is the only one who sees it!’ is the embodiment of how I view the web.” How do you view the web, and what does it mean to you? Come up with a motto of your own and share it with your book club.
Enhance Your Book Club
1. Along with cohosts Veronica Belmont, Bonnie Burton, and Kiala Kazebee, Felicia is a founder of the ultimate fan book club, Vaginal Fantasy (she’s also one of the most followed people on Goodreads—period). Get to know her taste in fiction and read along with her by doubling up on your picks for your book club meeting. Select a novel she’s reviewed recently to read with your club. Bonus points if you can schedule your meeting to coincide with one of her Google Hangouts on youtube.com/vaginalfantasy on the last Tuesday of every month. More information can be found at goodreads.com/vaginalfantasy.
2. Felicia almost gets kicked out of ballet class for her obsession with astrology. Honor the fortune-teller inside by researching horoscopes for all of your book club members.
3. Get your book club online and leave a group video review of You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost). Be sure to tag Touchstone Books and Felicia!
4. Start your own creative support group like Chick-In.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I am going to be honest with you, I only vaguely knew who Felicia Day was before reading this book. I new she was from that internet show The Guild, that she was in that weird movie with Neil Patrick Harris, and that she liked video games. So why did I decide to read this book? I think it was the title and that I also liked video games. I am so happy I decided to ahead and read this. I typically do not find time to read many non-fiction books. I get around to maybe 1 or 2 a year. I always tend towards fictional books. I love magical elements, mystical creatures and the such. You know, things that aren't necessarily real. It is a fault of mine that I try year after year to change. I always tell myself "this year I am going to read more nonfiction books" and it never happens. I am glad that if I do not manage to read another nonfiction book this year, that the one I did end up reading was this one. You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is a book that is going to stick with me for a long long time. You may be thinking "but this is just a memoir of a red headed geeky chick, how can you possibly be that happy you read this?" And it is true, it is a memoir of hers. However, when you read it you will discover she had a greater purpose for writing this book than just to let her fans know that she was a weird home schooled kid, a musical prodigy, and a lover of video games. In this book Felicia Day takes you on a journey of her self discovery. It seems at first like it is going to be a fluffy light hearted read with some geeky humor thrown in. That she will not get into anything too personal or too dark, but she does take you there and I thank her for doing so. In a way, when she takes you to the darker stuff, she takes you with her. By the time you get there, you have related to her on so many different levels. There were so many times during my reading of this book where I found myself going "OMG that happened to her too?!" or "yup I have been there before." And let us not forget the ever wonderful "I TOTALLY REMEMBER THAT HAPPENING" moment. My major one of those happened when I was reading about her World of Warcraft gaming. With this memoir, Felicia Day has a very important message for those who choose to read it and to listen. I do not want to tell you what the message is. I want you to discover it for yourself like I did. I do not want to deny anyone this journey. Please take the time to read it. What Felicia Day has to tell you is worth it. This review is based on an eARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss for a fair and honest review. You can find more of my reviews at: http://readingwithcupcakes.blogspot.com/
I loved this book. And I never read biographies so that's a big deal for me
Great reminder of the 1990s and 2000s.
This book was an enjoyable & engaging to read. I strongly recommend it to geeks & non-geeks alike. As a gamer girl, geek, & all around fan of the internet I felt that it was insightful and fun.
I've always been a fan, so I really loved the behind-the-scenes info and she actually really inspired me.
I love watching felicia's online shows and her personality Rules!
A wonderful look into one of the awesomest ladies ever. For us shy, awkward, game loving, comic reading women it is nice to hear another voice in the wilderness.
Yes. It is as sweet as you think. I loved it.
Felicia day is my hero!
You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day is outstanding! If only I could have more stars to give. This is an honest, heart warming, seriously in depth look into an unusual and talented life journey. I am not a gamer, and truly, not much of a nerd. My sons are, so I am kind of surrounded, but I have never seen Buffy and just recently started The Guild. I am not sure how Felicia Day wondered her way into my world, maybe it was the scifi connection, but none of those things are necessary to enjoy this book. Felicia Day tells her story her way, without name dropping or tooting her own horn, and it is simply hilarious. And inspiring in a way I never expected. Success is a mixed blessing. Well done indeed. (And I bought a signed copy of this book at Powells online, for the record.)
Was not a fan of Felicia Day going into this... still not sure I am a fan, or that I feel that I really discovered more than a carefully crafted facade. She IS an incredible woman, and there is much to admire about her, including the way she turned YouTube into a vehicle to make her a star. Her drive and ambition are astounding, and in places, scary. She's brilliant, talented, attractive... but some of this comes off like humblebragging, like the way she never graduated high school (because she went straight into college in her teens). What I like best were the sections where she wrote about her collapse, about pushing herself too hard and how that exploded. It made her more human and likeable. But there were a lot of bits missing. A boyfriend is periodically mentioned, but it's unclear if it was the same one, or if she had different ones. And how did her success impact their relationship? That's something a lot of women want to know, because many of us are faced with jealousy by partners or time crunch issues, but she didn't choose to go there. I thought she kind of copped out when Gamergate came along, until she was forced to stand up for herself. And... I thought/hoped it would be funnier. It's well enough written, but I didn't find it a compelling read, going into it as a Felicia Day novice. YMMV.
A highly entertaining memoir that, on the face of it, should not be as enjoyable as it is. The life of a homeschooled, violin prodigy shut in does not scream fun or compelling but Felicia Day has never played by the rules mostly because no one told her what the rules are. As someone who became obsessed with the internet when we were all calling it the World Wide Web and than uploaded an original series onto an upstart company called YouTube I think it's save to say that she thinks out of the box and that is exactly what the reader is treated to in this book. A person who may be a little of center but always seems to fit right in the middle. This book is well written despite the fact - as we learn - she struggles with the art of writing and Miss Days character shines through out in all it's adorkable awkwardness and naïve enthusiasm and the pages light up because of this. Her humor is both self-depreciating and dry and she captures all the scenes of her life in a wonderfully vivid and compelling style to the benefit of the reader. There are no real dry patches in this book and it is so much more that antidotes and name dropping. The creation of 'The Guild' web-show and Geek and Sundry, a battle with depression, awkward college years, gamergate and more are all in this book written in sparkling prose. A good book for anyone and everyone to enjoy.
You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is like a trip to Versailles – that famous French palace with a hall full of mirrors – where all the mirrors are windows into Felicia Day’s life. The widely proclaimed “Queen of the Geeks” – a title she tries not to lay claim to – is fantastically funny, and comes across as an old friend filling you in on life after a long time apart. I’ve always been a big fan of memoirs – and this is one that I’ve been really excited about – so I pre-ordered it and read it in basically one sitting when it arrived. The little anecdotes from people’s childhood, teenage, and college years are usually hilarious, and the struggles that the authors face in their early adulthood are full of universal self-identification. For me, the self-identification goes back to Felicia’s childhood, growing up home schooled. Although mine was not nearly as isolated as hers, the imagination growth and creativity flow were always at an all-time high. The way Felicia bares it all about her early adulthood struggles really impressed and inspired me. At a time when no one was internet famous, she forged new paths and created a world no one else could have imagined. It was revolutionary to say the least: putting a show on the internet and then having it become this great big thing. When I discovered The Guild a couple years ago, it was (and is STILL!) a huge deal. And don’t worry; despite all the ‘geek talk’ in the book, Felicia really takes the time to make everything understandable to even the most un-geek reader. You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is most definitely a home-run in the memoir category. Felicia Day’s personality just oozes out in the writing, and if you’ve ever seen one of her videos, you’ll probably even read the whole book in her voice like I did. Definitely a five star read. Vinca Books rating: 5 Stars vincabooks.wordpress.com
I'm a fan of Felicia Day. I love her in Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-Long Blog, and I really enjoyed her web show, The Guild, when I finally watched it last year. I loved this book. It's weird and funny, just like Felicia. She recounts her VERY unique childhood. Then she discusses her move to L.A. and unsuccessful career as an actor and the events that led her to write and produce her own show for the Internet. The writing is conversational, like she's writing an email or talking to a good friend. It's very raw, honest, and funny. It's everything I expected of a celebrity memoir and everything Yes Please was not. When I finished it, I immediately wanted to read it again. I didn't because I gave it to my husband and made him start reading it, even though he almost never reads books. I don't think you need to be a fan of Felicia Day's to enjoy this book, but it probably helps to be a nerd or at least nerd-adjacent, so you understand the video game references, which are abundant in the middle chapters. Her story was inspiring. It's about having a dream and going after it, even if you have to do it in unconventional ways. This book is definitely one I'll re-read at some point. http://momsradius.blogspot.com/2015/09/book-review-youre-never-weird-on.html
Cute and entertaining. I loved being able to learn about her as a person and where she's coming from, including where her work has come from. I spent my high school days watching The Guild, and I really enjoyed learning the ins and outs of it. The narration is just like her voice. You can picture her sitting in front of you and explaining it all. A lot of it is written like an internet chat room, which bugged me just slightly, but it's not a big deal at all. Great book and thoroughly enjoyed it!
I rarely read autobiographies or memoirs. There’s just something about not being able to relate to the person the book is written by. I, however, did buy my very first autobiography when Felicia Day came out with her book, “You’re Never Weird On The Internet (Almost).” In fact I PREORDERED it. Why? Because being a fellow female Sci-Fi nerd and gamer close to the same age as Felicia (we are only about a year apart!) I knew there were a lot of her experiences that I could relate to. Not to mention the fact that not only is she talented but her sense of humor absolutely cracks me up. She seems like the kind of person that, had I met her when we were younger, we likely would have become close friends simply because we are two girls who could relate to each other through gaming and our Sci-Fi interests. Something that, believe it or not, was hard to find back in those days. After having read her book, I was not disappointed. As soon as I started reading it I could not (and didn’t want to!) put it down. I knew we had a lot in common but I didn’t realize just how much. Well, except the homeschooling thing. And the whole creating a web series thing. Oh and pretty much all the other work in Hollywood she’s done. Most of the rest of it hits home though. Being an introvert, having few friends growing up, getting lost in the gaming world to where it sucks the real life out of you. Yea that sounds familiar. I’ve been a fan of Felicia’s since The Guild days when I used to laugh at the crazy situations and character personalities of the show (maybe I had a slight crush on Zaboo. I’m not telling). It made me think about my own guild experiences back in EQII (don't judge me, it just happened to be the first MMO I was introduced to). Anywho if you are familiar with any of Felicia’s work then you will understand what I’m saying next. The book is written exactly the way she talks, mannerisms and all. Reading Felicia’s book is like having her in the room with you, talking to you personally as if you have known each other for forever, which made it even easier to relate to. There were times that I couldn’t help but literally laugh out loud at something I read whether it was so relatable or just hilariously funny. Sometimes it was both (the dial up modem sound had me rolling. You younger people will never get to experience the joy). Her book had me thinking back to my own early days on the Internet, both the good and the bad. Reading Felicia’s book made me wish even more that I had crossed paths online with her back then. Maybe we would have been long time friends. Maybe not. Who knows. People can float in and out of your life so quickly online (if you have ever been in Second Life for any amount of time you’ll know what I mean) but it’s still nice to think about. Felicia’s book, in my opinion, is a really great read. One that I will most likely read a few more times over the years and pass it down for my children to read, especially my daughters, if I ever have any. I’m proud to be woman who enjoys gaming and the Sci-Fi world (someday I WILL get tickets to Comic-Con). Felicia’s book only further reinforces that. Too bad she’s not coming anywhere close enough for me to have her sign it though. Of course even if she did the introvert and self-conscious inner me would probably be too shy to even go. LOL
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