Getting Bonnie Burton to slow down long enough to answer questions took some doing. Between her work at Lucasfilm her writing the Star Wars blog, her crafting and her personal writing, she’s pretty dang busy. However, I am such a do-er and thus this interview was born. ;-)
Those of us on Twitter are familiar with your love of 80’s Twi’lek art, being crafty and Godzilla slippers. But what’s something Twitter has yet to learn about you?
I’m an open book, so I’m pretty sure everyone who’s brave or tolerant enough to follow me on Twitter knows everything there is about me. I do a LOT of Star Wars crafts — on StarWars.com and to promote my new book The Star Wars Craft Book — so I often post photos of my process on Twitter and take a poll of what people think. In fact, when I was making the Jabba the Hutt Body Pillow for the book I asked my followers to vote on the color green of Jabba and where I should place his eyes on the pillow. It was fun to do polls like that to get people’s input!
You wrote a book called Girls Against Girls: Why We Are Mean to Each Other and How We Can Change. I have two questions on that. First, what had you write the book and, since you’ve become such a well known geek girl, do you ever sense the same sorts of meanness can apply to geeks as well?
I wrote “Girls Against Girls” because I didn’t think there was really a book out there that spoke to teen girls directly without sounding condescending or out of touch. Many of the other mean girl-type advice books were actually written for parents or teachers, or were too academic. I did a lot of research for the book and interviewed strong, female role models in entertainment who could also offer some insight and advice on how to deal with mean girls and how to not become one in the process. It was a great book for me to write on a personal level because even as an adult I have to deal with mean girl behavior from my own day-to-day life events. I still fight not to act on mean girl behavior as a defense mechanism myself.
The geek community is generally very accepting since we were all considered the nerdy outcasts for so long. But I have noticed lately that many women have been putting down other women for cosplaying as characters that might have rather revealing costumes. Personally, I think all women should feel free to dress up as any character they love whether it’s Slave Leia or Poison Ivy. Who cares? If it makes you feel empowered and you love the character, then go for it! The only thing that really sets back feminism is women who want to repress other women.
It’s pretty clear from your avatar that you’re a Bettie Page fan. What is it about Bettie that you love so much?
Bettie Page was an unusual role model for me in college. A friend once told me I looked like her and so of course I had to find out who this legendary, yet mysterious woman was. She had a tragic life and yet she didn’t let it get to her. She made being sexy fun and she never cared about what was considered the norm. She was her own person and did her own thing all the way up to the end. She will always be a hero to me. I also love that she inspired a droid in Star Wars too — BD-3000 luxury droid!
I started doing a little research and I was amazed by the number of places you write and how many different Google hits you get. I actually wandered into grrl.com a while back and didn’t know you at the time. Now that I know the woman behind the site, I’m curious — do you sleep? I mean, how do you do so much!?
Ha! I sleep… sometimes. No, seriously I should probably sleep more. I guess that’s from being a kid and always thinking the really fun stuff happens when I go to sleep and I feel like I’m missing out. I’m not a morning person, so I tend to do most of my writing in the afternoon and late at night. And I have plenty of friends who stay up late too, so we tend to connect online or via texting. I’ve had many a late-night bad movie text-a-thon with pals who never want to miss out on the fun too.
My dad always says we all have 24 hours… it’s what you do with those hours that matters. Some people veg out in front of the TV, some people work out, some people go on dates… I stay home and write, write, write. One of these days I might get a social life. But for now, I’m happy just writing as much as I can before I run out of ideas and steam.
What’s a geek thing people assume you’d be into and you really aren’t?
I don’t dress up as Star Wars characters. I dressed up as Jabba the Hutt… once for fun at work. But I tend to leave the impressive cosplay up to the pros in The 501st Legion and The Rebel Legion. Those folks REALLY know how to dress the part, and I am in constant awe of their costuming talents.
Finally, a bonus question – If you could Lightsaber duel anyone in the SW Universe (expanded as well) who would it be and why?
If I HAD to duel someone with a lightsaber I’d have to pick the worst person to do it so I can keep my limbs and stay alive. So my dueling opponent would have to be Gonk the Power Droid. He’s one of my favorite droids, but as far as I know he’s midichlorian-free.
You can find Bonnie on Twitter and, trust me, it’s worth it. ::grin::
Thanks again, Bon!