Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Thank you, Netflix!

If it wasn't for the wonders of the little red envelopes in my mailbox, I might not have become the big Supernatural fan that I am. I know -- horrors! You see, it was the summer of 2006, and I was depressed. I'd been writing with the aim of publishing my novels for 11 years, and still nada. I was at the point of giving up, so I largely took the summer off to do my best imitation of a slug on my couch.

Many of my fellow writers would often sing the praises of a show I had missed when it was on -- Buffy the Vampire Slayer (stick with me -- we'll get to Supernatural, I promise). So, I borrowed the first season from a friend, Jody Wallace, and thought, "Hey, I'll watch an episode a day."

Wrong. I blew through the entire first season in like 2-3 days and went back to Jody to borrow seasons 2 and 3. And when I got to a season she didn't have, I went out and bought it. Suffice it to say that very quickly watched all seven seasons of Buffy and all five seasons of the spinoff, Angel.

I still wasn't quite ready to start writing again, so I joined Netflix, went looking for other fun paranormal shows and (queue the Hallelujah Chorus), rented the first season of Supernatural. LOVED it!

Thus began my love affair with my now-favorite show. I finished watching that first season just in time to become a devoted weekly watcher as Season 2 debuted. My fan status grew to where I bought the first season for my very own (as I have with all seasons since), I started listening to a Supernatural podcast, cruised YouTube for fan vids, read blogs related to the show, bought Supernatural T-shirts and eventually came up with the idea for this group blog where some writer friends who I knew were also big fans of the show and I could wax poetic about all things Winchester. And to think it might not have happened without Netflix or my summer of despair. :)

As I finished watching that first season on DVD and launched into the second season live, a funny thing happened. My desire to write and my excitement about creating new stories came back. I wrote a paranormal young adult novel that went on to win the Golden Heart, the top award given to unpublished romance manuscripts by Romance Writers of America. I have high hopes of seeing that book sell and make it to bookstore shelves. It's currently with my editor, so fingers crossed! If I hadn't gotten that burst of inspiration, I might have finally thrown in the towel. I'm so thankful I didn't because one year later, I finally sold my first novel and have gone on to sell five more. So I guess you could say I owe my career to Joss Whedon, Eric Kripke and Netflix.

Now, questions for you:

1. How were you introduced to the show? Were you a devoted follower from the Pilot episode?
2. Have you ever gone back and found a show you loved but had missed through the wonders of Netflix, Blockbuster or other DVD option?