Hi all! This post took some time to compose, but with help from fans and friends, we’ve begun to pull together some of the diverse threads of the Mertz-Peters-Michaels fandom for this “Review of the MPM World in 2015.” If you know of something we missed, we’d love to hear from you!
This has been an exciting time for us. As novices in social media, we at MPM have been really enjoying our introductions to the rich and creative discussions and posts in places like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr … and we’ve just started to venture into Pinterest as well. MPM fans are doing everything from readings of Amelia books (complete with period illustrations and background research) – to a collective effort at developing a timeline for the AP series. And there are fun musings on all aspects of MPM’s writings in a number of places – we keep finding more….
One terrific thing about this fandom is that it is always turning up news on Egypt, history, archaeology, pioneering women, writing and literature, mystery and fantasy, and … the list keeps going! (Let’s not forget cats, tea, stronger drinks than tea, food, chocolate … but we digress…) In other words, these are curious, imaginative, interesting and interested readers who keep the fun and new ideas going…. from Amarna to Jane Austen to Star Wars, there’s never a dull moment…
Fans of Amelia characteristically turned up in force in response to the wonderful Trowelblazer group’s call for names of fictional trowelblazers (pioneering women in archaeology, palaeontology & geology).
On Twitter and Tumblr, the unstoppable TeamRamses (TR) completed a spirited (and always funny!) reading of “Lion in the Valley”, and set us up for a 2016 foray into “Seeing a Large Cat.” (Check out the growing and beautifully illustrated set of quotes from “Cat” on Tumblr) We especially appreciated TR’s explanation of 3 story arcs in the Amelia series.
MPM started its own Twitter account this year. Other Twitter highlights in 2015:
- an exchange about cool things people learned (and did extra reading on) from reading Amelia, ranging from Cyrano to Egyptian history (this is so Barbara!)
- Fans began trading names of favorite children’s books, responding to pics from Barbara’s massive collection of kids’ reading (… we started trying to collect them on this blog, to be cont’d…)
- Also, a discussion that started on Twitter in 2015 and continued on Facebook in 2016 – what are fans’ favorite flavors of the “genial beverage” to accompany them when curling up with an MPM book?
- Lots of Amelia recommendations
- And fellow authors expressing their appreciation of MPM!
Fans of Amelia have been popping up and gathering at amazing rates. It’s really encouraging to see new people tuning in to say that they are so glad to find other fans! Or that they are just now discovering Amelia! (lucky dogs! Imagine having the whole series to discover).
You can also now find MPM on Tumblr.
And, in addition to TR, there are some great long-term Amelia-ites on Tumblr: CHECK OUT AmeliaPeabodyEmerson (APE) and AmeliaPeabodyBookClub (APBC), who joined forces this year to take us on a tour of the Petrie Museum in London. Take a look as they “hit up the Petrie Museum for some mutual Egyptology and Amelia Peabody geeking out.”
AmeliaPeabodyEmerson’s Tumblr tag line is a favorite Amelia-ism: “When one is striding bravely into the future one cannot watch one’s footing”… and the APE archive has some great quotes from the books.
Also on Tumblr, APBC updated the Book Club’s pages, which have a growing wealth of commentary, analysis, fanart, and more. One of the more searching discussions of some hard-to-pin-down aspects of Amelia’s timeline can be found here. The Book Club crew also began a discussion and critique of some Egypt-related movies. In 2016 AMBC is inviting fans and friends to join in the the ambitious task of putting together a detailed timeline for the AP series – the start of which can be seen here.
Further Tumblr highlights in 2015:
- fun fan readings of AP at gideonseymours.tumblr , including this sage advice:
“We now know what these fellows are after. Or should I say ‘who’?”
“You should say ‘whom,’ Emerson.”
listen … what am i going to do when i finish this series
Start over at the beginning? That’s what I do.
you know … you’re right
- Tumblr reading of Hippopotamus earlier in 2015
- … and readings/quotes at arramdraper.tumblr, which took us from “Deeds” to “Last Camel” in 2015. We loved the hashtags on this post:
“f i n a l l y finished my deeds of the disturber reread … and now I have to dedicate my weekend to work and studying and a case presentation bUT. once that’s done I am 100% rereading the Last Camel”
On Facebook, the venerable and venerated “Another Shirt Ruined” group continues to provide opportunities for fans and friends to share thoughts about MPM’s books, as well as memories of Barbara (thanks to Lyn Green’s leadership!). In 2015, Don Ryan posted a lovely recollection: “I met Barbara about 20 years ago and we became very good friends. She loved visiting Egypt from time to time, especially Luxor, where she rented the most expensive suite at the Winter Palace Hotel. She was usually accompanied by a small entourage of pals and they all had a grand time. Her visits coincided a couple of times with my expedition in the Valley of the Kings and we were delighted that she came out to the site to see what we were finding. And every evening she would have cocktails with her friends out on her balcony to watch the beautiful sunset over the Theban mountains.”
Lyn Green and William Joy also pointed readers of “Another Shirt” to the way Barbara combined research for her books with hobbies such as vintage clothing and jewelry collecting. And there were interesting posts to this group on Hilda Petrie and similarities between her and Amelia — as well as comments on MPM books beyond just the Amelia series. You can also check out MPM’s own new Facebook page.
And we are using THIS BLOG as our primary site for recollections of Barbara, inspired initially by Deborah Lehr’s wonderful piece written on the second anniversary of Barbara’s death in August of 2015. We thank William and Laura for their work in getting us up and running in these various locations – and the generous friends and fans who’ve welcomed and supported these nascent efforts.
WEBPAGE UPDATE: we’re in the process of shifting Barbara’s official webpage, and are awaiting that shift before anything more can be added. Stay tuned for news on that and other developments, through this blog.
You’re very welcome to JOIN IN these efforts, or let us know about other efforts we haven’t yet discovered! The MPM email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
January 25, 2016 at 4:10 am
Thanks for the terrific round-up!
LikeLiked by 1 person
February 14, 2016 at 7:46 pm
February 21, 2016 at 2:38 am
I’m so happy to have stumbled upon this site! I’ve read and re-read MPM’s books so many times I feel like I know her. It’s so wonderful that with this site, we don’t have to close that chapter of our lives.
I was also wondering if it’s possible to suggest a future post? I would love to see photos of MPM’s office, or wherever she wrote the books that captivated so many. Or maybe hear something about her writing process?
I would guess that there are a number of writers among the readership of this site, and even for non-authors, it still would be a fasinating subject!
Thank you, and thank you again for everything that you’re doing here.
LikeLiked by 1 person
February 21, 2016 at 6:31 pm
This is a great suggestion — thanks! It’s nice to know what people are interested in, and to the extent that we can, we’ll try to oblige. MPM actually was a ferocious researcher, so that each book entailed a lot of preparation before she started writing. We’ll try to convey some of that in upcoming posts.