Today I have the lucky pleasure of sharing an interview with Eric Smith, a social media guy over at Quirk Books. He’s a blogger, gamer, and publishing geek living and writing in Philadelphia. He’s the co-founder of Geekadelphia, a hyperlocal blog in Philadelphia, covering all-that-is-geek in the City of Brotherly Love, and in 2011, he co-founded the Philadelphia Geek Awards with the Academy of Natural Sciences, a ceremony honoring local geeks.
His latest book, The Geek’s Guide to Dating, is available TODAY!! Excitement! Seriously, this book has been getting rave reviews, and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy
1. First off: Happy release day, Eric! And thank you for taking the time to stop by our humble blog. Tell us a bit about how The Geek’s Guide to Dating was born.
Last year, I found myself writing a lot of pieces about the intersection of my geek life (specifically video games) and my personal life. And a few of these focused specifically on my love life.
One of these essays from 2011 went insanely viral, a piece I published over on the Bygone Bureau. I talked about how I sold an engagement ring I had purchased for an ex-girlfriend, and used the funds to purchase a suit of Master Chief armor. You know, the protagonist from Halo. The resulting fallout was incredible. The story was all over the place, and it was thrilling.
Although, my pursuit of geekery doesn’t end there. I run a blog called Geekadelphia with one of my best friends, co-founded a massive awards ceremony honoring local geeks, and nerd out about comic books and graphic novels on blogs like BookRiot and Geekosystem.
So geek culture, it’s a big part of my life and who I am. When I started dating again, I’d put my silly stories up on Facebook, and share my misadventures with my colleagues. Jason Rekulak, Quirk’s publisher, asked me if I’d like to take all of these lessons I’d been learning, and put them into a book, one that we could potentially fill with cute, 8-bit artwork. And thus, the book was born.
2. That is both tragic and AMAZING. I suppose you qualify yourself as a “geek”. Name your favorite fandoms—GO!
Eek! If I had to pick my three favorites…probably Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars, and the die hard gamers who dress up as their favorite characters at Comic Con.
I mean, I do my share of cosplaying now and again. I’ve gone to Comic Con rocking my Master Chief armor plenty of times and I’m just about finished with a Test Subject cosplay from Portal. I’ve also been working on a Rocketeer outfit for a while now. The helmet is the hardest part!
I’ve also always admired the Browncoats. I always seek out their tables at Comic Con. That might be next on my list of outfits. Because Firefly. <3
3. We are officially neural drift compatible. You had me at BSG. Now this blog you mentioned, Geekadelphia—it pretty much covers everything I care about in the world. Which topics do you write about/focus on?
Hahaha, thank you! On Geekadelphia, I’m really passionate about what’s going on locally in my geek community. Because seriously, Philadelphia has given me so much. Anytime I have a chance to talk about the cool things going on here, I jump all over it.
So I like to focus a lot on events (especially at Philly’s Academy of Natural Sciences), local indie game developers, comic book artists, and authors doing cool things. Philly is a great city to be a creative geek.
4. Wow, that’s so very supportive of you! I have only been to Philly a few times, but I loved it each visit. Now, can you share a tip for geeks out there on the dating scene? (Clearly if they want to go full Don Juan, they’ll need to buy the book, but maybe you have a teaser tip?)
You know, I find that us geeks have such amazing recall ability. It’s our little superpower. I have friends that can tell you every single line from the entire Star Trek film series or pull endless quotes from Futurama.
When it comes to dating however, make sure you use those powers for good, geeks. Not that remembering the entire Stacker Pentecost “we are canceling the apocalypse!” speech from Pacific Rim is evil. Because that’s awesome. I’m saying to remember to use that powerful memory in your relationships.
Try to remember the little things. Awesome first dates, special moments shared between the two of you. Make sure you’re actively listening the way you were when you first saw Pacific Rim, so you remember your significant other’s wishes and wants. I still remember the color eye shadow my fiancé wore on our first date (green) and all the details from our second date (we went flea marketing and watched You’ve Got Mail).
Also, and this might sound silly, but don’t be afraid to let that geek flag fly. Put it all out there. My OkCupid profile talked about my concern over the inevitably zombie and/or robot apocalypse. I mentioned my pet rabbit, a bunny named Rory (after Rorschach in Watchmen). Some friends of mine were worried about all that. “Who’s going to want to talk to you if you mention your obsession with video games?” Probably someone worthwhile.
5. I did listen more to Raleigh in Pacific Rim than I ever do to my husband. Uh-oh…Wait—DOUBLE UH-OH. Pub Brawl!!! Name your weapon of choice.
[Panics, throws empty coffee cup]
Ugh, sorry. But you know, Hawkeye says “anything is a weapon if you’re in deep enough trouble.” Oh well. You win this one, Susan!
Well, there you have it, dear readers! If this doesn’t make you want to read The Geek’s Guide to Dating, then you have no soul. The guy sold his engagement ring for ARMOR. It doesn’t get cooler than that.
If you want to get a glimpse of The Geek’s Guide to Dating, you can enter win a copy AND a poster! Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below! And leave a comment sharing YOUR favorite fandoms.