Woodsy's World of Star Wars - My Q+A w/Starwars.com Sr. Editor Bonnie Burton!!

I recently had the pleasure of hanging out w/my new West Coast Bff Bonnie Burton - Sr. Editor at Starwars.com and awesome chick!  Step aside Carrie Fisher, there's a new sheriff in town!!

Q - How did you land your awesome gig at Lucasfilm?

As unbelievable as this sounds, I answered an ad on Craig's List! I had been a geek girl all my life but never in a zillion years did I think I would be working for The Maker himself. I almost didn't go to the job interview because I didn't think I'd get the gig. But I couldn't pass up a visit to Lucasfilm HQ. So I went and ended up getting the job! Seven years later, I'm still in shock. I think they were looking for someone who represented a more mainstream, geek girl sensibility and I fit the bill.

I worked in the dotcom industry as an entertainment & kids editor for eWorld, @Home Network, Excite, and AOL, as well as writing freelance for everything from Wired to Bust magazine. My site Grrl.com also has plenty of geektastic content including my vlog "Ask Bonnie" where I'd answer questions about everything from ghost hunting tips to Japanese candy reviews. Either way, I'm grateful every day to have a job where I can write about Wookiees and create content for three generations of fans worldwide.

Q - If you got a Star Wars tattoo, what do you think you’d get and where?

Ha! I've thought of that often! Every time we have a Star Wars tattoo contest at Celebration, I always consider getting something. I only have one tattoo -- a Gustave Doré illustration from Dante's Inferno -- on my back. I keep pondering the idea of getting R2-D2 or Gonk the Power Droid. But I'm not sure which yet. Perhaps at the next Star Wars Celebration I'll have decided.

Q - Bonnie you do so many amazing things - starwars.com editor, a 24/7 twitterette, accomplished author of several books and my new heroine, not to mention all the other stuff I’m forgetting - how are you able to juggle it all?

I never sleep. Really. I probably should, but it's hard to calm down every evening when I have so many ideas and projects whirling around in my head. I usually relax around 3am by watching my favorite Blade Runner before bed. In fact, I usually tweet about it as well. So if you follow me on Twitter late at night you'll see me posting photos of Deckard. I hate being bored, so I always take on too many projects. It keeps me busy, productive and moving. Life is too short, so you have to make every moment count. And luckily, I have friends that kidnap me often to go have fun so I'm not constantly stuck in writing mode. Of course, my sleep depravation probably explains why I go to Starbucks dressed as Jabba the Hutt on a whim.

Q - I’m so impressed with your published books (including 5 Star Wars books). Which one has been your favorite book to work on so far, your labor of love so to speak?

It's weird. Each book marks a different moment in my life, so they are all special to me. Never Threaten to Eat Your Co-Workers: Best of Blogs (Apress) was my first book, which really was an anthology of essays and interviews with bloggers I knew and loved including Wil Wheaton, Choire Sicha and Heather Hamilton. From there I did two drawing books -- You Can Draw: Star Wars (DK Publishing) and Draw Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Klutz Books) -- which were inspired by the drawing tutorial section I started on StarWars.com. I loved art as a kid, and some of my favorite books were about drawing. So I figured the next generation of fans must love to draw droids, AT-ATs and Jedi as much as I did. Those two books are the ones that most fans come up and thank me for, which makes those projects even more special. I love getting Star Wars drawings from kids!

One of the most important books I ever wrote is Girls Against Girls: Why We Are Mean to Each Other and How We Can Change. It's an advice book I wrote to help girls deal with bullying, frenemies and mean girl behavior. I always felt like an outsider at school and never really understood the mind games that girls play with each other. Ironically, that behavior still exists in adult women as well, and so in writing the book I learned a lot about myself and past friendships that have gone awry. I've had parents and girls tell me that the book has helped them get through some tough moments. Oddly enough some of my guy friends think they have a better handle on why their girlfriends get angry with them after reading the book too!

This year my real labor of love book comes out - "The Star Wars Craft Book" (Random House). I've spent quite a long time on these crafts on StarWars.com and now for this book which I think fans and craftsters will love. Where else are you going to find a book that shows you how to make an AT-AT herb garden planter and a Jabba the Hutt Body Pillow?

Q - Yes!  Your Star Wars Craft Book comes out in March 2011. How did you get to be so crafty and what are some of your favorite Star Wars things to make?

I've always been covered in a thin layer of glitter. I could entertain myself for hours as a kid with glitter glue, watercolors, magazine cut-outs, pipe cleaners... you name it! I've always loved making puppets, so there are quite a few puppet crafts in The Star Wars Craft Book. There's just something awesome about a sock puppet with googly eyes. Some of my favorite crafts in the book include Admiral Sackbar Puppet, Chewbacca Sock Puppet, Cuddly Felt Bantha, Washcloth Wampa and of course the Jabba the Hutt Body Pillow. In fact, when I was performing in the geek cabaret known as W00tstock, I brought the Jabba pillow to sit on top of an amp on stage. He was our mascot for the night! (You can pre-order Bonnie's book here: http://www.amazon.com/Star-Wars-Craft-Book/dp/0345511166/)

Q - I know Bettie Page has been a big inspiration in your life. Can you tell us about that?

I've been a fan of Bettie Page since I first found out about her in 1990. I had a friend who worked at a comic book shop when I was in college and said I looked like her. I had no idea who she was, and at that time there weren't any books out about her, only a fanzine called The Betty Pages. So I made it my goal to learn as much as I could about her. One of my first published articles was about my search for her called "I Was a Teenage Betty Page." Eventually, I got to interview pin-up photographer Paula Klaw about Bettie Page's life for that same article. I never met Bettie in person, but her spirit and fun for the sexy side of life really influenced not just how I look, but my outlook on life. She was one of a kind to say the least.

Q - For our next geek girl date what do you think we should do?

Legoland? I hear they're putting in a Star Wars section! Then again, I think we could get into plenty of geek girl trouble at WonderCon!

Q - So Bonnie, I heard you got married recently, congratulations! Can you share some fond memories of that special moment? And what is the name of the luckiest man alive?

At our last big Star Wars convention called Celebration, we added some fun new events to the line-up including speed dating, a Hoth Ice Bar sponsored by G4 and Star Wars commitment ceremonies! So of course, being the diligent reporter I am for StarWars.com, I had to do all three for a story. I've always had a crush on R2-D2 -- what's not to love? So I asked him out, we went speed dating, I bought him a cocktail at the Hoth Ice Bar and he popped the question!

The next day we were married by Darth Maul! Star Wars Collector Icon Steve Sansweet gave me away, Darth Vader was best man, and the lovely TV reality star and supermodel Adrianne Curry (dressed as an Imperial Officer) was my Maid of Honor. I may be the first woman to marry an astromech, but I imagine I won't be the last. Droids make the best spouses. Besides, we have an Open Source Marriage, so I can still see other humans, and Artoo is free to date other droids. It really is a modern kind of romance.

Q - It would be my honor if you’d put on my Princess Leia buns...would you? Could you?

Heck yeah! Ya know, when I was a kid I made my mom put my hair in Princess Leia buns for months after I first saw Star Wars. We used to have a small bathroom trash can that looked a LOT like R2-D2 that I would talk to and pretend to transmit secret Rebel messages to on pieces of scrap paper. I was a weird little kid.

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LINKS:

Romancing the Droid: Why I Married R2-D2

http://starwarsblog.starwars.com/index.php/2010/08/18/romancing-the-droid-why-i-married-r2-d2/

Wedding video:

http://www.starwars.com/inc/video.html?vidId=001071

First Look: The Star Wars Craft Book

http://www.starwars.com/vault/books/craftbook/firstlook/index.html

Jabba the Hutt Costume Test Run

http://starwarsblog.starwars.com/index.php/2009/09/15/jabba-the-hutt-costume-test-run/

My Star Wars Craft Projects on StarWars.com

http://www.starwars.com/archives/index.html?c=b736051b-66e8-43f8-a753-69a936852471&k=t_e4372471-3010-497c-8beb-d3f3969eabe2

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