Some people just sit around and watch the shows they like. Some even wear themed Halloween costumes and write fan fiction. But some fans move beyond these conventional displays of enthusiasm into the magical realm of the superfan, where Halloween costumes become daywear and TV shows become a lifestyle. These are the people after our own hearts. This week we set out to find the biggest superfan of the addictive supernatural melodrama True Blood by contacting the main True Blood fan site, True-Blood.net; the moderators didn’t hesitate before pointing us toward Kelly Sturm, a 37-year-old True Blood fanatic and welfare office worker for the County of San Bernardino, California.
Before we begin our interview with the delightfully upbeat Sturm, a quick summary of her credentials: She has (needless to say) seen every episode multiple times and read all of Charlaine Harris’s source books. She posts two to three times daily on the True Blood Facebook page and True-Blood.net as EricLover37, and had the theme song “Bad Things” as her ring tone. Her house is decorated in memorabilia, and she has a wardrobe’s worth of True Blood T-shirts. As True-Blood.net moderator Mel explains, “Kelly doesn’t just watch the show, she absorbs it and uses it to inspire her. She’s one of the most cheerful, enthusiastic people we’ve encountered in True Blood fandom.” In fact, Sturm is so cheery that she can stay calm even when confronted by the most heretical statement in all of True Blood fandom: that Twilight is superior. “I got into it with someone [who was] saying Twilight was better,” she says. “I told them they’re completely different genres. To me, it’s comparing apples and oranges. [But] to each their own.”
At the Ultimate Fan Experience in full Fangbanger regalia, with boyfriend.Photo: Kelly Sturm
Tell me about the picture with you and Eric.
My friend and I were at the Comic-Con event for True Blood, and she tapped me on the shoulder and was like, “You might want to turn around, [Eric’s] standing right behind me.” I was like “Oh my goodness!” So we got a picture … I was just over the moon.
So you’re Team Eric?
Yeah. I like Eric. He’s more upfront and honest than Bill. Bill has a lot to hide, and at least Eric so far has been honest and doesn’t mess around. Bill’s more pussyfooting around, I guess you could say. They’re both adorable, but I’m Team Eric … I have a calendar of True Blood at my desk. And people will walk by, and Eric’s up right now, and they’ll be like, “Who is THAT?!” and I’m like, “That’s Eric; that’s the guy I have a picture with! He’s on True Blood, and you better watch it because he’s handsome.”
Does your boyfriend mind?
Oh no. No, because he likes Sookie. He thinks she’s adorable.
Note the bottle of V.Photo: Kelly Sturm
If you were on the show, what kind of superhuman creature would you be?
I’d probably be the vampire type. Or a mystical kind of thing, like the maenad. Kind of something like that, because I’m real earthy, with the elements, reading my horoscope every day.
Red drank.Photo: Kelly Sturm
Do you have a ritual for watching the show?
Me and my boyfriend call it True Blood Sundays. The first night we made True Blood drinks; we got [bottles of] True Blood when we went to the event, so we opened one bottle, and it’s blood orange juice — like a blood orange soda — and we mixed it with vodka in our True Blood glasses, and we were just sitting down watching the show.
Is there anything about the show you’re not crazy about?
Tara’s character a little bit. She’s a little more eccentric than she is in the books. It’s a little over-the-top sometimes.
Red eyes and all.Photo: Kelly Sturm
Any other tiny little ways True Blood has affected your life?
Well, I took vampire pictures like a month ago.
Like, you dressed up?
Yeah. I took Gothic vampire pictures, and it was really cool. I got my vampire teeth in, I got my red eyes in. They turned out really cool. There’s one where we’re all crawling all over this girl, like, biting her.
I also have True Blood shirts. I got one ‘cause I gave blood, so it says, “I gave blood today, but I saved some for Bill.” And I got one that says “It hurts so good,” and I have one that just says True Blood on it. But during the events and stuff, [the True Blood people] give away a lot of stuff, like we got the cups and the fake teeth and coasters, and I got two True Blood posters.
Are they up?
I have one up at home, and everybody sees it and says, “Where’d you get this, it’s so cool.” And on my bar I actually have a bunch of True Blood stuff, too, so people are like, “Where’d you get all that stuff?” And I’m like, “You can’t have it! Leave it alone!” It’s really cool. I just like collecting.
Meet True Blood’s Biggest Superfan
If you know any other superfans — or are one yourself — please tell us.