If you’ve been on Twitter lately, you must have seen or heard from the powerful force that is the Bookhouse Babes. Their founding members–and our very own Amanda Osbourne and J.A.C. Hotchkiss–sat down with me over drinks at the Bookhouse during one of their meetings, and were kind enough to talk me through their inception, their goals, and what makes them tick!
25YL: First off, thanks to you both for agreeing to sit down with me and chat about the Bookhouse Babes! My first question right off the bat: Who *are* the Bookhouse Babes?
J.C.: Wow! Amanda & I were just discussing this!
Amanda: We are an amazing group of Twin Peaks fans who provide support, encouragement and positivity for not only the ladies but for anyone who needs a place to share their passions, challenges and camaraderie
J.C.: I think we’re a group for women, but really everyone that has a love for Twin Peaks. But also a sense of community and support for all fans. I also think it can be a positive ally to many different groups. We’ve also helped some Babes spread the word on the charitable endeavors and it’s helped them immensely.
Amanda: We continually support and encourage our followers to let us know of anything that they are passionate about or actively involved in so that we can spread the word and make a positive impact on people’s lives
J.C.: Which is something we’re interested in pursuing further. With the Lynch Foundation & possibly other actors charities as well. Kyle is part of God’s Love We Deliver NYC and Peggy has an environmental cause so we could expand.
Amanda: Absolutely J.C.! We have grown quickly and are in the process of identifying what matters most to this new community so that we can provide a positive and supportive platform for everyone.
25YL: I love hearing this!! I’ve seen the positive outreach you have done, not just to support fans in a fun, fandom-type way, but also more recently with hurricane relief in Puerto Rico and other things along that line! What a tremendous mission statement!
Amanda: It has been a real honor to see that our community has been able to make such a strong impact in a short period of time for some of the charities we have brought attention to. This is certainly a very important part of our mission and we are very proud to be a part of it!
J.C.: I know the Blue Rose pins were the 1st real impact. But also the Sonoma firefighters had had a huge impact as well.
25YL: That’s a wonderful way to take what is already an active community and turn the power of all those connections into something that’s more than just chatting about our favourite show—which is *awesome* on its own, but to be able to give back is…just so amazing.
Amanda: The founding of the Bookhouse Babes was a very yrev happy accident indeed! J.C. and I are very excited and proud of what we have been able to accomplish with this strong and vibrant community of followers!
25YL: So can you speak to the founding of the group? What gave you the idea to start the Bookhouse Babes?
J.C.: (laughing) Kyle!
Amanda: Yes… our favorite Bookhouse Boy
J.C.: No really, Amanda had put something on Kyle’s twitter about how to become an honorary Bookhouse boy. To which I replied
Amanda: I posted a picture of the Bookhouse Boys first meeting with Agent Dale Cooper in the RR Diner and asked Kyle on twitter how one would become a “Bookhouse Lady”?
J.C.: “Don’t you mean Bookhouse Girl, or dame or Bookhouse Babe?”
Amanda: And J.C. immediately jumped on this! And came up with Bookhouse Babe!
Amanda: We had a giggle on the thread to Kyle about the name and before you know it, the Bookhouse Babes were born!
J.C.: So yes, inspired by the handsome and debonair Agent Cooper. So Kyle should get a teensy bit of credit for being a babe.
Amanda: Kyle is definitely our original honorary #BookhouseBabe
— Amanda 💋🕵️♀️ (@DuganAmanda) September 11, 2017
Amanda: We started hashtagging BookhouseBabes and found an unexpected but wonderful need from the Twin Peaks community for a different platform that had not yet been established.
25YL: I always wondered why there was no institution in Twin Peaks for the women of the town the way there was for the fellas. There were lots of opportunities for the Babes — Audrey, Donna, Maddy, Shelly…— to have banded together but they were always left on their own (and did a damn fine job at it, too!) so there was definitely a need for this! Which leads to my next question: Who in “Twin Peaks” would have been a founding Bookhouse Babes member?
Amanda: Audrey, no doubt!
25YL: Audrey is Queen. No doubt about it.
J.C.: She wanted to help from the beginning, even if it was in a selfish way. She also had the guts, which in Twin Peaks is important.
Amanda: She definitely struck me as a character who exhibited not only beauty but also mystery, strength and a strong sense of curiosity in the show. Audrey never took no for an answer and always pursued her dreams and passion for what she thought was right. Those are strong characteristics that we certainly want to live by.
J.C.: Donna was too worried about James or what James would think. I could see Norma, just like Ed was a part. So maybe Norma would bring Shelley in.
Amanda: We definitely love Norma! She always exhibited a sense of leadership and maturity even while battling her own issues. Peggy Lipton has been amazing in supporting the #BookhouseBabes through retweeting and spreading the word!
J.C.: I could also see Lucy now that we know she was important to the whole Twin Peaks universe.
lstamhuis: Yes! Lucy was absolutely part of this too. She was an honorary Bookhouse Boy [in The Secret History of Twin Peaks], so yeah, she’d definitely be part of the Bookhouse Babes!
J.C.: We definitely need to give props to Chrysta Bell who has really embraced the Bookhouse Babes. She is a beautiful soul and it is wonderful to see her engage with our community!
Amanda: But…. ALL of the Twin Peaks female characters show incredible depth in their own abilities to face very different personal challenges. This is what makes them relatable to all of us.
25YL: Couldn’t agree with you more, Amanda! The show has always done a great job portraying women — maybe they weren’t perfect, but these women were real and relatable. In spite of allegations of misogyny, I’ve always felt that the female characters (and all characters in the show) were very well-written. Personally, I credit so many of the women in Twin Peaks (both as characters and the actors who portrayed them) as inspirations.
J.C.: Yes, I agree. David has a way of making “real” women characters. Not just what people think of as women but really showing the dark & the light. The down & dirty. And in turn it makes you empathize with these character and become inspired by them
Amanda: I JUST had this conversation with someone who has never seen Twin Peaks. The fact that David and Mark created female characters who experienced challenges that women face every day in a very honest and raw tone is what, at the end of the day, unites many of us.
J.C.: Absolutely. You root for them to succeed. You become personally invested in what happens to them.
25YL: So, maybe you answered this already, but who can be a Bookhouse Babe?
Amanda: ANYONE and EVERYONE!
J.C.: We started it to be mostly women but ended up getting DM’s from others asking if they could be a part of the Babes even though they weren’t female
Amanda: We are about creating a community of support and want to provide that for anyone who needs it. J.C. is right, we definitely thought about women initially, but after seeing the incredible response from the Twin Peaks community, we want to ensure that everyone feels welcome and accepted.
J.C.: So we decided that the Bookhouse Babes was a group who accepted everyone. Everyone with a love of Peaks and community.
25YL: Anyone can be a Babe!
Amanda: Absolutely! We do tend to focus on women specific topics mostly due to the fact that the majority of the vocal followers are female Babes, however, we are inclusive to ALL 🙂
J.C.: It all started with our Knight of the Bookhouse, Tom. Tom really became our BB ally.
Amanda: Oh Tom! We really love him! He and George Griffith have been extremely supportive from the very beginning of #BookhouseBabes!
J.C.: And here at 25 Years Later. Andrew, John…very supportive (you and Eileen too, Linds!) Really helped show that we were an all-inclusive group.
25YL: To your point about women-specific topics, a convincing argument can be made that there are unique issues facing women in any fan community (let alone the wider world…) that deserve to have a spotlight shone on them, so that makes sense. Inclusive groups make everything better!
Amanda: Absolutely! Unfortunately, as with any community that has been established, we have our critics, but the male supporters really stood up and voiced their support.
25YL: So let’s talk about the famous friends and allies! You’ve had quite a wonderful outpouring of support from some truly big name fans! It’s like getting a stamp of approval!! For a new kid on the block, that’s so impressive. You’ve got to be chuffed about that!
J.C.: Gwendoline Christie. Like come on! Brienne of Tarth! Capt. Phasma herself! And lover of Kyle as much as we are! Which I adore!
Amanda: Seriously?! Yes!! We are definitely enjoying the positive attention from some amazingly talented and accomplished folks! From Showtime Twin Peaks, George Griffith, Ray Wise’s daughter Kyna, Chrysta and Gwendoline Christie – the response and acceptance has been incredible! We are truly surprised at the happy accident which began with a Kyle MacLachlan post.
25YL: It’s amazing how these things take off, isn’t it?
J.C.: Definitely. Everything happens for a reason.
Amanda: It really is! The most wonderful and strange part of all of this has been the gap that we have been able to fill in the Twin Peaks community. The excitement of our followers to be a part of something strong, positive and full of love puts a smile on my face every day!
25YL: You mentioned critics a little earlier. It’s an unfortunate fact of life I think, especially on Twitter, that people take contrary positions often just to troll. It’s hard to be on some of these platforms sometime. What do you say to these critics?
Amanda: I would say that we are here to spread love and not hate and that it is sad that there are people that can’t see the positive impact that we are spreading in our community. There is so much negativity and anger on social media these days that we are proud to provide a platform that focuses on inclusivity and positive energy.
25YL: That’s a good answer.
J.C.: Yes, to echo what Amanda said. I’m Irish and have a temper. So for me it’s sometimes very hard to not want to protect passionately. But I feel overall our group is bringing something positive and not being divisive at all, so you can just go ahead a drink your percolated fish coffee and leave the damn fine for us.
25YL: I’ll drink to that!
Amanda: HA!!!! Cheers to that!
25YL: Looking forward, what are your longterm goals for the Bookhouse Babes?
Amanda: We are continually calling for feedback from our growing community so that we can continue our effort in a collaborative manner. However, we are filled with secrets…
J.C.: We’d like to continue down a philanthropical path. But also branch out to maybe do some meet up in areas where Babes are.
Amanda: Absolutely! The sense of community and acceptance is very important to our mission and we want to engage as many people as we can to join together in an effort to support and encourage one another! Would love to coordinate with fellow Bookhouse Babes regarding local events, charities, and social opportunities!
J.C.: Maybe we’ll even do a Babes group project right here on 25 Years Later!
Amanda: I think that is a perfect idea J.C.! We love the 25 Years Later team! We also are hoping to engage other prominent members of the Twin Peaks community (errr maybe Kyle for example lol) to help us spread the word about what is important to our followers!
J.C.: But yes, like the woods the Babes are filled with secrets.
25YL: Amanda and J.C., I’m so glad we had this chat. Do you have any final thoughts here before I let you both go for the night?
J.C.: I echo what you said earlier: The Twin Peaks fan community and the actors and crew are such a warm & welcoming group. We want to also be that community for our fellow Bookhouse Babes.
Amanda: Thank you Lindsay for the opportunity to spread the word about our community and our mission! We are very passionate about Twin Peaks and the Bookhouse Babes! We are a strong and compassionate team and want to expand our community in order to continue spreading positive vibes!
J.C.: We also want to be able to be a voice for those who may need help and not have such a large community of followers to help get their message out there.
Amanda: Absolutely J.C.! We are proud to have created a platform where the Bookhouse Babes are comfortable reaching out and voicing their challenges. We are all about helping one another and putting smiles on faces during rough times!