Our Meet the Team series spotlights members of the Smart Pop family through a Q&A designed to reveal the depths of our nerdy, pop culture–loving souls. Today, we’re joined by Marketing Director Heather Butterfield.
What do you do at Smart Pop?
Hi, I’m the Marketing Director at Smart Pop! Since we’re a small team I get to do a lot of different stuff: I run our social media accounts, update our blog and newsletter, and do all of the big-picture marketing for the imprint. I also write and execute marketing and publicity plans for each of our books. Essentially, my job is to figure out how to get our books in front of the people who will love them. My love language is foisting books on people, and I’m lucky that I’ve basically been able to turn that into my job.
What are your fandoms?
My fandoms are many and varied, and I tend to go through cycles of obsession. Right now, Animal Crossing is monopolizing my brain. I played the first version on Gamecube back when I was a teen, then I didn’t play again until I got New Horizons on Switch in March 2020. Then you know what happened: the pandemic hit, and I stayed inside with my animal friends for the year. The game gave me something to look forward to every day, which is really cool and special when you think about it.
Beyond Animal Crossing, my fandoms (in no particular order) include: The X-Files, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Zelda, Seinfeld, and My Favorite Murder.
What show/movie/book that was seen as a critical or popular disappointment will you always champion?
Seasons 10 and 11 of The X-Files got a lot of flak but I really enjoyed them! Not all of the episodes were masterpieces but there are some real gems in both seasons. “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster,” “The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat,” and “Rm9sbG93ZXJz” (had to Wikipedia that title) are some of my all-time favorite episodes from the series as a whole. There’s also an episode from the original seasons that seems to be universally loathed that I quite like. In “Chinga,” written by Stephen King, Scully goes to Maine and her vacation keeps getting interrupted by weird deaths, which it turns out are being caused by this creepy doll that has powers to make people hurt and kill themselves. Full disclosure: I’m from Maine, which may contribute to my attachment to the episode, but honestly, it’s just a fun one!
What is your current binge?
I just finished the first three seasons of The Great Pottery Throwdown and they were delightful. I’m actually looking for a new show right now—is Dickinson any good?
What was your favorite childhood toy?
I was really into Barbies, dolls, and My Little Pony, and still have most of my collection today.
A fun aside: I have three brothers, and my best friend and cousin were always over on the weekends, so the house was full of kids running wild. We went through a phase where we’d make a lot of really weird home movies with Barbies and action figures, and I particularly remember one where the Barbies got rabies and murdered each other, and another where we made my brother’s Jabba the Hutt action figure do a dance routine? Part of me hopes that the videos are still kicking around somewhere.
You’ve just been exposed to an origin story-amount of radioactivity, chemicals, and/or animal bites. What’s your superpower?
I’ve thought about this a lot and I can’t think of anything better than being able to talk to animals. I want to know what my cats are saying!
Where is your favorite vacation spot?
Hmm, I don’t have one in particular. I enjoy traveling to new places, so I end up going somewhere different whenever I have the opportunity. The pandemic cancelled my trip to Ireland and Scotland—I wanted to see the real-life inspiration for Diagon Alley and the Hogwarts Express—but I hope to still make it there someday.
Where is your favorite comfort food?
Cake. Chocolate cake, vanilla cake, lemon cake, funfetti cake, Swedish princess cake, grocery store cake, homemade cake. Preferably with lots of frosting.
What is your most memorable celebrity experience?
I’ve lived in LA for two years now, so celebrity experiences come up a lot more frequently than they used to. Over the span of a month last year: 1) I walked into a nail salon and made direct eye contact with Tessa Thompson. We smiled at each other, then I panicked and fled. 2) I ate lunch next to Annie Murphy and she was so cool and lovely to people who asked her for a photo. 3) My coworkers and I were at a bar in Santa Monica and Diane Keaton came in and sat down. She was wearing her trademark hat, she asked the bartender to put the presidential debate on the TV, and then she ordered a glass of white wine with ice! On our way out of the restaurant we saw Goldie Hawn sitting at a different table.
What is your favorite way to share fandom with others?
Fandom can be a beautiful connection and bonding point between people. There’s something quite vulnerable about sharing a thing you love, and I think that’s exactly my favorite way to share fandom: through vulnerability. Just be your most geeky, enthusiastic, authentic self and the world will be a better place for it.