Thursday, May 17, 2012


In The Spotlight With Jacob Black N Pack
Interview by light4dawn

Have you heard the rumors? Jacob Black N Pack (JBNP) might be closing their den forever! Is it true? What will all those wolfpack girls do? Where will they go? 

Well, light4dawn had a fun chat with the site owner and creator, Jake’s Girl, as well as long time admin, and JG’s right hand, EnjoyyourJacob

Here is the truth, and you can all be rest assured, Jacob Black N Pack is still open for business!

light4dawn: After three successful years as the most popular Twilight all-wolf forum, social web site, and fanfic library, what made you decide you wanted to end it all?

Jake’s Girl: Well, I didn’t want to end it all. If I did, I’d take my laptop and jump off a cliff at Second Beach!

But, if you’re talking about the “Closing JBNP” group, it was a massive combination of things that prompted me to begin that discussion. A site our size takes a lot of work and full time attention to keep it fresh, active and alive. When I opened JBNP I had a lot of free time due to circumstances in my personal life. (Unemployment gives a girl a lot of free time and Jacob Black gives a girl a lot of inspiration.)

But over 3 years things changed. My personal life had to get back on track. I got new jobs, ended up back in management and decided to go back to school. My kids missed me and their “Jacob Black Interventions” could no longer be ignored. So my availability to the site suffered tremendously. When it was down to just me and EnjoyyourJacob running the site, Breaking Dawn Part I had just ended, and I saw other sites closing, other twihards leaving the fandom, and things were really winding down.

I felt that closing JBNP was something we needed to start looking at. A lot of money, time and planning goes into renewing a NING site for a year. I wasn’t sure we could do it properly for another year, or that I really wanted to.

So, I opened a discussion, knowing I’d want members’ input on this, hoping we’d all get closure, and to figure out somewhere to move all the content.

I couldn’t fathom simply deleting all the material on JBNP. I thought we should make an event out of the closing, you know, contests, t-shirts, chances to say goodbyes and stuff. A site like JBNP should go out with a bang, not fizzle out like some old ass sparklers, ya know? Anyway—the “Closing JBNP” discussion immediately became a “Lets Save JBNP” campaign. I was utterly overwhelmed at the responses, the momentum, the generous words and offers from everyone, the outpouring of support, and pleas NOT to close down the site. It got to the point where I couldn’t even respond to everyone. I backed off the discussion completely feeling more overwhelmed than ever.

light4dawn: What made you decide to find some other way of resolving things without losing the site altogether?

Jake’s Girl: The JBNP Membership—both individual and collective responses.

EnjoyyourJacob: And me having a complete meltdown. Seriously, I think I died a little inside that morning when I woke up and found out about the “JBNP Closing” discussion. I offered Jake’s Girl to take over immediately, but there are some really stupid NING rules that state that you can’t simply change the site owner without having to pay the annual fees all over again. JG, help me out here. That was the problem, right?

Anyway, the overwhelming responses from our members and my complete refusal to accept JG closing the site convinced JG that she had to pull through for a while longer and other options would have to be found.

Jake’s Girl: Apparently, closing JBNP was NOT an option for our membership. The one thing I wanted most, aside from ogling Jacob Black‘s fine ass all day long, was to create a community—a home for wolf girls. The responses from everyone involved showed me we had succeeded in that—we were a family, a community, and the site was really not mine alone to dictate its fate (which was another thing I always strived for—democracy within the community). The site was what we all had created together.

So, we had to come up with answers because EyJ and I couldn’t admin the site at the level it should be managed by ourselves at that point.

light4dawn: Did you imagine what you’ve established now—with the new staff and delegation of responsibilities—would have been a possibility a couple of months ago?

Jake’s Girl: It was always a possibility. I just wasn’t sure EnjoyyourJacob and I had enough energy and passion left to pull it together. We’d gone from small admin group to big admin group back down to small then just us two. Did we really have it in us to lead yet another large admin group? The members answered that for us. A huge number of the most talented and loving women stepped up with offer after offer to help in whatever ways were needed.

So, yeah, we’d do whatever was required to keep things going and that meant putting a team in place that was willing and capable of doing just that.

EnjoyyourJacob: Yeah...and with me having such a hard time adjusting to changes. I didn’t want things to change. I wanted to hold on to everything as it was. It took me a long time to accept that changes had to be made for the site to move forward and adapt to the changing fandom. I’m afraid I really didn’t make it easy for Jake’s Girl.

light4dawn: So, now there are some new admins and moderators. Can you tell us who they are?

Jake’s Girl: Yeah! Niamhg, GoldenGirl, and JakeJunkie are our new Admins with DontcallmeLeeLee and WolfGirl Cheri as our Admin Assistants/Moderators. Let me say too, that it’s important for the members to remain as dedicated, vocal, and forthcoming as they had been. The new admin team needs them more than ever!

light4dawn: What distinguishes an Admin from a Moderator? What will each of their “duties” be?

Jake’s Girl: Admins have whole site access and are included in all aspects of site business. Much of this is confidential. They have access to all site records, all member information. Kinda like having the keys to the site! And as you know, the more people there are with keys, the more problems there are that can arise. That’s why it’s important to function as lean as possible. Mods are the great friends who support the admins and the entire membership. They are fresh and friendly on site and enjoy answering questions, meeting and greeting members, and help pull off events as needed.

We’re still working on what each of us will do. LeeLee will probably concentrate on graphics, technical support, and art with EnjoyyourJacob.

Cheri is lead greeter and welcomer—making sure everyone receives direct contact from the admin team and has a live contact on site.

Junkie and GG, are amazing at keeping up with the day-to-day and finer details.

I’m still the chief slacker—only showing up “occasionally” for the fun stuff, the drama, to support the admin team, and generate ideas when we actually have the time and energy.

light4dawn: What about Niamhg? Will she be handing out Irish soda bread with German ale?

Jake’s Girl: I hate Irish soda bread—but there’s a German Beer called Jacob! Tell ‘em THE STORY EyJ! TELL EM! LOL it’s how she got her screen name, EnjoyyourJacob! No shit!

Niamhg works very closely with EyJ. They’re both in Germany and Nicole wanted an English speaking / writing assistant in her time zone to assist with Admin duties. I know Niamhg has been greeting and helping out on site during those hours us sleepy, lazy Americans are snoozing it up, but Dang! Take a look sometime, there’s a lot of activity overnight! But as we said, we’re still working out everything.

EnjoyyourJacob: Yes, Niamhg is part of the greeting committee and she’s going to take care of our JBNP tweets, which we’ve been lagging behind on lately. 

She'll also be ‘policing’ the site during what would be considered ‘after hours’ for those in North America, in addition to helping me with written postings and communications. 

Niamhg is a great supporter of writers, having read probably every J/B story ever written, but doesn't write herself, which makes her a perfect candidate for contest and awards involvement. 

As for the story of my screen name—it’s true. In the beginning, I simply went by my real name, but wanted something else soon after. I was mulling over a fitting name while having a beer, and for the first time I really noticed the brand of beer. In bold golden letters it read “JACOB”. It was from a local brewery I’d never heard of before and their slogan translated to, “Enjoy your Jacob’s” That was the name! It was more than fitting. I sure as hell wanted to enjoy my Jacob, and I’m not talking about the beer!

light4dawn: I’m pretty sure all the ladies you’ve chosen are friendly, approachable, and responsible, but there must be other things about them that made you choose them over so many others who volunteered. What was it about each that made them stand out from the rest? What unique quality did they bring?

Jake’s Girl: First, thank you, light4dawn for your own very amazing offers to help in any and all ways. I was so touched by the amazing women leading the “Save JBNP” campaign, and you were one of them. With so many people on site, it’s become impossible for me to get to know everyone as well as I used to. And the loss is all mine.

For me—the only factors that made someone “stand out” from the rest was my personal relationship with her.

These weren’t positions I could fill like a job, based solely on qualifications. I needed people I had relationships with, people that knew the site’s history, knew the membership, were well liked, and that I could trust explicitly with the “keys to the site”.

It was important to have people I felt were in touch with my goals and mission for the site, who know what a flake I can be and still want to work with me anyway, and who complimented each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

There were many qualified women who volunteered for the admin team, but choosing those I already had long time relationships with on site enabled us to get up to speed and working smoothly at a much faster pace and with fewer “growing pains”. We also didn’t want to ask people who were actively writing and contributing to the fandom. It would have prevented their work from being in our awards programs or contests.

Being an admin can really ruin your writing focus. Neither EyJ nor I have been able to write in over a year, and we didn’t want that fall out for anyone else.

But, this is a chance to say some nice things about the people we chose! Here goes:

JakeJunkie is kind, diplomatic, levelheaded, and well spoken. She brings stability and grace to the group. She’s a great representative for the site and a wonderful advisor to me.
GoldenGirl is organized, detail oriented, enthusiastic, funny, and talented. She’s a Special Ed. teacher, so she gets me—most of the time. She has her dirty little “Printing Paws” all around, which is another great source for advice, creativity, and direction for us.

EnjoyyourJacob: Niamhg is more a quiet gal. We’ve talked on the phone several times since the site-closing scare and found that we often think alike. What made me consider Niamhg as an admin is that she speaks both German and English, English being her first language. She also lives in the same time zone as me. All this meant she could assist me in shaping members’ messages when the other admins were sleeping. We would also be able to discuss everything right away over the phone without delay. In addition to that, she’s been a member of JBNP for ages and is devoted to both the site and Jacob Black.

Jake’s Girl: Cheri and LeeLee are great supporters who love the site, are very experienced in site moderation and administration, and are hugely talented. They’ve worked at QWP, and other sites, giving generously of their time and talents.

Above all, these ladies are committed to maintaining the level of quality we demand of the site and ourselves. They’re available at times EnjoyyourJacob and I aren’t, and can work both independently and with one another. They’re committed to making JBNP the best it can be, and the membership will benefit from their involvement.

EnjoyyourJacob: Hey, did you notice that most of our new staff members are Team Jacob and prefer reading Jacob/Bella fanfiction?

light4dawn: I knew Niamhg was, but I wasn’t sure about the others. Of course, I have no complaints. Jacob/Bella is my preferred ‘ship too! Did you go into your staff search with the intention of selecting people from all over the world so someone would be available for members any time of the day, or was that just a nice coincidence?

Jake’s Girl: Very nice coincidence, huh? No, it was a consideration, a point we made with each other on the pros and cons worksheet... LOL

light4dawn: You had a “worksheet”? I’m not going to ask, but I’m imagining how many columns and rows that thing had. So that’s what you two have been up to all this time!

Jake’s Girl: LOL—ummm maybe it was an Excel spreadsheet? I’m telling you—these chicks are super organized! We “Google Doc” every damn thing!

light4dawn: Jake’s Girl, do you intend to ever come back to JBNP with the same level of involvement you had in previous years?

Jake’s Girl: You mean as Chief Alpha Wolf Girl—Jake’s dick-tator—on site 24/7? Sadly, no. JBNP was an absolute labor of love. I was swept up into the “moment” like so many of you and have rode this thing fast and hard! I couldn’t seem to find my place in the early fandom, so I created a place. I’m just grateful so many of you came to hang out and enjoy it with me. I couldn’t rewrite the end of Breaking Dawn, but I tried my best to make a contribution to the fandom and spread some Wolf Love during this very exciting time.

light4dawn: Hey, you’ll still be around from time to time though, right? I mean, who can really let go of their baby completely? Do you think you’re going to get to the stage where your presence will become more “invisible observer” rather than being directly involved with the members? You know, like big brother—maybe you already do that? LOL

Jake’s Girl: Yes, I’m already there as the quiet observer and stealthy reader. The problem is, I have so little time to be on site. When I do log on, I easily get sidetracked. I get pinged to chat or someone brings me a problem, or I start reading my site emails, and I’m lost to what I needed to be doing. But I’ll always be around for the awards, pulling together prizes, and fundraising when needed. I think I’ll always want to PR for JBNP, and be involved with other things within the fandom. I really would like to find some small way to give La Push lasting support. It might be something like a small yearly contribution to the Tribal School. I’m determined to find a way “wolf girls” can continue through something like that.

light4dawn: Will there be other changes to the way the site will run, and the events you’ll have, along with the administration changes? If so, what will they be?

EnjoyyourJacob: There will be no changes to the way the site runs. The JBNP Awards will continue, but instead of holding Summer and Winter Awards, we’ll put it together and make it a big event once a year. So with that being said, we promise the JBNP 2012 Awards will start soon. We thought June would be a good time.

There will also be contests starting up again. We’re planning our first anonymous contest, and details will be posted when we’ve worked everything out with the team.

light4dawn: I love anon! I think “new” writers especially like it because it gives them a chance to have their stories read by voters who might have passed them because their name wasn’t recognized.

EnjoyyourJacob: I personally plan on continuing with the Writing Challenges. They’ve become an institution now, and—this is a bit of a “spoiler”—parallel to the Writing Challenges I’m mulling over something I’m calling “Write Along”. For this, a draft will be posted, with a certain scene, situation, or the introduction of an original character. Our members would then continue this, writing along together. It will become OUR story.

Of course, we’ll still have our JBNP Spotlight Interviews and Guest Reviews. We’ll also introduce Original Fiction written by our members and so on.

light4dawn: Jake’s Girl, I know you are the site’s owner and creator, and despite what would have been best for the members, I’m sure it was extremely difficult to hand over what was yours for others to take care of. How were you able to do this after having put in years of work to create, manage, and popularize this site?

Jake’s Girl: “Was...extremely difficult”? It still is. Every day. As long as this site exists, I’ll be sticking my head in, throwing in my two cents, and watching over it like the obsessive, attached mother hen I am. I drive the admins crazy with that shit, but I think I’m getting much better and less attached.

But it seems like whenever I get to the “letting go” point something happens, and I’m right back in the driver’s seat despite my intentions to leave.

I've realized this isn’t just my baby anymore—it’s all of ours. So I can’t take just my needs and wants into consideration. It would be selfish and in direct conflict to what I tried doing by creating a community.

We’d be nothing without the talented girls who post on JBNP, the dedicated readers who support them, and the 4000 lurkers who pop in and out when needed most. So, the way I really show appreciation and support for them is to honor their wishes and keep this place going. But, as I mentioned before, there’s going to be a time when we’ll have to consider closing it and start planning for that. I’m not going to just “turn the lights out” on everyone! We wolf girls need closure!

EnjoyyourJacob: Hehehe...For my part, I don’t need this “closure” anytime in the near future. :P

Jake’s Girl: **rolls eyes and pictures EyJ still twi-fic’ing J/B at age 80**

light4dawn: She won’t be alone! Hey, we all need hobbies! How do you feel about what the future has in store for JBNP? Do you think the fandom will peter out after the movies have all come and gone, or do you see it continuing to remain popular like Star Trek, or Star Wars?

EnjoyyourJacob: The potential to remain popular is definitely there. One could imagine that eventually everything that can be written will be written and posted, but I’m sure the many talented wolf pack authors will still come up with fresh and creative stories. So yeah, I don’t see the end of this site as of yet. It might be quieter once the hype over the last movie of the Twilight Saga fades out, but not dead.

Jake’s Girl: I agree with EyJ. The potential is there for it to remain popular, but I’ve already moved on as many of the original authors and friends surrounding the Saga have. However, I still find myself re-reading some of the fics I love, supporting new authors, and supporting the fandom in general. I think JBNP is unique in the way it’s almost like a Wolf Pack Museum. There’s not much about them [the wolf pack] that’s NOT there! When you google “Jacob Black” we’re the second entry. We’re just after his Wikipedia!

light4dawn: Second? How did Wikipedia get ahead of JBNP? 

EnjoyyourJacob: OMG, Jake's Girl! A Wolf Pack Museum? Now you make me feel old, thank you! But really? We’re right after Wiki, including Google hits? That’s definitely impressive. Makes me think of something else that’s impressive—Jacob Black’s...uhm— Oh wait, we’re doing an interview! I’ll shut up. *quietly laughs into her coffee cup*

light4dawn: You’ve been reading too many fics on JBNP! Head in the game, EnjoyyourJacob—and out of the gutter (or Jacob’s pants—whatever the case may be)!

Jake’s Girl: Did someone mention Jacob’s? Na…it’s just you guys THINKING about IT again! Jeeezus, this wolf pack telepathy is killing me, and your dirty little thoughts are so loud! LOL

light4dawn: I’ve had more than one non-wolf pack Twihard ask me what was happening when the rumors began to fly about JBNP closing. Regardless “team” alliance, the people I spoke to were all concerned and saddened at the thought of JBNP closing. How do you think it would have changed the Twilight fandom if it really had happened? 

EnjoyyourJacob: Okay, now I have to admit that I don’t really know other wolf centered sites. When I first came here over two years ago, it was like a whole new world to me. Suddenly, I didn’t have to defend myself anymore for loving Jacob and the pack. I could read Jacob/Bella stories all day long (and night) written with so much love and dedication. There was no flaming and no hate going on. It was like a paradise to me. So I never felt the need to explore other wolf centered sites out there, if you know what I mean.

If Jake’s Girl really had closed the site, I wouldn’t have known where to go and have it feel like home. I think, and I don’t exaggerate when I say this, it’s like this for the majority of our members.

I’m sure someone would start a new site, but it would never be the same, and on top of that, all the amazing stories posted here, our contest groups, the fascinating forum discussions, and photo collections would be lost. That would truly sadden me.

light4dawn: From what I know, JBNP is the largest wolf site I’ve encountered BY A LONG SHOT! What does that mean for a writer such as myself? When a contest is posted on JBNP, I know there’ll be many contestants, AND I know tons of people will read my entry. Without a large sample size, results aren’t very reliable! Speaking of sample size (head out of the gutter, EyJ!)...

EnjoyyourJacob: WHAT? *looks around her innocently* I didn’t do a thing.

Jake’s Girl: IT'S 10 and a half inches... I don’t consider that sample sized!

light4dawn: As I was saying, that’s why the JBNP Awards are THE awards in wolfdom! There are NO other awards specifically for wolf writers as big and coveted as much by writers. I’m being honest. Winning an award where 20 people voted for you isn’t much of an award in my books. Winning an award where hundreds participated? Yeah, that’s an accomplishment!

Jake’s Girl: You bet your ass! Contests and awards were—and will continue to be—our specialty and loads of fun!

light4dawn: I’m sure the wolf fandom would lose out on a lot. Sure, some would move onto other sites, but I feel it’s late in the game to establish a new wolf centered home. Personally, I don’t think another site could match the size and enthusiasm you have on JBNP in time to keep the thousands of homeless wolf girls from leaving the fandom altogether. Ultimately, I think most would just leave the fandom altogether. Without the social network and support, it’s not as fun.

What about the Twilight fandom—outside wolfdom? Do you think that would change if JBNP had closed down (your best guess)? Do you think all the Vamp and Swiss girls would have gone on without noticing? Would the overall popularity and longevity of the fandom be irreversibly affected?

EnjoyyourJacob: Would it affect the fandom if JBNP disappeared? In a way, yes, I think so. Let me tell you about experiences members have reported: Most of us wolf lovers started out on several sites that were mainly vamp centered. There was usually a small section reserved for wolf pack lovers, but pack lovers never felt quite welcomed, and found themselves defending their love for Jacob Black and the wolf pack. Sometimes, heated discussions would result about why Jacob could or could not be THE ONE for Bella and so on. Only when they found JBNP did they finally experience full acceptance in a closed and protected environment. This safety inspired many members to start writing their own fanfiction instead of just reading it.

What I’m trying to say is this: Having JBNP as a platform to support wolf authors one hundred percent, inspired and brought out the best in many new (and older) authors, who might never have started writing in the first place!

If JBNP were gone, the support and acceptance would break away, likely leading to fewer wolf fanfiction being written. 

No JBNP—and as a result, less pack fiction and writers—would be like the Twilight Saga without the love triangle. It would be a fandom with little disagreement, differing opinions, multifaceted views, or varying members. Ugh. Sounds boring to me.

I’ve read a few vamp fics over the years, and they either ignored Jacob Black altogether or made him a villain, molester, and/or mischief-maker. Other times, Jake would be in the story, but the rest of the pack was completely missing! Sure, I could be prejudiced and maybe this isn’t true for the majority, but in my eyes, fanfiction without Jake (or the pack)—and the possibility that Jake (or one of the other wolf guys) might end up with Bella—would be a story that holds absolutely no spark for me. There would be no fire if Jacob Black and the pack suddenly weren’t part of Twilight fanfiction anymore.

Jake’s Girl: I’m more interested in your theories, L4D! (How did Edward say that in Twilight?). Preach it woman! Here’s your soapbox *plunk* and your apple. The Internet fandom would be a different place without JBNP! Where would all the banned wolf girls end up? LOL!

light4dawn: I’ll tell you where, hiding in a corner with no one to talk to, no connections, no beta, banging away on their keyboards, hoping someone will read their fics, and no one will flame them. How do I know? Because that’s where I was eight months ago before I discovered JBNP!

You know what else? I think the vamp girls would get bored too! They need one of us to poke our heads into their contests and awards once in a while messing up their perfect nominations lists with our muddy paws, and screaming “inequities” when they forget to add “Best Jacob” to their list of best FF character portrayals. LOL. If you’ve got no one to snicker at, gossip about, and argue non-issues with, you might as well be a damn guy!

Thank you both for keeping Jacob Black N Pack alive! I’m positive there would have been literally thousands of us leaving the fandom, wandering aimlessly, or getting into fights on open forums if things hadn’t worked out as they had! ~ light4dawn

** Banner manip by light4dawn 

{ 11 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. Thanks ladies! What a fantastic interview with some behind the scenes info that none of knew were going on! So glad you were able to pull it all together. Even a vamp girl like me enjoys your site and it would be sorely missed!

    light4dawn - excellent questions, you have skills girl!

  2. I agree with the need for a safe, warm cave like JBNP for us wolf girls. Yay to it continuing! The vamps may be immortal but we are loyal; marked? lmao

    1. Marked? Who's doing the marking? And what are we being marked for? :)

  3. Thanks for the opportunity to clear the air and to be spotlighted on your site Credorosa. I enjoyed the brief chats we had when you were exploring the wolf side of things and hope we get the chance to chat again soon!
    L4D - Thank you. great job.

  4. Thanks Alphas, and Credorosa! It was a lot of fun for me!

  5. Great to read this and so happy that the site is staying open :)

    Irene aka Fitmom

    1. It was scary for a while there, wasn't it? Phew!

  6. Hi!! I'm from Venezuela and i really really happy that JBNP is not closed. I adore Jacob/Bella fics with happy endings of course. Saddly i don't speak English too good in order to express my "fascination" with these stories LOL and your site too. I hope that JBNP continue for very long time... I wish you all the best and luck... *thumbs up*

    1. You've expressed yourself very well because I know exactly what you mean! I was so excited when I first heard JBNP would be open and flourishing, and I know you feel exactly the same way!

  7. Great interview ladies! I especially appreciate the speculation of where we would be if JBNP closed its doors. Some of us have been there on the open Twilight forums, and it wasn't pretty.
    Just know that you are appreciated, and as a die-hard wolf-girl, I'm so glad you were able to keep JBNP going!

    1. Okay, someone has the tell me the etiquette here. Is the interview supposed to reply to comments, the interviewee(s), or no one at all?

      Experienced interviewer, and member of the old guard, share your wisdom!