Message From The Editor

Contained herein is a collection of what I feel number among the best of the Hello, Strangers! Columns by Ginger Foutley that have been printed since 2005. While it is true that nearly all of them have previously seen print in my epic Hey Arnold! Fanfic, "Instant Gratification," I felt that it was high time to let Miss Foutley begin to fly on her own. Also, over the past year, my life has changed significantly, and as such I have had little to no time for writing. Recently, I have been trying to take steps to remedy that situation, and to return to the table to finish "Instant Gratification" once and for all. That being said, as I was reading over the material for the story, it dawned on me that there are probably ATBG fans out there who never knew I was making equal use of this dynamic character and her unique world, and I for one feel that it is high time that I rectified that situation.

Submitted here for your approval is perhaps one of the more off-beat forms of fanfiction you will encounter. I almost prefer to think of this as "non-fictional creative prose," as in these works I have done my absolute best to pick up the quill of a twenty-one year old Ginger Foutley and offer insight into her daily life, her observations, her hopes, her fears, her dreams, her experiences….everything that is shaping her into the person that she will eventually become. As such, I feel it is almost wrong to call myself the author. I may have written the words in these columns, but it was Ginger who truly gave them a voice. I have been writing fanfiction since the late 90's, but never before have I taken on a project that caused me to start thinking like the characters I worked with. And to thin, the column just started out as an intriguing idea in my head to draw parallels with the theme of my story, and now it's evolved into it's own entity. Even the ATBG characters pop up in the continuity of the Hey Arnold fanfic from time to time, cementing the bonds.

Ultimately, this collection of columns may just be my attempt to make life imitate art, seeing as how Ginger experienced having some of her columns collected and published in my story. Or it's just an attempt to reinvigorate interest in my story while simultaneously reaching out to the Ginger fanbase. Hopefully, this will allow me to get back to work on "Instant Gratification" in the near future so that I can provide the conclusion that everyone is waiting for. But to help ease the wait, I have included a brand-new column as the last entry in this collection. Thanks to the fans, for doing all that you do, and I hope to see you soon.

Lord Malachite



When Courtney first came up with the idea of publishing some of my columns into a book, I thought she was crazy. I've never been comfortable with my own popularity, because that's not really who I am. Even though my column has been successful, I never let it go to my head. It's easy to be liked when it doesn't cost anything to read me. You can find me in most major newspapers around the country.

So perhaps, then, this book your holding represents a shift in our country's way of thinking. After all, why read it for free, when you can buy it? I'd like to say that you're special for buying this, but the truth is, you must just like me. Every column in this book was hand-picked by Courtney, but I'm sorry to report that there's no special material, nothing out of the ordinary. If you're a regular reader of mine, I thank you for putting a few extra dollars in my wallet, but I'm afraid that all you've bought is a chance to read my ramblings over a second time. Well, okay, maybe I did include one column that I never published. You know, because I felt like it would be taking advantage of people to get them to buy material they've already read. I'm kind of slipping that column in, so don't tell Courtney, okay?

But maybe someone out there is new to my writings. If so, come on in, pull up a chair. I don't know if anything I have to say will interest you, but you've come this far, so you must've figured that I'm worth a shot. I'll try my best not to disappoint. The pre-orders from all the major bookstores exceeded our initial expectations, so my hope is that I'm doing something right. I've even got a few signings planned, so if you're a real Ginger junkie (is it pretentious to talk about myself in the third person), check the calendar at your local bookstore. Who knows, maybe I'll be dropping by. Just remember—the reality never lives up to the legend.

Thanks again for all of your support, and I hope to be seeing you all in the papers soon. Enjoy!

Ginger Foutley

(currently dancing barefoot in her living room)

March 19, 2006