- How did you get involved with writing fan fiction?
I had just started watching the X-Files, coming to the party a little late and trying to catch up by reading episode summaries online and joining X-Files discussion mailing lists. That led to reading fan fiction, and on a lark, I wrote my own. I was terrified to show it to anyone, but I was very lucky to get some encouraging feedback from a few established writers once I'd plucked up the courage to post it. That experience made me want to continue.
After my interest in the X-Files waned, I moved on to Buffy, and then to Harry Potter. I have to say, the readers in the Harry Potter fandom really seem to be a unique breed of generous souls. I'm glad my interests have led me there.
- What story was the most fun to write? Which was the most challenging and why?
For most fun, I have to say it's a dead heat with The 38 Fears of Ronald Weasley and Roses in December. They both came really easily, as though I was taking dictation and not really writing at all.
For most challenging, I'd have to say Trouble's Brewing, because it was the most difficult time I had writing any of the HP stories I've done. I was trying to strike a delicate balance, trying to realistically show some of the pitfalls of married life while still trying to have some lightheartedness too.
- Who is your favorite Harry Potter Character and why?
Oh, this is an easy one. Hermione. I was Hermione, down to the bushy hair and the bossy attitude, and most of my friends were boys when I was growing up. I have horrible nearsightedness, probably from reading under my covers using a weak flashlight after I was supposed to be asleep.
- Where are you from and tell us something interesting about where you live.
I'm living right now in a suburb of St. Louis. Perhaps you've seen our Arch. Honestly, the most interesting thing about where I'm living now is that we never intended to live here, but life brings with it quite a bit of randomness.
- What advice would you give other writers?
There are two ways to get better. The first is to read, and to read every sort of thing you can get your hands on. Read the classics, read periodicals, read science fiction, read non-fiction, everything you can get your hands on. There's something to learn from each style, even if it is just to be able to see the differences in those styles.
The second, of course, is to write. Write everything. Write summaries for movies you've just seen to learn about brevity. Try re-writing a paragraph or two of Jane Austin's in a more modern style. Carry a notebook and a pen with you if you can, and if an interesting sentence pops into your head, write it down. Oddly enough, that's where Roses came from for me. It started from a sentence I scrawled down when I was dripping wet and wrapped in a towel, fresh from the shower.
- What is your favorite food and would which famous person (non-Hp) would you most like to share it with?
I have to say, and I don't care if it sounds very 70's, but I love cheese fondue. I would love to share it with Emma Thompson, who is not only a brilliant actress, but a brilliant writer as well.
- If you were trapped in a cupboard with a Harry Potter character who would it be and what pick up line would you use on them?
Ah, since I identify with Hermione, I bet you think I'm going to say, "Ron". Hmmm. Too young for me. I'll take Sirius Black, and I suppose I'd ask him if he wouldn't mind taking me on a ride on that motorcycle of his once we found our way out of the cupboard.
- Which is your favorite Harry Potter Book?
I think Half-Blood Prince would have to be my current favorite, but I loved Goblet of Fire for a long time after it was released. And you didn't ask, but my favorite movie adaptation is actually from my least favorite of the Harry Potter books, Prisoner of Azkaban. I love the look of Cuarón's movies.
- Do you think we're completely mental?
Hey, if you are, so am I. Either way, I think we're in it together.
- What was the most shocking moment of the HP Series?
Easily, it's when Dumbledore falls from the tower. Hands down. I never believed that would come to pass, and certainly not the way it happened.
- If you could ask JKR one thing what would it be?
Before you found a publisher, did you ever lose hope? And if so, how did you get it back?
- Who is your role model?
There are many people I admire, famous and not, real people, and fictional characters. There is one woman, though, not famous in the least. I don't even know her last name, but she's my role model. She talked to me when I was in the hospital after the birth of my daughter, at a low moment among many, many great ones. What she said to me that afternoon has stayed with me every moment between then and now. I suppose it's her.
- How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
- What three things would you take with you to a deserted island?
My husband, my daughter, and a packet of seeds to grow food from.
- Which HP character would do the best on Survivor and why?
Arthur Weasley, because everyone seems to like him. I think he'd fly under the radar until the end, and he'd get all the votes because the other finalist, Lucius Malfoy, stabbed everyone on the jury in the back to get to the end.
- What is the defining moment in the characterization of your favorite character?
Hermione: Walking into the Yule Ball on Viktor Krum's arm, because it showed her that she doesn't lose strength for being feminine.
- What inspires you to write?
Darned if I know. It comes out of the clear blue sky, whenever it wants. With a child under the age of two, actually finding time to write at all is the trick.
- If you could choose Harry's fate what would it be?
Oh, you had to ask me the question that will make everyone mad at me. What should it be, or what do I want it to be? I think it's more poetic if he doesn't make it, but I wish, for his sake, that he rides off into the sunset, safe and happy.
- Which character is the hardest for you to write?
I suppose the answer to this would be the character who I've ducked on purpose, because I have no idea how to tackle him. It'd have to be Draco. I dare you to find a mention of him in my fics. He squicks me out.
- Give us your epitaph.
Devoted mother and wife, and she had a life, too
- What kind of environment do you like to write in? Quite? Loud?
I usually turn on some noise in the background so that I have something to ignore. It helps me focus. The noise can be anything, really, but it's usually a DVD or music CD.
- When writing do you have any tried and true tricks that you use to tempt your muse?
Unfortunately, I don't. If anyone has my muse's phone number, will you please send it to me? She comes and goes as she pleases, but that's good enough for me.
- If you were a character in the Harry Potter books who would you be and why?
Seems a little too on the nose to say, "Hermione", but every time I take one of those silly character quizzes, I come up as Hermione, with Remus in second place. I wish I was Tonks, though, just because she sounds so cool.