- How did you get involved with writing fan fiction?
I got involved with Anime fandom in the 80's, and was a big fan of Gatchaman, amoung other, now long forgotten classics, like Saint Seiya, Shurato, and Eroica Kara Ai O Koike. At the time, (back before the flood) fandom and fanfics were basically regulated to APA's -- monthly, serialized fanfic/fanart clubs of a sort. I got involved with Bird Scramble for my Gatchaman fix, and Endless Warriors, and SlashAPA for the rest. I soon found that once I started reading fanfiction, I had to try writing it.
The rest is simple: I fell out of love with anime in the mid 90's, and in love with Harry Potter fandom in the early 2000's. And here I am!
- What story was the most fun to write? Which was the most challenging and why?
Most fun? That would probably be Points. Funny thing about that one is that it's probably one of the most forgettable of my stories, but I just laughed so hard while I was writing it, and nothing else has tickled me quite that way since.
As for most challenging... that's always the one I'm writing now. I write fanfic as much to learn about my craft as for anything else, so I like to challenge myself with each one. When I'm embroiled in a fic, it's always going to be the hardest thing I've ever done. Of the finished ones though, I think I have to say that Occasional Demons put me farthest outside my comfort zone, but Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence scared me in ways that none of the others have quite done yet.
- Who is your favorite Harry Potter character and why?
I know it's heresy, but my favorite character actually is Harry. I love characters who Overcome, and let's face it, Harry does that in every book. Even when he gets severely knocked back, he gets up again, and keeps on finding a way. He's resourceful, and he's determined, and he's working against amazing odds to do everything that gets thrown at him. Sure, he's flawed -- who here, if locked in a room with their own 16 year old self wouldn't wind up strangling her in twelve hours or less? -- but the point is that Harry's overcoming... not only his challenges and his enemies, but his own growing pains as well. He's playing a hand of poker with unmarked cards, and he's got to find a way to win, or else people are going to die in horrible ways. That's a hell of a thing, when you think of it.
- Where are you from and tell us something interesting about where you live?
I'm from Tucson. My home is in upstate New York. There was a time when the foremost industry in my hometown was the making of shirt collars. No, not shirts, just the collars. Secondary product was incredibly beautiful iron stoves. Go fig.
- What advice would you give other writers?
Write. That's all. Write, and keep on writing. No word, set to paper, is ever wasted, and it doesn't matter if nobody else reads it, or if nobody else likes it. You learn from writing, so keep doing it. No matter what.
- What is your favorite food and would which famous person (non-HP) would you most like to share it with?
Oh, now see, I'm a bit of a gourmand... I love a lot of foods, and am whimsical about favorites... let's say for today, Key lime pie. And I'd share it with Ian Anderson, while trying to work up the nerve to actually talk to the only breathing Muse I've ever known of. In all reality, I'd probably be a dribbling fool, but gee, it's nice to dream of being able to hold a sane conversation with such genius...while eating pie.
- 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?
*Eyes glaze over...* "Why yes, Professor, as a matter of fact, I did steal your boomslang skin... and you'll never guess where I've hidden it!"
- Which is your favorite Harry Potter book?
The next one. *Grin!*
- Do you think we're completely mental?
You say that like it's a bad thing...
- What was the most shocking moment of the HP series?
For me? It was finding out that Umbridge had been allowed to stay at the Ministry, even after she'd tried to cast an Unforgivable on Harry, and after she'd admitted in front of witnesses to siccing Dementors on him. That was a really horrifying moment for me, because it illustrated the thorough corruption of the Wizarding government, and the fact that, once Dumbledore died (which I knew he had to do in this last book) Harry was going to be facing them on his own.
Though, for pure shock value? Nothing will ever equal Sirius' death. That came out of the blue, just as Herself intended.
- If you could ask JKR one thing what would it be?
Now that she's down to the last book, does she regret having tried to do it all in only seven? Would she, if she hadn't already said that #7 is it, rather take oh, say, ten books to deal with the Horcruxes, and the Death Eaters, and the whole bleeding bottleneck she's set up for herself?
- Who is your role model?
Neil Gaiman. He does what he does with this childlike joy that shows up in everything he touches. He may pay the bills with his writing, and he may do the press junkets, the signings, and the conventions, but he's writing for the stories he has to tell. The fame and money that comes from that is purely a gravitational pull. I want my own writing to always be like that -- driven by the need of the story to be told.
- How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
A woodchuck would chuck as much wood as a woodchuck could chuck before the park ranger came along, wrote it up for chopping firewood without a permit, added an extra fine for violating the burn restrictions in a National Forest, and chucked it in the pokey for carrying an illegal chainsaw, I reckon. Why?
- What three things would you take with you to a deserted island?
My house, my house elf, and my husband. Hey, you didn't say I had to be able to CARRY them! (Or that they had to actually be real...)
- Which HP character would do the best on Survivor and why?
Ron Weasley. Because he's not incompetent to be voted off in the first culls, and he's not talented enough to be threatening, and therefore voted off in the ending cutthroat betrayals. Behold, the power of mediocrity.
But in all reality? Remus Lupin would totally win. Because, come the first full moon, he'd EAT ALL THE OTHER CONTESTANTS! MWAHAHAHA! Oh, wait...
- What is the defining moment in the characterization of your favorite character?
Thusfar? It's when he declares himself to be Dumbledore's man, and refuses to make a false show of support for the corrupt Ministry. That was, perhaps, the most courageous thing he has ever done. Ever.
- What inspires you to write?
I'd like to say it's the stories, but that's not always true. It should be though, so we'll pretend it's so.
- If you could choose Harry's fate what would it be?
He finds a way to end the Voldemort threat without bloodying his hands in murder, he learns how to forgive Snape for what's been done, he gets over his need to recreate his father's life and finds a true love who isn't a recreation of his mother, and he sets in motion a governmental revolution which sweeps the corruption out of the Ministry for at least twenty years or so. (Because we all know nothing keeps it away for longer than that.)
Either that, or he dies saving Snape's life, and Voldemort's power is broken at the same time. I rather fancy that ending, actually.
- Which character is the hardest for you to write?
Generally? Any of the named placeholders. You know the ones; Terry Boot, Zacharias Smith, the ones who we know are there, but who never get characters of their own.
Of the secondary characters though, I find that Voldemort's the hardest. I always try to keep him offscreen -- not because I'm following the old rule of never showing your monster until the end, but because I HATE trying to write him! He always comes out sounding like some lame caricature... an unholy mating of Lex Luthor and the Joker, and then I have to stab myself in the head with a spork over and over and over again mommy make it stop..
- Give us your epitaph.
"Here lies Cluegirl: She probably deserved it."