Interview - Editor's Choice - Matilda Bishop

Interview with Matilda Bishop
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Editor's Choice for February 2007 - Matilda Bishop
by Annie & Dream_wia_dream

This month we had the chance to interview Matilda Bishop. Her wonderful story Proxy is filled with mystery, intrigue, hot red-heads & cliff hangers galore. She seems to delight in making her readers scream at the end of a chapter.

In addition to being a brilliant writer, she's a genuinely funny and friendly person. We were very happy to get a chance to pick Matt's brain about her writing, Ron Weasley and Harry Potter fandom in general.
  1. How did you get involved with writing fan fiction?
    I heard about slash fanfic when the X-Files was on TV, immediately sprinted to the computer to search it and enjoyed many happy hours reading about Mulder writhing under Skinner. I didn't know there were other people like me. Boy, was I wrong. I didn't write then, I was too shy to even comment.

    I never would have considered HP slash at all but then I saw a picture of Rupert Grint around the time of the PoA premiere and thought hey, that's the boy I would have fallen in love with when I was sixteen. I read for a while and at some point decided to try writing a bit. I had no idea what I was getting into. Or how scary the HarryandRon girls would be.

  2. Who is your favorite Harry Potter character and why?
    Ron, Ron and Ron. And Rupert as Ron. And Rupert's lips. Rupert's lips are a character in themselves.

    Also, the talking inanimate objects.

    I find Ron one of the most believable characters. I love Harry but sometimes with his character, well, I can't quite connect all the dots. I'd have to think very hard about why, what seems missing to me. It's probably a failing on my part. Maybe I don't understand his type of bravery because I'm so chicken.

  3. What was the most shocking moment of the HP series?
    When JKR tried to write romance. The beast in Harry's chest. When Harry kissed Ginny. Ew. JKR should leave romance to the experts, namely us.

  4. If you could ask JKR one thing what would it be?
    Wanna go out for a cup of coffee or tea? We could have girl talk, you know, marriage, kids, writing, everything about the HP series you haven't told us, maybe those adult scenes you edited out. After she said no, I'd have a follow-up question: Can I have one of your Ron dolls? That Tonner one will do just fine or perhaps I could have the doll they submerged in the tank for GoF even though it's a bit bloated in the face and a little scary.

  5. What is the defining moment in the characterization of your favorite character?
    Ron and the chess board in SS. Ron following Harry into Aragog's lair. The moments when he's scared but doesn't turn back.

  6. What advice would you give to first time writers?
    Keep writing. Gaining fluency is a very long process. If you think you suck, keep writing. Eventually, you'll write yourself out of suckage.

  7. Which is your favorite Harry Potter book?
    The first one.

  8. Tell us something interesting about where you are from.
    *thinks very hard* Um, my home town had a small part in the movie Sherman's March. That's lame. How about this: the official state dance of South Carolina is called the shag. So I can honestly say I've been in a room full of people shagging. Plenty of times. And I've shagged right along with them.

  9. What character is the easiest for you to write? Which character is nearly impossible?
    The twins are easiest for me to write. And probably the most fun. When you write dialog for them, it's like having witty repartee with yourself. And when you have to kill someone, they're a good choice because when you kill someone, you want it to hurt. And we all love Fred and George so we hate it when some bitch writer kills them.

    Also, they're dead sexy.

    Hardest to write? Hagrid, maybe because you have to go back and translate his dialog into Hagrid-ese. Or Ron, because I feel like so many people do it better.

  10. What would be the thing you'd miss most?
    In my life? Has to be family. Mama, Daddy, my sister, my kids, my brothers and I'm very fond of Mr. Bishop. I've had him since he was a puppy.

  11. Give us five ways you'd use the Imperius Curse.
    People would spontaneously want to give me Ron dolls.
    People would spontaneously want to give me manga and anime.
    People would spontaneously want to give me grants so I wouldn't have to teach.
    I'd use the Imperius to get my hands on a time-turner so I could have more time off and more sleep, which would lead to better family and work time.
    Sigh, I guess I should insert something about world peace…

  12. Fred and George have given you a Daydream Charm. Which four characters would star in your daydream and where would it take place?
    Rosemerta, Bill, Harry and (of course) Ron. It would take place after hours at Rosemerta's. She and I would sit back and watch the boys as they frolicked in every kind of slashy way you can think of. There would be tenderness, there would be kink. There would be a few good laughs. Maybe Bill would teach the younger boys a few good tricks. And yes, there would be some cest. There would have been a lot more cest if I could have invited Fred and George too.

    Since this is a fantasy, give me back my beer and cigarettes (I get to be there, right?). Rosemerta and I would let the mead flow and light up while we watched. We'd reach and sustain that alcohol high without toppling over into the dead drunk blurriness (because this is a fantasy). Of course, loosened up properly, we'd probably get friendly, do some groping and smooching, because who doesn't love a sexy older woman? Mr. Bishop would pop in, approve enthusiastically and film the whole thing so I could keep it as a treasure to last my whole life long. Or sell on ebay if it ever lost its appeal.

    Did you think I'd want to do Ron? Sorry, he's too young and besides I'm a working mother and wife. I don't have that kind of energy and the idea of being responsible for one more person's needs has no appeal, not even in fantasy. I'll just let Harry take care of him, okay?

  13. What is your favorite food and would which famous person (non-HP) would you most like to share it with?
    How can you have a favorite food? How about favorite foods? Dark chocolate and double short Americanos with cream. Popcorn, the way I make with Spike and nutritional yeast (my children think there is no other way to eat it). Heath bar crunch or chocolate chip cookie dough. Sushi. What if I shared a sushi meal with my famous person, then went out for coffee, chocolate and ice cream afterwards? Okay, now I'd choose someone like the before-Jenny Craig Kirstie Alley. Someone who'd have fun eating and making girl-talk and could spill some good celebrity dirt. But she might start talking about Scientology, so maybe Carrie Fisher would be a better choice. She's a bright, funny woman. We could girl-talk, dish celebrity dirt and discuss our various mental illnesses and medications.

    Sorry I'm so, you know, shallow. Mr. Bishop probably would have chosen Kofi Anon or resurrected MLK.

  14. What inspires you to write?
    Language. I love words. I kiss my dictionary every night before bed. Also, I think I'm funny and am duty bound to share that with the world. And I have such good ideas. Other than that, it's your basic compulsion.

  15. What type of environment do you like to write in?
    Home. I like your basic quiet office without nosy husbands or children peering over my shoulder. Mr. Bishop once stood over my shoulder with his guitar and sang what I was writing. Killed the hell out of my muse. Oh, I also like a coffee supply and a bathroom nearby.

  16. Who are your favorite real life authors?
    I only read lit and manga these days. E. Annie Proulx, I'd marry her. Anne LaMott for non-fiction. Richard Selzer's short piece, The Knife blew me away recently as did Edward Hoagland's The Courage of Turtles. I like a lot of individual pieces as apposed to favorite authors. I love Updike's Marry Me, but he wrote a lot of stuff I don't particularly want to read. Kafka's The Hunger Artist is amazing as is Kate Small's Downwind (pubbed in a small lit journal, you'd have to google her). When I just want to wind down though, Anne Tyler, Alice Hoffman and some of the later John Irving, they all work.

  17. What do you do for fun outside of fandom?
    Okay, fun. Working mothers have to remember to have fun in the first place and former drinkers sometimes forget how to have fun w/o alcohol. So honestly, it's a complicated question for me. My idea of fun now is laughing so hard my sides hurt. That's one of Mr. Bishop's specialties-he has a deadly combo of intelligence, male immaturity, bathroom humor, funny accents and political incorrectness as well as the willingness to crash and burn you need to really punch through the humor envelop. It's why I married him and if he ever loses his funny, I'll divorce him.

    Other than that, fun-reading, yoga, hanging out with my sister and/or my mother. My mother is a very amusing person and she still babies me. She's the best person in the world to go to NYC with. Mr. Bishop and I watch dvds; the girls and I watch Survivor and eat popcorn. Sometimes Mr. Bishop plays his guitar (badly), makes up songs and the girls and I dance (badly, except for the four-year-old who can move). And I love my nights off. I always go to the thrift store first (since I discovered thrift stores, regular stores are way too boring), then I get ice cream and to cap it off, head to Borders to sit in the stuffed chairs amongst all the goth teens and read manga. Perfection.

  18. This is a standard question: Why does Simons_flower keep killing Ron? Is it to torture Annie?
    *Cannot answer question. Is weeping too hard.*

    Somebody give me a heads-up next time and I'll throw my body over him.

  19. Fate: Answer must be live or die
    Snape: Live (he got one of those reprieves)
    Ron: Live
    Hermione: Live
    Fred: Live
    Ginny: Live
    Molly Weasley: Live
    Harry: Live
  20. hr>
I have a feeling I TMI-ed but thank you for opportunity to talk so much about myself.

*bows, exits, stage left*
Ed Note: Now that we've stroked Matt's Ego, everyone should go out and read Proxy. Then fill her email with pleas for MORE MORE MORE. hee hee.

♥ you!