Interview with Thistlerose
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|Editor's Choice for January - Thistlerose|
I was still more than a bit disgruntled that Madam Minnie and Simons Flower wouldn't let me enter the Room of Requirement with Ron. I was pleased with the way the interview with Carma had turned out and that brightened my mood as we headed to The Three Broomsticks to meet our next interview subject Thistlerose.
She was our Editor's Choice of the month for her PS.... The story had moved all three of us to tears and we were anxious to meet her. Simons Flower had arranged a surprise for her and Madam Minnie and I were anxiously interrogating her as we walked the streets of Hogsmeade.
"How did you get it?" Madam Minnie frowned. "Those are illegal you know."
"I can be very persuasive," Simons Flower grinned and winked. "You know that."
We walked towards the Three Broomsticks, "But why two of them and were are we going?" I asked.
"Would the two of you just trust me?"
I didn't like the look in Simons Flowers eyes; mischief mixed with pure naughtiness is always scary to see radiating off your friend.
"I don't want to wind up in Azkaban," I muttered. "Married to the Dementor with the most fags."
We entered the Three Broomsticks and our eyes took a moment to adjust to the dim light. Madam Minnie grabbed us each a Firewhiskey from Madam Rosemerta and we sat down to wait for Thistlerose.
She arrived right on time and joined us at our table. There was a flourish of handshakes and a bit of fangirling from Madam Minnie, Simons Flower, and I before Simons Flower suggested we all take a trip to the loo.
She pulled the Time Turners out of her pocket and handed one to Minnie and I. She draped the other around her and Thistlerose’s neck then grinned.
"Eight turns should do it!"
"Hold on," Thistlerose exclaimed. "What's going on here?"
"We're going to Grimmauld place before the Department of Mysteries." Simons Flower smirked and turned their time turner.
Madam Minnie and I looked at each other and shook our heads, "Will you be my Prison Bitch?" Madam Minnie asked as I began flipping the time turner.
When we arrived in the loo Simons Flower took our hands and placed them on a roll of toilet paper.
"Portkey," she barked and I tightened my grip on the handle.
Our shoulders brushed, my stomach flipped, and when we arrived inside Grimmauld place the house was silent.
"Shhh," Simons Flower put her finger to her lip and motioned us into the kitchen. "We don't want to wake anything or Sirius."
We sat down at the kitchen table and I made us all a cup of tea. Thistlerose looked around and grinned.
"This looks exactly how I imagined it."
Simons Flower beamed and I took a rather large drink of my tea. I wonder if I'll have to wear stripes in Prison I thought and turned to Thistlerose.
"We're all big fans of your work," I paused and sipped my tea. "When did you become involved in the Harry Potter fandom and what drew you to begin writing about the characters?"
Thistlerose traced her finger around her tea mug and shook her head.
"In winter of 2003 I re-read the books. This was about three years after I'd first read them, and this time around I started thinking about the stuff Rowling hadn't written about," She paused and took a drink of her tea. "Like, how did Ron feel about Hermione kissing Harry at the end of Goblet of Fire? Did Sirius and Remus speak at all after that night in the Shrieking Shack? I started tossing around ideas."
"Yes," I agreed. "That's kind of what got me writing! There are so many things that you don't get to see because the books are written from Harry's point of view."
Thistlerose laughed, "Um, then I proclaimed on my livejournal that I'd never
written a HP fanfic because I didn't NEED another fandom." She blushed and laughed ruefully. " Ten days later, I'd written Respite And the rest, as they say… "
"Is history," Madam Minnie laughed as she stirred her tea. "I can't believe we're here."
Simons Flower smirked, "See if you'd met up with that greasy git you would have missed this."
"There's still a chance—" Madam Minnie began and I quickly cut her off.
She stuck her tongue out at me and turned to Thistlerose"What inspires you to write?"
Thistlerose took a sip of her tea and smiled, "Everything! Seriously. Sometimes I have a feeling and I just need to convey it to a maximum number of people, and the best way is to turn it into a story." She paused as Simons Flower refilled her tea mug. "Sometimes it's just some random thing I've seen or heard – like a song, or light shining through colored glass."
We all laughed a bit at that and she giggled, "Hey, The Secret Language of Cats was inspired by a cookbook."
I nodded as Simons Flower set a plate of biscuits on the table. I took one and nibbled on the end. I have to admit that she seemed tremendously prepared for our meeting her and I couldn't help but wonder exactly how she'd managed that. Thistlerose took a biscuit and hesitated a moment before she continued.
"Sometimes – with fan fiction - I want to explore some aspect of a character that I'm certain the author won't. Such as Sirius's feelings about his narrow escape at the end of Prisoner of Azkaban. Or what Hermione does (besides study) when she's home for the holidays." She shrugged. "Mostly, I write to tell myself a story."
Madam Minnie smiled, "That's the best part isn't it? Seeing this scene you've imagined in your mind coming to life?"
We all nodded and Madam Minnie went to peek through the swinging door that led into the living room. She looked slightly disappointed when she sat back down.
"Which Harry Potter character is your favorite and why?" She asked as she refilled her tea mug.
"For reading, Ron. I've always loved him, partly because he's just such a typical BOY. In a series where magic is commonplace, a comparatively normal, accessible character like Ron is a welcome thing. He's such a doof." She paused and took a deep breath. "Fairly average in some respects, but his loyalty to his friends makes him extraordinary."
"I agree," I chimed in. "He's also my favorite character to write. There's all that passion hidden just beneath the surface."
Thistlerose laughed and we all fell silent as the house shifted.
"You know," she lowered her voice. " For writing," she grinned. "Yes, there's a difference! I'm drawn to Sirius and Remus, as individuals and as a possible romantic couple. Their history is just full of my favorite thematic elements: brotherhood, betrayal, redemption, and tragedy. And they're such mysteries. I love exploring the possibilities."
Madam Minnie sighed happily, "I love my puppies."
"So," Simons Flower said as she glanced out the kitchen window. "If there was one thing you could ask JKR, what would it be?"
Thistlerose laughed, "May I be your assistant, please? I'm clean, I bake, and I can spot a dangling participle from forty paces."
We all laughed for several minutes and I took another sip of my tea.
"Outside the Harry Potter world, what is your favorite movie?" I asked and nibbled on another biscuit.
"Casablanca." She blushed a little. "It's hokey as hell, but somehow it still works, even after sixty-three years. That dialogue is as sharp as ever, and damn, the end always makes me cry." She smiled "It is sublime."
Simons Flower paced around the kitchen and looked at her watch several times. I heard her muttering something about men and being on time but Madam Minnie asked another question.
"What is your favorite HP book and why?"
"Oh, Prisoner of Azkaban. No question. It's the best written of the six. I'm a big fan of economy in writing, and there's not one thing in that book that doesn't lead in some way to the climax." She sighed. " And what a climax!"
"Did you figure it out beforehand?" I asked. "I was a bit surprised."
"I figured it out early on, but it was still cool," she grinned. "Plus, Remus Lupin and Sirius Black! And Trelawney! And time travel! I love stories about time travel!" She took a deep breath and continued. "And Voldemort wasn't there at all, which was a nice bonus. I'm consistently under-whelmed by the villain of the series; the Dementors were much creepier."
"I found Voldemort the scariest in Goblet of Fire," Simons Flower said softly. "I think he's more intimidating now than first and second year. Simply because he has a form."
"I still say Lucius is scarier," Madam Minnie grinned. "Sn-"
"No!" Simons Flower and I said in unison.
"This isn't fair!" Madam Minnie muttered and looked at Thistlerose. "Let's ignore them for a moment. Do you love us?"
Thistlerose reached over and patted Madam Minnie's hand.
"Yes, I do! I don't know any of you, but as mods go, you are pretty ideal! You really seem to take an active interest in this archive, which I really like and appreciate."
Madam Minnie whispered, "Thank you. I feel better now. The two of them are mean."
"Oh hush!" Simons Flower rolled her eyes. "What advice would you give other writers?"
"Write for yourself," she paused, "I dedicate a number of my stories, but I won't write something I don't believe in. If it's not fun or interesting, it's not worth the effort. Also, get a beta reader!"
"A toast," Madam Minnie exclaimed. "To beta readers!"
We all clinked our mugs together and I leaned in and lowered my voice.
"You're at Hogwarts and are looking for a place to snog/shag. Which character would you want to be with and where?" I waggled my eyebrows.
"Oh," Thistlerose smirked. "That's easy. Young Sirius Black, on his bike."
"Kinky," Simons Flower said as a smile spread over her face. "I like it." She looked out the window again and I heard the distant rumbling of a motorbike. I arched my eyebrow at her and she mouthed. "Wait for it."
"If you could choose Harry's fate, what would you choose for him and why?" I asked glancing nervously at the door to the kitchen.
"Oh, he wins!" Thistlerose said and shifted in her seat. "Because despite my love of angst, I believe in happy endings. He kills Voldemort then leaves Britain because he's tired of being the Boy Who Lived. He finds Sirius's flying motorbike and travels the world." She paused. "With Ginny, preferably. Or Luna. Or Neville."
Madam Minnie and I exchanged glances as Simons Flower's face lit up at the second mention of motorbike.
"I'll be happy if she doesn't kill him or Ron off." I muttered and Madam Minnie patted my hand.
"Thistlerose," She glanced nervously at Simons Flower who was making her way to the kitchen door. "What is the most shocking moment in the Harry Potter series?"
"I'm torn between Sirius's death and Harry's use of the Cruciatus Curse on Bellatrix. I had been SO certain that Hagrid would die in Order of the Phoenix." She frowned. "But Sirius's death was so…lame. And unfair. What the hell, Rowling? But then Harry went after Bellatrix! That was great. I only wish there had been ramifications. Come on, Rowling! NO exploration of even a good person's capacity for evil? That would have been brilliant. Perhaps I'll write about it."
She finished just as Simons Flower threw open the kitchen door and Sirius Black rode in on his motorbike. He had a time turner around his neck and I heard Thistlerose let out a little gasp.
"I agree," he stretched his hand out for her. "I believe I overheard something about me and a motorbike?"
Thistlerose nodded and took his hand as she climbed onto the bike with him.
"Be sure to come back," Simons Flower smirked. "Remember, eight turns."
Madam Minnie smirked, "Hey one more question! How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?"
"Sixty nine!" Sirius and Thistlerose answered in unison.
"You ready?" Sirius asked. "We have to pick up Moony. He's upstairs listening to his "theme" song."
"Bob Dylan's Dream?" Thistlerose grinned as Sirius nodded. "I knew it!" She exclaimed as they took off through the house.
I could hear the portrait of Mrs. Black screaming obscenities as they took off up the stairs. I sighed and glared at the two of them.
"You!" I sputtered. "You wouldn't let me stay with, Ron!"
They patted my head and Simons Flower threw the time turner around all three of us.
"Shut up, Annie." They said in unison.