Interview with Kaci JaBeth
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|Editor's Choice for February - Kaci JaBeth|
We spent a very long night in jail waiting for Kaci JaBeth to arrive. She was gracious enough to fly to London to help us get out of the horrific situation that Simon's Flower had gotten us in to. I thought a bit about how embarrassing it was going to be interview our Editor's Choice author for Sorry from prison.
We didn't sleep much because the other prisoners kept taunting us and we were forced to fend off over-zealous suitors on more than one occasion. After a silent breakfast of porridge and toast we met up with Kaci JaBeth in the interview room. There was a large pane of glass separating us. She motioned that we should pick up the phone and the matron handed Minnie a sheet of paper to write on.
"Sorry about taking so long but my flight was delayed," she sighed. "They won't grant you bail and they are currently talking with the Princes to determine if you're really guilty."
"I hope Pansy got to them," Simon's Flower muttered.
"Do you have I place to stay?" I asked and Kaci smiled happily.
"The Weasley's have been kind enough to put me up," she waggled her eyebrows. "Ron is home this weekend and I'm sharing his room."
I bit my lip to stifle a moan at the thought of sleeping in the same room as Ron and felt just touch of jealousy.
"I hate to say this," I sighed. "I think we're going to have to do your interview from here."
She nodded. "Ron said to tell you that he'll rub your shoulders and make you a cuppa when you're released." She looked at Simon's Flower. "Harry says to tell you—no smut for you!"
I laughed and asked my first question. "When did you become involved in the Harry Potter fandom and what drew you to begin writing about the characters?"
Kaci shifted the phone to her other ear and answered, "It was August 14, 2003. I had read Philosopher’s Stone once two years prior and didn’t like it, but my best friend Kristyn was a big fan of the series. After seeing Philosopher’s Stone on TV, I went out and bought all the books and movies and was hooked. I started writing fanfic because, while I do love the books, they leave a lot to the imagination. There’s so much about their lives that we don’t know, and so many gaps that could be filled. I like to fill those gaps. Besides, with so many characters and so many wonderful settings, there’s a lot to explore in the Harry Potter world."
Madam Minnie handed the pen to Simon's Flower, "You write this down because my hand already hurts. It can be your punishment!"
"You don't think having smut taken away was punishment enough?" Simon's Flower hissed and I smacked her on the arm.
"Look we only have fifteen minutes left to do this interview." I smiled at Kaci. "I apologize for our behaviour."
"Well your behavior got me a free trip to England," Kaci laughed. "And I got to see Ron in Cannons boxers. It just doesn't get better than this!"
"Outside the Harry Potter world, what is your favorite movie?" I asked.
“When Harry Met Sally…” I think it’s one of the most clever and brilliant movies ever made, and the love story plays out so perfectly. Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal are at their best in that movie, and Rob Reiner did a brilliant job directing. Nora Ephron is my hero for daring to write a movie like that. The entire thing is just…perfect."
I nodded. "I agree and I just love Meg Ryan," I sighed. "I love her movies with Tom Hanks."
Kaci smiled and nodded. "She and Harry made a wonderful pair."
"Speaking of writing," I ran a hand through my hair. "What inspires you to write?"
"To be honest, I’m not entirely sure. Inspiration happens at the strangest times. When I sit down to write, nothing comes. Then, at completely random moments, like recently in my Sociology class, I get so inspired that I can’t move my pen across the page fast enough. I think it’s just a random thing that happens in my head, when a sentence or an image flashes randomly and won’t leave me alone. I’m thankful for inspiration when it comes, and when it’s not here…then I just wait patiently for it to return, because it always comes back."
I wait for Simon's Flower to finish writing the statement down and notice that Madam Minnie is breathing on the window and drawing smiley faces. Kaci looks at her and makes the crazy sign with her finger.
"We were thinking of having her medicated," I sighed and Kaci nodded. "What is your favorite HP book and why?"
"Prisoner of Azkaban. I’m a big fan of the Marauder-era, so getting to hear so much about them was wonderful for me. Also, it was great to have a 'happy' book before we jumped right into this whole…prerequisite one-death-per-book thing. Also, Lupin is just freaking awesome." She laughed and blushed slightly.
"We are all Lupin lovers too!"
Madam Minnie had moved on to drawing dirty pictures and she stopped to add, "No Sirius was Lupin's lover."
I rolled my eyes and continued, "Along the same lines, in dealing with the books, what is the most shocking moment in the Harry Potter series?"
Kaci's eyes watered for a moment, "When Snape killed Dumbledore. I audibly gasped and screamed, 'NOOOOOOOOOO!' and then cried for awhile before I could even turn the page. I was not expecting that at all. At the time, I thought, 'How terrible! To be killed by the person that he always defended!' Now, I’m pretty sure that Snape isn’t on Voldemort’s side, but at the time, GOD, I was freaking out."
"See," Madam Minnie paused in her drawing of Snape. "I told you he was innocent."
I rolled my eyes and sighed, "She's easily distracted."
"The shiny." Simon's Flower grinned. "Distracted by the shiny."
"They are very much like raccoons aren't they?" Kaci whispered into the phone and I nodded.
"If there was one thing you could ask JKR, what would it be?" I asked and looked at the clock. I noticed we only had five more minutes until they would take us back to our cell and I glared at Simon's Flower.
"I’d probably be too speechless in her presence to ask her a question, but if I could somehow scrounge up the nerve to speak to her, I’d ask her one simple word. 'How?' That’s all I really want to know. How. I think that pretty much encompasses everything I would ever want to know, so I’d just ask her 'How?' and let her interpret it however she wants and answer as she sees fit."
I grinned. "I think I would be speechless too!"
"You're never speechless," Simon's Flower muttered. "You never shut up."
I stuck my tongue out and turned my attention back to Kaci. "Which Harry Potter character is your favorite and why?"
There was no hesitation in her response. "Ron is my favorite because he’s the one I identify the most with. Growing up, I had a total of five step brothers and sisters, and I was the second-youngest. Most of my siblings were older than me, so I always had that feeling that no matter what I did, I would never measure up to my siblings, because whatever I did, they’d done it first. We also never had much money, but I was the only child that felt bad about that. My best friend was the most popular girl in school, but no one seemed to notice that I was always with her, so I can identify with Ron’s feelings about his friendship with Harry as well. The truth is, when I read Ron, it feels like I’m reading something right out of my diary."
"I think a lot of people can relate to Ron," I agreed. "He's the most 'normal' of the trio. He's a normal teenage boy but what makes him astounding is his loyalty and courage." I paused. "We can discuss Ron more over coffee later if we ever get out of here!"
"That's perfect," Kaci beamed. "I'll even buy."
"If you could choose Harry's fate, what would you choose for him and why?"
Kaci bit her lip nervously. "You're going to think I'm terrible."
"No we won't!" I insisted
"I know this sounds terrible, but I would have him die. I know that people are going to hate me for that answer, but I think it would be a very fitting ending for Harry to die just as he defeats Voldemort. Not only that, but also…I like Ron/Hermione and Neville/Ginny, so if Harry died, Ginny could turn to Neville for support and then they could get together. I know, I know, I am terrible for wanting Harry to die, but…well, I’m trying to be honest. Heh."
Simon's Flower burst into tears and I patted her shoulder. Kaci looked horrified and I gave her a smile.
"Look, she keeps killing Ron in her stories," I sighed. "She'll just have to deal."
Simon's Flower sniffled and I tried to think of a question that would cheer her up. "How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?"
"Depends on who’s licking it and how…er, talented they are at pop-licking." Kaci smirked and Simon's Flower managed a weak chuckle.
"What song should be the theme song for your favorite character?" I asked.
"I’m not really sure. If I was going to give Ron a theme song, I’d probably write an original one for him, because any existing song, at best, won’t fit him 100%. He’s unique so he deserves his own special song." Kaci smiled and I couldn't resist asking her my next question.
"You're at Hogwarts and are looking for a place to snog/shag. Which character would you want to be with and where?"
"Ron. Red hair? Freckles? Who could resist? We’d prolly snog in the common room, because that seems to be his thing."
My heart jumped when a tall red head walked in and stood behind Kaci. He took the phone from her and gave me a lopsided smile.
He handed the phone back to Kaci and we smiled at each other.
"Kaci," I asked as I tried to calm my heart rate. "What advice would you give other writers?"
She leaned back against Ron and answered very seriously, "Challenge yourself. If there’s a pairing that you think you couldn’t write, or a rarepair that seems impossible to make it work, do it. If you have an OTP, that’s great, but venture outside those lines. There are a million possible pairings in the Harry Potter fandom, so don’t write just one! I’m a big believer in writing outside your comfort zone. Sometimes it fails; I won’t deny that. Sometimes you will come up with a total flop. But…when it works, it’s great, and it’s something to be proud of. Anyone can write their OTP. A real writer…they can write anything they set their mind to."
"That's the perfect answer," Madam Minnie sighed.
Ron took the phone from Kaci. "You've been released into my Mum and Dad's custody. Shocolate is coming for dinner and the Princes have stated that it was a bloke named Malfoy that kidnapped them."
I laughed as the Matron came over to release us. The five of us left Scotland Yard together and headed for one of the Ministry cars.
"Oh Simon's Flower," Ron handed her a piece of parchment. "It's a howler from Harry."
Simon's Flower smirked, "I loved capslock!Harry!"