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Renfair

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#1 Renfair

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 06:41 PM

Hi anyone who happens to stumble over here! I did used to have a Meet the Author thread, but it either was lost in a server crash (along with my post count, apparently :( ) or was simply removed because I went for a long period of not being very active on HPFF. So here's a new one!

Feel free to ask me any questions you might have! At the moment I have only written one fic, The Dream of One Night [M], which is a novel-length Snape/OC story set in The Chamber of Secrets year.

But to answer a common question right off the bat: YES, I am actually currently writing a sequel! So you can definitely ask about that as well, if you like, but I can't guarantee I'll answer every question about it. ;) Thank you so much for taking the time to visit!
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#2 TenthWeasleyWriter

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 05:05 AM

Hello! I'd been meaning to pop over here to ask you questions anyway, because I'm a massive fan of your story (I'm halfway through chapter 3 -- starting second semester this week interfered with my reading!) so I thought you could answer these while you waited for a review. :p

1) How did you come up with Avrille's character? Is she inspired by anyone/anything?
2) What is your favorite "Harry Potter" book?
3) Who is your least favorite Potter character to write?
4) Do you do anything special while writing (certain music, food, etc.)?
5) What is your favorite HP fan fiction story?
6) Any breaking news as to your sequel?
7) Why is your story so addicting? :)

And while I'm at it -- I completely appreciate your responding to my reviews. It's much more enjoyable to read a story when you know the author cares you're reading it. :D So thank you so much! Expect a review from me hopefully tomorrow, and no later than Saturday!

- Jane
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#3 Renfair

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 03:24 AM

Hey Jane! (Oh by the way, I LOVE the name Jane. Have you ever read "The Silver Metal Lover" by Tanith Lee? Amazing book and the main character has your name.) Thanks for stopping by and being so super nice and sweet and pampering me with detailed, thoughtful (and dare I say?) grammatically correct reviews. So to answer your questions!

1) Avrille just sort of... evolved. She's definitely NOT me (as in I wasn't thinking, "Ooh, I'm going to write myself into a fic so I can be all lovey with Severus!" cause I really don't think my husband would have appreciated that...) though there are some parts of her that are probably similar to my own traits. I kind of borrowed the idea of an immensely powerful witch from the character of Jaenelle from "The Black Jewels" series by Anne Bishop. Jaenelle was a young girl with astonishingly strong magical powers yet unable to do simple basic magic. That's originally how Avrille was going to be, but then I decided I wanted her to not be able to do any magic except maybe a couple pathetically easy things once in a very great while. Funnily enough, I didn't even know why she couldn't do magic until I was probably at least half-way done writing the story (and then I sort of smacked myself on the forehead for not thinking of it sooner.) However, I never do explain why her powers are so huge because, honestly, I couldn't think of a good reason. Lame, I know. I actually have thought of something recently, and I'll be including that in the sequel whenever I'm able to get back to working on it. It's funny how difficult this question is...I guess I just wanted to make a woman who was intellectually equal to Severus so he wouldn't be bored, but still fun and irreverent enough to shake him up a bit because he is way too uptight sometimes :D In case you're curious, a while back I discovered the actress Emma Pierson and had a, "ah-HAH! She's Avrile!" moment. She's incredibly pretty and cute and was actually the right age when I found out about her. And as you've seen, I personally don't choose Alan Rickman to be my Severus. I love him to death and couldn't imagine anyone else playing him in the movies, but he just wasn't my Severus, you know? Mine's slightly different due to his different past. So for my "model," I use Jyrki69, lead singer of the awesome Finnish goth band, The 69 Eyes, since he's more the correct age.

2) My favorite Harry Potter book is definitely Half-Blood Prince (even though when I first read it, I went sort of, "DOH!! There goes my whole plot!") I was already a huge Snape fan when the book came out, so a whole book basically about him was just rad. He even got his own special, snarky-at-Bellatrix chapter! I admit I had a brief moment of doubt when he killed Dumbledore, but I quickly repented and Severus saw it in his infinite mercy to forgive me. I wasn't as impressed with the movie, but at least it wasn't as bad as Prisoner of Azkaban.

3) I really had to think about this one. This is pretty much the only fan fiction I've ever written besides a couple of drabbles and a one-shot for someone. I honestly think I enjoyed writing every single character in this story. However, writing a Dramione drabble that someone prompted for me made me realize I really don't like writing about the students of Hogwarts too much (and I really, really HATE Dramione stories!) I don't get the Draco-obsession in the fandom, except that he's sort of a Snape for younger girls ("Oh he's just so angsty and melancholic! He just needs LOVE!!!") If you finish the story, you'll find that the students are really barely in there at all. The only students character that gets a lot of "stage time" is actually an OC I made up as a sort of tribute to my little sister at that age. So yeah, if I had to write a story about the trio and all of their teenage melodrama, I'd probably vomit. I'm guessing this is because I got into Harry Potter in college, so I've always cared much more about the adults in the story. Hardest character for me to write would probably be Hagrid. Dialect is a tricky thing... and though Dumbledore's words come out easily for me, I never know what he should be doing besides looking at papers at his desk and ordering tea!

4) When I wrote this story I listened to a lot of new-age type music, Chopin, Celtic stuff...basically anything instrumental. I haven't done that working on the sequel, though. Lately I find I'm drinking a lot of tea when I'm writing. I guess it just seems like a "writer-y" thing to do. The only time I've written at all lately was when I was attempting NaNoWriMo a couple months ago, and that was mainly just trying to write enough to get into a flow before my baby woke up and ruined my writing groove :) Novel-length writing and teething babies don't mix well.

5) This is kind of embarassing because I haven't read a ton of fan fiction. I didn't read any until my own story was done because I was worried I might think of something and someone would claim I ripped it off. Then at least I would know I didn't since I hadn't read any others! I know that sounds kind of nuts, but I really didn't want to be influenced by anything besides the "real" books. But I'm blessed to be friends on-line with some of HPFF's most talented authors and a sampling of their fics that are amazing are: Visions of Greatness[15+] by my dear friend JLHufflepuff, Give Up This Fight[15+] by GirlDetective85, and Consumed[15+] by celticbard (who gave me the great honor of letting me beta the story for her. Kind of like what you said regarding my story, I had never read anything quite like her first chapter and it made me so excited I couldn't wait to read more. I still want to borrow her OC, Freddy, and stick her into my own fics. I think she and Avrille would get along well.) If you want a good laugh, you have to check out The Puzzling Prattlings of a Pulchritudinous Potions Professor[12+] (or otherwise known as "P5") by JuicyJuice. I seriously think I almost peed my pants laughing reading that story and the best part is, it's 100% canon. I don't know how she did it. A great collaboration done by a bunch of my on-line friends (and one that I was supposed to be a part of writing for Snape, but never got around to it unfortunately...) is Defining Moments[M] by eHPF ("Elderly Harry Potter Fans," a forum that JLHufflepuff and I founded some years back for us old and decrepit fans of Harry Potter that are over 16.) There are so many other wonderful stories out there that have been written by people I know, but I never seemed to find the time to read them.

6) Ugh, the sequel. The sequel I swore I would never write since I really should be spending my time working on a "real" book that I can make money off of. But I just couldn't stay away! I had too many good ideas! I worked a good deal on it for NaNoWriMo (got around 30,000 words I think) but then we had a flea infestation in our apartment (fun times) and I was so stressed out by that that I never got back to it and wasn't able to finish off my word count. But I was still proud I got as much done as I did. I can't say too much since you haven't really read the first story yet, but this one starts at the end of the Goblet of Fire year and runs through Order of the Phoenix. Hopefully I can get back to working on it soon. I just haven't felt the motivation. It took me over four years of off and on again writing to finish The Dream of One Night, and that was without having a baby to worry about, so I have no idea when or even if I'll ever finish it. But I'm determined to at least get the first several chapters into readable condition and posted. The Dream of One Night was sort of my "fairy tale" story, and I wanted this one to be a little more gritty and real.

7) Um...I don't know? It was addicting to write, that's for sure. I'm amazed it even came together since I really didn't have a plot when I started. It sort of just grew organically as I thought of random things that would be cool. I wrote the story completely for myself since I was never happy with how darn unhappy Snape was in all the books. My basic idea started with the thought (and remember this was before we found out he had been in love with Lily, something I decided to change): "Snape wouldn't be so damn crabby if he just had a girl friend. Now why wouldn't he have a girlfriend? He's so AWESOME." So I finally thought of a reason why such a totally kick-*** guy would still be single at 35 and ran with it.

So I hope those answers weren't too long. It definitely took me longer to get this reply out than I had been intending! Oops! I really really hope you like the rest of the story. I worked so hard to make it 100% pre-HBP canon-compliant, but still add new and interesting things to flesh out one of the shorter books in the series (and ended up writing a fic that's twice as long as the original!) Thanks again so much for your reviews. There's obviously no way I could ever make money off of this story, and I really did mostly write it for my own enjoyment, but knowing that it's being enjoyed by other people makes me so happy and glad that I bucked up the courage to post it online. Good luck with your new semester and feel free to ask more questions if you want to!
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#4 Deltaris

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 08:08 PM

Hello! :D

I wanted to ask you how you feel posting NEM as opposed to TDoON. You've said that you finished TDoON completely before posting, and are now working on NEM as you post it. It's got to feel completely different than the first time around, yeah?

For me, the only things that I've finished before posting are one shots. Which leaves my WIPs as just that - and then it sucks when something in RL happens or I lose inspiration, because then they don't get finished.

So I was curious as to what you would say are the pros and cons of both posting styles.

Also, have you planned NEM out to near completion before you started writing, or are you letting it sort of steer itself to an end?
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#5 Renfair

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 06:16 PM

Hi, Del! I'll get on your question, but first I'd like to offer a huge thank-you to you, ScorpiusRose17, and LivingFairytale for graciously picking up my review requests and leaving me some incredibly great feedback. I have a couple more requests in, but you guys let me know I'm headed in the right direction, so I probably won't put in any more until another chapter or two are written and up. A special big thank-you as well to Ardeith, Tracey, angelicdemon1209, Rain_Darkartswitch, and ogmistress for all noticing on their own that I had posted Nothing Else Matters and sparing me a moment of their time to review and let me know that they're reading and enjoying so far. Everyone's support means so much to me.

Now, to answer your questions! It does feel totally different posting a WIP as opposed to a completed story. I wrote The Dream of One Night completely for myself, mostly to give me something to keep me busy and work out my strung-out emotions while my husband was deployed in Iraq twice. There's no way I could have posted it before it was completed because it was written all out of order over a period of four years. There was a four-month-long hole in the plot (between the Welcoming Feast for the first years and early December, I believe) that didn't get filled in until I was nearing the end of the story. Also, when I started I had no idea where I was going with it. I mentioned above, I think, that I just came up with random scenes in my head and wrote about them. I consider it a personal miracle that I was able to pull everything together and have it makes sense.

This time around, I have a much clearer idea of what I'm doing. I've actually *gasp* started a plot outline! I'm also much more confident. As I said above, I had never read fan fiction before posting TDoON, so I had no idea when I put the story up how it would compare to what was out there. I had no idea if what I thought up was original or cliched. I was kind of terrified I'd get a lot of reviews saying, "Your Snape is so out-of-character, I can't read this" or something like that. Fortunately, I ended up having immense support with that story and met some amazing friends through HPFF, many of whom I still talk to daily. I couldn't stop toying with the idea of a sequel, especially when I had people I didn't even "know" asking for one. So I ended up breaking down and starting work on NEM last November for NaNoWriMo. I know it's going to be a while until I can post anything besides what's up so far. I think that's the biggest difference: now I feel slightly more pressured to write since there are people out there who are interested and want to read more. But I'm not saying that's a bad thing. A little pressure is good for me. I touched on this in my first blog entry, but I really felt amazing writing last November because I had barely done anything for myself, let alone created anything, since having my baby. So in the end, I'm still writing for me, but knowing that I have a small group of people cheering me on is the motivation I need to hopefully not take four years to finish this story.

So long explanation over, pros and cons of posting a completed story:

Pros: You don't feel like you're letting people down by getting stuck with writer's block (I think you know what I mean here :D). You also don't have to worry about writing in order or planning ahead. It was very easy once I was mostly done with TDoON to read back through the whole thing and add things (like foreshadowing elements) here and there to really wrap the entire thing up and make it flow. I think you're also more likely to have a set of readers read it all the way through the end since they know it's going to be updated very frequently. As much as I'm touched by the couple of reviews I've gotten that say, "I'll wait months and months for an update! Just please keep writing!" I feel really bad when...yeah. It's going to probably take that long. :(

Cons: You don't get the same sense of fellowship with your fellow writers. Of course I still got to discuss Harry Potter with my new writing friends when I joined HPFF, but this time it's really cool to get the opinions of people like you that then influence what I'm working on. For instance, you and SC17 both commented on how funny you thought Remus was. That makes me think, "Hmm, what other part could he play later on?" when I really hadn't planned on him appearing again, except maybe in passing in an Order meeting. Stuff like that is neat. It was also a bit frustrating when someone would give a constructive criticism in a TDoON review, but I felt like I couldn't implement it since, well, I was already done writing. If it was something like a typo, then I'd obviously fix it, but a comment on a plot point was kind of hard to put into place since the story was done.

So, hope that was kind of informative ;) Probably more than you wanted to read. I apologize. I tend to ramble on and on. Blame it on having few people to talk to about Harry Potter and writing besides my 14 month old (and he tends to just give me "what the heck, Mom" faces in return). Since there was almost four more years in between when I finished TDoON and started NEM, I had a lot of time to daydream in my head about what I wanted to happen. Unfortunately, a lot of that was used up in the chapters I've already written. I'm kind of in the same situation as TDoON now where I know what I want to happen around Christmastime in the story, but there's a period between early August and early October where I just don't know what to do besides a couple things here or there :/ Basically I need to wrap up Severus's chapter four and switch over to Avrille since I have some later stuff in chapter 5 done, but not the beginning. *pulls hair out* So long story short (TOO LATE!), yes and no. I have a lot more planned out than I did with TDoON, but not nearly all of it. I think I kind of have to bring the epilogue through books 6 and 7 to sort of be final in the "This is DONE now, no trilogy planned!" idea.

Anyway, thanks for the questions, and especially for your reviews. If you end up reading TDoON, I'll of course be over the moon, but I'm really just grateful for the help on NEM. Take care, see you around the forums, and someday when I have more than baby nap-time to get online, I hope to return the favor and open my own review thread back up! GOOD LUCK with your own writing! Don't feel bad about leaving your WIP sitting there. I'm definitely not someone who can write on demand, so I get it ;) Just writing anything at all and sharing it with other people is great. Thanks again!
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