Hooray for questions! Thank you so much to both of you.
1. Why did you decide to write Over the Edge? I have this on-going list of very general ideas, and one of them was to write about a "faded celebrity" and his much younger girlfriend -- an idea that came, oddly enough, from watching one of those PBS infomercial/documentaries. I thought it would be an interesting dynamic to explore, dealing with the inherent difficulties in a relationship with a large age gap, plus the added complication of having it all play out in the public eye.
2. Do you like other non-canon pairings? If so, which ones? I'm open to pretty much all pairings, but I hold a special place in my heart for pairings that sort of fall in the no-man's land, neither explicitly canon or definitely AU.
3. What is your favourite era and why? Next-gen. It's my favorite to read and to write. I like the freedom it allows, and there is less need with that era to be overly worried about making characters feel "in character" in terms of how they speak and act in the HP books.
4. Weirdest plot bunny? For fanfic, a HP story written in a Downton Abbey-esk style. For OF, I'm working on a story about magic fruit.
5. Which pairing do you hate the most? Anything with Hagrid. I try to be open-minded, but I'm sorry, I find Hagrid/anyone to be inherently creepy.
6. If you could bring one person back to life, who would it be and why? haha, I'm far too nervous to play God, even hypothetically
How do you tend to approach the next generation characters? I've found that your interpretations of those characters is exciting and refreshing, but I'd like to know more about how you avoid the cliches and make these characters your own.
Thank you so much. I feel like this is a question and a compliment all rolled into one! I tend to approach Next-Gen characters by starting with what I know. For characters like Lily or Rose, most of what we know comes from their parents. For me, it isn’t about making them mini-Ginny or mini-Hermione, but I do try to think about how someone RAISED by Ginny or Hermione might turn out.
The rest of the character development (next-gen and otherwise) comes mostly from necessity. I feel like that’s a terribly unglamorous response, but a super fascinating character is no good if they don’t face any tension or drama in a story. So I try and make character choices that make for (I hope) the most interesting and realistic story. For example, in After We Fall, a big portion of the plot focuses on Lily trying to rescue Scorpius. There’s tension in that she’s trying to save someone she cares for, but I thought it would be even more interesting if she struggles with it because of past wounds between the two. Now she has not only a physical journey, but an emotional one too. That, in turn, requires certain traits of Scorpius. To maintain a sense of realism, he has to be both the kind of boy Lily could fall in love with and the kind who could break her heart.
I think there is a fine line between bending your characters to serve the plot and creating characters that strengthen the plot. I work hard to maintain internal consistency so I REALLY hope I manage to stay with the former.
Also, how do you plan your stories? They have complex plots, and I'd love to hear about your methods.
I’m not a much of a pre-plotter, but prior to writing anything I do try and nail down the major conflict. I also like to have a strong sense of where it all will end. If I know how it ends, that lets me know how far from their goal the characters need to be at the start. But I think real trick for me is knowing the climax of the story as early on as possible. That allows me to start weaving in various elements right from the start. I love that moment in a story when something that seemed so trivial at the start turns out to be the key to the whole mystery.
The rest tends to unfold organically. I throw as much at my characters as possible early on and than scramble to pull it all together by the end. After every scene, I’m always asking myself what I can I do to raise the stakes more -- never let the characters get comfortable. I don’t worry right away how it will play out, as long as it feels true to what’s come before and can make what comes next just a bit more interesting.
Oh man, this was so much fun! Thanks again to you both!!