Hi Penny! Here are some more questions for you as I'm loving Traitorous Hearts right now!
1. How does Astoria fit into Slytherin? Can you see her in any of the other houses?
2. TH is so complex and veiled, if that makes sense. How much planning do you do for your stories?
3. What made you decide that Ginny was a good connection for Astoria?
4. This is a little odd to admit, but I actually quoted back a line of TH to my mom to explain why I didn't see a future with my ex! It was about Mr. Greengrass loving Mrs. Greengrass the same no matter what her accomplishments were, and I found it so relatable that I couldn't help but use it to explain my point. Anyway, what made you decide on the dynamic between the two parents? Was it always going to be Lavinia who was the Death Eater and spy?
5. How have you grown as a writer since posting on HPFF?
Hello! I’ve tried to answer this like 3 times now, but something always goes wrong. My computer breaks, I answer the wrong questions, etc. But here I am for take 3. Third time’s the charm!
1. Astoria fits into Slytherin well--she certainly belongs there more than anywhere else. The willingness to put your neck on the line for just about any cause--as well as the impulsiveness--of the Gryffindors baffles her, and the Hufflepuffs care a lot about fair play, a concept which she considers fairly useless. If she had to be in another house, she’d be a Ravenclaw, she’s certainly intelligent enough. However, Slytherin is still her best fit. In Ravenclaw you don’t really focus on that craftiness and guile which is so much a part of her character.
2. I do a lot of planning. I’ve got several pages of notes and cut parts that need to go elsewhere and basic plotting, etc... It’s not that I never deviate--that’s something I’m learning to do, actually--but I stay pretty true to my plans. The first few weeks of diving into a story are some of my favorites, but every free moment (driving, showering, walking to class) is filled with me thinking through various scenarios and plotting out events. I’ve only come into writing down my planning in the last year (it’s something I struggled with when I was younger), but I’ve found that it helps a lot, at least for me.
3. Ginny seemed a good connection for Astoria initially because she was the only Weasley left in school, and because she’d have a direct connection to the Order of the Phoenix. Immediately after I started writing their interactions, though, I understood that Ginny was the perfect person for Astoria to meet with because of who she is. They are so different and so similar at the same time, and I quickly realized that Ginny was one of the few members of the resistance that Astoria, as she was at that point in time, could respect. Ginny cares about fairness, but she also knows how to fight dirty (youngest daughter with 6 older brothers, after all), and she, too, would do anything to protect the people she cares about. And she’s a straight-shooter, which would appeal to Astoria (Astoria uses lies as a tool, but that can get a little exhausting, after a while. Nice to have someone you know is going to tell it to you straight.) Besides all that, Ginny has seen darkness. She’s been possessed by Voldemort. She has a maturity, and a sense of the stakes, that Astoria recognizes and respects.
4. Hey, I don’t think it’s odd. I quote stuff to my mom all the time. I’m really glad I wrote something that resonated with you!
It was always going to be Lavinia who was the Death Eater. I never actually considered it being Felix. I knew what their relationship was like fairly early on, because for Lavinia to become a spy and do the things she did, she had to have motivation. It just made sense to me that someone who wanted to earn respect might love someone who cared for them unconditionally, but would still need to seek that earned respect elsewhere. Just being loved wasn’t enough for her personality. She needed to work for things, and she needed someone who would applaud her successes. Which is how she came to be a Death Eater. And I wanted Felix to be a very different sort of person. Astoria has always been closer to her mother, but there comes a point where, for spoilery reasons (though I think you know), she needs to turn to another role model. And Felix will be that to her, to an extent, so I knew he had to be different. He’s much less...hardened than Lavinia was. Though he is a bit mad at this point, so there’s that.
5. SO MUCH! I’m a much better writer than I was a year ago. I’ve still got a lot to learn, and a long way to go, but I’m very happy with my progress. The constant practice helps, more than anything, but having regular feedback is another really helpful part of it. Fanfiction is a really underutilized tool, I think (possibly because the response to female authors who admit that they used to write fanfic is kind of awful, which is a real shame). I used to get so stuck in world-building that I could never actually write a plot, so I wasn’t getting any better. HP fanfic gave me an entire, detailed world on a silver platter and said “do with this what you will”, which has been huge for me. I’d choose to do it again and again.
Thanks so much for your questions. They were really fun to think about! I think I actually learned more than you probably did. All this introspection...
Hi hun, here for blackout! <3
1: Which of your stories do/have you found/find the hardest to write?
2: I noticed that your latest story icing on the cake was for the speed-dating entry. How did you cope with the pressure of time management for your entry?
3: Even though it was for a challenge, how did you come up with the plot behind Where our voices sound?
4: Draco seems to be a character you like to write about, do you find his characterization hard to keep consistent or do you tend to stray a little into ooc?
5: Which of your stories do you think was the most enjoyable for you to write? (:
Hey there! Fun questions!
1. Okay, I guess they’re hard in different ways? Icing on the Cake and Dragons, Disguises, and Not-So-Dumb Blondes both had word limits, which kill me, but keep me from going overboard with too many words (I’m a very wordy person). So that was hard. I’d say Traitorous Hearts is the hardest, though. It’s the story I’m most attached to, so I feel a lot of pressure to get each chapter just right.
2. Haha, I wouldn’t say I “managed my time” so much as I dropped everything else and didn’t sleep or do my schoolwork for a few days.
3. The plot sort of came to me automatically. That’s the lovely thing about fairy tales. Since WOVS is a retelling of The Little Mermaid, the main plot essentials came to me automatically. Everything else is just sort of weaving worlds together and repackaging.
4. I always aim to keep Draco in character. That said, characters in a story are meant to grow. So I try to keep that growth organic (a term that is wayyy overused in my field of study, but I’m going to use it anyway). I try to never make him jump to being some magically different person, though. I want to stay true to who he was in the books. However, I do write him in very different ways, depending on the story. In one of my as-yet-unpublished pieces, where he only enters as Scorpius’ father, he’s kind of awful. In Traitorous Hearts, he’s conflicted and complicated. So, yeah, I guess I don’t keep him consistent from one story to another, but I try to keep him within the realms of believability.
5. I love Traitorous Hearts, and I have a lot of fun writing it, but the most enjoyable was probably Dragons, Disguises, and Not-So-Dumb Blondes, just because I got to be funny and lighthearted.
Thanks for dropping by! I hope I answered everything in a way that made some sort of sense.
Hello! Sorry it took so long to answer! I didn’t forget about you. I answered the others, but then I had to go to class. Thanks for the questions.
It's time for some Q & A!!
1. You write a lot of Next Gen. Do you find this easier to write than other eras? Why or why not.
2. What HP character can you most relate to?
3. Do you have any music that you listen to to help you get into the mood for writing?
4. How do you deal with writers block?
5. If you could have an actual conversation with a character from HP who would it be and what would you want to know?
That's all I got for now! Can't wait to hear back from ya!
1. I do write a lot of Next Gen. It’s not exactly that it’s easier to write than other eras, but you get a lot more free reign. I really try to keep my stuff within canon, and if I break/bend a rule, I have to know why I’m bending it and have a solid reason. When you’re dealing with Hogwarts-era stuff, there are a lot more details that are already set in stone. That’s true to a certain, though lesser, extent for the Marauders era, as well. But with Next-Gen, all the characters have been minimally described, so you have a lot of room to develop them (and their environment) however you wish. I really enjoy that freedom
2. Character I most relate to? That’d be Luna or Hermione. I’m not quite as out there as Luna...I think. However, I do have my head in the clouds a lot, and as a writer, I tend to spend more time thinking on made-up people and creatures than real ones. But probably I’m more like Hermione. I’m a perfectionist. I’m usually dubbed “the smart one” in a group, which can be good, but also can lead to backlash (especially as a girl). I’m also really passionate about social issues. If I ever manage to gain either of their confidence levels, I’ll be a very happy girl.
3. I have a whole Pandora station which I have tweaked to be my ideal mood music. I don’t listen to music while I write (it’s just too distracting for me), but I have songs that I use to sort of invoke the mood of a character or a scene. I listen to them when I’m driving, which is when I do a lot of plotting and character exploration. For Traitorous Hearts, there’s a good bit of Mumford & Sons, Imagine Dragons, and Bastille.
4. I don’t deal with writer’s block as well as I should, mainly because there is always something else for me to do. My main problem usually isn’t a lack of ideas, though. Sometimes I’m just not in a writing mood, but mostly it’s just that I have no time in which to write, and keep pushing it to the backburner. It’s never a good idea though, because I need to write or I go a little crazy. Sometimes I’ll table things temporarily if I’m working on another creative project, though, just because I like to focus my energy. When I do have good old-fashioned writer’s block, the best way I’ve found is to just make myself write something. Anything. Sometimes, by the time you thread the needle and make a few stitches, you suddenly remember what it is you wanted to sew (actually, I’m not so certain that’s good advice for sewing, now that I think on it. But as a metaphor for writing, it works for me!)
5. What a fun question! I think I’d like to talk to Kingsley and McGonnagal and see if we could get a Muggle exchange program going at Hogwarts. Or maybe Bathilda Bagshot. She’s like, the ultimate font of information! The woman wrote Hogwarts: A History and other books, and she knew Grindelwald personally. She’d seen and learned so much, and I’d love to hear about it. If she wrote Hermione Granger’s favorite book, I bet the woman knows how to tell a story.
Thanks again for the questions! It’s always fun when someone really makes you think about your preferences and process. I enjoyed it!
Edited by Alopex, 20 March 2014 - 02:17 AM.