Hey, thanks for your questions! Sorry I have been MIA.
1. I don't really remember where I got most of the ideas for Hazy Eyes - I started that fic over ten years ago now. TEN YEARS! I can't believe that. What I do remember is that I started after Order of the Phoenix came out, so it made sense to do a sixth year fic. I was a die-hard Harry/Ginny shipper at the time, so that was another thing I wanted to include. I was also really inspired by Harry's emotional turmoil at the end of OotP, while also being incredibly frustrated with the backlash from fans, especially here in the fanfic world, claiming that Harry was too angsty, etc. I thought it was only natural - Harry grew up neglected, alone, abused, and when he escaped to a world of love and friendship, he was instead repeated faced with chaos and heartbreak. Sirius was his first family that was all his own and I saw this death as a breaking point for Harry. So I really wanted to explore those dark feelings. Dead Ringer goes more in depth into that, into the psychological repercussions of Harry essentially being a child soldier, and how he adapts when he accepts that and takes matters into his own hands. If it ever gets finished, anyway.
2. Watching the Tide is probably my favourite, it has a lot of sentimental value to me as well as being the piece I'm most proud of.
3. Cedric/Harry - I have had a lot of fun defending their dynamic here on the forums in the past (see the Ship section for details har har). I love the volatile side of Harry paired with the steady, patient side of Cedric. However, I've been writing Oliver/Cedric for a while now and they've definitely got a special place in my heart. For cannon ships, I'm Ron/Hermione all the way, no matter what JK says.
4. Weeks. It used to be a couple of hours - I could just sit down and pound it out in one sitting. However, I used to write shorter chapters, and I think I'm pickier now. On top of that, I had a lot more free time when I started fanfic, some ten years ago. So now it takes at least a couple of days, if I really make it a priority, but usually it's much longer than that.
Thanks for your curiosity! These are always fun.