Howdy! Thank you both for stopping by (Yes I have been hovering about the forums since I opened this to see if anything happened)!
1. Apogee was brilliant. How did you manage to grasp Remus' character so well?
First off, thank you! As for Remus, I think it all started with the fact that given he's a werewolf, his life had an incredible connection to the moon, so I wanted to involve the moon in the story. In trying to do that, I also realized that the moon, with all its duality, is very similar to the deeper duality in Remus. He's loyal - but he left his wife in the middle of a war. He's brave - but he's deeply insecure about his safety and place in the world. Those who know him recognize him as a good man - but he has to strain to find that in himself. He's basically a tortured man who is desperate for the connections and life that so many take for granted. I then just used that as a base really and tried to make that coalesce in vignettes of his final day that addressed relationships and realities of huge significance to him before his death under the light of his tormentor causes him to reflect and finally achieve a measure of peace.
2. What sort of planning do you do for your stories?
Hmm. Well, I do kind of plan, in the sense that I always have a vision for where I want to start, where I want to end up and certain big moments along the way. I don't write it down or anything, I just have a mental sense about it I guess that's firmly locked in my head. Where I tend to change things or struggle is in the middle areas while I'm progressing from one big moment to the next. In those cases, you'll probably consider my planning method to be flat out weird. I basically act out the characters involved in my head, stopping if something feels wrong and rewinding and revising the scene until when I act it out in my head it just "feels right". Then I have to of course turn that into words, which I sometimes do better than others... I've probably described this really poorly - and I also totally understand if you are now backing away
3. Your reviews are great. How often do you review?
Thank you again! In terms of frequency, I'm almost constantly reviewing these days. Generally, between work and raising my son, writing my own stories, and the timetable I've imposed on myself for review requests, requests account for most of my reviews. The rest primarily involves seeing someone's chapter update in their status and deciding to give it a chance or something I'm trying to do a much better job of at the moment, R&R-ing for my wonderful housemates like you.
4. Who would be your favorite character in Harry Potter?
Wow. This is hard. I don't think I could really pick just one, so I'll give you my top three. Harry, Ginny, and James Potter (I).
5. James/Lily or Snape/Lily?
Hmm...are you trying to push my buttons? Are you? James/Lily all the way. I don't feel like James/Lily are perfect. If you read my WIP, Evolution (M), you'll see that though James/Lily is endgame, I dedicate a lot of time to developing a James/OC relationship that I feel could have been a legitimate alternative for James if I hadn't predestined it to end. As for Snape/Lily, my specific reasons can be found in other threads, but when I think Snape/Lily I think no. Just no. I've tried to understand it many times, in many different ways and I just can't do it.
1. I know that you're a hard-core Harry/Ginny shipper. What is it about them that makes them a great couple, according to you?
Harry/Ginny! Well as you can see from above, I really like Ginny as a character. Is that part of it? Probably. But I also think they are ideally suited. Why? I'll try to keep it brief. #1 Their interests align - see Quidditch, rule-breaking, and family (or for Harry, the people he perceives as his "family"). #2 Their personalities align - see sense of humor, sharp tongues, and standing up for others. #3 Physical attraction - Harry/Ginny have it; Harry/Cho did too, but the other issues made that crash and burn. #4 Ginny gets Harry - Ginny brings him comfort when he's low and she bucks him up when he's being inappropriately dismissive or sulky on a level that no one else does; she's also unfazed by his celebrity #5 Harry gets Ginny - Harry understands that Ginny is an independent firecracker and doesn't want to be treated with kid gloves, he also understands Ginny's darkest experiences in a way that nobody else can; he appreciates who she is, unlike the rest of Hogwarts, who were primarily fixated on how she looks. Yes, this is the succinct version...
2. What is your view on non-canon stories?
A complex question! I definitely appreciate a well-done AU fic. Once I finally finish my WIP novel, I'm going to start a novel-length one (with possible sequel potential). While I prefer the AU to involve a major change that precedes Hogwarts Era and thus triggers more fundamental alterations to not just one or more characters, but society as well, that's not a hard-and-fast rule. I also definitely appreciate a well-done story where a canon character simply breaks from what we would expect of them whether that is in terms of their actions, who they're paired with, etc. The key words here I suppose are well-done. With AU fics or non-canon portrayals and pairings the big risk is that the plot or characters just aren't believable - changes need to be consistent and need reasonable development and explanation. Hopefully that is the kind of answer you were looking for?
3. Your reviews are fantastic. What are the things you look into while reviewing a story?
Thank you as well! Generally when I review, the first thing I look at is word choice. I'm a trial attorney by trade so I really look for what I call strong, evocative language. Your words cannot merely express an idea, they need to paint a picture, set a mood, or make me feel something (that's the evocative part). They also need to be carefully selected from among possible synonyms for maximum impact. Not a big moment? Use the pedestrian word (if you haven't already overused it). Crucial point? Bust out one that is more emphatic or find another method of making it like a superlative. I also pay really close attention to dialogue tags. Sometimes I get really frustrated with myself when writing if I get repetitive or uninventive here, but including actions, expressions, and strong, evocative language in dialogue tags is huge. It gets people more into the conversation. Other than that I look broadly at plot, characterizations, and balance of description, inner thoughts, and dialogue mostly. The biggest questions with plot? Is it believable, does it flow/transition well, and is the pace too fast or too slow? The biggest with characterizations? If the plot gives no reason for someone to not be portrayed consistently with canon, are characters canon-compliant? If it's an OC, do we learn not just about their looks, social circles, and abilities, but get to understand them on a deeper level? If it's a non-canon pairing, does the development of the relationship make sense? And with balance my only concern is whether the whole thing put together works.
4. If you had the chance to either Butterbeer or Fire Whiskey, which one would you pick?
Hmm. Butterbeer. It's always the has beens, sad saps, or irresponsible stag night revelers drowning in Fire Whiskey isn't it?
5. If you could add one thing to the epilogue, what would it be?
Ahh! In the movie, me as an extra in the scene! In all seriousness though, something simple. Maybe Harry, Ginny, and their kids making their way through the station and Harry helping a bewildered muggleborn get on the platform? It would be a nice little full-circle type thing to get them onto the platform for the rest of the epilogue I think. I actually didn't mind the epilogue after a while. It irritated me when I first read it, but over time I've come to love its simplicity.
Thanks again for stopping by! You are both awesome!