1. 'Canon compliant' is a hot button topic in Harry Potter fandom (thanks to all the 'After-Book Specials' JKR is hosting). What is your definition?
To me, 'canon' is everything published in the Harry Potter books. Whatever that JKR says in an interview is up to her, there's nothing in the books to say that Dumbledore is gay or Harry becomes an Auror, any more than Snape's clothes have loads of buttons or Lupin loves chocolate.
2. Has fanfic influenced your writing? If yes, was it a particular story you can name for us?
The first fic which bowled me over was Aucta Sinistra's 'Quid Pro Quo' closely followed by Dementordelta's 'Dumbledore's Folly' and Diana Williams 'The Courtship of Harry Potter'. (Was I only supposed to name one?) I just wanted to write something that was remotely as good. Then I discovered that fanfic could also be very, very funny (thanks to Bernice, Lychee, the_con_cept, Sansa, Sinick and Acid6urn, Rakina, Predatrix and so many others) and I stopped taking it quite so seriously.
3. What element(s) about the relationship between Snape and Harry do you find most intriguing?
The canon relationship is unbalanced and complex, Snape is a bully and a bigot and Harry a brat of a kid, neither affords the other the respect they deserve, and yet they have so much in common; both were abused as children, mentally if not physically, both are at the mercy of the whims of Dumbledore and Voldemort and are expected to do things that push them to their limits and beyond them. They are both prepared to give their lives if the sacrifice means the end of Voldemort. I'm interested in how they grow after the end of DH, how they look beyond their differences and come to recognise their similarities. I love watching them grow past their blinkered views of one another and come to a mutual respect.
I don't like chan because of the imbalance of power that it implies. I much prefer to watch a powerful, adult Harry who is a match for Snape, maybe not as sneaky or experienced, but with greater compassion and emotional flexibility and maybe more powerful innate magic. I don't believe that the epilogue shows the characters in a very good light, I prefer to think that this snapshot was taken on an atypically bad day, and Harry and his friends have actually grown beyond their childish competition with Draco Malfoy and the house rivalry has been left behind.
4. How would Severus Snape find your team mascot most useful?
As ingredients. He wouldn't need to ride it (Snape can fly!) and he is perfectly able to hex anyone into oblivion if he needs to.
5. What would you consider your greatest strength in writing?
6. Is there something your beta(s) constantly catch you doing?
A scatter-shot, random approach to commas. Sentence fragments.
7. Have you ever collaborated/partnered with another author or artist? If yes, please describe it for us. If no, would you consider it?
Not seriously, although I would like to try. I have collaborated in a series of drabbles with illustrations, celebrating the amazing fact that Snape can fly with the WTF Flying Snupin Mile High Club, in which I am honorary virtual bar-tender.
8. Now that canon is complete, do you find it more freeing or less when it comes to writing or enjoying fanfic/fanart?
Now you're asking the hard ones, aren't you? I felt I had more freedom before JKR set Snape's death and Harry's marriage in clunky canon stone, in that I could imagine my own final showdowns and happy couples riding off into the sunset, but I find DH and the epilogue have inspired me to put things right and I have written far more since the ending of canon than I ever did before. I'm no longer so interested in AU and AR fics, I really prefer twisting and warping canon as far as it will go.
9. In your opinion, what kind of kink/theme does fandom need more of?
My sekrit kink is mpreg but it has to be done really, really well. I have read (or started reading) some really bad mpreg fics so we probably don't need more. Other than that, there is so much wonderful fiction out there; so much to chose from, that you could find almost anything you like. Mm, I also love a really good courtship or bonding fic. Romance without fluff, not too OOC with a good plot, and I'm happy.
10. How do you feel about participating in this year's Snarry Games?
Honoured, proud, slightly scared and wildly excited.
Thank you, gingertart50! Stay tuned for more interviews, and more Opening Games Crack!Art!