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?
Why do I always miss knowing about all the hot button topics? I’m not exactly sure what the debate is raging about ‘canon compliant,’ so I’ll just offer my uneducated opinion.
I see canon as what is found in the seven books, anything offered outside of that is optional.
Whether or not a fic if compliant, I don’t care as long as it’s a good story.
2. Has fanfic influenced your writing? If yes, was it a particular story you can name for us?
Hmmmm...I know my perception and characterization of Harry and Severus has been influenced by the fanfics I have read. I didn’t start writing my own fics until six months of devouring every Snarry story I could find and had absorbed many of fanfic’s views and plots on the pairing. I chose those I agreed with and dove into writing.
I tend to prefer a more mature Harry, so was drawn to stories with a post Hogwarts Harry. A few stories that come to mind are To Hogwarts with Love by ataraxis, Crumbling Pedestal by Shivani, Paradox of Existence by DragonLight, and the lamentably unfinished Mirror of Maybe by Midnight Blue. I can’t say that these stories have directly influenced my writing, because my choice to write an adult Harry instead of teenage Harry in all my stories has more to do with me not believably seeing Harry and Severus getting together without Harry maturing a bit.
The biggest way fanfic has probably influenced my writing is more in the area of my basic plot. I like to take plots devices that have become clichés and twist them into something new. The story I first started writing (While the Cat’s Away) was a forced bonding fic that pleasantly got away from me and became a long and twisting story.
3. What element(s) about the relationship between Snape and Harry do you find most intriguing?
I think it’s their differences, their similarities, and their animosity toward each other that must be overcome. There relationship is not an easy one to achieve, and it is a challenge and pleasure to explore because of it.
4. How would Severus Snape find your team mascot most useful?
The obvious answer is as a potion ingredient, but Severus could use anything as a potion ingredient. (He's just that good.) So, other ways he might find a dragon useful would be to heat his cauldron or have it flame and eat the people who annoy him.
5. What would you consider your greatest strength in writing?
Um…taking a standard plot and making if fresh.
6. Is there something your beta(s) constantly catch you doing?
Use of the wrong words especially homonyms. It’s amazing how I forget those long ago learned and less used homonyms. At other times it’s just me choosing the wrong choice offered by the spellchecker. Anything else pointed out, I strive to correct in all future writing (not always successfully.)
7. Have you ever collaborated/partnered with another author or artist? If yes, please describe it for us. If no, would you consider it?
I once participated in writing a script for an Anime type on-line show with a group of people. We wrote probably half the planned scripts and the art team produced character drawings before the project fizzled. It would have been great to see it finished, but I did have fun and learned a lot participating in the project.
The other collaboration I participated in was a round robin story where each author wrote a chapter. The biggest problem I had with that was there was no unity of direction among the writers. One would lead the story in one direction while the next would go another. I found that frustrating.
Despite that, I would be willing to participate in future collaboration/partnership if everyone agreed on the plot beforehand.
8. Now that canon is complete, do you find it more freeing or less when it comes to writing or enjoying fanfic/fanart?
I don’t think it really has an affect on me other than taking the events of the last book into account when plotting a story. It is nice to know that there will be no more surprises or people killed off that we don’t want to be, but all along, the beauty of fanfic is that you can change things around to fit your story. I think a well written story, whether it adheres to every point in the canon or not, is worth reading for its own merits.
9. In your opinion, what kind of kink/theme does fandom need more of?
Well…I have always enjoyed bonding fics, and creature inheritance fics, and time travel fics, and de-aging fics, and Professor!Harry fics, and the occasional vampire fic, and crossovers (although not seen many Snarry crossovers) and…and…Oh #$%%! - name a cliché/theme for Snarry and I have probably read at least one good story for it and would like there to be more. So, I will say what fandom needs are more awesomely well-crafted Snarry stories, which the Snarry games will most surely provide.
10. How do you feel about participating in this year's Snarry Games?
Like I’ve flown to the moon on dragon back and touched the stars. ^_^