CHAMPION INTERVIEW #45, Team Dragon Member, Rakina!
Your Name (lj and/or Penname):rakina Archive link(s):My memories on IJ Your Team: I am Dragon, see me roarrrrr and belch fire (especially after a good Vindaloo).
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?
The books. The books, and then the movies if they show different or additional scenes; they’re certainly a good enough variant because JKR herself approved them. But the ‘afterthoughts’ she’s written... well, to me they’re just that, rather lame attempts to either keep our interest or correct some of her plotholes. So yeah, canon is the books first and then the movies. So that’s the starting point. But of course we’re all deviating from canon by implying a relationship between our two heroes. I think we’re deviating in a totally awesome way, of course. Primarily we’re building their characters, fleshing them out into believable, three-dimensional people where JKR’s stories are more plot-driven and she doesn’t give us the personal side of Snape, particularly, or Harry to a large extent – he’s rather a cardboard cut-out.
That’s what fanfic is for, and it’s especially the case in Snarry, where we’re really making the two best, most memorable characters in the Potterverse come into their own as fully rounded characters, not mere plot devices. Perhaps I’m being harsh on JKR here, for that is not what she was aiming to do with her books, obviously, but it is a real lack when you read the series, in my most humble opinion.
2. Has fanfic influenced your writing? If yes, was it a particular story you can name for us?
Oh, of course it has. Carrying on from question 1, the characters of Harry and Severus are largely fanfic-created. Also, I’ve read some wonderful stories, written in all sorts of genres and from clever viewpoints. [Bad username: ”the_con_cept”]’s imaginative work comes to mind here; particularly ‘Stick’ and the recent ‘A Cure for Frost’.
3. What element(s) about the relationship between Snape and Harry do you find most intriguing?
Oh, heavens. It depends. I try to explore different aspects according to which type of fic I’m writing. They’re obviously opposites in some ways (the good ole Gryff/Slyth divide for a start), but equally they have these weird points of similarity (upbringing, link to Voldemort, the belief that no one else can understand them).
I really like thinking about Snape (duh!) and when I consider the position the man is in and the utterly crappy life he was dealt by the Fates, I just ache for him. JKR’s final treatment of him is unconscionable. After all that struggling, what does he get? Not even the satisfaction that it had worked, that it had been worth it. What kind of message is that for all of us who’ve made mistakes, who hope to redeem ourselves thereafter?
4. How would Severus Snape find your team mascot most useful?
Why, as potion ingredients, of course! Oh, and he’d sell the heartstrings to Ollivander for a sizeable profit. (WTF are heartstrings anyway?)
5. What would you consider your greatest strength in writing?
Hahahah! (sorry). I go on a bit. It flows. Whether it’s a river of sewage or of sparkling delight I’ll leave up to the individual choice of the reader. I’m sure I write both at times. *g*
6. Is there something your beta(s) constantly catch you doing?
What, with my writing or otherwise? Hel could really make a fortune if I ever had any money, with the amount of blackmail material she must have on such a dubious character as me. But to answer your serious question in a proper manner: I tend to forget things, so I contradict myself quite a bit. Also I have a ‘word of the week’ which I flog. It varies from fic to fic (at least it’s not predictable); a recent one was ‘however’.
And occasionally I lapse into total, dreadful, tacky, sugarey schmoop. And then she takes the piss out of me.
7. Have you ever collaborated/partnered with another author or artist? If yes, please describe it for us. If no, would you consider it?
No. I’m not sure how that would work, tbh. When I write, it’s just instinctive, a flow. I do have a plot/plan which I follow, but it’s not ‘fleshed out’. When I try to plan in more depth (and I’m trying to for the Games) I find I over-think things and can’t decide what to do. I wouldn’t mind being inspired by/inspiring an artist though. I love fanart, just adore it.
8. Now that canon is complete, do you find it more freeing or less when it comes to writing or enjoying fanfic/fanart?
Considerably less. I found the publication of DH to be depressing, tbh, and I’ve still not got my pre-DH enthusiasm back. To me the delightfully ambiguous figure of Severus Snape became closed off, and (dare I say it) more simple and therefore less believable. The thought that he’d never moved on from his Lily obsession was very painful to me; I felt that it left him with nowhere to go, and no hope of redemption (and let’s face it, he got none). I wish he’d been nastier, because then he might just have got something out of life!
Yes, we can write ‘back from the dead’ stuff now, and AU and AR, but we could do that before anyway. What we’ve lost is canon postwar relationships in all their multi-faceted glory, and I miss that.
9. In your opinion, what kind of kink/theme does fandom need more of?
Forced Bonding! Every time! And chan Forced Bonding too :-D. *blushes and slopes off, pervily*
10. How do you feel about participating in this year's Snarry Games?
Wonderful! As a writer Snarry Games defines my whole year. I love it; it’s awesome and a privilege to be part of it again. Djin runs the best Fest in the known universe, as far as I’m concerned.
What? No extra votes for being such a good sycophant, DJ?
The Mods would like to remind Rakina that they can't vote, but she gets an extra cookie today.
Thank you, rakina! Stay tuned for the last few Champion Interviews and Opening Games Crack!Art! Due to the technical difficulties on IJ, we have posted two interviews today to help the schedule. We will post the remaining interviews throughout the Games.