An Interview with Floreat Castellum
|Interviews by Fans|
|Title:||An Interview with Floreat Castellum|
|Interviewer:||HPLF (goodlife23 on Reddit)|
|External Links:||http://www.harrypotterlongform.com/2016/04/an-interview-with-floreat-castellum.html (Wayback, 2016)|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
If you're a fan of fanfic, you've probably heard of Floreat Castellum. Writer of the phenomenal "Not from Others," Floreat Castellum is one of the most respected writers in the fanfic community. In my opinion, she ranks as the top in-canon writer, and should JK Rowling ever decide to have one writer from the fanfic community to create a new story for her series (which I know won't ever happen), then Floreat Castellum should be it.
Floreat Castellum is currently writing her new in-canon story "The Aurors." I had the opportunity to interview Floreat Castellum over reddit. We discussed how she got involved in fanfic, her favorite Harry Potter characters, character relationships and what's next in her writing.
HPLF: How involved with the fandom were you? Did you go right into writing fan fic?
FC: From around OOTP, I've been heavily involved in the fandom. At first it was just obsessively reading Mugglenet and Rowling interviews, trying to figure out what would happen next, but by the sixth book I was reading and writing fanfic. This continued until after the release of DH, but ultimately I stopped when I got a boyfriend and and went to uni. I've only just picked it up again in the last few months, something like six years later.
You're writing generally focuses on canon-consistent stories. Do you prefer that to alternative universe fiction?
FC: I do, by a lot. Nothing against people that like AU, I just can't get over the 'but that's wrong!' feeling. I also feel like a lot of the good AU stories people recommend are over the top, filled with dark angst, which isn't my thing. I'm sure there's a lot of great stuff out there, but personally I prefer canon. The most I can stretch to is AU that could have been canon, like Harry/Luna stuff.
HPLF: Why Ginny Weasley? And why did you cover her year in Hogwarts under Snape? Some other writers have focused more on post-Battle of Hogwarts and specifically Harry Potter's relationship with Ginny, but you focused more on her role in leading the D.A. and fighting. Why is that?
FC: I didn't feel very strong, so I wanted to write a strong character, and I wanted it to be a girl. Plus, I like Harry/Ginny the most! I chose DH for a few reasons. First, I had such a clear picture of it from years of daydreaming that I just hadn't found in fanfic. No matter how many people recommend it to me, I can't get past the first few chapters of Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness. Second, it meant that the plot structure was already there. I didn't have to worry too much about creating an interesting plot, I could relax and enjoy the writing itself. As it happened, the additional plots sort of created themselves from the various bits and pieces I'd always imagined. For example, I always imagined that the girl Ginny was crouching over was a dorm mate, and that there was a reason beyond being frightened that she was calling for her mother. So Polly's motivation that she was so frightened for her mother that she'd put herself and others in danger was there from the start. Third, I love missing moment scenes, and that book is one whole missing moment. As for why I focused mostly on the D.A and fighting, well, I think the reason I like Harry and Ginny so much is that they aren't that soppy over each other. I couldn't imagine Ginny pining her days away thinking about him, I wanted it to be clear that while she missed him very much, she's a character in her own right, and isn't solely motivated by him. The fact that she has such autonomy and spirit is a major reason, I believe, Harry likes her. Cho was shaped by the men in her life, but Ginny has other shit to do.
HPLF: What are your feelings about the fan fiction community as a whole? Who do you enjoy reading?
FC: Generally they're very supportive, but there are some people who have got so into AU they don't seem to like the source material at all! To each their own, but it's sometimes frustrating to have to constantly defend Ginny. Despite all that, there's some amazing, creative, intelligent minds here, and I do feel like HP has helped unite a lot of people. I actually don't read as much fanfic as I should, but I like littlebird01, melindaleo, LumosSword134, and others that I'll probably remember later!
HPLF: What are some tropes you like? Dislike?
FC: Hmm, I don't really like any trope, to be honest. Especially the over-the-top, cheesy, angsty ones, where Harry's name changes to become more Slytherin-y, he inherits loads of money, Dumbledore is manipulative, etc. Specifically in Harry/Ginny, I don't like it when authors write the Weasley boys all ganging up on Harry when they find out they're dating. We see hints that the Weasley's can be a bit protective, but nothing like the puritanism that seems to get heaped on poor Ginny all the time.
Both the interviewer and Floreat Castellum were active on reddit, particularly in HP-related groups. The interview was linked on the Harry Potter subreddit and the HP Fanfiction subreddit. Although it gained a largely positive response, some disagreement did occur about the interviewer's statement that Floreat Castellum was "one of the most respected writers in the fanfic community". However, the original response expressing this disagreement has since been removed.
Nice interview :)
Very nice of /u/FloreatCastellum to give a bit of her POV about the community ! Not from others is truly awesome as a canon fanfic, what I like about it (and also about Northumbrian's fanfics) is that it doesn't add any dialogue Harry didn't have. It really just builds its own story using what we know for sure and that's the best part of it!
I won't get into whether or not this interview is good or bad or whatever, that's not my job or anything.
That being said, orthography, please pay attention to it. Stuff like mistaking the usage of your/you're has absolutely no place in anything that is supposed to be taken seriously, and by having mishaps of this sort in the text you may be causing some people to dismiss the interview purely based on that.