Quidditch Pitch Interview with Harmony Bites

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Quidditch Pitch Interview with Harmony Bites
Interviewer:
Interviewee: Harmony Bites
Date(s): May 2006
Medium: online
Fandom(s): Harry Potter
External Links: interview is here; reference link
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Contents

In 2006, Harmony Bites was interviewed for The Quidditch Pitch.

See Quidditch Pitch Interview Series.

Note: The first two questions/answers in this interview are identical to those in Quidditch Pitch Interview with mapleandmahogany, done in April 2006. They seem to be mapleandmahogany's responses and were likely included on Harmony Bites's page in error.

Some Excerpts

Often if I disagree with a comment or a piece of fanon that will spark me to write something in a burst of "I'll-show-you-ness." My story on this site, "Gambit" was written for two reasons. First, I'm writing a Hermione/Snape WIP and I didn't want to fall into the one-true-pairing trap of writing Ron as a shallow, stupid prat. I needed to get inside his head. Second, just before sitting down to writing the story I'd read yet another HG/SS where Ron -- having proved a prat -- met a grisly death. "Gambit," a first person Ron story where he has a brain, was my attempt at a corrective.
Snape: Because he's such an enigma. Because JKR never lets us into his thoughts so there are many possible directions you could take the character, and I don't think the latest book is the last word on him. Because he built that imposing persona from the neglected, bullied twitchy kid we saw in OotP. Because he's an absolute genius who created his own spells as a teen and rewrote his text in the margins and twenty years later his experienced, former teacher can't match his techniques. Because he hates Harry yet I believe even in the last pages of the latest book was still trying to teach him and protect him even as he ran. Because I have a lot of sympathy for those who do the "dirty work" that keep us safe and free while getting scant thanks for it and paying a high price personally. Because the question of redemption -- whether and how it is possible -- fascinates me.
Getting into an intimidating school that scared me silly caused me to grab onto an old friend, Trek, like a teddy bear. I looked it up online and discovered this thing called "fan fiction" and wrote my first stories in that fandom. However, I burned out after a couple of years and believed my muse was buried for good. I hadn't read or written fanfic in over a year other than betaing for a friend in Trek. I wasn't even a huge fan of the Harry Potter books before Half-Blood Prince, nor did I like Snape, but for me that sixth book read like the first half of a mystery. I finished the book convinced all was not as it seemed and that Snape was no traitor to the light. That suddenly made that character all the more intriguing, and made me go in search of the fandom to see if others saw the events of the book the way I did. From my previous experience with fan fiction, I knew that the fans' stories especially would get to the heart of the matter. Coming across a rec list for Snape stories I clicked on a link for KazVL's "Falling Further In" and read into the night and well into the morning. After that I was addicted.
Get a beta, and be careful who and how you choose. You need to feel they're on your side -- they should be sympathetic to your style and vision, and you should not get the feeling from them that betaing you is an onerous chore, but that they're excited to get your latest story or chapter in their inbox. If a beta takes weeks to get back to you as I've known to happen in HP where betas get assigned through sites -- end the relationship. However, a good beta also must evaluate your writing with a critical eye, and will be doing you a disservice if all they do is point out typos and missing commas. The best possible beta would be a writer you yourself respect and admire so you feel confident they know what they are doing. And you as a writer have to learn both to be open to criticism, yet know what you want to accomplish through your story and be willing to push back. Get the idea I think a good beta is crucial? I do -- but it takes time and care to find a good one and build the relationship.