Slashcast Insider Interview with Dementor Delta

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Slashcast Insider Interview with Dementor Delta
Interviewer: emmagrant01
Interviewee: Dementor Delta
Date(s): August 26, 2006
Medium: online
Fandom(s): Harry Potter
External Links: online here as a transcript; WebCite
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Slashcast Insider Interview with Dementor Delta is a podcast created by and posted to Slashcast as "Episode 8." Slashcast includes an transcript.

The interviewer is emmagrant01.

The Interview Series

See Slashcast Insider Interview Series.

Excerpts

Emma: So how long have you been writing fanfiction?

Delta: For a long, long time. I started in Star Trek fanfiction when I was in middle school. So that's probably 30 years - that's embarrassing. Thirty years....

Um, it was Mary Sue, 'cause you know, I was just a kid. I was fourteen, fifteen, you know. So you start out writing the Mary Sue stuff. I was in Star Wars fandom for most of my fannish career and I mostly wrote gen and Mary Sue type stuff in there too as well. I didn't discover slash until Harry Potter.

Emma: So how did you come to the Harry Potter fandom?

Delta: I work in a used book store, so one of my employees had told me she really liked the books and I should read them, and I started reading them and I went, "Oh wow, this is great! These are really a lot of fun." And at the same time, a friend of mine, who was in Star Wars fandom with me, emailed me just out of the blue to ask what I was into, and I told her I was into Harry Potter now. She goes, "You know, I think there's some fanfiction for that." And we were both sort of amazed that, you know, that a children's book could inspire fanfiction, so she said, "Well, I'll send you the links if you think you might be interested, but I think it's slash." And she knew I wasn't really into slash, 'cause I had never really written slash or read much of it, and I said, "Oh, that's okay. Let me give it a try." And I just fell and fell really hard.

Emma: Well, I think that my favorite fic of yours, and I think judging by the number of hits to it, probably a lot of other folks' feel the same way, is The Dreaming Spires and I think, I should warn anyone who's listening that we're about to just completely spoil it, so if you haven't read it, my apologies. But where did the idea for that fic come from?

Delta: That was originally a dawn-til-dusk or dusk-til-dawn challenge and it was a- I'm not sure exactly, what the exact challenge was 'cause I ended up dropping the fest, but I wanted a story that had Snape having lost his memory. I wanted a sort of amnesia fic, and that was my take on it. The whole reason for- to bring them together in that way was to have Snape have amnesia and slowly remember having Harry in his life. And what happened was I joined the fest for that, and sort of writing that story and about, oh probably 7/8ths of the way through the story - I had been telling it from Harry's point of view and it was going to incorporate a lot of Snape's actual integration back into the Wizarding world after he gets his memory back - and I was almost done and I said, "You know, this is fine, but I'd sort of like to tell this from Snape's point of view." And I realized if I did that I'd have to rewrite the whole thing, and I- and so I did. I dropped out of the fest and I said, "I gotta rewrite this thing." Because I wanted the sort of mystery of having everybody else sort of know what's going on, but not Snape because he's the one with amnesia, and I wanted to see if I could pull that off. So that was more challenging to me and more fun, and I think it worked out better in the end. And luckily, the next round of the dusk-til-dawn fest was also a challenge that I could use it for, so I went ahead and rewrote it and submitted it for that round.

Emma: Looking back, I think, you know, the HP fandom has gone in so many directions that, I mean, 'snake assisted wanking' doesn't seem like that big of a deal, but was it different three years ago?

Delta: I think it was, um, to some extent, but that's part of the beauty of HP fandom. There's so much cool magic going on. That's one of my big things that I love about HP fic is the cool magic aspect. You can go anywhere with this. You can turn them into dogs, and wolves, and snakes, and cats, and whatever. It's just- it's just fun to play with. I think the reception of that story has kind of proven that, that, you know, people keep reading it and they keep writing to me and saying that, "This is one of my favorite stories." And it's very gratifying....

Umm... I really haven't gotten that many funny looks [after posting that story]. A couple of years after it had come out, I had this- this email from a guy who owns a pet shop, and he said, "Well, I want you to know I really liked your story and I'm kinda hesitant to write, but I own a pet store and you've got some snake stuff wrong." And I said, "Oh, what?" And he said, "Well, snakes just don't eat that much, I'm sorry. They just- they would just explode if they ate that much." And he said, "If you ever write a sequel, just ask me. Just run the snake bits past me and I'll let you know." And we had a very nice email exchange about, about snakes and their diet.

Emma:... What's your favorite fic of all time?

Delta: Probably Diana William's Courtship of Harry Potter. I- I really, I love her stuff, I love her style. Um, she was one of the writers that influenced me a lot when I first got into the Harry Potter fandom. She was very kind to me, as well. I remember, when I first got in and I was a total newbie, some writers were just very, very, kind to me and she was one of them, so. And I just- I love that story. In fact, when I was challenged by painless_j to write Dumbledore's Folly, which was my courting fic, I said, "I'm not going to write a courting fic, 'cause Diana already did it. She did the perfect, you know, Snape courts Harry fic." But, you know, I had to approach it from a different angle, but that's probably my favorite story. It's just- it's the perfect little story. It's not even- it's not even very smutty, it's just very much their relationship the way that I would like to see it.

Emma: So I wanted to ask you about, um, you said you've been writing fanfiction for 30 years, and I was thinking, "Wow, you might have some interesting, sort of, things you could say about what you've learned from that process, or from all that time."

Delta: The thing that I've learned the most is just- just write. Just keep writing and just keep putting your stuff out there. Like I said, I was in Star Wars fandom for so long, until the new movies kind of killed it. This was back when, you know, it wasn't much of an internet fandom, it was mostly fanzines. And I was really too shy to put my stuff in fanzines. And I wish I hadn't been now. Um, because when the internet came along and I really, basically got on the internet and learned how to, you know, do chat and stuff like that because I wanted to participate so much in Harry Potter fandom, that it was just this huge, overwhelming, "I must write. I must get into computers. I must learn how to do this stuff." Just for myself, because I knew that the- that fanzines were dinosaurs and I wish I had taken advantage of being around fanzines for, you know, all that time that I was into them and just- just written more stuff to put out. 'Cause I wrote stuff for myself, but it wasn't really- I didn't really like, you know, fix it up and put it out into fanzines. So I wish I had done more. I still hang around some Star Wars fans and they're still into Star Wars fanzines, and I'm like, "The internet, it's the way to go. It's all free. You get, you know, as much fic as you can read for free." And, you know, you can put as much time into it or as little time into it as you want, and if there's some weird pairing that you want, you can probably find an LJ comm for it. When you used to write for fanzines, you'd get, like- you'd write a story and then a year later you might get feedback on it. Maybe...

Because the process was just so long. And now it's so immediate and so fresh. And it, you know, when I post a story and people like it I'm like, "Oh boy, I want to go write another one." That's the beauty of it and, you know, I know that younger writers coming in probably are very much used to that, but for me it's sort of a revelation and it really makes it easier, makes it more fun.