Slashcast Insider Interview with Gina

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Slashcast Insider Interview with Gina (gmth)
Interviewer: emmagrant01
Interviewee: Gina (gmth)
Date(s): January 13, 2007
Medium: online
Fandom(s): Harry Potter
External Links: online here as a transcript; WebCite
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Slashcast Insider Interview with Gina is a podcast created by and posted to Slashcast as "Episode 13." Slashcast includes an transcript.

The interviewer is emmagrant01, the interviewee is Gina. One focus is smutmas and the challenges of running a challenge.

The Interview Series

See Slashcast Insider Interview Series.


Um, [Harry Potter] was my first online fandom - actually, it's not even my first online fandom. I've been participating in fandom in one way or another since I was about twelve years old. There was no internet back then, of course. I was very into the Beatles for a long time, and also Star Wars, when the original Star Wars movie came out, and I wrote some fanfic. It was terrible, terrible stuff, but I turned out pages and pages of it every night on pencil and paper, and kept it for years and ended up throwing it all away, which I really regret now, because it would be hysterical to go back and read it again. Before I got into HP, I was a member of a fandom for a particular actor, Tommy Lee Jones, and we had a small fandom going on that I was very involved with, so this is not my first fandom by any means.
I started reading the books about six months after Goblet of Fire came out, I was- there was a lot of controversy surrounding the books back in those days; to some extent, there still is, but it's not as prominent right now. My son was seven or eight years old at the time, and I was concerned about what he might be getting into when he got older if he wanted to read the books, so I figured I should read them myself to see what they were. And they were interesting - I got into them and I found them fun, but then I didn't really get into the fandom itself until I saw the first film. That just converted my instantly. I haven't looked back since.
I actually started out as a het shipper - I was a Snape/Hermione shipper for the first six or eight months that I was in fandom. That was the first fic I wrote, was a Snape/Hermione fic, but at that point I was reading everything. I would go on to every night and just read and read and read, and that was back in the day when you could still find something interesting on, back before the NC-17 purge, in other words.
Well, I'm a big Snape shipper - really any pairing with Snape, I'm into. I'm a Lucius shipper, I love Lucius pairings, so any combination of Snape, Lucius, and Harry makes me happy except I'm not a Draco fan, as I'm sure you're aware, so I sort of tend to stay away from those pairings where he's involved, but any other pairings involving the three of them, I'm pretty much happy with. I'm also a big twincest fan - I love the Fred/George ship.
Smutmas actually got started because in 2003, I was writing for a role-playing game called "Nocturnal Ruins" with a bunch of other wonderful and very, very creative folks. We spent a lot of time working on this rpg and became very close friends as a result. There was a lot of creativity going on that was not just associated with the game - we created a lot of communities together, we spent a lot of time co-writing fics, collaborative fics, and one thing that we used to do every week was we would drabble. We had a specific drabble night where we would set up a theme and then someone would throw out a pairing and a prompt, and the rest of us would write for fifteen or twenty minutes, or whatever, and then we'd post the results in our live journals. It got to be very popular - people were very interested in participating with us, and the to it was great, so we had more and more people coming into the chatroom with us every week to do this drabble night with us. And one night the theme was "squick night", topics that would- normally, we wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole, and there was a participant in the room with us that night named "sparrowhawk" and she just- one just blurted out, "Wouldn't it be cool if there was a, you know, a fest where people would write down their kinks and their squicks, and other people would write fics to match those requests?" And I just was so taken with that idea, I said, "Oh, that sounds great. I'll organize it." Which put my foot in it right away. That was in early October of 2003, and within a couple of hours, we had the rules hashed out for how we thought this should work, and the comm was set-up, and we started to pimp the idea on our journals and it took off.
Well, honestly, my first piece of advice would be take a good, hard look at the fandom and decide if another fest is really even necessary. My suspicion is that the answer is going to be no, because the fandom is really saturated with these things now, especially around the holidays. It seems like there's a fest running for every genre of fic and most of the major pairings already. So if you look around, you're probably going to find something that's already running that's going to meet whatever needs you've got. But if you decide to go ahead with it anyway, my other piece of advice would be don't do things half way. You know, be prepared to take the time to do it well. Be prepared to be tough with people, I mean, even close friends, sometimes you have to say, "Look, this is what's gotta happen and it's gotta happen by this time." And take the time to think through things and set things up so they're going to work for you. Talk to other mods who have been there, they might have some good advice for you. Don't go half way - if you're gonna do it, do it right.
I'm a dark fic fan. I love the darker stuff. I'm a big non-con fic fan, which is not synonymous with dark fic, but it's often a big component of it. And I'm also a big voyeurism fan. If you can find voyeurism and non-con, boy I'm going to be wagging my tail.
Don't let everyone else's pet peeves keep you from writing what you really want to write and how you want to write it, because no matter what you write, you're eventually going to stumble across a post from somebody saying, "I hate it when people do X," and you will have just finished a fic where X is the main thing that happened. That kind of stuff is never going to go away and you're never going to be able to please everybody, so you might as well write what you like to do and just press on with it.