Author has written 83 stories for Harry Potter.
To everyone who's been asking about updates, and whether I'm okay, I'm fine, but... here's a short announcement:
Thanks to the Tory party's determination to cut Local Government to the bone (although strangely only the experienced (better paid) staff are being encouraged to go) I'm likely to be out of work early next year. When I realised this, I had to make plans.
I got back into writing about six weeks ago unfortunately, a week or so later, my mother had a stroke. :-(
Thanks to the good old National Health Service, she's being well looked after (nursing care, physiotherapy, speech therapy, etc.), and it isn't costing her anything. For obvious reasons "writing time" is now "hospital visiting time" and I'm not sure how long this will last. It seems unlikely that she'll make a full recovery.
I am writing a little, but it's a snatched moment here - another there. For weeks my mind has been on other things, but this week I've started to find a new routine which will (I hope) allow me some time for writing.
I'm only just an Englishman; from North of "the Wall," but South of "the border." The bit that most of England doesn't know is theirs.
I've been a fan for years, ever since I read book one, which is also when I suspected that Harry and Ginny would, eventually, be a couple. This was confirmed to me in the opening Chapters of CoS. I like action, rather than fluff, though I seem to write a lot of fluff. I cannot read Dramione, Drinny, slash or, for that matter, any major non-canon pairing. If JKR says that's what happens, that's good enough for me. Why bother re-imagining?
Over the past couple of years a few anonymous reviewers have told me that my “why bother re-imagining” statement (above) means that I shouldn’t be writing fanfiction. They are, of course, wrong, but the fault is obviously mine.
It appears that they have misunderstood what I was trying to say, and that can only be my fault for not making myself clear.
What I was trying to say was that, if you do re-imagine, you have to look at ALL of the consequences, not simply find a feeble excuse to glue your favourite couple together (or resurrect Voldemort despite the fact that JKR says “dead is dead”, or give Harry a twin, etc.). Re-imagining this seven-book epic properly would take a lot of work, and I simply don’t see the need. I’ve managed to write over eighty stories almost all of which fit in with book (and post DH interview) canon and with each other. My point wasn’t that you shouldn’t re-imagine, but that you don’t need to re-imagine, you can simply imagine.
I appear to be writing several stories. In fact, I’m only writing one. In chronological order (of events, not writing) my stories are:
Bloodstone: 6th Century (COMPLETE)
Killers: 1940's (In progress)
Germ Free Adolescents: November 1978 (COMPLETE)
Black Death: November 1979 (COMPLETE)
Looking for Lily: August 1980 (COMPLETE)
Nott: Father and Son: 1990-2000 (COMPLETE)
Molly and Her Daughter: 1992-1999 (in progress)
Chaser: 1 September 1995 (COMPLETE) A George/Angelina Story
Hogsmeade: October 1995 (COMPLETE)
The Hufflepuff: late 1996 (COMPLETE)
Vituperation: July/August 1997 (COMPLETE)
Summer of '97: August 1997 (COMPLETE)
Locket: Winter 1997 (COMPLETE)
Fred and George's Busy Day: August 1997-May 1998 (COMPLETE)
The Pencil Portrait Problem (a Theodore Nott mystery): September-October 1997 (COMPLETE)
Blaise Inglorius: January-February 1998 (COMPLETE)
Tales of the Battle: May 1998 (COMPLETE)
Grave Days: May-September 1998 (COMPLETE)
The Badly Fitting Coat: June 1998 (COMPLETE)
Vault: June 1998 (COMPLETE)
Aurors and Schoolgirls: September 1998-June 1999 (Progressing)
What Luna Sees: December 1998 (COMPLETE)
Spontaneity: Sunday 28 March 1999 (COMPLETE)
The Mind of Arthur Weasley: Monday 29 March 1999 (COMPLETE)
Anticipation: July 1999 (Complete)
Mistletoe Kisses: 31 December 1999 with flashbacks to 1995 (COMPLETE)
The Girl From DRaCoMC: September 1999 (COMPLETE)
Players Rites: September 1999 (COMPLETE)
Hunters and Prey: February-March 2000 (COMPLETE)
Research and Development: April-July 2000 (in progress)
Little Victory: May 2000-August 2021 (COMPLETE)
Disharmony: June 2000 (COMPLETE)
Zoinks!: Halloween 2000 (COMPLETE)
Knavery: March 2001 (COMPLETE)
April Fool: April 2001 (COMPLETE) A George/Angelina Story
Angelina: April 2001 (COMPLETE) A George/Angelina Story
Friends and Foes: April-June 2001 (in progress)
Swimsuit Quidditch: August 2001 (COMPLETE)
The Question: February 2002 (COMPLETE)
The Question (Again): February 2002 (COMPLETE)
MIT: Muggle Liaison Team?: July 2002 (in progress)
Bikini Girls on Brooms: July 2002
The Professor and his Landlady: July 2002 (COMPLETE)
The Secret Diary of Hermione Granger: July 2002 (COMPLETE)
After Breakfast: 7 September 2002 (COMPLETE)
MIT: Haunted House: Dead: November 2002 (COMPLETE)
MIT: Secret Keeper: September-November 2002 (COMPLETE)
Epithalamium: Spring 2003 (In Progress)
MIT: Hampstead Heath Corpse: August 2003 (COMPLETE)
It takes Two: February 2004 (COMPLETE) Potter Family #1
E.C.C.E.N.T.R.I.C. April 2004 (COMPLETE) Potter Family #2
Unspeakable: 2004 (COMPLETE) (co-written with C A Campbell)
First Sight: October 2004 (COMPLETE) Potter Family #3
Bare: October 2004 (COMPLETE)
Conceptions: February/March 2005 (COMPLETE)
Conversations: March 2005 (COMPLETE)
Concerns: April 2005 (COMPLETE)
Moon: March 2005 (COMPLETE) Lavender/Mark #1
Brown: April 2005 (in progress) Lavender/Mark #2
Sleepless Night: December 2006 (COMPLETE) Potter Family #4
Yggdrasil: June 2007 (COMPLETE)
Beard Hunters: December 2007 (COMPLETE) Potter Family #5
New Year's Eve: December 2007 (COMPLETE) Potter Family #5a
Dennis: February 2008 (COMPLETE)
Troth: March 2008 (COMPLETE)Lavender/Mark #3
Ginny’s Rival: March 2008 (COMPLETE) Potter Family #6
Remembrance (or, A Muggle at Hogwarts): May 2008 (COMPLETE)
Life Goes On: April 2009 (COMPLETE)
Strangers at Drakeshaugh: September/October 2009 (in progress)
Xmas Daze: Xmas 2009 (COMPLETE)
Sports Day: June 2010 (in progress)
The Drakeshaugh Dragon: August 2010 (COMPLETE)
Moons: July 2010 (in progress) Lavender/Mark #4
MIT: Entente Cordial: April 2011
Owl Post: July 2016 (COMPLETE)
Young Love: July 2020 (COMPLETE)
Zygosis: July 2026 (COMPLETE)
James and Me: September 2027 (in progress)
Just Another Valentine: February 2039 (COMPLETE)
Centuries: 2080-2081 (COMPLETE)
Now and Forever: 2098 (COMPLETE)
The above list is changed and updated when I remember.
I’ve even gone so far as to come up with birth dates for the extended Potter/Weasley Clan. They are (in order of appearance):
Edward Remus "Teddy" Lupin -31 Mar '98: Victiore Weasley - 02 May '00: Dominique Weasley - 17 Oct '02: Molly Weasley -30 Apr '03: Fred Weasley -29 Apr '04:- Louis Weasley - 15 Jun '04: James Sirius Potter - 08 Oct '04: Lucy Weasley - 11 Jul '05: Rose Weasley - 01 Nov '05: Albus Severus Potter - 14 Jul '06: Roxanne Weasley - 26 Aug '07: Lily Luna Potter - 29 Feb '08: Hugo Weasley - 25 Apr '08.
Whether I get so far into the future as to need these, I’m not certain. Although I have a few ideas.
Canon Compliance, a brief announcement:
“I'm in Edinburgh, so could somebody at King's Cross wish James S Potter good luck for me? He's starting at Hogwarts today.” posted by JKR on Twitter on 1 September 2015
With this announcement, JKR fixes James Sirius Potter’s birthday as falling between 1 September 2003, and 31 August 2004. This places him two school years ahead of Al. In my stories, his birthday is 8 October 2004, and he’s only one year ahead of Al (although he is a little over 21 months older than his brother, whose birthday I’ve fixed as 14 July 2006. Although “my” Lily is two school years behind Al, years her birthday (29 February 2008) makes her only 19 months younger than Al. I have always tried to keep to canon, and JKR’s Tweet caused me to look at my stories in order to try to see if I can “fix” James’ birth date to what is now canon.
You’d think that it would be easy; after all, moving it to 31 August is a shift of less than six weeks. It isn’t. After a long look at my stories, I’ve decided that Shifting James’ birthday required me to shift the birthdays of Henry and Annie Charlton, and Violet Moon, and many other characters. I’d also need to move the year in which the events of “Strangers” occurs, and rewrite significant chunks of Strangers, and the Mark/Lavender stories, and... Well, you get the idea. So, after a lot of careful consideration, I’ve decided to stick with the birthdays I invented six years ago.
Advice to Other Writers
Check out the profile of DukeBrymin for a list of facts about fanfic. Every one of them is oh so true.
Harry Potter is British, so are his friends. They say Mum, not Mom, and do not eat pancakes for breakfast, because they are not American.
action, rather than fluff.
the canon pairings (yes, all of them!).
anything which follows canon.
The following words and word groups: Ginerva (Aaargh!), Weasly (Aaargh), Gin (Ginevra is already abbreviated - to Ginny), Mione (does anyone really think she'd answer to that?), "The Golden Trio" (who the hell are they?) – Note: I know who they are, but this is a fan term which has crept into use in fanfics. Does anyone seriously think that Harry, given his dislike of “The Chosen One” etc., would allow himself to be called the leader of “the Golden Trio”.
Pancakes (especially pancakes and syrup) for breakfast (in fics). I've travelled to the USA and this is a surprisingly nice breakfast but not English, and the words pancakes and syrup mean something else here.
Reference to Muggle items (like CD players) at The Burrow (if there is one there, Arthur has dismantled it to try to figure out how it works).
Mom (I love my mam, and that's what I call her, because I was born and raised in the north of England. People further south say Mum but no Brit ever says Mom). Ron would never open a conversation "Gee, Mom" you might notice this fact if you read the books or watch the movies.
The Golden Trio
I've been asked about my dislike of the term “Golden Trio”, so here is my explanation.
It is an artificial term, presumably created by some fan long before I started reading fanfiction and perpetuated ever since. It didn’t take me long to realise that a lot of fanfiction relies on certain tropes and traditions which many regard as “facts”, but which don’t come from the books. (Example: the idea that the Head Boy and Head Girl (usually Draco and Hermione) share a special Heads Dorm. How many schools do you know where two eighteen-year-olds, one male and one female would be allowed to live together?) Anyway, JKR does give us “The Marauders” but that (rather cool) name seems to have been coined by Harry’s father and his three friends, and it does not seem to have been widely known. I could, possibly, live with the word trio, because it’s accurate, but “golden”, no. That’s giving them an air of greatness they never had. The three are (apart from the magic) pretty ordinary kids.
Even the “trio” part seems unlikely to me, because in the end (and despite what most writers want to think), they were not always a trio. JKR engineered things so that, to the world, Harry was the hero, and the press and public weren’t interested in his friends. Just look at canon:
PS: Ron falls first, Hermione is forced to remain behind because there is only enough potion for one, Harry wins through alone.
CS: Hermione is in the hospital wing, petrified, leaving Lockheart, Ron and Harry to enter the chamber, Ron gets trapped, Harry wins through alone.
PoA: It’s Ron’s turn to be hospitalised. Hermione is allowed to stay with Harry right to the end, but what happened in PoA? Nothing anyone knows about. Harry and Hermione helped an “escaped killer” to flee, and (with the Headmaster’s help) kept it secret.
GoF: Harry is the “fourth champion”. Ron and Hermione help behind the scenes, but no one really knows how much. In the Tournament, Harry wins through alone.
OotP: In what is probably their most public escapade, six students break into the Ministry. That’s six, not three; it is Harry and “five friends”. Perhaps they are the “Sensational Sextet”, based on what the public know, that would be more logical. But even then, in the end of OotP, it’s Harry and Dumbledore, against Bellatrix and Voldemort.
HBP: Ron and Hermione openly argue with Harry about his obsession with Malfoy. Harry is proved right, and, once again, when the school is invaded the “Sensational Sextet” answer the call for help. But in the end, it’s Harry on the tower, alone again.
And so we come to DH. Everyone is looking for Harry (and only for Harry, although it’s believed that Hermione may be with him). And, once again, Harry is alone for the final face-off.
The bottom line is that we as readers know that they are a trio, but the world doesn’t. I honestly don’t think that anyone other than Harry Ron and Hermione (and Ginny) realise just how much Harry relied on his two best friends. So, why would the world think of them as a trio?
I am not J K Rowling, that's obvious. These are her characters, all I'm doing is playing with them, and (I hope) treating them with respect while doing so. It would take a truly great writer to make me accept an alternative to JKR's projected futures for HER CHARACTERS.
Respect, to me, means complying with canon. Here's what she said about Ginny:
The plan was, which I really hope I fulfilled, is that the reader, like Harry, would gradually discover Ginny as pretty much the ideal girl for Harry. She's tough, not in an unpleasant way, but she's gutsy. He needs to be with someone who can stand the demands of being with Harry Potter, because he's a scary boyfriend in a lot of ways. He's a marked man. I think she's funny, and I think that she's very warm and compassionate. These are all things that Harry requires in his ideal woman. But, I felt — and I'm talking years ago when all this was planned — initially, she's terrified by his image. I mean, he's a bit of a rock god to her when she sees him first, at 10 or 11, and he's this famous boy. So Ginny had to go through a journey as well. And rather like with Ron, I didn’t want Ginny to be the first girl that Harry ever kissed. That's something I meant to say, and it's kind of tied in. Harry has really grown. And I feel that Ginny and Harry, they are total equals. They are worthy of each other. They've both gone through a big emotional journey, and they've really got over a lot of delusions, to use your word, together. - JKR
And finally, another observation regarding my take on canon and, specifically, the Harry/Hermione pairing:
Here are extracts from a couple of anonymous reviews I’ve received:“JKR admitted in an interview that the canon pairings were a mistake and wish fulfilment (sic) on her part, and Hermione should have ended up with Harry. Basically she confirmed what Harmony fans had been saying for a long time.” “How do YOU feel about that now that JKR is doing the re-imagining and admits she totally blew it in pairing Harry and Ginny? Most of us saw that as a disaster, at least for Harry, and endless train-wreck of a life he didn't deserve. Looks like the lady has finally shed her blinders about that too. Not trying to be rude. You are entitled to write what you like, but I really did have to ask. Since you seem to worship every word JKR wrote, how does it sit that she no longer agrees?”
First, a minor point: “Most of us saw that as a disaster, at least for Harry, and endless train-wreck of a life he didn't deserve.” Most of us? Really? I wouldn't quibble with "many", but most means the majority. That's a very big claim, I certainly wouldn't make it for any pairing. Although we all like to think that we hold the majority view, it can't be substantiated, and must be dismissed.
I am always very careful to source my JKR quotes, and quote them verbatim. The critics I’ve quoted above do not. If someone can point me to the occasion where JKR admits she “totally blew it in pairing Harry and Ginny” (and the phrasing alone shows she didn’t actually use those words) or even that “the canon pairings were a mistake” I’ll give a considered response. However, if this were true then why, in her latest (Quidditch World Cup) writings on Pottermore, does she compound her "mistake" by continuing to write Harry and Ginny (and Ron and Hermione) as married couples?
Without more information, I’m forced to guess what my critics are talking about. All I can think is that the comments relate to several second-hand newspaper reports of the J K Rowling/Emma Watson interview in early 2014. Many newspapers made this claim (One example: Harry Potter should have married Hermione, admits JK Rowling - Daily Telegraph). Unfortunately, that’s not what she said in the interview with Emma Watson, it's a story spun by several papers, on the basis of a few very carefully selected extracts. The closest she came to agreeing with the Harry/Hermione pairing in that interview was this: “In some ways Hermione and Harry are a better fit.” Those are her exact words: “in some ways”. That’s hardly a ringing endorsement, and it’s definitely not an admission that the canon pairings were a mistake. It’s not even a comment on the Harry/Ginny relationship, as in that part of the interview Rowling and Watson are simply discussing whether the Hermione and Ron marriage would work.
The discussion between Rowling and Watson ends like this. After a discussion on magical marriage guidance, the final exchange goes:
JKR: They’ll (Ron and Hermione) probably be fine. He needs to work on his self-esteem issues, and she needs to work on being a little less critical. […] Ron’s used to playing second fiddle. I think that’s a comfortable role for him, but at a certain point he has to be his own man, doesn’t he?
EW: Yes, and until he does it is unresolved. It is unfinished business. So maybe life presented this to him enough times until he had to make a choice and become the man that Hermione needs.
JKR: Just like her creator, she has a real weakness for a funny man. These uptight girls, they do like them funny.
(Emma Watson then agrees with JKR.)
I can’t see any way this interview (particularly when taking into account this final exchange) can be stretched to mean: “JKR inadvertently vindicated the Harry/Hermione pairing, making it true canon!” As for the question: “how does it sit that she no longer agrees?” I hate to answer a question with a question, but I have no choice. What evidence does anyone have that she no longer agrees?
So, until JKR rewrites the DH epilogue and removes two (relatively) happy marriages along with James Sirius, Albus Severus, and Lily Luna Potter, and Rose and Hugo Weasley, I’ll continue to comply with canon.