Author has written 13 stories for Harry Potter.
Well I'm in my late-40's and a old-fashioned geek. My wife calls me the "Fount of Useless Trivia" because I had to memorize all that stuff prior to Wikipedia and Google. So when you are reading my fics be warned one of the things I like to do is try to explain a lot of what just sort of happens in the HP universe. So if things seem off or different than canon, there is almost certainly a reason which I will explain in the story.
Last Profile Update: 02-10-2015
SAVE YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE BEFORE READING MY FICS! READ THE BELOW!
Not writing for the kiddies here. That being said I'm not one to write about nasty just to write it unless it drives the plot. Also I'm finding my writings are a way to deal with a lot of crap I still am processing from my Army/combat tour time. Thus my writing is a bit therapeutic but may sometimes be more for me and not something I expect everyone to enjoy or understand.
Plus except in the stories taking place years later, most characters are teenagers. Teenagers experiment. Teenagers make mistakes. Teenager of confused about things and often unsure of themselves. In my fics this is complicated by the interaction of their maturing magical core and the bodies going through puberty.
Thus they will often act atypically to what you would expect. PLEASE REMEMBER THIS! The addition of magic adds a new dimension of an already complex time in a person's life. In addition, since Harry is the last of his line(s) there is an additional level to the way magic affects him. So if you think a character is acting odd or doing something too mature for a teen their age, I would remind you this is a fantasy story with magic which changes the rules.
I will be working harder to use Trigger Warnings as applicable. That being said, I'm really getting tired of writing such things AND using author's notes to have people completely ignore them. Don't be surprised if I get cranky with you if you leave a review complaining about stuff I wrote COPIOUS notes about or had warnings at the start of a chapter.
Fair warning: I do not like Ronald Weasley...or Molly Weasley and Remus Lupin for that matter. I am not bashing them; what we see in canon shows us that they are not nice people.
Even though I'm a bit of a broken combat vet, I do like romantic stories. And by that it doesn't have to be 'romantic' in the sense of romance but 'romantic' in the 18th century sort of way. I grew up watching Star Blazers and got to see a lot of Japanese anime before it became main stream. So I'm all about last charges of the Light Brigade and billowing capes and nature philosophy.
I would also ask people to remember that while I enjoy being able to interact with my readers through reviews, emails and PMs, this shouldn't make any of you feel entitled as too many reviewers seem to expect. These are my stories. I value input but I dislike having people expect that I'm here to write the story you want and to be flamed when you don't get what you seem to feel entitled to. Also folks, I'm getting tired of having people tell me something isn't canon when I've made it pretty clear I write AU stuff.
I'd also ask you all to show a little patience. Serialization brings with it some issues. It is easy to get all up in arms over something because you have to wait. I'd remind everyone that in normal stories, you are getting them compete so cliffhangers are generally resolved by turning the page or a perhaps the next chapter. No one drops a book and rushes to their computer to write nasty-grams at the author, do they? So please refrain from doing it to me. I only ask you give something a little time to see if I address it before sending the nasty-grams. Argue your case from a literary angle and I'll be more than happy to look at your suggestions. All my stories are multi-chapter stories have been made better, I believe, by reviewer comments and PMs back and forth from readers. Again, please show a little patience.
Current stories (or at least one's I'm posting on) on FFnet (I do have others only on available on my yahoo group
Paging Dr. Bell: Dr. Katherine Bell, famous wizarding psychologist, has been asked to tell her account of her (mostly unknown) contributions to the defeat of Voldemort for the 15th anniversary of the event. An AU take of things told mostly from Katie's view. See how she helped Harry and Hermione learn to love each other so Harry will have the power Voldemort knows not. Mostly a fluffy/lemony/romantic take.
HP and the Rejected Path: Actually came about because I was having trouble making Harry "evil" while writing HP and the Order of the Stag. So I decided to split the story and found it going off into a new and exciting direction. This is Harry mad as hell and not taking it anymore. NOTE! This fic is written the way it is due to a challenge to write the characters in ways they normally not. So, for example, it is NOT YOUR DADDY'S LUNA! (You've been warned) and other characters will act in ways rarely seen.
Harry Potter and the Thin Blue Line: The prototype “post-Hogwarts” fic for me. A magical cop drama where we see Harry as a Hit-wizard working for MI-7. A suspicious death sets him off on a mission to find out what is going on with his new partner, forensic pathologist DMLE Agent Morag MacDougal, MD. A lot of how I see the post-Hogwarts world will be defined in this fic.
Harry Potter and Hogwarts U: How would canon be affected if Harry entered Hogwarts at 18 rather than eleven? Big changes, quite AU, different sortings and a more realistic take on JKR's world where people actually act their age. (i.e. drink, smoke, have sex, join fraternities, live off campus and the like)
Harry Potter and the Trickster's Gambit: A reboot of the now dead fic, HP and the Order of the Stag. What if the Power Voldemort knows not of has a far older genesis? This is a evil Dumbledore story whose ship is unclear though leaning at least some HP/LL elements.
Common Changes to Canon: Here are some things which are found in almost all of my fics. They are my fanon, if you will.
Character Ages: Why aren’t there any pre-Hogwarts magical training? Because the kids have to be closer to puberty so their magic can grow with their bodies as they transition into adulthood. Therefore First Years start at age 12 (given this is the average age a male hits puberty). Thus all characters birthday’s are backed up a bit. I am in the process of changing all of my stories to reflect this. In Hogwarts U, all of the adults will be seven years or so older as well. So while Harry might have still be born in 1980, obviously James and Lily had to be born earlier to allow them to get through most (if not all) of school before having Harry.
When Harry Saved Fleur: Harry saves Fleur from the vines as shown in the movie version of task. Also in most of my fics, I like the movie version of Harry versus the Horntail to include the scene where we find Ron knew about the dragons but didn’t have the balls to go directly to Harry.
Black is Black: In my fics, Andromeda is the oldest daughter and not Bellatrix. Also in my fics Narcissa also has the black hair with a patch of white like you see in the films. As will be seen, however, because of how I see wizards and witches aging differently than Muggles , Helen McCrory is shown too old to be Narcissa. (Her mother might look like her but not Narcissa) More about Narcissa in later a/n and chapters. A good photo example to work with is Andromeda looks like Monica Bellucci. Thus Bellatrix and Tonks also look a lot like her.
Divination Changes: While not seen in most fics (generally since I don’t start that early in the series) my view of magic and the Harryverse in general means there is a big change in how divinations is done. So for stories like Paging Dr. Bell or other fics where this change really doesn’t affect canon too much, here are some basic changes.
Divinations: A mandatory class for everyone third year. However the class is broad in scope and is taught in conjunction with Sinestra and Vector on a rotating basis. The class is mandatory given how divinations relates to Runes and Arithmancy.
Arithmancy: Basically magical math and numerology. However as anyone who knows a bit about magic, anything with ‘mancy’ means it’s about divination. So again one has to have a basic understanding of divination to take this class even if the “math” is being used less for divination and more for something like spell creation.
Runes: In most fics (and in fantasy) runes are used to create permanent items and power sources. However this obscures the fact that runes are also a form of divination. My wife, in fact, is a very accomplished rune caster. So like arithmancy, while runes are used in other ways, divinations is a requirement.
Astronomy: I see this class being a requirement in years 1 and 2 only. Afterwards, astronomy is more of an adjunct to other classes. So those in arithmancy, for example, might in their fourth year have to start taking some additional nights with Professor Sinestra as follow-up to their arithmancy class. However it can be taken as a full elective but this is done usually by people who are going to go into fields where the magic is very sensitive so you really have to know your celestial influences.
Hermione: Obviously she wouldn’t have walked out of divinations as she did in canon. However my version of Trelawney is more focused and the first divinations class is also more in-depth. It is obvious that JKR had no concept of divinations past the general “gypsy reading your tea leaves” concept.
Spells: It may seem a bit OCD but I cannot stand JKR's faux Latin spells because she has too many false friends and often throws in non Latin. If spells are going to be Latin stick with Latin. Thus I have changed many canon spells. For example I have switched this to lectiomension. Read HP and the Rejected Path's first chapter author's notes to find out why. It's all there. Plus I have an excel spreadsheet available on my yahoo group which has all the spells, what they mean and what canonical spell (if any) they represent. I realize this is a bit off-putting for many of you but it was something which constantly bugged me as I created new spells and wanted more consistency.
Long Delayed Comment about Misogyny
I honestly don't know what to do. When one is hyper-alert about certain things, everything is suspect. You can argue for and against almost anything. So I will continue to try and make my writings palatable and not another thing which keeps women down. I know I'm probably failing already but I'm at a point where I can argue to go forward, to go back and to just give up. Right now in my life, I've given up too many times. I am committed to finishing what I started. I hope you all will continue to give your feedback and allow me to respond. I also know that some of you will just hate what I write and I'm trying to do better with trigger warnings. Many people feel these are stupid but if anything, I know about triggers and how things which fly by others can make others very uncomfortable and bring back bad memories.
Do not be surprised if I go back and make some changes especially in cases where there is rape or attempted rape. In the past, I've made comments about using them to drive the story, but after watching such things fromregarding the Damsel in Distress trope, I find I cannot defend that action as easily anymore. Please respect this decision if my changes make you feel the story to be not to your liking.
If anything I am reminded that I'm breaking one of my own rules. I have decried how often TV shows and movies take an easy path when with a little thought, a way could be made to make things work. The transporters of Star Trek are my biggest peeve. If the writers had given a little more thought, they could have avoided so much of the issues the transporters bring up. The biggest being it is hard to have tension when you can simply be beamed away. So while I stand by my scene in Son of a Marauder, I would not use (even if I was so inclined) to have Luna's weirdness come about due to a sexual assault or something like that. Killing a loved one or rape is the easy out to give characters motivation.
In short, I cannot please everyone but I cannot just say, "I can only please myself" because I am part of a bigger whole and if many of us individually please ourselves without regard to others, then nothing gets done in the way of change. I will try to be better but I can only try. I have my own issues I'm trying to work out through my writings so I have that to contend with...even if that also feels like a rationalization.
1. "Just call me Harry": Maybe it is my early SCA influence but I HATE THIS! There is a time and place for informality. Harry is ENGLISH. I 'm not saying this makes him a stuck up prig but the English are somewhat famous for being up on protocol. While Harry might not feel special, he probably also wouldn't want to go against the grain by protesting. If someone important like Director Ragnok calls him Lord Potter, I just can't see him saying, "Oh just call me Harry!" - This strikes me as a American sort of thing; tearing down of the caste system and all that. I can see Harry potentially doing this, but in most situations it comes across all wrong.
2. Names: I hate when people try to be cute like having 'Lois Lane' be a reporter for the Daily Prophet. That and I dislike it when fics seem to use a random name generator for their fics. It comes out sounding wrong. JKR had a certain type of names she used so it comes out sounding off when that format isn't used.
3. "Hi, you don't know me...": Harry's year has about 40-45 students in it. They live in a castle for nine months out of the year. They have shared classes with every other house. So even with the House system, I cannot stand the idea that someone like Susan Bones can introduce herself like Harry has NEVER met her before. While I may not have been on great terms with most people in my class in school (which was around 35 students) I certainly knew who they were. It's like in canon where Luna suddenly appears like Athena out of Zeus' head. I seriously doubt someone like Luna wouldn't be the talk/gossip around Hogwarts with the way she acts. Of course except for people in Quidditch and Percy and the Twins, HP and Co never seem to interact with anyone higher than their year; it's like they don't exist.
4. "Oh are you infested with (insert weird animal here): As a HP/LL shipper (mostly) I have a soft spot for Luna. However so many fics cannot have her open her mouth without spouting off about some weird critter. It's almost as bad with Neville. He's like Aquaman, invisible unless there is water around...or in Neville's case something to do with Herbology. JKR made her characters enough of stereotypical caricatures without all of us going one step further. Hell, just like Star Trek she color coded everyone so we knew what stereotype was which.
5. Full about, 180 degrees: While I enjoy reading and writing “I’m mad as hell” type stories, far too many fics have Harry or other characters suddenly have massive shifts in their personalities or actions. While yes it makes sense that after the fight in the Ministry we can expect some changes but so many promising fics are ruined because the change is so night/day. Maybe the author doesn’t want to take the time developing things.
Non-HP Fic Related Peeves: Just some things to probably avoid when reviewing or posting on my Yahoo group.
1. People who leave reviews but have their account set to where I can't reply to them. Honestly people, if you going to leave a comment let me respond to your comments, questions or complaints!
2. People on forums who are so lazy they can't do a Google search and therefore are always cluttering up HP forums with, "Link Please!" In the time it took to write that, you could have found it yourself! Do you want us to wipe your bum while we're looking up something for you? Sheesh!
3. People who leave non-constructive criticism. Telling me you like or dislike a chapter doesn't give me much to work with. What didn't you like or dislike? I am not an ogre and I've changed certain elements due to reviewer feedback and have come up with some really great ideas writing back and forth with reviewers.
4. People who expect their ships right up front. I'm sure these people speed date at well. =[
5. People who write their reviews in "text-speak" - While on one hand I appreciate taking your time to write a review presumably on a device without a keyboard, I am an old school, dinosaur type of guy. In other words, "ur txt speak makes u sound dumb 2 me" – I often feel like not responding to those types of reviews. However my wife has pointed out many people outside of the U.S. use it when English is not their primary language. Doesn't mean I have to like it though.
6. Quest Reviews: Why? Because I can count on one hand (and not use my thumb) the number of quest reviews which have been positive. If you don't have enough love of the medium to create a profile so we can take you seriously then troll someone else.
7. TL;DR: Seriously F*k Off. Have you emailed George R. R. Martin and done the same? How about the ranting at Tolkein's heirs for the great walls of text one can find in the Lord of the Rings. I'm not anywhere in their league but if you can't read more than a few sentences at a time, please step away from the computer and keep quiet. It's one thing to have legitimate complaints about a format which makes it hard to read on a computer or tablet, it's another to be blatantly say you couldn't be bothered to actually read what an author has to say.
8. Sense of Entitlement: One issue I've noticed with serialization is too many reviews seem to think that the venue which allows them to interact with the author (i.e. me) gives them some sort of right to demand this or that. This sense of entitlement then makes them feel angry when I write my story the way I want to. I enjoy interacting with my readers and I've gotten a lot of great ideas and feedback from them. However, as I said, these are my stories and if you are so desperate to have this ship or this plot device then write one yourself!
On Writing: I've stressed a lot because I find myself wandering from one story to another. After discussing it with my wife (also a writer) I've gotten to the point where I'm not going to worry about it. I will finish all my stories. I just find that my style of writing is such that I need to write what I'm excited about. I put of writing on my first fic, Harry Potter and the Order of the Stag, for more than a year. I then started working on it again. Of course I quickly realized that I probably wasn't going to finish it. However many of the issues I finished made its way into current fics and most probably future fics. So yes, for you the reader, I understand your pain because I have favorite authors who I wish would quit working on stories when the story I want is left untouched. However, since no money is being made off this, I have to do what is the most enjoyable to me.
Also it is important to know of a certain writing style I use. When a character says something and I put a single quotes then it means either the word was said with a sarcastic emphasis or the person made air quotes and I don't want to interrupt the flow of the narrative by writing that bit out. Here are two examples.
"So then Ginny sits down and 'accidentally' bumps into Harry" -- Here the word accidentally is said sarcastically.
"Oh so are you can Hermione going to go 'study' now?" Katie said with a smirk. -- Here the word study is probably accompanied by air quotes even as it is emphasized.
In either case, it is intended to show emphasis of some kind and probably means the word isn't to be taken in its usual connotation.
My Yahoo Group = http://groups.yahoo.com/group/zArkhams_fics/ - Be sure to say why you want to join or I'll think you’re a spam-bot! Also, right now the amount of original content is mostly story ideas, my musings, polls and obviously the message forum where I broach ideas to the group. I do intend to write original content just for there. Not sure when that will happen but I've plans for it. A lot of discussion here directly impacts how my stories turn out.
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