Author has written 5 stories for Harry Potter, Warhammer, DC Superheroes, and Marvel.
My username was taken from a minor character in Kim Newman's Anno Dracula. (The same character appears in Drachenfels, also by Kim Newman (who was using the pseudonym Jack Yeovil at the time.)
(I love Kim Newman's stuff, but I don't know if I'd feel comfortable writing fanfiction for a book that is already a kind of fanfiction.)
The Harry Potter books were a big part of my life when I was growing up, and there is such a wealth of related merchandise, films and games, and also fanfiction, that there need never be an end to my obsession. So Harry Potter was an obvious choice when I decided to write fanfiction; I've read some excellent Harry Potter fics.
Many AU stories are built around the conceit of 'for the want of a nail', where one tiny change to a story causes big, sweeping changes. That's sort of what Chaos Theory is all about (in my limited understanding of it, at least): basically, it's impossible to perfectly predict the future down to the last detail because there are so many millions of tiny contributing factors that can change what is going to happen, in some small way.
And that's what I had in mind when I came up with Broken Lives.
There is no one minor change to canon that is the cause of everything that happens in this fanfiction. Rather, I had a few ideas and I decided to incorporate all of them in the text. For example:
1. Why do the other teachers at Hogwarts put up with Severus Snape's blatant favouritism? What if it had serious consequences? What if Dumbledore didn't believe that "there are all sorts of lessons in life... and horrible teachers are one of them." (That's a quote from J.K. Rowling when she was asked why Dumbledore didn't do anything about Snape's bullying behaviour. When I heard that, I thought: 'Seriously?! Did Dumbledore really think that giving kids some kind of obscure lesson about horrible teachers justified giving them an overall substandard education?! What the hell?!' And then I spent the next ten minutes banging my head against the wall.)
2. What would Remus Lupin do if he found out that his best friends' son was being mistreated by the Dursleys?
3. What would Severus Snape have done if he found out that the boy he'd sworn to protect was being mistreated by the Dursleys?
4. How would Dumbledore react if he was confronted with the mistakes he'd made? What if he wasn't an evil manipulative git? (Er... yeah, I've seen a lot of fanfics where Dumbledore is evil. I've tried to stick to canon in that the version of Dumbledore that appears in 'Broken Lives' is a flawed but ultimately benevolent individual.)
And so on.
The Inferi Wars is the story of a secret war in the Balkans and how a Dark Lord was (apparently) defeated. It is set in the same world as 'Broken Lives' and it takes place a few years before Voldemort first came to power.
21st April 2013: I'm abandoning Broken Lives. Here's why:
For the past eight months I've been at university, working hard on completing my degree. I promised that I would come back and continue 'Broken Lives' afterwards, but I now realise that I've lost interest. I was only ever writing this for fun, and it's no fun for me anymore. And so, I must inform you that I'm abandoning this story.
In fact, I'm bored with the Harry Potter universe and with fanfiction in general. There are so many clichés in fanfiction (especially Harry Potter fanfiction) that I just can't stand: harems, soul bonds, mary sues, magical cores, Harry Potter is suddenly a member of nobility and the heir to the largest fortune in the wizarding world and dastardly Dumbledore concealed this from him (uh, yeah... isn't Harry Potter speshul enough without making him into 'Lord Potter' and making him fantabulously rich?), some characters behaving wildly out of character and others with horribly exaggerated character traits... the list goes on and on.
You may think I'm a hypocrite. It's true. Some of the reasons why I fell out of love with Harry Potter fanfiction are quite hypocritical. In Broken Lives, I focused on some very minor elements of canon, exploring the possible implications and trying to explain them away. But I roll my eyes when I see other fanfic writers doing the same thing, and I think 'whoa, everyone's taking Harry Potter way too seriously'. So yeah... it's hypocrisy.
I would like to say thank you to Arpad Hrunta and Arsinoe de Blassenville for inspiring me to start writing this in the first place. I've really enjoyed reading their fics – I would recommend them to anyone – and they've given me a lot of encouragement in reviews and PMs and suchlike.
Finally, thank you to everyone who has read Broken Lives, favorited it, reviewed it or added it to your story alert lists. It was great to know that there were people who liked this story and wanted me to keep going.
(I originally posted this as an Author's Note at the end of Broken Lives, but I've taken it down in order to comply with fanfiction dot net's rules.)
1st November 2013: I've written a fanfic for Warhammer 40k called The Road to Disappointment. It started as the backstory for a character I wanted to play in a PBP game of Rogue Trader and grew wildly out of control, voraciously devouring all my spare time until I'd written something I was fairly satisfied with.
3rd November 2013: My new avatar is 'the Spider' (sometimes called 'Dark Millionaire'), a minor character from Warren Ellis's Planetary. I love that series.
23rd April 2014: I have decided to continue 'The Road to Disappointment' as an ongoing series. I'm trying to write an amusing subversion of the usual 'shoehorn the characters of Warhammer 40K into a romance fic' nonsense while examining the Imperium of Man from an alien perspective, eventually building up to an epic tale of a desperate fight for survival against all odds.
12th October 2014: I want to say an especially big 'thank you' to sarista wow, who has been a great friend and helped me in writing all of my stories. I've always been able to bounce ideas off him and he's given me good advice.
21st December 2014: I have rewritten the first chapter of The Road to Disappointment. Check it out, will you?
2nd February 2015: Thinking about it, the central joke of The Road to Disappointment (what everything is built around and/or making excuses for) is that I think it's hilarious to write a character who's a member of a proud, ancient, long-lived alien race as if she were a scatty, insecure, painfully-idealistic teenage girl. However, the story idea has evolved quite a bit since then, so Eva's not exactly like that now...
Evarvae's personality is probably the most contentious part of this fic because it veers away from canon quite a bit. I wanted to subvert the usual expectations of eldar characters. I mean, they're almost always depicted as being ancient and wise, so I wanted to create an eldar character who was the opposite: young and idealistic (however, by this point she's already been slightly soured by the harshness of the 40K universe).
In canon, eldar are apparently supposed to be amazingly canny silver-tongued manipulative tricksters and yet, because of crap writing, every time they actually appear they're so jaw-droppingly arrogant that it's a wonder anybody bothers to speak to them at all. It just irritates me that there are quite a few canon fluff pieces which insist that (all) eldar are incredibly devious, clever, manipulative smooth talkers and yet this has no basis in what readers actually see of eldar in any canon stories. I suspect the real reason for this is that every 40K writer has a slightly different idea of what 40K canon actually is. Probably because Games Workshop keeps retconning every aspect of canon every five minutes.
You see, I grew up believing the craftworld eldar were grim, fatalistic and ruthless but with a keen understanding of their own best interests, so they were often willing to side with the Imperium against a greater threat. Which is why I'm dismayed by more recent canon which basically says, "The craftworld eldar are a bunch of silly bastards who do criminally stupid things because they're so arrogant, tee hee."
Yeah, I'm bitter and cynical. I've been a 40k fan for over 20 years. I remember following the original Ichar IV campaign in White Dwarf magazine. Back then, the Iyanden eldar were well aware of the threat of the tyranids but were grimly resigned to sacrifice their own lives if it was the only way to ensure the survival of all the other eldar and everything else in that part of the galaxy, so they sent troops to help the Imperium with the battle of Ichar IV. Also, The most notable thing about Marneus Calgar during the original Ichar IV campaign was that in one of the studio games he was hit by a spore mine and killed (and then one of the GW staff cheated, moved him out of the way and pretended it never happened). Except now, because of all the retcons, Marneus Calgar has been turned into the amazing hero of Ichar IV, the man who basically won all the battles by himself. The eldar involvement in the battle of Ichar IV has been retconned out of existence; now, we're told that the eldar of Iyanden were so arrogant they didn't realise the tyranids were a threat until it was too late and they all got slaughtered. Yeah... whatever.
Anyway, I wanted to create an eldar character who is willing to suppress her feelings, put on a meek and timid act, in order to get what she wants. She keeps her manipulations buried deep, but there's more going on than she really wants Inquisitor Hawkshaw to know. And, you know, The Road to Disappointment is a dark comedy fic where Eva is the usual target for humiliating jokes.
I didn't actually get around to exploring Eva's backstory until chapter 9, but there it's revealed that even other eldar think she's "weird, obsessive and stuck-up". She is meant to be a subversion of most of the things people *know* about craftworld eldar, so I made her a scion of one of the most xenophobic and conservative craftworlds (Alaitoc) just to make it even more over the top. I like to think it makes more sense when you've read her backstory (chapter 9) and also because canonically there are many eldar who feel stifled by the excessive discipline of Alaitoc and choose to do the opposite of what they're told to do. And in many ways it's a deliberately silly parody. What the hell.
One of the things I wanted to do with this fic in general was to poke fun at various common fanfiction tropes. I could write you a whole essay about why I'm fascinated by Mary Sues (but I won't because I've probably taken up enough of your time already). Evarvae is meant to be a parody/deconstruction of a certain kind of Mary Sue, like an anime heroine who is so good and virtuous and kind that she makes the universe better for everyone. Unfortunately, this is Warhammer 40K, home of grimdarkness. The whole point of Chapter 6 is how badly she fails at being that kind of Mary Sue.
So yeah. *Shrug* I like getting feedback because, for one thing, it leads me to actually think about what I was trying to do with my writing to begin with. That can get kind of muddled in my head sometimes. It's what led me to write this section.
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