Author has written 11 stories for Star Wars, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Pride and Prejudice.
A little about myself.
I am married with three children. I have two older sons and a much younger daughter who is now ten. My wife is Japanese, and I speak fluent Japanese, although I don't read or write very much.
My first novel, Acting on Faith was published several years ago I now have more than twenty Pride and Prejudice novels published, with more on the way. If you're interested in further information, you can find us at onegoodsonnet (dot) com (live, but still under construction), or at our Facebook page. We have a newsletter and a blog which will be going online at some point in the future. You can also find my partner in crime, Deja at her author page: Deja Know I Been Lookin For Vu. Check her out, especially if you like Star Wars! She has some wonderful pieces in several categories. Until now, we have published Pride and Prejudice based works, but we also have a fantasy series with more in planning. Lelia also writes fairy tale based stories, so if you're interested, check out our website: www dot onegoodsonnet dot com. Please note that as of June 9, 2020, the site will be taken down at some point and rebuilt. I don't have a timetable at present, but it should be some time over the summer months. Thus, if it's down, come back a week or two later and it should be back up. We look forward to seeing you!
I'm posting this here because I got a review this morning that annoyed me.
IF YOU CANNOT TOLERATE ANY MENTION OF RELIGION AND ARE THINKING OF READING MY WORK HEART AND SOUL, PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING FIRST!
There is a section in chapter 30 entitled Christmas Cheer which has a little religious talk in it. I have had occasional comments from from people who take a completely intolerant stance and bitch and moan about it. So read this and skip the section or reconsider your choice to read HaS if it bothers you that much.
Basically, the section in question attempts to answer a question that occurred to me many years ago: why is there no hint of religion in the wizarding world? Now, you can say JKR avoided it because she did not want to get into religion, and that may be true. From my perspective, however, it's a valid question. Historically, medieval Europe was religious, and since magicals lived beside their non-magical neighbors until the statute of secrecy took effect, it logically follows that magicals were at least familiar with the tenets of religion before they separated. Thus, I sought to answer that question. It's written from the Christian perspective since Europe has been largely Christian for centuries.
Nowhere did I proselyte my own views, nor did I attempt to make a moral point. Nowhere have I stated my beliefs. It was pure history in a fictional world. In fact, if anything, much of what I wrote could be deemed critical of religion if you squint hard enough, as I talk about the persecution of the witch hunts, largely driven by religion of the time, I reference the inquisition, and I specifically poke at “Easter and Christmas” Christians. One character expresses a belief in some religious traditions, but that's all he does.
I have no desire to hear anyone else yap about how much they hate reading about religion. It's a minor point in a chapter and doesn't affect the larger story, though I consider it valuable in that it offers a possible explanation to the question I posed above. If you can't stomach any reference to religion, either skip the section or refrain from reading the story. Sorry for the rant, but it amazes me how people who spout off about inclusion and tolerance are often the most intolerant of all.
Furthermore, while I do appreciate the occasional review about how enjoyable the story was or compliments me on writing such a long fiction, I'm not interested in negative reviews anymore. Why should I be? Look at the time stamp. HaS is set as it is now and nothing will be changed, regardless of how much people whine about it. You may as well save yourself some time and not write a critical review. It will take a lot longer for you to write it than for me to consign it to the trash folder. One more thing I should point out: I delete anonymous critical reviews as soon as I realize what they are. If your cowardice or laziness is such that you won't even sign your largely anonymous pen name to a critical review, you're really wasting your time.
Not much else to say at this time. I'm completely out of fan fiction and I doubt I'll have time to get back into it any time soon, though I do still follow some favorite stories and authors. I do have one HP story that I was half finished before I hit a wall on it. It's pretty long for what was intended to be a short work—about 30,000 words. I've toyed with the idea of posting what's there, but then I'd feel obligated to finish it. I'd also like to finish Redemption, but that's not likely for the same reasons. Maybe I'll get back into fan fiction some day, but not in the near future.
As promised, here is the information for my new novel, collaborated with Deja Know I Been Looking For Vu, also an author on this site. It can be purchased on Amazon at the link below.
Series: Earth and Sky
In a world divided by an ancient enmity involving the very gods themselves, forces move, threatening to upset the delicate balance between the people of the air and their enemies on the ground.
Skye, prince of the Skychildren, is betrayed and exiled from the sky realm. Wounded and cast down to the earth below, he is unable to escape capture by the detested Groundbreathers and is assigned to serve as the slave of one of the Groundbreather princesses. Escape, however, is paramount, as his kingdom is being threatened by a madman, and he resolves on trying to find a way back to the sky realm.
While certain that his disdain for his heathen captors and their reprehensible god is justified, Skye finds himself thawing toward the Groundbreathers—most especially toward Princess Tierra, who is different from the rest of her people.
Complicating matters are the whispers he hears of the existence of a creature of legend, one which has the ability to destroy all life. As events spiral out of control, Skye begins to follow a path he could not have imagined, and he discovers that the secret of the Fenik is one which threatens the very existence of his people.
Some of my thoughts about Harry Potter
Harry Potter: What is there to say? He is the main protagonist of the story and my favorite all around character. Part of what turns me off about JKR's writing (besides the juvenile tone which continued even though the later books became decidedly darker in tone, not to mention the substandard writing), is the fact that Harry won almost despite himself. I feel he was robbed by the whole deathly hallows idea, and while I don't necessarily dislike the hallows in general, I would have preferred it if Harry had been trained, showed his power and his mettle and become the hero I think he could have been. The ending of book seven was not only sad, but frustrating in that she took a great character and essentially made him into a patsy.
In a conversation with timunderwood09, he made the same point as I did about Harry not being a true hero—he just put it much more eloquently than I did: "I actually think Rowling specifically didn't want Harry to win due to any abilities he had, the only virtue she wanted him to have was a willingness to die for a cause. I've worked through the conclusion to each book in the series, and only in book three and maybe book 5 did Harry succeed on his own merits. Everywhere else it was deus ex machina plot device allowing him to win, and in book 5 an alternate interpretation is he just got really luck in the ministry, and for book 3 maybe the super!Patronus was just a fluke.
Book 1 he wins through having toxic skin. Book 2 he gets a lucky blow in on the basilisk. Book 4 his wand does funky thing—also in the second task, and this is the proof he really is just a Mr. Potato Head being tossed around by the rest of the cast (reference to a really good one shot by PerfectLionheart where he asks how Harry being a Mr. Potato Head would change book 1)—Dobby gets him to the lake and gives him the Gillyweed, and when in the lake Moaning Myrtle points him in the right direction. In book 6 he gets to watch Dumbledore do things. Book 7 he wins due to a freak coincidence (BTW Dumbledore did not plan for Harry to get control of the Elder Wand/ I hate Rowling's later writing/ I hate Dumbledore)."
Now, you can say that in a lot of epic fantasy, a character starts from humble beginnings, and learns to succeed—I can think of many characters who fit this mold. For example, Terry Brooks's Shea Ohmsford is a character who went along for the ride, and was truly useless to the party for the most part, until he had to do his thing at the end. But still, though he had no clue of what to do, he managed to figure it out and do what needed to be done through determination and strength of character. Harry wins despite himself, and I truly hate the way he lucked his way through to victory in so many ways. Though I truly like the character, it is obvious that for anyone who is starting the series and is looking for a true hero in the mold of Aragorn son of Arathorn, or Belgarion, or even Mr. Darcy, you won't find it in the HP books.
Hermione Granger: I really like this character. She's not perfect—she's bossy, a bit of a know-it-all at times, and a little too trusting in authority figures, but she also has a good heart, is extremely loyal and willing to take on the world for what she believes—but reading about perfect characters is not a lot of fun. Even Elizabeth Bennet, who is the pinnacle of literary heroines in my opinion, is a flawed character, and we love her all the more for it. Hermione has quickly become one of my favorite heroines in any genre.
Ron Weasley: More and more as I think about Ron's role in the story and how he is written, I like him less and less. In my opinion, he is an exceptionally annoying character. He is loud and uncouth, has a bad temper, shows a lot of jealousy toward Harry and is generally what I would call a fair weather friend. Now there are certainly some reasons for his character to be as it is, but that doesn't make him any less irritating. As such, my stories will generally reflect what I see in his character. Does that mean I will make him an evil git or bash him within an inch of his life? No, not necessarily. I think it is possible to deconstruct him and make him into a truly likable character. At the very least, you can generally expect him to take a certain amount of time to grow up in my fics.
Ron will not always have a happy ending—much will depend on the plot of the story and what I need from him in a character. For those Ron fans, please note you have been warned—this is the only warning I will make.
Ginny Weasley: I'm sorry, Ginny who? Unfortunately, that's kind of what I see in her as a character. She's essentially invisible, other than the chamber of secrets incident, for the first five books, until her involvement in the Department of Mysteries fiasco, not to mention how JKR wrote her as a fan girl. I really don't like or dislike Ginny the way she is written—she's just not visible enough for that, even after the sixth book when she suddenly becomes "important". I think she has some faults, but with a little exploration, can become a generally likable and fun character.
Luna Lovegood: Luna is a blast—not only to write, but also to read about. There is so much you can do with her, given her spacey and ditzy personality—I try to just allow myself to be creative when I plan her out in a fic.
Albus Dumbledore: When I got into HP fanfiction, I couldn't believe just how much anti-Dumbledore venom there is out there. Dumbledore certainly is not perfect—he is somewhat manipulative, has a tendency to believe he knows best, and is rather secretive, but I've always considered him to be well-meaning and firmly light—someone who always tried to do the best he could, but made mistakes along the way. Some of the inconsistencies in the story make writing him as selfish and manipulative, or outright evil, very believable, as long as the filling of the gaps is handled properly. I can enjoy evil Dumbledore or overly manipulative Dumbledore, but only if it's believable.
Another quote from timunderwood09 put Dumbledore in just about the best perspective I've ever seen. He said: "Dumbledore isn't either manipulative, or fundamentally good. He is a plot device. Things like just dropping Harry in a basket or his will don't make any sense from any perspective. They are there because they fit Rowling's aesthetic, which is excusable in book 1 which is a witty children's story, and anything is permissible in children's literature. Book 7 is epic fantasy (admittedly for the teen set) a genre which demands attention to mechanisms." This observation is spot on, and is the main problem with the character in the books. Dumbledore's actions don't have to make sense from any perspective, as long as they fit in with how the story is supposed to develop. Of course, that's why it is so easy to bash Dumbledore, because his actions don't make any sense, except for "that's what the author needs to happen". Unfortunately, that is not good planning, in my opinion.
Severus Snape: I'm sorry people, but Snape being portrayed in the movies by Alan Rickman—and I do like him, as he plays a really great bad guy—does not make him a likable character. Snape always has been, and always will be a selfish, misanthropic, evil git, regardless of what he does at the end of the story. He helps Harry grudgingly and makes his life hell whenever he gets the chance—he can't get past the whole James angle to see Harry as a person, and in doing so, treats him like garbage. He does end up fighting for the right side, and for that you have to commend him, but you don't name your children after a git who made your life miserable, simply because he was "brave." For the longest time, my opinion of Snape was that he felt friendship and later possessiveness for Lily, but was the kind of person who could only ever love one person—Snape. Recently I had a discussion with my sister and she pointed out that he doesn't even seem to like himself very much, let alone have the ability to love anyone else. To make him into a sympathetic character, he almost has to be deconstructed and rebuilt from the ground up—otherwise, it's just too unbelievable. I can think of a few instances where this was done (The Real Us by Seel'vor comes to mind), but for the most part, I prefer him to be an antagonist and to keep the reader guessing whose side he's really on.
Draco Malfoy: There are so many possibilities with Draco, and most of them are bad. Personally, I think he has too much potential as a bad guy, that reforming him is a waste. Although I can deal with him being redeemed, there are certain things I do not like, and they generally revolve around who he gets together with—more on that later. I won't say never, but you generally won't find a sympathetic Draco in any of my stories, as I much prefer him as an antagonist to Harry.
Harry/Hermione: First and foremost I am a fan of Harry paired with Hermione. In the context of the characters themselves, I believe pairing them together makes more sense than pairing either of them with any other major characters. His sense of fun complements her more strict and rigid attitude, whereas her calm rationality tends to deflect his impetuosity. Generally, I think they make a good pair. The largest reason I generally stick to Harmony stories, is because there are so many, that I can barely keep track of them, let alone foray into other ships—essentially, I stick with what I like best.
Ron/Hermione: I can't even begin to articulate exactly how much I loathe this pairing. They have nothing in common, Ron's favorite pastime (after Quidditch, chess and food—not necessarily in that order) is belittling Hermione and making her cry, and I like to believe that Hermione would not be stupid enough to saddle herself with him. They are so wrong for each other on so many different levels that it would be a major undertaking to even scratch the surface of it.
Now, I do believe that Ron does have feelings for Hermione. But regardless of Ron's feelings, I just don't see Hermione ever returning them—they are just too dissimilar and fight far too much, and if their differences are are explained to Ron (I don't think he's ever truly though about it himself), I think he would agree that he doesn't really make a good match with Hermione. I try to compare them with my own marriage—while I certainly don't have the perfect marriage, my wife and I love and respect each other, and each others' opinions. If I fought with and belittled my wife as much as Ron does with Hermione, let's just say I don't doubt she would have given me the boot ages ago. Ron seems to have very little—if any—respect for Hermione, and that lack is simply a recipe for an early divorce.
Funny story: A very long time ago, I used to work out in Banff National Park as a Japanese speaking tour guide. While there, I became familiar with what the Japanese tour guides referred to as a "Narita divorce". Basically, the couple goes on their honeymoon, realizes after living together for a week or two that they should not have gotten married, and promptly get a divorce as soon as they land back in Narita, which, if you don't know, is Tokyo's main airport. One group I was touring with had a young couple which illustrated this concept quite clearly. The husband was rude and obnoxious, and generally treated his new bride with contempt and ridicule. They had only been in Canada for a few days when they had a big blowout, and that was the end for them. The young woman kept saying she didn't know what he was like before she married him, and she refused to stay in the same room with him, eat with him, or generally have anything to do with him. They ended up cutting their honeymoon short after only a couple of days, and they returned home, where, I assume, she gave him the boot as soon as she could make her way to a lawyer. This is how I see Ron and Hermione. Ron would upset her immediately, and she would hex his bits off before they even made it through the wedding reception. Enough said.
Harry/Harem: I can take this kind of story, if it meets two criteria: Hermione has to be a part of it (a major part) and the purpose of the harem cannot be simply to give the author an excuse to write gratuitous sex. Also, the number of girls should be kept to a minimum—it gets a little unrealistic for Harry to have fifty girls in a harem all clamoring for his time. A well written, well thought out, thought provoking harem story can be just as good as pairing Harry with only Hermione. Other characters I like to see included are Fleur (obviously), Luna, Daphne, and Ginny, as long as the lesser used characters are fleshed out properly.
Harry/Other: If Harry is to be paired with someone else, I would generally prefer it to be Fleur, Luna or Daphne (of course, Daphne has to be developed quite a bit). My main problem with any one of these pairings, is that Hermione usually gets stuck with Ron—something that I cannot abide.
Crackships: I hate crackships. No, let me rephrase myself: I freaking loathe crackships with everything in me. Let's take a couple of characters and pair them with each other, force them into the story, and change their personalities without regard to what we know of them. Making sense is certainly not a consideration when it comes to crackships.
And yes, I do include Draco/Hermione in my definition of a crackship. Please people, why would Hermione ever fall in love with a bigoted, arrogant scumbag who treated her like dirt all the way through school and believes she and others like her should be euthanized? And even if you could force Hermione into a believable change of feelings for him, you have to get past the fact that she is lower than dirt to him. Radical idea: let's make a little sense in our pairings.
The Star Wars universe is another really bad one for Crackships, though (thankfully) P&P is not. The one that really gets me in SW is when people try to pair Anakin Solo with Mara Jade. Excuse me???? Not only is she more than twenty years older than he is (which can be overcome given the right circumstances), but he's also her nephew for crying out loud. A little incest anyone? It was obvious that Mara belonged with Luke after The Last Command, regardless of what the writers in the series did after that, but to put her with Anakin? Utter stupidity. There are others, but that one gets me the most. Ugh...
Good writing: Well written, well thought out stories, which are believable in the context of the universe in which they are set. A little OOCness is fine, as long as it is believable and there are good reasons for the change. I also tend to like longer stories, although it can be difficult for me to find the time to read them.
Romance: I like a little romance in my stories—I think it gives the story some life and brings out the emotions more. Having said that, I must point out that there needs to be some good conflict for the story to be interesting. I can take fluff, but a story with nothing but fluff will likely get skimmed over, if that.
Bashing: I thought I’d get this out there, because several readers have mentioned it in reviews. I don’t do bashing, and I don’t even like the term. To me it has negative connotations which denote playing up a person's weaknesses at the expense of their strengths for no other reason than the fact that you don’t like them, and can often (though not always) signify really bad writing. Sorry, but that’s not writing to me. I try to be truer to what I see in a character (and I freely admit that not everyone will agree with my views), rather than personifying their negative qualities at the expense of their positive ones. Generally, I will plan out the plot of a story, and then plan the supporting cast based on the events of the story—what happens to them, their experiences and reactions to them, and how they grow, or don’t grow, as the case may be. Of course, certain elements of a story will be planned around a character's personality, especially if the characters are important enough to the story, such as Harry, Hermione and Fleur, in the case of Heart and Soul. As I said before, not everyone will agree with me on how I portray character development, but I can assure every person who reads one of my stories, that I will never hammer a character just for the sake of hammering on them.
Can I still enjoy a story which contains character bashing? Of course—there are many which are well written and believable in the context of JKR's writings. But there has to be some back story and a believable reason for the character to be portrayed as they are. It's not very good writing to have Ron suddenly be exposed as a Death Eater in the seventh year without any build up or intrigue. Of course, it's good writing to keep the reader guessing, but there has to be some indication that it will happen, rather than "I hate Ron, so I will make him a Death Eater". Sorry, that just doesn't cut it.
In the context of my own writing, don’t assume the characters in my stories will be bashed simply because they think something, or take certain actions early on in the story—there is still a lot of growing to do for many of them. And who knows? They may actually turn out well.
Gratuitous Sex: I really must say that I do not understand the attraction of explicit sex in any kind of fiction. I've been married for eighteen years and have three children: trust me, I understand the mechanics of the act and do not need it described in exhaustive detail, not to mention the fact that almost all writers seem to use the same stupid and pithy words to describe certain acts and body parts. To me, it detracts from the story, and I will routinely skip past it to get to the good parts.
General thoughts on the movies.
1. I generally enjoyed the movies—I think the series is much better as a set of movies than books. Of course the special effects were amazing, and the story was generally well told.
2. Ron is a git. The more I've been around this fandom, the books, and the movies, the less likeable I've found Ron. He was absolutely useless in the Horcrux hunt, and came across as an even bigger jerk in the movies than he did in the book. All he does is whine and moan the whole time, before the ultimate betrayal when he leaves. How the hell do they accept him back? It baffles my mind.
3. Watching Ron and Hermione get all loveydovey throughout the movie was difficult, but I had to resist the urge to hurl when they kissed. They are just about the worst pairing in the history of literature.
4. Although the movies were very well done, what was up with the four of them at the end? That was a really poor job of making them look older, with the possible exception of Ron's old-man jacket. Seriously, was giving Ginny a horrible sixties hairdo the best they could do to make her look older, with all the makeup and special effects they have available? Pathetic.
5. I'm not a huge fan of the Harry/Ginny pairing, but after the movie I am a little more inclined to it. This is primarily the work of the actors, especially Bonnie Wright, who I though played the character very well, especially at the end when she thought Harry was dead. The thing the probably made the most impression on me, though, is the beginning when they kiss, and there's none of that stupid "give you something to remember me" thing. That just made her seem like a possessive bitch—the movie was much better done.
6. Was it just me, or did the movie suggest that Neville and Luna were on the verge of becoming an item at the end? That would be a serious shift from canon. Why couldn't they have done that with Harry and Hermione?
7. I personally found Riddle's demise a little gruesome, not to mention a little incomprehensible. They wands lock up, and Harry pushes the beam of light to Riddle, and then he just kind of disintegrates? Especially when Harry had only cast an Expelliarmus. Still, it was better than the "I won't hurt my master" deus ex machina with the elder wand in the book. Harry destroying the wand was a nice touch too.
8. I've always wondered why Harry didn't push back a little when Griphook demanded the sword. How about, "You can have the sword once the Horcruxes are all destroyed"? He could even offer an unbreakable vow on it. Wouldn't that have made more sense?
9. I just about split a gut when Neville was taunting the werewolves on the covered bridge. OOPS!
10. The plan to remove Harry from Privet Drive is just about the dumbest thing I've ever heard of. Seven Harry's splitting up and hoping that no one gets hurt when they know that Death Eaters are out there waiting for them? Come on, JKR, how stupid do you think we are? How about this: Harry puts on his invisibility cloak, walks down to the bus stop, gets on a bus and heads out somewhere far enough away, then is met by someone from the order, and Portkeyed or Apparated to the Burrow. I came up with that in about thirty seconds, and it's a hundred times better than Moody's "plan." Would have saved Hedwig too.
11. Speaking of stupid plot points, Ron imitating Harry to get into the chamber is right up there. Let me get this straight—Parseltongue is a magical language which you either can speak or not, and yet a doorknob who most certainly cannot speak it is able to imitate the sounds and get the door to open? You have to be kidding me, right? Personally, I think JKR threw that in there to help make Ron look a little less like a twit. Newsflash: it didn't work.
12. The fiendfyre special effects were awesome—almost as awesome as the Balrog from the LotR movies.
13. Well done on Nagini. She was absolutely chilling and frightening, not to mention completely evil.
14. McGonagall going postal on Snape, and taking out the Carrows for good measure, was pretty cool.
15. Alan Rickman is an amazing actor. I really liked how he looked at Dumbledore when he revealed that Harry had to die. It was like he was thinking Dumbledore was just as bad as Voldemort, if not worse. It has never struck me so strongly just how much evil Dumbledore himself committed in trying to vanquish evil.
16. Participated in the final battle or not, the Malfoys still deserved punishment for what they did. I still think it's a huge travesty that they got away without any consequences simply because Narcissa didn't tell Voldemort that Harry was alive.
Take My Hand: Essentially AU RotJ told with Mara Jade in the mix. It follows the plot of the movie fairly closely - no major plot shifts other than Jade's presence and the effects I believe her presence would have on the story. The focus is on Luke and Mara's burgeoning relationship, Mara's struggle to overcome the Emperor's domination and her growing conviction she is fighting for the wrong side. This is not a complete rewrite of RotJ. Since it concentrates on Luke and Mara (there are only a couple of short sections with character viewpoints other than the two main characters) it does not touch on parts of the movie in which they do not take part - for example: the Battle of Endor.
A Profitable Venture: The next in the series of challenges between Deja Vu and I. Elizabeth gets into mischief, involving a handkerchief and a very young Mr. Collins.
Acting on Faith: Lady Catherine confronts Darcy after returning from Hertfordshire, but makes no mention of her confrontation with Elizabeth. Darcy is forced to pursue Elizabeth without any indication of her feelings, amid rumors and blatant interference from certain acquaintances. Now published and available on Amazon.
Open Your Eyes: The title of my new Pride and Prejudice short story. Elizabeth realizes that Mr. Wickham is not telling her the whole truth when he relates his tale of woe. She determines to find out for herself the truth of the matter. This will eventually be expanded into a full-length novel, but I will likely not post it here. If it ever gets published, I will make a note of it here, and perhaps in the chapter of a story.
Heart and Soul: The published name of Harry Potter and the Ambassador's Daughter. When Sirius hears Harry is about to go on trial for illegal magic use in the summer after his fourth year, he sets in motion a series of events which will change Harry's life forever.
Redemption: Star Wars KotOR following canon as closely as possible. I am also trying to write this as if the reader does not already know what is going to happen—I do not spill the beans on any plot twists before they actually happen in the story. In other words, I am trying to write it as if were my own original creation, rather than a fanfic. After all, part of the challenge of writing a story involves setting up the plot, giving the reader clues as to what is going on and then seeing how long you can keep them guessing. So my recommendation is if you are not familiar with KotOR and don't want to know what is happening, don't read the reviews on this story as they are littered with spoilers.
Comments: Though I'd love to finish Redemption, I just can't see it happening. Being so far out of fan fiction these days, I just don't have time, though it kills me to leave it unfinished. Every so often I do go back and look at my notes and what I've written. There are several sections later in the story that I wrote when I had specific ideas for them. Never say never, I suppose, but if there is anyone reading this who remembers the story, you should not expect any updates.
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