R.J. Anderson (rj_anderson) wrote,
R.J. Anderson

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Your Questions Answered, Part II

Here we go again...

From serenasnape:
1) What's the name of the church you attend?
The name itself won't tell you much, as it's just the name of the (small) town in which the church building's located, followed by the words "Bible Chapel". It's an independent evangelical congregation, of the sort some people would describe as "Open Brethren" -- if you want more info, there's a useful FAQ written by my old friend and brother in Christ Shawn Abigail which you can find here.

2) Who would be your choice to play Snape, if not Alan Rickman?
If you could take veteran British actor John Wood, as he appeared in WarGames way back in 1982 (where he played the sardonic computer genius Dr. Stephen Falken), and shave an extra ten years or so off his age, he'd be my first choice (yes, over Rickman) for the part. Pity about that little time travel problem... but there's always the icon I made of a carefully photomanipped Wood-as-Snape, which I've used on this post.

3) How do you manage to stop your OCs being Mary-Sues/Gary-Stus?!
A lot of people would say I haven't. :) But seriously, I just try to keep in mind that what the reader really wants is to find out more about their favourite canon character(s), not about my OC -- so the majority of what the OC says and does in the story, and the majority of what happens to him/her, should lead to a better understanding of the canon characters and their importance in the grand scheme of things, rather than directing the reader's attention back to the OC as the be-all and end-all.

To use one example -- if I've succeeded in making Maud a sympathetic character rather than a Mary Sue, I think it's because I created her primarily as a tool for prying Snape (or at least, Snape as I personally understand him) out of his shell -- not to save the world, fulfill some vital prophecy, win the gratitude and admiration of all the canon characters, and/or fulfill my own thwarted ambitions, as the garden-variety MS always seems to do. The stories are really meant to be about Snape and who he is, or could be -- not about Maud. The same holds true of the Snapelets fic, even though Snape only plays an occasional role in the events -- in the end, it still all comes back to Snape and how everything that happens to his children serves to reveal, affect and change his character and attitude.

From rocky_t:
1) Who are some of your real life heroes?
My parents, first and foremost. Having grown up with them I know they have faults and foibles, but they're still two of the godliest, wisest, most loving and compassionate people I know. I'm also a sad fangirl when it comes to David Gooding and John Lennox, two university professors (one an expert on the Septuagint, the other an expert in higher mathematics) who teach and write about the Bible with a combination of keen intelligence, spiritual perceptiveness, and personal humility that I really appreciate.

2) What attracts you to a particular character?
Intelligence, combined with a dry or whimsical sense of humour, always grabs me. I'm also drawn to characters who are willing to suffer for the sake of some higher or greater purpose -- private people who keep their pain inside and don't whine about it.

3) At the end of your life, what do you think you'll look back on as your greatest accomplishment?
Anything I might have done or said that made people think about Christ and want to know Him better.

From kerravonsen:
1) If you ruled the world, how would you organise it?
If somebody put me in charge of the world, I would freak out and go nuts from the pressure of all that responsibility -- I wouldn't be able to make a single political decision without worrying and second-guessing myself to the point of insanity. Being given that kind of power would be the absolute last thing I would want, so I can't bear to think about it!

2) How did you become a Christian (or, if brought up in the faith, when did you first realise for yourself that it was true)?
rose_in_shadow asked me this question back in June of last year, so I'll just send you here.

3) If you could make any one fictional character from any media real, who would you choose and why?
The first answer that popped into my head was "Aslan", but that's too obvious (not to mention redundant). Um… Galadriel. Because the world could use such an example of wisdom, maturity, beauty and grace. She's tremendously strong, poised and confident, but at the same time gracious and compassionate to others -- and a real lady. The moment I read LotR for the first time at the age of eight, I was utterly smitten with Galadriel and wished I could be like her.

From Laura:
1) What country would you like to visit that you have not been before?
New Zealand. Like a shot. I've wanted that for years, long before LotR was filmed there -- everything I've seen has convinced me it's amazingly beautiful, with just the type of landscape and climate I most appreciate.

2) Do you have a favorite poet and who is it?
I'm really not very good when it comes to reading poetry (I'm a speed-reader, too impatient to slow down), but I adore Gerard Manley Hopkins. Also John Donne's later works, and George Herbert.

3) If you invited Laurie R. King over for lunch, what would you fix?
Tea and scones, with imported Devon cream and local preserves. And a plate of nice cheeses.

From an anonymous commenter:
1) What does your husband think of your involvement in HP fandom?
He looks upon my madness with benign tolerance. I've read him all the HP books up to OotP, and he really enjoyed them -- he always goes to see the movies with me when they come out, as well. He knows the plots of D&L (from time to time he still chastises me for killing "the owl"), and occasionally quizzes me about what I've written lately. He doesn't mind when I invite my beta-readers up to visit. And, of course, he's looking after the kids while I go to Convention Alley.

2) What was it in their upbringings that kept Snape and Maud from having sex before they got married?
In Snape's, nothing whatsoever. He abstained for purely pragmatic reasons -- knowing that if they didn't, it would just make things harder and more distracting for them during their time of indefinite separation. Also, he was indulging Maud, who actually had a conscience about the matter -- I never said this in the fic, as it didn't fit with the general non-religiosity of JKR's world, but somewhere in the back of my mind I was thinking that Alastor Moody raised her Scots Presbyterian. Not that he was likely to go to church very often (or at all) himself, but I could see him sending her off to Sunday School to build her moral character. :)

3) What is the best lesson the HP series offers to children?
Not to judge people, for good or ill, by superficial appearances. Particularly, just because a person is attractive and/or treats you nicely doesn't mean that they are all good and trustworthy, or even mostly so; and just because a person is unattractive and/or doesn't seem to like you doesn't mean they're bad in every way. I find JKR remarkably sophisticated when it comes to her portrayal of the HP characters, especially the adults -- the mixed bag of virtues and faults they display, and that Harry is gradually being forced to recognize, is much more realistic and honest than I'm accustomed to seeing in "children's" fiction.

Shorter answers this time -- mercifully. :)
Tags: christianity, d&l, fandom, fanfic, hp, interview, laurie r king, questions, rl, writing
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