Interview with Redblaze Madam Minnie, Simon's Flower, and I made our way up the stairs of the boys dormitory until we reached the room at the top. We knew she'd be there waiting for us, waiting in Ron's room, and Minnie grinned when she looked over at Simon's Flower.
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"She's very talkative." She nudged me. "No nicking anything of Ron's!" Simon's Flower laughed and Madam Minnie waggled her finger. "You! No touching Harry's stuff!"
"What about Neville's?" Simon's Flower grinned. "I imagine Bryonyraven would really appreciate something of Neville's."
"No!" Madam Minnie said firmly as she pushed the door open.
"She got to hang out with Snape and Lucius," I whispered to Simon's Flower. "Doesn't seem fair does it?"
We walked into the room and found RedBlaze sitting on what we immediately assumed was Ron's bed. She was running her hand over the pillow and she looked up guilty when we said hello.
"I wasn't doing anything!" she insisted.
Her red hair fell over her shoulders, her smile was warm and inviting, and she had a giggle that was quite contagious. We each gave her a hug and sat down Indian style on Ron's bed with her. I swear you could smell the hint of his aftershave lingering around it and just a bit of broom polish.
"We know it's very close to Christmas," I began. "We really wanted to get this interview in before we parted for the holidays."
"We were excited to finally meet you," Simon's Flower grinned. "You keep sucking me in with your Ron and Hermione stories. I spent half an evening reading Fire and Ice."
"Ladies," Madam Minnie sighed. "Please stop fangirling and lets get to the task at hand."
RedBlaze laughed and tossed her hair over her shoulder. "Ask anything. I'm truly an open book."
I picked up a pair of Quidditch gloves from the nightstand and Madam Minnie snatched them away from me. She smacked my hand and shook her head.
"I told you no!"
RedBlaze laughed and I stuck my tongue out at Madam Minnie.
"Right," I shook my head. "Can you describe yourself in three words?"
"Dreamer, rebel," she paused for a moment. "Romantic." She looked at Madam Minnie. "I bet you told them I was talkative."
Simon's Flower and I nodded and Madam Minnie blushed. RedBlaze grinned and nudge Madam Minnie with her foot as Madam Minnie tried to change the subject.
"Which Harry Potter novel is your favorite?" Madam Minnie said quickly. "And you have to choose one."
"Oh that is so hard," RedBlaze cocked her head. "Before HBP, it was a toss up between GoF and PoA, now. . .I think I do have to say HBP. One, because it made me cry hysterically." She paused. "Second, because of the romance. I like the romance and I'm such a dopey romantic at heart."
"Lavender touched Ron," I muttered under my breath and Simon's Flower patted my head.
"She gets a bit distraught when she thinks of Ron snogging Lavender," Simon's Flower grinned. "We try not to discuss it much."
RedBlaze laughed and arched her eyebrow at me. I blushed slightly and fiddled with the covers on Ron's bed.
"I think I know the answer to this one but we have to ask." I twirled a loose thread on the comforter around my finger. "Who is your favorite character?"
RedBlaze's face broke out in a grin and she waggled her eyebrows. "Duh! Ron of course! I love my wheezy!"
Simon's Flower appeared distracted for a moment. "Wheezy? Is Harry here?"
"No," Madam Minnie giggled. "We'll tell you if he shows up! He might confuse you with Ron if you're lucky!"
Simon's Flower pouted for a moment and whispered, "One could only hope he confused me with Ginny."
"RedBlaze," Madam Minnie began. "We all have different ways of tempting our muse to write. Do you have any tried and true tricks?"
"Music," RedBlaze began. "I have music lists for different moods, I have romantic ones for the smut scenes, and hard rock for fight scenes. . .I have about ten lists, all reflecting different moods that I want to capture in a scene."
"I do the same thing," Madam Minnie replied.
"Coffee usually works for mine," I grin.
"For me, music helps," RedBlaze grinned. "If I lose my ear phones, it?s a major crisis in my house. Everyone must look, mom has lost her ear phones! Cause I can?t write without them."
I glanced around the room and saw a pair of Ron's flannel pajama bottoms at the foot of the bed, while Madam Minnie was distracted by Simon's Flower's next question, I reached for them and stuffed them under my sweatshirt and turned my attention back to the other three.
"So who are your favorite authors?" Simon's Flower asked.
RedBlaze's eyes lit up and she grinned. "JKR, obviously, but I love Pat Conroy. Lords of Discipline and Prince of Tides are my favorites by him. I also adore Fannie Flagg, everything she writes is wonderful, and I actually give out her books Daisy Fay and Miracle Man as gifts because they are wonderful and not as widely know as Fried Green Tomatoes." She said all this very quickly and Madam Minnie patted her leg.
"Breathe," she grinned and Simon's Flower and I giggled.
"Any other recommendations?" I asked.
"Mark Twain. I've read Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn about ten times each. Judy Blume was one of my favorite authors as a child. I recently read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing to my nine year old son and I enjoyed it just as much. I also read quite a few romances, Linda Lael Miller, Heather Graham, and Sherilyn Kenyon have all written stories that I adore."
I grinned. "So I have to ask, what inspires your writing? In War and Passion you take us from horrific angst, to wonderful love scenes, and finally there's hope at the end. What inspires you and who do we have to thank?"
RedBlaze's face was so red it matched her hair and she gave us a shy grin. "Stop, I'm blushing."
She ran her hand over Ron's pillow again and sighed, "I, hrm...I don't know. I suppose it's the million of romance novels that I read. I do tend to write Harry and Ron as a bit studly."
I let a dreamy sigh escape my lips and Simon's Flower smacked me on the back of the head.
RedBlaze giggled and continued, "Plus I love good conflicts and tension. To me, a romance isn't a romance without a good dose of UST and a proper conflict to mess everything up until the very end."
"Well there's definitely conflict in War and Passion," I sighed. "You continued it in Fire and Ice."
RedBlaze gave us a rather evil grin. "Just wait for the next parts of Fire and Ice!"
Simon's Flower muttered, "I don't want to wait."
I smacked the back of her head and she glared at me. "Ow! Was that necessary?"
"You hit me first!" I grinned and Madam Minnie shook her finger at the two of us.
"Stop it now!" She turned her attention back to RedBlaze. "What advice, if any, would you give other writers?"
"Read a lot and keep writing--no matter how bad it is. War and Passion was my first story and the original version of it was horrid, fraught with mistakes and poor plotting. I've grown so much as a writer just by the constant practice and help of my very patient betas."
"So you feel a beta reader is invaluable?" I asked and grinned. "You were one of my first betas."
"Well they take the time to point out my errors and question my plotting. It helps me learn from my mistakes and improve my plotting. I guess I feel a good beta that you can work well with is essential. If we can't learn from our mistakes we'll never improve."
"I have to ask this question," I grinned. "If you could be any character in the Harry Potter series who would it be and why?"
"Well if I were choosing," RedBlaze grinned. "I'd choose Hermione because Ron loves her and what could be better than that?" She sighed. "But if I were being honest, I?m probably most like Luna, lost in my own wonder world most days. I can also relate to Ginny quite a bit, as I do have the red hair and freckles. I have been known to have a quick temper and say things in fits of anger that I later regretted. Plus, at 12 when I crushed on a boy, I did it in the most obvious, totally embarrassing ways. If there was a butter dish nearby when the love of my life was sitting at the table, my elbow would be right in the middle of it."
"I think we all can relate to Ginny's crush on Harry," Simon's Flower grinned. "Following this line of questioning...." Simon's Flower waggled her eyebrows. "If you were trapped in a room and had to pick one of the men or women from Harry Potter to be naughty with, who would it be and what kind of socks would you wear?"
"Hmm." RedBlaze tapped her finger on her lip. "Only one?" she whined before grinning. "I'm sure it would be Ron and as to socks I don't own any so I doubt I'd be wearing them."
I giggled, "Or anything else?"
RedBlaze grinned. "Ron wouldn't be wearing much for long."
"You're naughty!" I laughed. "That's why we love you!"
"One final question," Madam Minnie reached over and pulled Ron's pajama bottoms from under my sweatshirt. "What is the air speed velocity of a swallow?"
"Excuse me?" RedBlaze stared at her as if Madam Minnie had lost her mind.
"The airspeed velocity of a swallow?" Simon's Flower repeated.
"I have no freaking idea," RedBlaze laughed. "You're out of you minds!"
"Yeah," I sighed. "Could I please keep the pajama bottoms?"
"No!" all three ladies said in unison.
"But," I pouted, "if you let me have them Ron will have to sleep starkers."
Madam Minnie handed the pajama bottoms back to me and grinned, "Here you go."