Ask Me Anything

This page is for questions that I will answer in mini-podcasts throughout the week starting 8/10/2015. Only members can ask questions of if you’ve got a burning (not plot related) question — drop a comment and I might answer it on the air. If I do, I’ll reply to your comment with a link to the mini-podcast.


  1. Have done my best to think of a couple of questions.

    Having fallen headlong into fandom because of the new BBC Sherlock series (I idly looked up Sherlock/John fan fiction one day because sections of the media were making much of it and that was that!), I have become aware that fic has been around for much, much longer than I knew.

    So, how did your involvement start? Did you write fic when it was not online? What were the first fandoms for you?

    Also, as fan fic is your hobby, was this still the case before you had work published in the traditional sense? Or did you take a break from writing completely when you needed to when you were still trying to get that first book published? In other words, did you feel back then that all your writing effort had to be with a view to publication, or has some of it always been for relaxation?

    I have gone back & forth about this next one, as I don’t want you to think I am trying to pressure you IN ANY WAY. But you asked for questions, so here goes:

    Given your very independent approach (& quite rightly) to the development of your fics, how hard is it to write to a pre-arranged plan? I am thinking not so much of the Rough Trade challenges, although you did say recently that the single POV of the last one had been taxing, but more of Phoenix. If I am remembering correctly, you once said it is being written primarily for your niece and she had certain things she wanted included. Obviously I don’t know how extensive her list was, but given that you don’t like to be told what to write, has this been harder than a “regular” story? It is a lovely thing to do for her, so I hope you’re enjoying doing it!

    Re tech – one of the iconic British cop shows from the 70s, The Sweeney (NOT that movie from a few years ago starring Ray Winstone) frequently has officers being dropped off at a phone box to ring the station (i.e. police headquarters) while the rest follow a villain. Not being able to get in touch with superiors or assistance was a whole set of plotlines that had to be altered when mobile phones arrived! Now it’s no signal or no battery.

    Am enjoying the podcasts, thank you.

  2. Tangential to some other shows you’ve done about making canon your bitch, my question is, can you take it too far?

    This is assuming you are using canon events and not just writing an entire AU. For instance, if an author says “Dead Air didn’t happen” I’m down with that, I get it. I can process that as I’m reading and adjust my expectations.

    But what if their author note reads something like:

    Hiatus didn’t happen until season 4, Boxed-in still happened, but not until season 5 after Bury Your Dead. Agent Afloat happened but in season three, and Ziva was rescued from Somalia before Judgement Day in season 5 (while Jenny was still director.)

    Granted, that’s an extreme example, but episode and even season reordering happens fairly frequently.

    While I wouldn’t necessarily say “consider your readers,” if you’re putting a story up publicly with the intention of it being read, doesn’t it need to be comprehendible without a cheatsheet, a roadmap and a compass?

    Is there a line between making canon your bitch and just being silly?

  3. Why do you think some fandoms take off and some don’t? What are the elements of a “successful” fandom? Why does fandom sometimes outstrip the show (like the Sentinel).

  4. An authentic voice versus a unique voice.

    Sometimes I’m reading and I start making the face about something that’s just odd. My gut says there’s too much of an attempt to be “unique” going on. To be the only one who has done this “thing.” In original fiction it’s not quite as jarring, because you don’t necessarily know that this really unique thing is out of character. (Although bizarrely unique plot points can have the same effect) But in fanfiction, sometimes you might as well put everyone in a tinfoil hat for your stab at originality for all the sense some of these “unique” choices make.

    I hear authors say things like they hate tropes and they won’t use them, and if they can’t write something original, they won’t bother. Is this a thinly veiled attempt to justify not writing, or a legit stance… is originality that important?

  5. What’s your “you should try it at least once” list for writers? The list of things every writer should consider at least attempting to help find their voice, or broaden their horizons.

  6. Oh, those pesky “muses.”

    I think most writers have had those blinding moments of inspiration when everything coalesces in their head, they know exactly what they want to write, and they’re super excited to get writing.

    But that sure as hell isn’t every day. I’ve talked to way too many people who tell me their muse isn’t speaking, but they’re miserable for not writing.

    My inner bitch wants to say, “Action precedes motivation. Stop bitching and start writing. Write anything. Write about your day, write about murdering the asshole who drove in your blind spot for five miles. Just WRITE.”

    Picasso said, “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”

    Is that being cunty? Is there something to waiting for the muses to show up in all their sparkly glory?

  7. So I have another question :

    When it comes to combining fandoms, what criteria do you use? Some fandoms seem to go together in a logical manner (CSI/NCIS/CM or NCIS/H5O), but what do you do with the more oddball pairings?

    How do you manage the blend well enough that the reader can accept the new world you’ve built?


  8. When you are reading, what are the things that can throw you out of the reader trance the fastest?

    And as an opposite, what helps keep you in it? Is it the strength of the story? The construction of it? The attention to detail? All of the above?


  9. What do you think makes the fans zoom in on a character and go “Yup, that’s the one. That’s the favorite!” Certainly all characters are liked but someone, but usually a show or movie has a character that stands above the rest.

    From my perspective: Supernatural has Dean, Teen Wolf is Stiles, NCIS is Tony, Criminal Minds is Spencer… shows like SG1 and SGA I could argue it was either of the two leads.

    But what is it about those characters that makes us sit up and take notice, and more importantly, how to bring that level of interest to an original character?

  10. Another question!

    So, you’ve done character studies or some of your major characters on the Radio Show. I was hoping to touch on some of the minor characters.

    People like Patrick Sheppard, Miko, Radek, blond!Elizabeth, brunette! Elizabeth, Teyla, Hiroshima Ito, Taval etc al. Can you go into what helps keep these folks fresh?

    Thank you!

  11. I know I talk with a regional accent & word pattern.

    How do I keep that from infiltrating my writing? Does a beta help with that? Or hinder?

  12. I know that you don’t watch Supernatural, so I was wondering what drew you to Jensen Ackles for Matt Sheppard?

    And have there been other actors who you’ve liked but not their character? And if so, who?


  13. What things do we really, really like in fanfiction that you have to give up to write original fiction? Or, what do you have to learn to do that fanfiction doesn’t teach you?

  14. The other night, you talked some about research and how you prepare for technology. Related to the subject of research, but in a different vein…

    What seems reasonable on the research front? What is due diligence and was is just an absurd time suck?

    At periods in my writing life, I’ve been research crazy down to checking channel lineups in Denver to make sure I had the right affiliate channel for NBC. I had a personal growth moment and got over it because there was no way I was going to catch everything. But I still do some level of research, I just have a cap.

    Yet it seems every day I see people bitching either at me, or publicly, about bad research. Yes, when someone has the flight from New York to San Francisco taking an hour, it’s jarring. Or when DC and New York are right next to each other. These things are easily checked by one query into google. So on the one hand, I get the frustration.

    On the other hand, when I see people griping because some complicated math and science thing was wrong, I just stare and go “shut up.” It can’t be any more wrong than on the damn SHOW. My inaccuracies are canon, bitch.

    So, question is, how do you strike a healthy balance? Is making literally every detail up including that the 49ers are a New Orleans team okay? Or should you plan to do some, but not so much that you stifle your writing?

    (And here’s my first fuck you to all you asshats who are going to bitch about the science in my new story. Kiss Keira’s ass. She said I could say that.)

  15. What’s your favorite writing software? Do you use Word, OneNote, Scrivener, etc? Are there things that one type does better/worse than another?

  16. Hi Keira,

    You’ve mentioned several times you don’t like flashbacks and you talked before about the ways to fill in information about past events in an interesting way.

    I’m thinking of writing a Inception fic where Arthur and Eames fall in love as teenagers and then get separated and then meet again as adults. My question is do those same techniques you mentioned before November Rough Trade work for writing about two former lovers getting a second chance? How do you fill in the details of their past relationship without being boring or repetitive?

  17. Hey Keira,

    Just curious: have you heard about the Sherilyn Kenyon and Cassandra Clare/Claire lawsuit thing? If so, any opinions on it?

  18. How do you fit so much information into a “shorter’ story? In Lantean Legacy, you wrote such an awesome story, with more information, and more character growth then I have seen in 200k+ story. What advice would you give to a newish writer to make their story so tight and concise, that the reader thinks it’s longer than it is?

  19. Hey Keira, in your last podcast you and Jilly talked a bit about female characters and their development. It was also mentioned that one typical reason for hating them was because they get in the way of slash pairings.

    In this vein, could you share you thoughts on Uhura?

    I know her character had a big impact when the original series aired but as young adult who has only seen the reboot movies, she didn’t exactly stand out to me. So I would be especially interested in hearing about the differences in her development and what you think of her new canon relationship.

  20. Keira and Ladyholder, I was wondering if you guys could speak specifically about your personal experience with the copy-editing process in the publishing industry. What copy-editors do and don’t do – do they only edit for typos and grammar errors, or do they also edit for mistakes like, for example, if on page 36 the author tells us the car is blue but then on page 78 the car is now red, is that something a copy editor corrects? Do they point out plot holes? Do they tell you to use more or less commas? Do they point out run-on sentences? I guess I am asking what the line is between an editor and a copy-editor, if there even is one. I’ve googled the subject but, honestly, I came away more confused than helped. Thanks. 🙂

  21. Hi Keira,

    In a podcast I listened to recently, you said something along the lines of you don’t write something if you don’t know how it’ll end. Does that mean you’ve had ideas that didn’t go beyond the plotting stage (if that), because you didn’t have an end in mind? Or did you eventually find endings for them? I’ve had at least two ideas I never developed beyond the initial concept because I had no clue where the end would be, and I did not feel comfortable trying to start something that didn’t have an end. (And for one of them, I had no clue how to resolve it without one group looking like they caught a bad case of the Idiot virus.)

  22. Hi Keira,

    what are your tips for improving my dialogue skills?


  23. I’ve had an original story idea idea floating around in my head for a couple of years. I’ve tried writing on it but I am never satisfied with the results, how would you go about getting the story onto paper?

  24. Why do you think Harry/Neville isn’t more popular. Would you consider doing that pairing?

  25. Are there any tropes within the Harry Potter verse that you want to write, and are there any that you won’t touch even if you enjoy reading them yourself?

  26. 1. Do you have rituals or routines to restrain yourself from using ALL the tropes in a story?

    2. Are there fandoms that you don’t touch even though you completely love them for one reason or another?

    Apologies in advance if these were asked previously and I just didn’t see it.

  27. Hi, I tried to scroll through all the questions but I gave up like half way, so I am not 100% sure this question hasn’t come up before.

    In your Harry Potter works you frequently mention the International Protectorate of Magi, the World Court of Magic, the ICW, but I haven’t found any clear explanation of what these do/are responsible for, who works there, where are they stationed, how they interact with magical governments; what is a war mage or a hot wizard exactly.

    Thank you for considering my questions!

    And if you already answered this somewhere, then could you maybe post the link here?

    oh, and ps.: YOU ROCK!!!

  28. First off, I love your fic. I suppose I want to ask what currently inspires you fic wise at the moment. I’ve seen that you’ve been writing in the Harry Potter genre a lot more of late. What is it about this fandom that has caught your gaze?

  29. Also, one more. I’m so pressed for time at the moment. I literally disappear off of the face of the planet at times. How do you make time for your writing, especially in very busy periods of life.

  30. American buttercreams or one of the meringues? If the latter, Italian or Swiss? (and if you say none of the above and you prefer custard-based buttercream, I’m staging an intervention).

  31. I have been talking with several fellow writers about starting a writer’s group. What things should we consider in forming our group? Should we set down rules and expectations? Is there any process, approach, or structure within a writer’s group that you would recommend using or alternately avoiding?

    Other writer’s groups I have tried to participate in before have fallen apart in the first few meetings to people not showing up/not bringing writing. Do you have any thoughts about how to get more participation in the writer’s group.

    Thank you for all that you do. I always greatly enjoy your stories and podcasts!

  32. How do you go about renaming things, people, places (and even story titles), from canon, fanon, personal headcanon? Is there some point you get to where you realize the wrong name is being used?

    I’m having a hard time naming several characters and places, and even the placeholder names sound awkward and typing it gives makes me wince. I like to have basic details like that figured out before I do anything so this is somewhat an inhibitor for me to write stories where I’m making OCs or writing AUs. I realize that you could just do a find and replace search in a google document to rename something afterwards but what is your advice if you don’t know what to change the name to?

  33. At what point should you consider your writing original fiction over fanfiction? I have been plotting several series and come to realize, my later sequels bear little resemblance to the original content (maybe a few canon characters in the background). I’m okay with that. I’m eager to write these series because they will be super fun. I’m just curious what you consider to be the line in fanfiction vs original fiction.

  34. If Stargate Atlantis had had a sixth season, what would you like to have seen happen?

  35. If you could choose one of your OC to have been a canon character, who would you choose?

  36. What makes a Sentinel a Alpha Sentinel Prime vs an Alpha Sentinel?
    Is this due to strength of their gifts and does it affect the area they control.

  37. You’ve mentioned participating in NaNoWriMo before, but have you ever participated in the Camp version for the months of April and July? It’s coming up, so that’s why I’m asking.

  38. Does it ever happen to you that you have a basic plot in place and everything seems to be nicely proceeding along it, and bam! One of the characters hops into your brain and starts to divert the story by announcing that they need more screen time/more meaningful role in the story/they just refuse to do whatever it was you were planning for them to do and does something totally different etc?

  39. Can you go from PWP to an actual story? I mean can it grow into a story with plot? If my characters meet and later that day they’re fucking how can you make them falling for each other seem real?

  40. Hello I think this is the second time I’ve commented on your site because I would just end up saying word because I agree with a lot of what is said. My question is about ties that bind, a big part of what makes America what it is today was the civil war. In a society that you have created how would slavery of that type be justified? Of course there is the blanket people are assholes but what about African pleasure houses and how would they have survived? Or middle eastern?

  41. I know you said not to get attached to titles in stories you submitted for publishing. Have they ever made you change the name or gender of a character? If so what was the motivation behind that or did the publishing company give you a reason? Were there changes they had you make that you did but felt unhappy with? What was the single most upsetting moment for you as a newly published author? Have there been times you needed to remind yourself that while it was your art it was also your job and you needed to find a way to harmonize the two so that you could handle the changes that had to occur?

    What was the most satisfying experience for you as an author? What was one time you had to avoid exposing yourself to a fan in person for your pro work? How often have YOU written fanfic of your own work?What was one time you wrote fanfic for an author you knew and why? (shared or not)

    How hard was it to not out yourself at first and what did you find most frustrating about it?

  42. Smut.

    Oh, come on, you knew I was going to ask. When is all that yummy smut, *too* much smut? Because you know my feelings on the subject…

    So where is the line, and have you ever had to tone down the smut in order to tell the story?

  43. You have said many times that you are plotter. Do you mind telling us something about the process of how the plots take form in you mind? Like: do you get a major idea, like the high point of the story, and then start adding other bits of story around it? Or do you get one small idea, which then starts to expand to something bigger? Do you ever get so many ideas for one story that they just can’t all fit in there? And if so, how do you decide which ones to keep so that the plot does not expand to million different directions?

  44. You commented at one point that McGee’s book in NCIS crossed lines by being too closely modeled after his coworkers, and could/should have resulted in a lawsuit. I wondered if you have fast and hard rules for including real life people/events in your works, and how you balance that with the need and/or desire to work things out in fiction?

    Your characters are such fleshed out believable people. Do you have tricks for preventing them from becoming caricatures of friends and family?

  45. Hey, just tried to reread Phoenix, but all I get is an error message. Is this a site issue or was the story pulled?

  46. Dear Keira, I’m re-listening to some of your podcasts on writing to get ready for April’s challenge. Whoot! Anyway, I’ve only written one story so far in third person multiple pov and perhaps this is a simple question. When you have two main characters in your plot (say a heroine/hero or hero/hero) where the story is told in both their POV’s equally, are they both considered the protagonist of the story? I’ve been wondering about that lately, particularly in publishing today, you’ll often see a summary about both characters in the blurb for the book and sometimes in fanfiction summaries. Best, The Nut.

  47. I greatly enjoy your work.

    I was curious about whether or not you were going to write further works in the LOTR/Hobbit fandom. Also what was the first fandom that you wrote in?

  48. Can you put up a column on your website of professional authors you follow or would recommend

  49. Would you share your thoughts on Halo? Things you love about the series. Things you didn’t like. Favorite game/scene? Favorite characters?

  50. Thoughts/feelings on Pacific Rim (if any)? Things you loved? Things you didn’t love? Favorite characters?

  51. I absolutely love “In the Silence.” I did have one burning question after reading it, though: What is the name of Radek and Miko’s kid? So much of Lantean Legacy Book 1 used her pregnancy as a marker of time, so I was really curious about their kid. I’m assuming that Ally dotes on her since she was the first child born on Atlantis in thousands of years, and for some reason just wanted a name for her. Thanks for the surprise book!

  52. okay completely left field question …. I’m from the uk and had never heard of hashbrown casseroles until I started reading your fanfics … I tried googling them and came up with about a hundred different recipes.. do you have a particular recipe you use yourself?

  53. Thank you … will have to give it a try .. x x

  54. Have you seen the new Star Wars movie or are you purely a Trekie? What are your thoughts on it? Do you have a ship or OT3 in mind? Will you write fanfiction on it? Who do you think Rey’s father is? (Personally I think she’s Obi Wan’s granddaughter)

  55. If you could go back and totally rework any of your published fanfics, which ones would it be and what would you do differently?

  56. Do you have a method for deciding what secondary pairings will or will not work in your stories?

  57. Hey Keira I love all your works and I’ve read plenty of them more than once . I recently got on your evil author day page and read your hobbit fics and was really enjoying how you wrote Bella in the various stories and it made me wonder…. Have you ever considered gender bending any other characters you’ve written?  You’ve talked many times about how changing something fundamental about a character has to be accounted for in their lives and how they act.  I think it’s interesting how a character’s gender might impact (or not impact) various things about them and also how they are perceived by the world around them.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on how changing the gender might impact a character like John or Rodney or Harry (or to go the other way, maybe if Hermione was a male?) and what to think about if you are going to change the gender of a character in a fic ☺️.

    PS. Thank you so much for this community you’ve built for budding authors, it’s so generous of you to give so much of your time to pass on your knowledge!!!

  58. As a non-american I often get mystified by military rankings, chain of command, different branches of the forces but equal rank (with different terms), and that’s WITHOUT the special forces, “sigh”

    Also, having no military background whatsoever and living in a country which “armed forces” aren’t really on public display, I can’t really relate to/or assess the relationships between civilians and military personnel. Not in the romantic context but in the everyday dealings. For example, in my world you will seldom meet military personnel at the supermarket or in the park etc. in or out of uniform so I have no point of reference for how authentic could a scene in such circumstances be if I’d be writing it.

    Could you give a general “overview”? If there is not enough interest here, since many of your readers surely know all this, maybe you could point me in the right direction for looking it up?

  59. Have you seen Lucy, now that’s a pre plague lateral if I ever saw one

  60. Just catching up on radio blogs ,so fun,  and went back and read tangled destinies awesome fiction thank you my favorite scene is jim before the memorial talking to his dad

  61. I just finished reading the new story in The Lantian Legacy and loved it so much that I wanted to go and read the whole series from the beginning.  I am curious though, was there not a book between that dealt with the time spend between leaving Atlantis and arriving on Lantia?

  62. Would you mind if I borrowed characters like Chase and Matthew? I love them, and I could use some more characters in my own Sentinel series. You’d get full credit for them, of course.

  63. I just donated money but last time you had a monthly option I couldn’t handle at the time. Now I can, but I can’t find the option, got any ideas? My donation isn’t but  drop in the bucket, but is drought ridden CA a drop is golden.

  64. What if the reason Todd gives John back his time is because John is descended from the only Ancient that tried to treat the Wrath like people? Or the returned time caused John to take on some Wraith like traits? What if John accidentally turned into a male Wraith Queen?

  65. Loved Harry Potter and the soulmate Bond can you let me know when season 2 coming out and if it’s come out by a different name can you put a can you put a link in the reply

  66. Dear Keira, I think I have a pretty good idea of your outlook on Epilogues. What is your thoughts on the use of a Prologue? Thanks. Best, The Nut.

  67. Are you born a master of death are only made a master of death after obtaining all the hollows

  68. Will you be writing more in the marvel fandom and will you be doing more fusion fics like with your Halo/SGA story?

  69. What is your opinion of triad bonds in the Sentinel fandom? And why do you think there are almost never any two guides and one sentinel together in a bond? Or a fourway bond between two sentinels and two guides?

  70. So, about your last plot drift. I have an idea about a conflict with the Black Dragon. What if the Lord and Lady of Magic both have times in which they must remain in a mortal body and someone traps the Black Dragon in that mortal body?

  71. Hi Keira, I was wondering if as an author you had an opinion about how language changes. There are some phrases I’m hearing more often, that are also starting to show up in fanfiction, that sound wrong to me. For example, would have, should have, could have, seem to be changing to would of, should of, could of, and by accident is being replaced with on accident, and people are saying at my work instead of where I work. Do you think this is laziness and ignorance or just the natural evolution of language and we should all try to keep up?

  72. Hey, I was wondering what your favorite fics are within the various fandoms you’re involved in. You rank in my favorites for sure, and I’m always curious what the most compelling writers are reading themselves.

  73. What do you do when your halfway through a story and reallize that at a ground level none of your characters are in no way healthy or sane?

  74. What is your opinion on Alpha/Beta/Omega universes and will you every write one? IF so would you write one where the Omegas have complete control over who gets to mate them or would you do a destined mates senario where both parties only go into a bonding situation when they have found there true mate?

    • I don’t read them.

      I tried to write one and failed.

      • I find it interesting that you do so well writing dynamics from The Sentinel, but failed to do the Alpha/Beta/Omega.

        Have you ever thought of the parallels between Sentinels, Guides, and Mundanes being similar to Alphas (Sentinels), Omegas (Guides), and Betas (Mundanes)? One could even relate the bond between Alphas and Omegas to be like the bond between a Sentinel and a Guide. Various degrees of compatibility, bond strength, corruption in the bond, etc.

        Food for thought?

        • A/B/O often has consent issues that I can’t handle as a reader. I’ve encountered that in slave ‘verses in the Sentinel/Guide fandom and I don’t read those works. I tried to manage the A/B/O concept and the sexual heat aspects as well and it didn’t work. It doesn’t always work.

  75. Will you ever write a time travel fic where someone goes back in time to adopt Tom Riddle and keep him sane? Since that boy is psycologically damaged from the orphanage, the slytherin’s racism, and WW2, do you think that if someone was there to anchor him he would have turned out better than he had?

  76. There are a lot of authors that seem to take a lot of pleasure in killing off characters. How much thought do you put into killing a character be it original or canon?

  77. When I’m in the middle of books I tend not to realize how terrible some characters are and then I finish and things start to click together after a few weeks of distance – it took me a few years to reallize that Harry was being abused because I read the HP series when I was thirteen and there were only about four books out at the time and I didn’t realize Dumbles could be read as evil until I started reading fanfic. Do you have a similar problem or can you tell right away that a character is a scum bag or can be read as a scumbag?

    • I knew from Chapter one of the Philosopher’s Stone that Dumbledore was a terrible person. He dropped a baby on a doorstep in November with a NOTE after he was told that the people in the house were the “worst sort”. He didn’t even ring the damn door bell!

  78. Something has been bugging me. The Potters died on the night of October 31st and Voldemort was killed and everyone knows that he is gone immediately. Then Hagrid picks him up and goes to Privet Drive and arrives after dark in order for Dumbles to drop Harry off. So where was he for those 10, 12, 24 hours that he wasn’t in the house or at Private Drive? I mean he can’t have been on the motorcycle all that time, Hagrid talks about the drive like it took two to three hours. So where was he and if he was at Godric’s Hallow the entire time what stops him from waking up and walking away? He can’t have been unconcious for all that time and we know that he got taken the night of October the 31st because that’s when Sirius got arrested.

    • That’s not when Sirius got arrested. He had to hunt for Peter first, so it could’ve been several days into November. It’s never stated explicitly when Sirius found Peter. But fandom has long expected that Hagrid took Harry to Hogwarts first then brought him to Privet Drive. Hagrid is certainly behind the “Boy-Who-Lived” story — he can’t keep a secret so there is every chance that he told the story repeatedly that night and for many nights to come. Perhaps he waited with Harry at Hogs Head for Dumbledore to make arrangements which would explain how Harry’s scar was well-known as well. It’s not said.

  79. When you first started your Radio Shows you did a number of ‘Author Commentaries’ but you didn’t get around to doing one for ‘What Might Have Been’.  I know it’s the opposite of ‘Lantean Legacy’ which you have spoken about, but do you think you will do one for ‘WMHB’?


  80. I am of the opinion that if Harry was born a girl Draco and Harry’s first meeting would have gone much smoother and may have possibly resulted in a close friendship or at least not down right animosity. I am also of the opinion that is Harry was a girl Ron would be chasing her shirt from the start instead of falling into obsession with Hermione. Do you share these opinions or do you disagree? What are your opinions on female Harry Potter?

  81. I listened to your latest podcast and wanted to know if you’d rec any of the space books you read recently? I love space nonfiction 🙂

  82. So I’ve been playing around with a short story idea for a bit but I don’t know if it’s any good. Snape joined the Death Eater at a horribly lonely time at his life but afterwards he manages to reconect with Lily even though they are on opposite sides of the war. He tells Voldemort the profecy before Lily finds out her due date, when he finds out he tells her that V knows the prophecy and that’s why they go under fidelus. He thinks they’re safe and then Wormtail shows up at a meeting and says he knows the location of the Potters and is their secret keeper. Before he can get the location out Snape AK’s him. Is this idea any good?

  83. My apologies if this is considered plot related but, in Ties That Bind Godric’s is the name of the shop where the fun supplies are purchased; Is that a Harry Potter reference, as in Godric’s Hollow is a magical place?  The thought occurred last night and I had to ask.  Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful words with us and encouraging others to do the same.

  84. I’ve noticed that different Wraith often have different distinguishing features the most obvious being skin color. Does that mean they’re from different genetic lines or just that the hives have different purposes? Also will you ever do a story where the Wraith can be cured of their eating people problem and do you like Todd as a character? I would also like to recomend the Not in Kansas Anymore series by litgal as an example of a NCIS/Stargate crossover done well because it has a new take on the simbiotes and an excelently characterized Tony.

    • No, I doubt I would write “cured wraith”. And even if they were cured — Todd helped torture John when they were both captured by the Genii. It’s unforgivable.

      Skin color is just a product of environment and evolution. I sincerely hope the creators of Stargate didn’t instill “classes” based on that and I certainly wouldn’t.

      Wraith are basically insects and their culture is set up around a queen — they’re space bees. Creepy, ugly space bees.

  85. What if Lily Potter was an Parselmouth or had been Sorted into Slytherin? 


    What if instead of Albus , it was Ariana Dumbledore that ended up being the Headmistress of Hogwarts?


  86. After listening to last night’s show on changes and consequences, one thing came to me.  Who gave Petunia legal guardianship over Harry?  There is no mention of a will, and as far as we know, he had no identification with him.  No proof that he was Petunia’s nephew.  I really doubt that she would have been granted guardianship for an unknown baby she found on her doorstep.  Without a will or a birth certificate, or anything of the kind, the authorities were much more likely to think she’d kidnap a baby somewhere, and he would have been removed from her custody.  I don’t think Petunia and Vernon would have fought that too hard.

  87. I love your world-building, and the creation of new alternative stories that take canon as an inspiration rather than as, well, canon.  D you address this on your pod series?


  88. I love to listen to your podcasts, it reminds me of sitting in my grandmother’s kitchen listening to my cousins, aunts, etc. talking about the world, unaware that little ears were listening. So, thank you (even though my ears are a bit bigger and worldly these days).

    I do have a question, however. There are times when I am reading fanfiction and I finally have to give up and stop reading. (I never leave negative comments when I’m reading, I just stop reading.)  It might be one too many plot holes, horrifically bad spelling and grammar, or whatever. So what makes you give up on a piece of fiction you’re reading? Beyond the usual un-warned for squick, what makes you close the window and walk away?

  89. Do you think that part of Riddle’s personality integrated into Ginny’s? Because she just had a crush on him when she first meets him but if you add Voldemort’s pure obsession with him to that you get a crazy fan girl. It’s also a personal head canon that the diary wrote that aweful poem that ahows up on valentines day just to fuck with Harry’s head.

  90. What is your opinion on self inserts/si-ocs? And what is more comfortable to write past tense or present tense?

  91. Hi Keira,

    I find that a character’s internal narrative can be a very satisfying aspect to prose reading in regards to the emotional view point, but I tend not to enjoy character study pieces. Usually, the internal narrative in a character study can go on and on and on with little to no interaction or dialog with other characters.

    However, I quite like a character’s internal narrative when balanced with dialog, action, and interaction. With a balance, the internal narrative can bring me closer emotionally to that character.

    What is your take on the use of internal narrative within fiction? Best, The Nut.

  92. If you were to put NCIS/Hawaii 5-0 characters into your Ties That Bind universe, who would be a sub/dom and at which pleasure house woud they have studied?

  93. You liked what came first the egg or the chicken now here is another one.

    Is your Glass half empty or half full


    – Your Cheeky British Reader

  94. Could you explain the differences between Gandalf and Dumbledore? A friend doesn’t understand why I love the former but hate the latter and insists that they are almost exactly the same and none of my arguments, (i.e. that Dumbledore is a manipulative bastard who groomed Harry to sacrifice himself), are helping her to get it.

  95. Hi Keira,


    I’m looking to reread your excerpt for the north star but I cannot find it. Can you point me in the right direction please.

  96. Hi Keira,

    When fandoms such as Harry Potter (Pottermore) and Marvel (movie universe) release new facts, does the new information influence your WIP?  Would you change a completed story because of new information release in the fandom?

  97. If you had to do a Harry Potter crossover and you were not allowed to pair Harry with Draco or Hermione or any combination there of what fandom would it be and who would you pair Harry with?

  98. Sorry, I’m trying to read this on my phone at work, where is it I go to actually read the story instead of the sneak peak?

  99. Have you read the Percy Jackson series and will you ever write fan fiction of it? If you haven’t read it I’d recommend it for your padewan, it’s a good introduction into the greek myths.

    • My padawan and I have read the Percy Jackson books. I doubt I would write fiction for it. I only read them to make sure they were appropriate for him to read at the time but they really didn’t draw me in or inspire me.

  100. I ran across this pic — — and since my brain is permanently stuck on SGA of course I thought “ooh, that’s where Rodney got his acting genes!” I immediately started thinking about backstory about his grandparents & their time in the theater, but it also got me to wondering, when you’re casting a story, does the development of the character affect who you choose, or does an actor just jump up at you and say “I wanna be in your story!” and that affects how you develop the character?

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