Sunday, April 15, 2012

Pottermore Interview with BetaTester Serena

My next interview is with Serena. She is very passionate about the world of Harry Potter, and it's lovingly obvious by her answers - which are awesomely descriptive and personal. If you would like to reach or follow Serena, please visit her tumblr: shrewdslytherin. Thank you Serena!

How did you become a Harry Potter fan?

For my sixth birthday, I was given Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone as a present from my aunt and uncle. I was reluctant to read it at first, since I usually don't like being "told" to read something and prefer to pick books out for myself. But then I finally decided I would read it, shortly before the first movie came out. I loved the book, loved the movie, and so I subsequently got the 2nd book for Christmas, 3rd for my next birthday and 4th shortly after that. I went to buy my copy of Order of the Phoenix on opening day when I was 8 years old, and then when I was 10 I went to the midnight release party to buy Half-Blood Prince. (Actually, funny story - my parents ordered it through Amazon, not Indigo books, so Indigo didn't have my name on the list. I suppose they didn't want to make a child cry, because they still gave me a copy. Three days later my real copy arrived at my home, so I got two!) For Deathly Hallows I also went to the midnight release party. I think my "obsession" with Harry Potter became fully-fledged at around grade 3, when I would incorporate Harry Potter into my stories that we had to write in class, and other projects. I always played HP at recess with my friends too.

How did you feel about the magical quill process, and were you excited to get your acceptance letter?

The Magical Quill process was very interesting/exciting (except the timing was kind of strange if you were in North America and wanted to get on for the first day), especially given where I was at the time. My family and I were on vacation on an island on the east coast of Canada (my country). We had no internet and no wifi because we were in the countryside and the island was rather tiny. Still, I had my heart set on getting a beta account. One day, I think it was the 4th day of the Magical Quill contest, a visitors' centre had a computer. I logged on posthaste but Pottermore's Quill registration was closed for the day. I felt terribly upset. I tried again the next day when we were whale-watching by that same site, but I didn't have time to log on to the computer, or else I would have missed the whale watchers' boat we had booked tickets for. The next day my dad and I went into a small town near the cottage we rented and saw a public library! I practically dashed to the computer, sealing my spot on Pottermore as CentaurAsphodel64 and finally able to rest easy. My acceptance letter came on September 26 - the wait was agonizing, but once I got on I stormed through it.

Did you enjoy, or not enjoy, the sorting hat process? Were you satisfied with the house you were sorted into?

I enjoyed it immensely. This may sound egocentrical, but I like answering questions about myself. I found the quiz really fun, and the fact that the choices aren't transparent as to which House they would get you into was excellently done. Also, I always knew I was something of a Ravenclaw, so getting into that House was not much of a shock and quite pleasing. There was an anxious wait though in those few minutes before my House was revealed.

 What is your favorite part(s) about Pottermore thus far?

I would say that my favourite part is the actual story, because I love finding the items (I am NOT a Hufflepuff though hehe) but more importantly I love the extra content that JK Rowling has put out there for us. I'm looking forward to more and more extra information which will deepen my extensive knowledge of the Harry Potter series.

Do you like collecting items, shopping at Diagon alley, etc?

As far as the shopping goes, I haven't bought too many things, but as I said above, I love collecting the hidden items. I also find the artwork gorgeous and am looking forward to seeing the rest of the books drawn this way.
What changes would you like to see made at Pottermore?
- being able to message friends
- fantastical music
- more activities such as Potions/Duelling, such as more lessons and generally more interactions
- story mode could have more events in the book, because I like the artwork and picking up items, and I think it'd be cool to explore the stores in story mode more

How would you rate your excitement on exploring the rest of the books, and for Pottermore's official opening?

Well, I was VERY excited for Pottermore's official opening because I'm dying to see what Houses all my friends and family (I'm forcing them to get an account) will be sorted into. I'd rate my excitement for the rest of the books (out of 10) as 17 :)

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