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Behind the bookshelves and keyboards of WI's published authors

Behind the bookshelves and keyboards of WI's published authors
If anything's got the power to pull a dyed-in-the-wool WoW player away from Azeroth for an extended period of time, it's a good read. Is there anything more tantalizing than cocooning with a good book you've just discovered? I've recently discovered GoodReads, my daughter's into the lowbie version at EpicReads, and we've made our city library and local Half-Price Books our home away from home. And when we're not reading, we're writing. When the sixth-graders had to turn in their first big compositions for the year, my little bookworm's study mate managed two pages on a funny time her foot got stuck in her shoe; my daughter demonstrated her speculative bent by cranking out 2,000 words on "The End of Humankind." Reading and writing, we just can't quit you.

Like a good meal and a bottle of wine, good books are best when shared, so I thought you all might like to meet two published authors from WoW Insider's own staff of bloggers. Matt Rossi's collections are the kind of anthologies you find yourself still flipping through at 2 a.m. -- "Ooh, what's this one about? Just one more essay before I turn out the light..." Scott Andrews' guide to leading an MMO guild offers the same straight talk and smart strategies as his Officers' Quarters column here at WI.

We peeked beyond the pages of WoW Insider to discover the speculative worlds crafted by Scott and Matt. They told us how they got published, what they're writing now -- and an extra bonus, what's feeding their imaginations in their personal reading piles.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

About the Bloggers: Lisa Poisso

About the Bloggers introduces you to the people behind WoW Insider. You can find articles on more of our staffers in earlier About the Bloggers profiles.

What do you do for WoW Insider?

These days, I'm rather akin to my rogue (above, slipping along with her stealth pack after spotting some Alliance players out leveling) or recently departed editor-in-chief Dan O'Halloran in that most of what I do happens behind the scenes. I'm the Mama Smurf of WoW Insider, painting the blue dot that means "copyediting complete" on each and every post that runs through the WI queue. This process is entirely separate from the content review done by our lead editors, and it's where I spend most of my WI time these days -- because this gang has a lot to say, trust me ...

Somewhere in there is writing. I've managed to acquire one of the highest word counts of anyone at WoW Insider by dint of long tenure and the rather mind-boggling list of features I've worked on during that time. Currently, I only write two features: 15 Minutes of Fame and Drama Mamas (although Drama Mama Robin gets the official byline on this feature). The list of what I've worked on in the past, however ... That's another story. I created Insider Trader (now Gold Capped) and the now-defunct features Gamers on the Street and [1.Local]. I also wrote Well Fed Buff, which was absorbed into World of WarCrafts, which I also wrote for a good stretch. I've also sat a spell in The Classifieds and WoW Rookie. Oh yeah, and Two Bosses Enter.

Is it soup yet?

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Filed under: About the Bloggers

15 Minutes of Fame: Vampire Empire novelist duo writes, games as one

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

Talking about Clay and Susan Griffith means talking about partnerships. Clay and Susan are husband and wife, WoW partners and co-GMs, and authors of The Greyfriar: Vampire Empire Book 1 -- "married in all things, for better or for worse," as they put it. Together, they've worked on comics and prose with such pop culture icons as The Tick, Kolchak the Night Stalker, The Phantom, Allan Quatermain, and Disney characters, too. "Granted, we are casual WoW players due to time constraints, but we both have level 85s," says Susan. "We enjoy questing and the lore of the game, as well as a fair amount of RPing. When time and fair winds permit, we even have a family raid group."

What the Griffiths have learned from collaborating on the page, they say translates directly to playing WoW as a group: trust, respect, and distribution of power and roles. From the Vampire Empire to Azeroth? According to this couple -- absolutely.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

15 Minutes of Fame: Caitlin R. Kiernan

15 Minutes of Fame is's look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes -- from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

I've wandered around inside the fiction of Caitlín R. Kiernan, and I'm not at all certain I'd feel safe wandering around in her version of WoW. As it turns out, though, Kiernan plays WoW much like many of the rest of us do - smacking the "brain off" button at the end of a long day, tooling around various zones with a significant other, and somehow finding ourselves utterly embroiled in the microcosms that are the lives of the characters we spend so much time with. So an interview with Kiernan turned out to be a long, WoW-centric turn that she attacked with relish. "Truthfully, I think it's one of the most interesting interviews I've done lately, if only because I spend so little of it talking about writing," she blogged. We think it's pretty darn interesting, too.

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Filed under: Features, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Christie Golden drops more info about Arthas

BlizzPlanet has a nice tidbit from Christie Golden about her upcoming novel about Arthas Menethil (better known as half of the Lich King, that bad guy we're going to be spending a lot of time with in the expansion). The book is due out next year (so odds are that we'll be approaching the end of the story by the time it hits store shelves), but it'll offer a look at the bad guy way before he started being bad -- the book starts with Arthas as a 10-year-old Prince, and covers everything between there to his little meltdown we witnessed in Warcraft III. The romance with Jaina is supposed to get some good coverage as well, so the book should be a good read.

And there are some bonuses for close readers as well -- we'll have seen some scenes before (including one between Arthas and Muradin in Beyond the Dark Portal), but of course, in this book, they'll be from Arthas' perspective. Arthas is undoubtedly the villian of the next ten levels in WoW (they even named the thing after him), but it's really exciting to have a villian with such an interesting and twisted past behind him.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Lore, Bosses, NPCs, Death Knight

About the Bloggers: Mike Schramm

Twice a week, our writers will tell you more about themselves, and let you get to know them and the characters they play a little better. Click here to read more About the Bloggers.

What do you do for WoW Insider?

I first started writing for WoW Insider way back in August of aught-six, and my first post on the site wasn't even actually about World of Warcraft. A few months (and many posts) after that, I was invited to co-lead the blog with Elizabeth Harper, and nowadays (many, many posts later) I work alongside Dan O'Halloran in running the whole site and coordinating all of our talented writers, as well as posting news I find whenever possible. I've also done quite a few of the podcasts.

What's your main right now?
My main main is Shamanic, a level 70 resto Orc shaman on Thunderhorn (Horde-side). I also have a level 68 Undead rogue there named Punishment (best rogue name evar), and lately I've been playing a level 61 Night Elf hunter on Cenarius (who needs a guild, by the way). I've also got quite a few alts floating around, including a level 60 gnome warrior, a shadow priest who's about 50, a blood elf hunter around 30, another undead warrior around 30, and maybe twenty or so alts below that. A couple of them are, yes, paladins, but I've never been able to play them past about 25, and I've never gotten a warlock past about 15 for some reason. No idea why.

Lots more (maybe too much more) after the break.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Virtual selves, Humor, About the Bloggers

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