Turbine has featured players, featured guides, featured videos, and featured everything else, but inexplicably they eliminated the featured blogs. So I am taking on this task myself, to give all the hard-working bloggers and artists of MyLOTRO their well-deserved moment of glory, and maybe some new readers! For this month’s Featured Blogger, I have chosen Travisimo (http://my.lotro.com/user-970291/), a most entertaining writer and a driving force in keeping the blogging community going when most have abandoned it.
(for last month’s installment featuring the brilliant Kaelin, Queen of Barad Gularan, see: http://my.lotro.com/user-1027520/cat...ured-bloggers/ )
1. Please tell us about your LOTRO character(s) and your blog.
I first came to LOTRO the December of the year Mines of Moria launched (already two years ago? Wow!). I have never managed to keep more than one character at a level higher than 25, even though I've been told I have a case of altitis. I have been best known for being Doldaegr of Brandywine, even though he was actually my second character. My first was a hobbit hunter leveled to the cap of 60 on Arkenstone, which I deleted for some foolish reason shortly before SoM launched. Recently, I transferred Doldaegr and returned to Arkenstone (where I ironically first came from) and renamed him Deomarth.
On MyLotRO I like to post story-driven screenshot stories, done in journal-style, as well as normal novel stories based in the world of Middle-earth. I have only one of each of those categories however, but several volumes planned or already done for each. The Walk Across Middle-earth has brought screenshots from Eriador, Rhovanion, and Enedwaith, while The Avalonski Creations has brought a tale of multiple adventures centered around one long-term plot.
2. Where do you get your ideas for your stories?
My stories posted on my blog are inspired partially from LOTRO and Middle-earth, and partially from other ideas I get from other novels reset into Arda. For example, the whole idea behind the search in The Avalonski Creations is vaguely inspired by the clever hideouts for relics in the series Fablehaven.
3. What is the piece you are most proud of, or most enjoyed making, and why?
I enjoyed making ‘Walk Across Middle-earth: Enedwaith’ the most without a doubt. Being able to provide screenshots from something that most readers couldn't access yet made it feel like I was in the developers' shoes, being able to sate the appetite of the readers by releasing pieces of a much-anticipated region. Not only that, but I also had a goal in Enedwaith that the original Walk Across Middle-earth lacked... apparently finding Rangers gives me a lot more room to maneuver where I go in the story!
4. One of the features I find very interesting about your blog is the Character of the Week feature, which educates readers about Tolkien characters that may be less well known. How do you choose your characters, and please tell us a little about the research that goes into each feature.
My Character of the Week characters are selected pretty randomly... whatever character happens to be closest to the forefront of my mind is the one that appears in the Widget. And characters tend to shuffle around a lot in my head since every single RP session and Ales and Tales story I hear/see brings to mind someone different. I only edit and dig deeper in thought if the character has already been done in the past, or if it is the same nationality as another recent Character.
When I decide on a Character, I first investigate other sites online (I find Tolkien Gateway to be very helpful, for example), and then verify any points that don't sound familiar in the books on my shelf. After this, I rearrange the wording and add any additional info I found on a different site (or in the books, if I came across anything unmentioned while verifying).
5. Do you have any other creative projects outside of MyLOTRO?
I do have other creative projects off-site, which I may upload here if enough interest is shown (and I feel a tad more comfortable with them). They are mainly original fiction (or my attempts at it), based in my own Fantasy worlds. Since my long-term goal in life is to become a professional author, I invest myself as much as I can in those projects, especially around the time of Nanowrimo in November.
6. What blogs or forum threads do you like to read on MyLOTRO and why?
I poke in on all blogs if I have the time, but my favorite choices usually end up being those who write stories (Berethron, etc.). Coming in as a close runner-up would be any blog that I can find poems on probably, and third is a tie between every other type. On the forums, I always get a good laugh out of the nigh-legendary Off-topic thread on "Words You Cannot Say" which is pretty much the most random discussion you could imagine.
7. What advice would you give to someone just starting their blog page?
Always write what you’re comfortable with, and be sure not to break off more than you can chew. I already went through the latter, and I can't recommend it to anyone. If you decide to write a novel based in LotRO, be prepared to continue and try not to say anything about the future of the book just in case you change your mind. If you want to do something you’re not entirely sure of, try sending a message to someone more experienced in the type of post (like Kaelin for comics, and Battlemaiden for poems). Everyone in the blogging community is helpful as far as I know, so don't be afraid to ask!
8. What else would you like the MyLOTRO community to know about you, your characters, or your blog?
It's currently calm on my blog, with very little going on because I am organizing the hosting of The Fall of Gondolin event with Gaiagil and the Rangers of Ithilien of Elendilmir. It was a bit of a group-project for everyone on MyLotRO, with several writers writing pieces of the epic battle of the past. I hope that everyone in the blogging community (as well as the Landroval community and anyone else who wants to come) will show up to listen to it told in full on Elendilmir! But be assured that soon I will get back into writing the second novel of The Avalonski Trilogy (The Avalonski Destinies), as well as an unexpected third sequel to Walk Across Middle-earth.
Thanks so much to Travisimo for participating in this interview. See you next month with another featured blogger, and if you have suggestions for someone you would like to see featured, send me a message!