Valdyas

  1. Is Valdyas your ideal world?
  2. Why aren't there any NPC stats, scenarios and other gaming information on the Valdyas pages?
  3. But you've used it as a game setting, haven't you?
  4. Can you speak that language?
  5. What's the use of a language that nobody can speak? Is it a secret language?
  6. Why do all those people have the same name?

Writing

  1. How's the writing going?
  2. Why do you self-publish? Aren't you afraid that's the death of your career as a writer?
  3. Is all your writing set in Valdyas? Is it a trilogy? Sequels?

Tech stuff

  1. What HTML editor/webpage generator do you use?
  2. Why are some of your links italic?
  3. What in the world have you got against frames?

Name and ancestry

  1. Are you Russian?
  2. Are you sure you're not Russian? You've got a Russian name.
  3. Come on, admit it, you must have at least some affinity with Russia.
  4. What is that name you're not using?
  5. Why aren't you using it?
  6. Then why don't you change it officially by deed poll?

NetHack

  1. Who's this Raisse guy?
  2. Is that the same Raisse who writes all the letters and diary entries?
  3. LegoHack?

Valdyas

Is Valdyas your ideal world?

Hell no. I'd miss hot showers, coffee and the Internet. Also, I'd probably have died in my thirties for lack of thyroid hormone.

Why aren't there any NPC stats, scenarios and other gaming information on the Valdyas pages?

Because Valdyas is not a game world. I started it, and keep developing it, for my own enjoyment and later the enjoyment of a select few others as well. Part of the enjoyment did indeed come from games, but that's not the purpose of the world or of the pages about it. The games exist for the sake of the world, not vice versa. I've never deliberately changed anything in the world or its culture for the game (or for the novels either), though the games and the novels have made me discover things I otherwise wouldn't have thought of.

But you've used it as a game setting, haven't you?

I admit that. But that still doesn't make it a game world. If you want to use it as such, go ahead, but you'll have to make up your own game specifics.

Can you speak that language?

Not by far as well as I'd like. (Better than Russian, though.)

What's the use of a language that nobody can speak? Is it a secret language?

What's the use of paintings? Of poetry? Of anything people make for enjoyment? Anyway, the world can always use more diversity. And no, it's not a secret language; it's right here on a public web page.

Why do all those people have the same name?

Well, not all, but yes, I know it's a problem. Mostly because names have to conform to the rules of the language, and make sense to me, or they don't ring true. I have found an excellent name generator, though, and I'm playing with scripts that may yield more variety.

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Writing

How's the writing going?

Here's my first novel. It's CC-BY-SA, free to download, possible to donate if you like it. I've got another novel at the beta stage, one that needs some work, and one stalled at ten thousand words. Also a too-long short story (9800 words) finished and a few short stories stalled.

Why do you self-publish? Aren't you afraid that's the death of your career as a writer?

I've decided that I don't really care for having a career as a writer. Anyway, self-publishing used to mean that nobody would take you seriously as a writer any more, but that's changed with the advent of ebooks. It's now actually respectable as long as what you write and publish looks professional enough. I still don't want to spend a lot of time and money and energy on marketing, but as long as I can write and people who want to read what I write have access to it I'm satisfied.

Is all your writing set in Valdyas? Is it a trilogy? Sequels?

The novels are set in Valdyas; they're stand-alone with some recurring characters. The long finished story and some of the stalled stories are set in alternate 1960s Western Europe. The stalled space-opera story is set in an indeterminate future. There are also a couple of stories set in modern-day Valdyas, which I want to explore further but the one I'm working on sadly lacks plot.

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Tech stuff

What HTML editor/webpage generator do you use?

Kate at the moment, with code folding and excellent syntax highlighting. I've tried dedicated HTML editors but all of them were a royal pain in the behind. Also, I like to play with CSS as if with magic spells (kind of like Old Hyksos): what you say must happen, happens, provided you phrase it in the right terms.

Why are some of your links italic?

Those are external links, going off my pages. I could have opened them in a new window but I prefer leaving that to the user. Anyway, I have no (commercial) interest in people staying on my pages. If I point them to something they're interested in, that makes me happy too.

What in the world have you got against frames?

Better than I can explain: "Why are frames so evil?". In short: they make bookmarks not work, and search engines lose their way.

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Name and ancestry

Are you Russian?

No, not at all. If I go three generations back I can only say "Western European" and six generations back "European" but as far as I know there's not a single drop of Russian blood in my veins. I don't speak more than about three words of Russian either: my Church Slavonic is much better.

Are you sure you're not Russian? You've got a Russian name.

It's not an exclusively Russian name, but a generic Slavic form of the Greek "eirene", meaning "peace". That it's used in Russian in exactly that form doesn't change that. I call myself Irini in Greece, but it does annoy me when people call me "Irene"; if I'd wanted to be called Irene I'd have chosen that name instead.

Come on, admit it, you must have at least some affinity with Russia.

Nope. I just happened to join the Orthodox Church in a parish founded by Russian emigrants and chose a name from their list of saints because it was much better than the name I was using at the time.

What is that name you're not using?

I'm not telling you.

Why aren't you using it?

Though it's a pretty name it never fit me very well, and now it doesn't fit at all. It's only on official documents and things like that.

Then why don't you change it officially by deed poll?

No such beast in this country. You need to go to court with a lawyer and pay hefty charges. More trouble than it's worth. Moreover, they only grant it when the name you have is offensive or indecent or you can prove you're actively disadvantaged or damaged by it, not if you simply want to use a different one.

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NetHack

Who's this Raisse guy?

She's not a guy. Raisse the Thaumaturge is my alter ego on rec.games.roguelike.nethack. I don't hang out there much any more, but lots of people still know me by that name. The name --though not the title-- comes from a character in our role-playing campaign in Valdyas.

Is that the same Raisse who writes all the letters and diary entries?

Mostly not: Raisse the Thaumaturge is based on Hallei Raisse, NPC'ed by me, and Raisse who writes the diary entries is Ravei Raisse, queen of Valdyas, played by Eduard. To further complicate matters, the queen's parents called her after the other Raisse who is a good friend of theirs.

LegoHack?

Yes. (The girls are much bigger now, all living in student digs, and the Lego appears only when there are small kids around.)

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