While I’m far from the only female involved with the lore of the well-known MMORPG (Massive Multi-player Online Role Playing Game) World of Warcraft, at this point in time, gaming is still mainly a guy’s world. A couple of years ago, when I was invited to attend a large Blizzard company event, I could walk right into the women’s restroom while the men experienced the joys of lining up for the loo.
So how is it that a woman is the one with several World of Warcraft novels under her belt, and has put them on the New York Times bestseller list?
I began my love affair with Azeroth, the universe of World of Warcraft, in 2001, when I was asked to do an emergency project in six weeks. It was the story of Thrall, an orc raised by humans to become a gladiator, who overthrew his master and liberated his people from camps. Chris Metzen, who is now a Senior VP at Blizzard, was terrific about answering questions that arose during the writing (orc blood is blackish-red, I know that was a burning question you had). He loved the book, I loved the world and its characters, and we both loved working together.
Fast forward to 2005. A friend and fellow author was playing a videogame called World of Warcraft. He knew about the novel Lord of the Clans and invited me to “come meet Thrall.” He ran me through the major city of the orcs and…there was Thrall. Blue eyes and everything! And the world…!
I’d never played a videogame in my life. A few short months later, I was leveling, running instances, and role-playing in game. I called my agent and said, “I must write World of Warcraft novels!” And so I have. My eighth WoW book, World of Warcraft: War Crimes, just released.
As a player, I bring my love of the game to the books. As an author fascinated by people and their interactions, I bring the ability to make Thrall, Jaina, Sylvanas, and even Arthas breathe, love, laugh, weep, and rage. I receive letters from young men telling me they hated reading, but now love it; had never cried at a book, but did so when lost in the pages of my stories.
So that’s why I’m the girl in WoW’s sandbox. Hand me that pail, will you? I’ve got a castle to build—and let me tell you about who lives in it….