Terrouge E-zine Archives
ROC Spotlight: Interview with Starfire
What do you think makes your site more successful than most?
I've been trying to figure that out for years, and so far I've come up with... nothing. I've gotten a lot of comments from visitors about how much they enjoy the laid-back atmosphere and the frequent updates, so I suppose that has something to do with it.
It's ironic how you don't like message board RPG's yet your site has one of the more successful ones. Do you still put quite a bit of effort into making it interesting?
The original RPG was set up in haste, so most of what I did in that one was simply try to keep it from falling apart... with the new RPG, I spent about a month plotting out the original story line so that the RPers would have something to work off of, and then role-played for a week or two before I gave up. I feel guilty every once in a while about not doing much to keep it going, but I've found that the people who role-play at the board have fascinating ideas and do a great job of keeping it interesting on their own, so for the last year and half or so, the RPG's basically been run by the players (with the moderators interceding when necessary).
What would you suggest to someone just coming into the ROC (a newbie)? Making a site like you did perhaps?
I'd definitely recommend taking a month or two to acquaint yourself with the ROC. Join clubs and message boards, try out role-playing, write fan fiction and draw Redwall characters, talk to people, and get a feel for how everything works before you commit yourself to anything. You may decide to make your own site, or join the staff of an established one, or you might choose to be one of the people who help keep the present sites going by contributing to them. The great thing about online communities is that you can do one, two, or all three of those things at once, and you can always try something different later.
What advice would you give to aspiring webmasters?
Make sure that you really want to make a website, and then make sure you know the technical aspects of how to create what you want to create before you start -- everything I knew about HTML when I first made Starfire's Redwall Abbey could have been written on one line of a piece of notebook paper, and that was a Very Bad Thing. After that: try to update on a fairly regular basis, even if all you've got to say is that you're not going to be able to update for a while. Have something original, whether it's the content that you present or the manner in which you present it - make your site your own, and not just another block of text and pictures. And connect with the people who visit your site - you'll find helpful comments, good ideas, and great friends.
Do you have any ideas, or predictions for the future of the ROC?
It seems like it's changed so much since I first visited Redwall.org that I couldn't even begin to imagine where it's headed. But whatever happens, I'm sure it'll be fun to watch.
Do you feel a sense of responsibility in how you conduct yourself in the ROC because of how well-respected you are by people?
I think any changes in the way I conduct myself since I came to the ROC have been the result of my having grown up. I act, or try to act, the same way when I'm in the ROC as I do when I'm anywhere else, online or off.
Do you have a good balance between how much time you put into Lagomorphia and the time you put towards your site, or do you seem to always have too much on your platter?
I was on the staff of at least two e-zines before I'd ever heard the word 'Redwall,' so I had some idea of what I was getting in to before I started on the Lag... and as it turns out, most months I've been able to do more than I started out to do with the e-zine. I work on Starfire's Redwall Abbey almost every day and it's fun to take a break at the end of the month and write articles two hours before the deadline. Occasionally it gets to be too much, but Lagomorphia is less another thing waiting to be done and more like my therapy (although some say it's a sign I _need_ therapy).
Are you planning any new additions to your site?
I'm always planning something... rarely following through to the end, but certainly always planning. Right now I'd really like to get the parts of the site that aren't completely finished up, so I'll be concentrating on that shortly, but I've been working on another project on the side that I'll hopefully be able to add to the site sometime during the next decade... or maybe by spring.
Do you see many more years ahead for Starfire's Redwall Abbey?
I'd love to keep going until it stopped being fun, but with college coming up at the end of next summer... who knows?
How many hours a week/day do you put into your site on average?
Lately I haven't been doing much at all - I've been doing things for college, finishing my novel, enjoying the holidays. When things are nice and calm, I try to put in an hour or so every day - there's almost always something that needs doing - and then there's more time spent answering all the e-mails and maintaining the message boards and such.
Do you still read Redwall, and do you like to read Redwall as much as you once did?
I had Triss in my possession before noon on the day they came out, so yeah, I still read the series, but I'd be lying if I said I loved the books as much as I once did, simply because my tastes have changed. Where there was once a quick answer of 'Redwall, by Brian Jack-wez!' when someone asked me what my favorite book series was, there's now more of a thoughtful 'Erů' while I try to single out one set of books - Redwall's still at, or near, the top, it's just sharing the space with a bunch of other novels.
Could you see any Redwall computer games coming out in the future for avid rpers like yourself?
I think a few official computer games wouldn't be half-bad, as long as they were made in the spirit of Redwall, and a massive text-based adventure game would please me to no end. Unfortunately, I don't think Brian Jacques will ever relent on his no-games stance. Personally, I don't see what the big deal is; a video game couldn't possibly be worse than the Redwall TV series... ;)
Thank you for your time!
No problem; thank you for yours.