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World of WarCrafts: Blizzard fan fiction runner-up Celine Taillefer

Anne Stickney

World of WarCrafts spotlights art and creativity by WoW players, including fan art, cooking, comics, cosplay, music, fan fiction and more. Sample the whole spectrum on our Arts and Crafts in WoW page.

We talked a few weeks ago about the art of fan fiction, stories written about characters in the setting of a pre-established world. Last year, Blizzard held a Global Writing Contest -- the second of its kind -- for fan fiction authors around the world to share their works involving Blizzard properties. The response was enormous, with stories submitted totalling 18 million words worth of fictional prose -- an astonishing amount of written material.

The winner of the Global Writing Contest received a trip to Blizzard's headquarters among other prizes, and the runners-up received a ton of Blizzard books as a reward for their writing efforts. So what's it like writing a submission for a winning contest entry? Today we chat with runner-up Celine Taillefer, whose entry In the Blood involved the most unlikely of protagonists, Blood Queen Lana'thel, the ringleader in charge of the Blood Wing in Icecrown Citadel.

World of WarCrafts: Hi Celine -- congratulations on your win! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Celine: Sure! I've been playing WoW since mid-vanilla, and my main has always been my gnome mage that I first rolled back in 2006. I have a bachelor's degree in theology as well as international studies. I currently work for a small university in Ontario, and have three cats, one of whom is absolutely ridiculous.

How did you get into writing? Is it something you've been doing for a long time?

I've been writing on and off since I was fairly young. I have the standard spiral bound notebooks filled with embarrassing self-insert Sailor Moon fan fiction that plagued a lot of young writers growing up in the '90s. Most of my fiction writing was put on hold during university; I found it too exhausting to write for pleasure after writing five or six 2,500-word essays a term. After I graduated, I moved back into fiction again. My focus is usually novel-length, but I do the occasional short fiction or drabble (100-word piece.)

Your story In The Blood has an unusual choice for a main character. What drew you to using Blood Queen Lana'thel as a story inspiration?

A part of it was the mystery of the San'Layn: What are their ties? Where did they come from? Were they considered an entity before Arthas raised them, or after? A lot of it came from just running ICC endlessly. I'm a mage so I spent a lot of the blood wing trash eating the floor thanks to the technicians, which gives you a lot of time to think! Finally, I just really liked Lana'thel. I liked her design and voice, I liked her fight mechanics and the challenges it presented, and I liked that not much is known about her history save where it crosses over with the Quel'Delar storyline, which gave me free reign to make some artistic choices.

Did you write your story specifically for the Global Writing Contest? How long did it take you to complete?

I had written the first bit -- about Lana'thel finding out the princes have been killed -- as a one-off after raiding one night and thinking about her history and whether she felt anything after you kill her commanders. When Blizzard announced the contest, I realized all I really wanted to do was polish up Lana'thel's story.

Have you done any other Warcraft-related fanfic that people could take a look at?

Not much, unfortunately! I wrote a short RP story about my main character for my guild, but aside from that, most of my Warcraft-related creativity is centered around creating Blingees of Fandral Staghelm.

Not a fan of Fandral?

I actually love Fandral! I think the Shifting Sands quest line is really tragic. But he's an easy target!

If you were given a chance to write about just one character in the Warcraft universe, who would you pick, and why?

No contest. Jaina Proudmoore. I love her, and I think she's suffered a lot during the ICC plot lines. I would love to get a crack at writing her early years in Dalaran with the Kirin Tor.

Any advice to authors who are looking into entering the Global Writing Contest this year?

Write a story you love. We all play WoW because there's something, or some things, that tug at us, spark something in our creative center that says, "There's gotta be more there." I've had the pleasure of reading a lot of the runners-up, and they all had a little spark of something wonderful that spoke to them, and they in turn shared it with the Blizzard community, and it was just great.

Thank you for taking the time to chat with us, Celine, and congratulations again on your win!

If you'd like to read In the Blood in its entirety, Celine has made it available for public viewing on her website. For more excerpts from winning authors, you can check out the official Blizzard website with the list of winning stories.

World of WarCrafts spotlights art and creativity by WoW players, including arts and crafts, fan art, WoW-themed recipes, comics, cosplay, music and fan fiction. Show us how you express yourself by emailing with your not-for-profit, WoW-inspired creations.

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