|Location||Auckland, New Zealand|
|Title||Asst. Director of Research|
|Join Date||September 7, 2002|
|Bonded to||Ciaran al'Trystan|
|Link to Forum Profile|
- Joined TarValon.Net: September 7, 2002
- Joined Tower: September 7, 2002
- Raised Accepted: November 5, 2002
- Raised Aes Sedai: August 11, 2003
- Assistant to the Director of Research: April 9, 2009 - present
- Library Editor
- Events Historian: December 2, 2015 - November 12, 2018
- Tower Treasurer: June 29, 2006 - January 29, 2008
- Sitter for the Brown Ajah:
- Members' Choice Award: Walking WoT Encyclopedia - 2007
Other Tower Relationships
Official Event Attendance
- Anniversary Party 2006 - Corpus Christi, Texas, USA
- Anniversary Party 2007 - Winter Park, Colorado, USA
- Anniversary Party 2011 - Charleston, South Carolina, USA
- Anniversary Party 2016 - Placerville, California, USA
- Comic-Con 2005 - San Diego, California, USA
- Dragon*Con 2003 - Atlanta, Georgia, USA
- Dragon*Con 2004 - Atlanta, Georgia, USA
- Dragon*Con 2005 - Atlanta, Georgia, USA
- Dragon*Con 2006 - Atlanta, Georgia, USA
- Dragon*Con 2007 - Atlanta, Georgia, USA
- Dragon*Con 2008 - Atlanta, Georgia, USA
- Fall Ball 2004 - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
- Fall Ball 2006 - Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- Fall Ball 2017 - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
- JordanCon 2009 - Alpharetta, Georgia, USA
- JordanCon 2016 - Atlanta, Georgia, USA
- JordanCon 2019 - Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Senior Member Interview
Updated January 20, 2019
- What is your Tower name?
- When were you raised to Aes Sedai of the Brown Ajah?
August 11, 2003...donkeys years ago!
- Why did you choose Brown?
I'm a historian at heart so Brown is a natural fit, but I initially picked the Ajah because I was a brown-noser as a teenager (pun intended) and was trying to get into the good books of a Brown at another site. By the time I joined TarValon.net I thoroughly identified with the Ajah, so I never considered joining anything else. That said, I am an individual with large stripes and Rainbow Ajah fists me best (in more ways that one!); Brown stripe is foremost, closely followed by Gray and others.
- Are you like the Browns in the books?
A lot of the time, yes. I've always been a voracious reader and am addicted to learning. While at uni I worked for the Michigan State University Library and after moving to New Zealand I spent seven years working for the University of Auckland Library on a very Brown project where I digitised NZ's national archive of 25,000 heritage maps. Now I work for Land Information New Zealand maintaining our national topographic map series.
- Do you love books and do you daydream a lot?
Yes and yes. I've always wanted to write my own insanely complicated book series, but awesome as it may be in my head, I don't have the patience and focus to finish a book.
- Do you have a favorite Brown Ajah character from the novels?
This is a no-brainer, I think. Verin Mathwin totally wins the Brown Ajah Award of the Age for Awesomeness. If this includes former Browns, however, then Martine Janata (Setalle Anan) runs a very close second.
- How was your time as Citizen/Novice/Accepted?
I'm enough of an oldie that I remember when we decided it was time to create the city. Once upon a time it was going to be this massive, interactive, graphic interface, but that never fully materialized. As I joined long before the city existed, I was never a citizen. I honestly don't remember much about being a novice or Accepted, either. At the time I was splitting my energy between several communities and it took me almost a year to be raised to Aes Sedai here because the Hall hadn't seen me posting enough. I fixed that!
- How long have you been a member of TV.net?
I first met Eleyan and company at Dragon*Con 2002 and joined the following week as soon as I returned home from the event.
- What things do you do for TV.net?
My time commitments these days are mostly reserved for professional societies here in NZ, but I've been serving as the Assistant to the Director of Research and Records for ages and just stepped down as Events Historian. I've also been Treasurer, an Events Committee head on multiple occasions, and sat three terms as Sitter for the Browns. I try to contribute to the fandom in obscure ways as well. One summer I somehow convinced my mother to sew 3' x 5' flags of the 15 Westlands nations; to my great pleasure those still come out at Jordan Con each year. I'm also still hoping to document the history of the Wheel of Time online fandom (Annals of the Ages @ TheGreatHall.org).
- How long have you been a fan of The Wheel of Time and how did you get to read the Series?
In the spring of 1998 I was a lonely freshman who ran to the school library and grabbed the fattest fiction book on the shelf to show up my classmates on our final book report. The book I checked out was a beat-up copy of The Eye of the World. My fantasy experience was limited to Narnia and the Chronicles of Prydain, but the plot synopsis looked interesting so I gave it a go. I devoured The Eye of the World and went back for The Great Hunt before the week was out. The look on my peers' faces when I plunked down 1300 pages of paperback and proceeded to do a report on both was priceless. The rest is history. I quit counting my re-reads after 13. I just started my first re-read since 2016, actually...it'll be my second full trip through the complete series (I delayed reading A Memory of Light until 2016 because I wasn't emotionally ready for it).
- Who is your favorite hero?
Moiraine has been my hero and crush since I was fourteen, and she likely always will be. It was agony waiting more than a decade for her to come back! Siuan runs a close second. My biggest disappointment with the series was not seeing their reunion in A Memory of Light...gutting!
- Favorite bad guy/gal?
This is tougher. I think I'll have to pick Graendal. There's a little piece of me that would love to not care and be totally hedonistic and power hungry. Especially if I could get away with it.
- Favorite book and scene?
Book is a toss up between New Spring and The Fires of Heaven. My favorite scene used to be when Rand reads the letter from Moiraine after she sacrificed herself fighting Lanfear. I'm always a sucker for the greater good, giving up everything to protect someone else scenarios. Now I think my favorite scene is Moiraine, Thom, and Mat at the campfire immediately after her rescue.
- If you were set down in Randland, who/what would you see yourself as? An Aes Sedai? Innkeeper? Seanchan Captain?
I think after so many real life years spent as an Aes Sedai, there would be no other path for me besides the White Tower (assuming I could channel). If not that I would've been Aiel, probably Far Dareis Mai turned Wise One.
- How did you find TarValon.Net and what convinced you to stay and become a Senior Member?
I was first exposed to TarValon.net when a small group of members attended Dragon*Con 2002 and I was presenting on an "Amyrlins" panel with Eleyan. After I'd met her there was no way I couldn't join, and I quickly became attached to the other amazing people at this community as well.
- To whom are you bonded, if you're bonded?
I've been bonded to Ciaran al'Trystan since 2006. He and I originally met in chat and connected over our mutual love of highland cows. It's only gotten weirder through the years and I don't know what I would do without him. He's probably better known in the fandom these days than I am because of his work with Jordan Con.
- Who is your mentee, if you have one?
Alas, I've never had an official mentee at TarValon.net. I've trained a couple of sidekicks, though, and been a big sister to at least one Brown-guesting Accepted.
- Have you ever attended any Real Life Functions? Did you like them if you did, and why?
I'm going to assume this is just official functions so I don't have to list all of the minor parties I've attended and/or hosted. I was at every Dragon*Con between 2002 and 2008. I was also at the inaugural Jordan Con in 2009, Jordan Con 2016, and Comic Con 2005 (the year Robert Jordan was there promoting New Spring). Add to the list Fall Ball '04 (Albuquerque), 5th Anni (Corpus Christi), Fall Ball '06 (Toronto), 10th Anni (Charleston), 15th Anni (Placerville), and Fall Ball '17. I have yet to go to a party that I regretted attending. Some have been completely fantastic, some have had major drama, and at some I've had meltdowns. They're like big family reunions and I love going and will continue to attend any opportunity I can. Now that I'm in New Zealand my US attendance is mostly limited to the five-year milestone anniversaries, but I'm hoping we have a South Pacific party soon.
- What kind of music do you enjoy listening to?
I'm an eclectic audiophile and like pretty much everything, with the exception of heavy metal and most gangsta rap. Frequently on rotation of late are Blackmore's Night, P!nk, Evanescence, and Adele.
- What do you do in "real life?"
I do lots of things. I'm cartographer/location data analyst with Land Information New Zealand and the Secretary/webmaster of the New Zealand Cartographic Society. I'm also a full-time wife to Ayendra Sedai, an amateur photographer, a pc gamer, a beginner ballroom dancer, and a SCAdian. I read a lot, watch movies and good tv, webmaster several websites, and go out hiking around the Wellington region when the weather is good. New Zealand is a fabulous place for outdoor pursuits!
- What is the craziest/stupidest thing you've ever done?
I work really hard to not do stupid stuff so I'm not sure how to answer this. Does dedicating the bulk of the last 20 years to living and breathing a fantasy book series and its associated communities count? Or maybe more crazy would be embracing my inner wanderlust and moving to foreign countries?
- Do you have a pet?
Yes, we have two adorable rescue cats. Asha'man is a solid, all black boy, who is quite lazy and vain enough to match his namesake, but is really very sweet and happy. His sister, Egwene, is a dainty little tortoiseshell, who has recently gone from shy and skittish to the bossiest wee thing you ever met. Sometimes she'll just sit there staring as me for ages with this creepy look of rapture on her face...and then demand cuddles without taking no for an answer.
- What languages do you speak?
Alas, only English. I'd love an intensive course in Scottish Gaelic, but that's hard to find if you can't relocate to Scotland for a year or two. I have tried teaching myself piecemeal over the years but never got very far.
- Aside from The Wheel of Time, what are a few of your favorite books/series?
Let's see...a small sampling would be A Song of Ice and Fire, Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel/Naamah sagas, Harry Potter, Mistborn, the Avalon series, anything Brent Weeks, and I still adore The Chronicles of Narnia. My Warder turned me onto the Malazan books, but while I like them they've been a very slow grind and I haven't finished the series. Outlander is also a bit of an indulgent favourite.
- What profession did you want to have when you were a kid?
When I was little I wanted to be pharaoh. When it became clear that wouldn't happen, I wanted to be a veterinarian. When my math grades and a trans-oceanic relationship made that a long shot, I switched gears and did degrees in Fisheries & Wildlife and Geography instead. Now I'm hoping to make a career of GIS, cartography, and historical mapping. If someone wants to pay me to do something WoT-related, though, I'd drop everything else in a heartbeat.
- Seanchan or Shara?
Considering both are pretty hard on channelers, how about neither? Instead I'll choose to spend time with Shara Sedai.
- Board games or computer games?
I love both. Computer games win out most of the time because I can play those solo, but nothing beats a rainy day with a pot of hot tea and a good board game or D&D session with friends.
- Coke or Pepsi?
Let's go with neither. I don't drink soda except the occasional diet of whatever. My vote lies with single-malt whisky or unsweet iced tea!
- A short bio about yourself.
I'm 35, Michiganian by birth, Texan by marriage, and Kiwi by choice (dual citizen now!). I currently live in Wellington, New Zealand, and am happily married to Ayendra Sedai, also of the Brown Ajah. I hold a Bachelor's of Science in Fisheries and Wildlife from Michigan State University, a Post-graduate Diploma of Science in Geography from the University of Auckland, and a Master's of Science in Geography also from UoA. I've lived and studied on three continents, once lost a cassette tape between my teeth, and I make a sun-dried tomato dip to die for.