Today we will join Mr C in an interview!
How long have you been a member here at ST, and what convinced you to sign up?
I joined in May of '03, the same year Simtropolis began. I began thanks largely to RaphaelNinja, who kept posting on the official website about these wonderful things which were happening at Simtropolis - I just had to take a look. However, a couple months before hand, I do seem to remember downloading some maps here and lurking about.
What was ST like back when you joined? Things were a bit different then, because there were a lot less users, and we were still in the experimental stage. I cannot remember for certain, but I think we had about 5,000 members. The only exchange we had was a Map exchange - there was not even a lot editor yet. The only modification around that time was the Buggi WindBlaster power plant which gave off 100,000 in power.
When you are hanging out on ST, what do you like to spend your time doing?
I spend a lot of time lurking in the City Journals section. I use this area for ideas on how to build a city or a section of a city such as farms and docks; plus I enjoy the creativity which is produced in the CJ section.
So is that one of the first places you go when you log in?
I go to the administrators and moderators forums first, just to see what has happened since I last logged on.
Do you have any particular CJs that have really strike you as impressive?
Oh, there are so many. Trying to list them wouldn't be fair, because I would forget many, but I will say that some of my favorites have been made by Jeronij, Aleking, MrBisonM, MayorMommy, Utora, Dannato, MayorTim - the list goes on and I know I am missing many I have enjoyed.
One of the first I really found unique was one called by a user called MeatBomb. It only went for one page, but it was a small-town, desert-based journal which really caught my eye. That one, and Mr. B's Nexis journals really got me inspired to work hard to create my own.
What was the name of your first CJ? My first one was called Keatling Hills. I think it went on for a whole eight posts. It was terrible.
Which one do you feel was the first to be a real success?
The Universe According To Me (started May, 2004) was my first successful journal - it got a lot of replies for the time. My next journal, TimeBomb (started July 2004) was a lot more successful - won a Trixie, in fact. By, I think I am happiest with my latest story-based journal in Stranded (started Oct. 2004).
TimeBomb is probably one of the most hilarious CJs ever made. What gave you the idea for it?
TimeBomb was originally just going to be a short one, while I finished up Universe and prepared the beginning for Stranded. It was actually just going to be a short story I had written long ago - but, decided I wanted to give a history for the area. Instead of giving a "basic" history, I gave it a history with a twist...and things went on from there. Much of it simply came from my mind.
Some inspiration came from Monte Python, some from Seinfeld, some from my hometown, others from my own deranged mind lol.
Where did the idea for Stranded come from? I'd long ago had an idea of writing a story about people stranded on an island - or something similar - but the story never went anywhere. Later, I got another idea about people in search of something (I cannot say what right now - that would give the story away), and finding clues on a planet they were stranded on. The two naturally came together one night at work.
Believe it or not, I had come up with the idea before even hearing about the show Lost, for which there are many similarities. I have only recently watched Season One of Lost, and am amazed at the similarities between Lost and Stranded - yet, there are many, many, many differences.
Being such an accomplished CJer, do you have any tips for those who are starting out?
First and foremost: have fun with it. If you are not enjoying your own journal, others will not. If you are miserable writing the text, don't force yourself to write a lot. If you like photo editing pictures, then use that talent in your journal. Look at the CJ section as an outlet for your talent, whether it be in the game or outside the game.
Speaking of work, what do you do for a living? I work in retail, where I put out freight at night. It’s a job that I don't have to use my mind as much, so it gives me plenty of opportunity to think about my novels and city journals. It pays the bills lol.
What sort of things do you like to do with your free time?
I write - a lot. I have about 20 short stories and 30 or so novels in various stages of development. When I am not writing one of them, I am editing one. I also like to play computers games, such as SimCity (of course), MVP Baseball, the wonderful Thief series, and Half-Life...
Baseball also takes up a lot of my time. I follow the Cincinnati Reds passionately, and frequent a site called RedsZone. I have spent a lot of time on eBay filling my baseball card collection. In addition to that, I watch a lot of movies (more than 3000 to my collection), and catch up on current events.
Which do you like to follow more, the Reds or the Bengals?
The Reds, though I am an avid Bengals fan. I have been following the Reds since the early 1970s, and the Bengals since the late 1980s. So, the Reds get the nod.
If there was one thing that you could change about yourself, what would it be?
I would be a full-time writer, of course - and a successful (but somewhat reclusive one) at that.
Could you tell us a little bit about your upcoming book?
Sure. It is a Science Fiction/Horror book about a small, abandoned ghost town in Ohio. It is a town surrounded by mystery, and there are many theories about what happened in the town and who was responsible, and the book explores these (fictional) reasons....
It's something I'd been working on for years; I think about seven or so years. I mainly did it so I would actually finish something rather than rewriting it over and over and over again. We are presently looking at a late May, early June release - but as always, that is subject to change.
What do you think you would do if it won a Pulitzer prize?
I doubt that will happen - but I seriously doubt I would change all that much as a person. Perhaps I'd quit my job, though lol.
What was it like the day that you became a moderator?
A surprise, actually. A few days earlier, I had made a post which some could have found insulting (cannot even remember the post nor the situation anymore). The next day, I got a message from Samantha with the title "An invitation from the administrators" - I thought it was an invitation to go away forever. I was, needless to say, rather surprised. But very pleased.
What was it like the day that you became an admin?
I was kind of wondering if something was up before hand. Dirk had added me to his MSN. I don't believe I had been involved in any controversial incidents for several weeks, so I knew it was not because of this. At the same time, I saw at least one administrator who had not been active for a while - but in all honesty, I thought he was looking for my opinion on who would be a good administrator - not myself, that is for sure.
What is one of the main things that you do as an admin?
In reality, it is a little bit of this, a little bit of that. It includes making sure everyone on staff is content, moderating and cleaning up threads - mainly, I want to make sure everyone here has fun, as this is a gaming website.
Do you prefer one job over the other? I have enjoyed both, actually, very equally.
Was there ever a moment that you thought about leaving ST?
Heck no. There have been times when I have been slightly less active - but I don't believe there has been a time when I have not visited at least once a day. Well, there was a time when I was Simtropolis-less for three days, but that was because of a computer issue. Longest three days of my life.
Since Ski is the Cyber-Mom, and Joe is the Cyber-Uncle, what member of the family are you?
You know, I have yet to figure that out - perhaps I am the neighbor lol.
Before we wrap this up, is there anything that you would like to say to the rest of the community?
Never be afraid to ask any of us questions, point out something you think can be improved, express a concern - or even pass on a compliment (those are nice, you know). We always like to hear ideas from everyone - we might not be able to use them all, but they can always give us additional ideas to improve the site.