Verona Lorgsval (a.k.a. Victoria Osborne), hits the bookshelves!
Just about everyone who role-plays in the Gorean community inside Second Life, at one point or another, hears the name, Verona Lorgsval. Most know exactly who this brilliant and well versed woman is, and all who know who she is and what she does, have the utmost respect and admiration for her knowledge, skills and accomplishments.
At the top of that list is yours truly. I have worked with, role-played alongside of and learned from this amazing story-teller for most of my 7 (almost 8) years in Second Life and it is my extreme honor and privilege to be able to interview her and bring to you, her amazing news.
DAEDEN: We’re thrilled to have this opportunity to speak with you Verona, please, tell our readers a bit about yourself, the real woman behind the screen.
VERONA: Well I have a degree in Creative Writing from the University of Washington and I live in the Pacific Northwest. Ever since I was a child I had wanted to be a professional writer, and not just any kind of writer but a fantasy writer. I had come to the sad realization that I am a nerd at a young age. In addition to loving to write I am also a professional gamer. I play-tested D&D with Gary Gygax in 1973. In the nineties I became the first Magic the gathering woman pro tour player and I also worked with Wizards of the Coast to help keep their D20 small presses consistent. Through all of this I have been a nurse and a financial counselor for a large hospital. But my heart always yearned to be a writer. Last month my first novel, “The Student Librarian,” was released, published by Kodell Group Publishing.
DAEDEN: Wow, I’d always known you were “all that” but I never realized just how much of “all that” to credit you with. Verona, you’ve been in Second Life for some time. As I recall you used to publish the longest running weekly SL news publication. That is quite a feat if you ask me! Tell us a bit about what you’ve done here in the past, your accomplishments in SL?
VERONA: The Voice of Gor. I ran that newspaper for nearly three years. It became one of the most read papers in Second Life and the largest paper. Many people have asked me, why Gor? It certainly isn’t because I agree with John Norman’s portrayal of women. I just found the greatest diversity of personalities, and some gorgeous builds all over Gor. The fact that what happened on one sim could impact what happened on another sim. I wanted to create a paper that would let everyone know, in character, what was going on in other cities. I just kept at it, and was available and learned to delegate. I had a business partner to help me out. Willow Jenipe joined me at the paper when it was still in Vonda. Together we helped to create a more cohesive and unified Gor. Even people outside of Gor were reading the paper just to see what was happening. The Voice of Gor got John Norman’s attention and I communicated with him about it. I finally got burned out, and one of my editors took it over so The Voice of Gor has never truly stopped.
I had started out a scribe, a high caste person in Gor, because I loved to write. The newspaper just seemed to be a good outlet for me to write. It got the attention of real life publishers, the work that went into it, and the length of time that I ran it, allows me to put it on my very real-life resume.
I had planned on running a series of articles in Roleplay Guide Magazine, that you had founded and were publishing Flipa, but your own personal tragedy, and the fact that I had burned out on SL with that intensive schedule, meant that those articles never came to pass. I still write for the Voice of Gor and you can see my weekly column in it. I am just no longer running it.
DAEDEN: The Voice of Gor has always been “THE” publication for all things Gor, I remember it well! Your history shows some amazing accomplishments but, we’re here today because you’ve done something new — something positively fabulous and exciting — you’ve written and published a book — in print! What is it called, and what type of book is it?
VERONA: The Student Librarian is a murder mystery in a high fantasy setting. It has dark humor in it, and a complex case solving. I invented nine languages for the book, and those languages, at least the syntax and vocabulary of them, provide clues to solving the murder mystery. I met the publisher for the company when I wrote an Op-Ed piece for our local real life paper. In this op-ed piece I vented my anger and frustration at the jobless rate, and how employers were changing education requirements to high school diploma’s for, what had not too many years prior, required a college degree. With so many unemployed educated people they were able to get a person with a bachelor’s degree and pay them what a high school graduate would be paid. That is if someone could even find a job. This piece was published two days before the march on Wall Street and I have heard from people all over the country about the timeliness of the piece.
Well Steve, my publisher, read my op-ed piece and offered me a job as an editor for his company. I have been having a blast with that ever since. So when my book, The Student Librarian, was done he said he would publish it. Now I have a book credit with a small press which means selling the next books will be easier. This is all tied into the work that I did on The Voice of Gor. If I had not come to Second Life, I would not have discovered the role-play of Gor nor been inspired by the size and diversity of this really cheesy series of books, which means, I probably would not have gotten my novel published.
DAEDEN: Your story has a very interesting title and cover too actually. What is this story about? Oh but please, don’t give away the ending, I already bought the book and want to read it for myself ;).
VERONA: A journey to a mystical library deep in the heart of The Red Rock Desert proves deadly. Jason Littweiler, a young wizard, is assigned a case involving the murders of several guards, with the darkly beautiful Mortyiene as his partner.
Upon arriving at The Library, he befriends a library cat who helps him find his ways through the library and investigate the deaths of the guards. Despite his allergies to cats, he learns to rely upon her knowledge of The Library and its denizens.
As the investigation unfolds, he learns that the murders are part of a deeper plan. Together they uncover a truth that influences the nature of the war itself. The trio discovers that the killer has motives more sinister than they can imagine.
DAEDEN: Will our readers find a love story in these mystery filled pages?
VERONA: Not in the first one, but in the second one we will see a relationship develop between Jason and a female character. And no, it is not Mortyiene. With Mortyiene I wanted to explore the darker, more evil side of being a woman. She is a complex character and his crime fighting partner, not a romantic one – though Jason does have feelings for her.
DAEDEN: Whatever inspired you to write a book in the first place Verona, and where did your inspiration for this story come from?
VERONA: Well actually this concept comes from my D&D back ground. It was part of the world that I DM’d for 20 years. When I was in UW I had an extraordinary teacher named Charles Johnson. He won the national books award for his novel “Middle Passage,” which was about slaving ships. This teacher loved science fiction and fantasy. He was also a cartoonist and could tell you the difference between silver surfers. I created the character of Jason and put him in a short story. I had already wanted to write a novel about this huge mystical library, and I am a fan of mysteries, so I took this setting from my D&D background, the short story from UW, and created a mystery. This is a first book of a series of books. The next one that will come out is called “The Bankers of Zurix.”
DAEDEN: That is so amazing, that the continuation of the story is already planned. So many people write one book without thinking ahead to follow up novels … kudos on that one! Ok, so the hot question of the hour … where can we get this fabulously mysterious story you have created for your fans?
VERONA: Right now you can get it on Amazon.com. You can also get it at Oregon Books and Games in Grants Pass Oregon. I am hoping to get it in an independent book store in Medford, and maybe Powels in Portland. But right now Amazon is the best source for it.
DAEDEN: I notice that right now it’s available in paperback format only. Are there plans to offer it in a reader format, such as Kindle, etc?
VERONA: My publisher is strangely old fashioned. He likes print. In a couple of months, if it does ok in print format, he will also release an eBook format. So the more people that buy the printed book the faster it will come out in eBook. I can’t sign an eBook though, so if you want my autograph, buy the print book.
DAEDEN: Where can your fans find you, you know, book signings, or meet the author events to get autographs, or perhaps to participate in readings or other get-togethers?
VERONA: Well first Friday Art Walk in Grants Pass Oregon for sure in April. I am also working with Steve to set up a book signing and reading at Oregon Books and Games. I hope to be at OryCon this November in Portland Oregon, and the Willamette Writer’s Conference. I am more than willing to travel to sci-fi conventions to meet my fans and sign books.
DAEDEN: This is all so very exciting Verona, we are all thrilled for your accomplishments! Tell us, what is next on your hit parade?
VERONA: The sequel to “The Student Librarian,” is “The Bankers of Zurix.” The biggest bank on Xalaborn, the world in which the series takes place, is run by gnomes. Several gnomes are being killed and the bank manager wants Jason and Mortyiene to find out who is killing these gnomes and why. The investigation leads the crime solving team out of the safe administration levels deeper into the bank as they try to find out more about the deaths. Their investigation uncovers genocide and brings the war to the library, disrupting the fragile peace. This book is going through my writers groups, and the third draft has been completed.
I am also working on the first of an epic fantasy trilogy. The name of the trilogy is called “The Great Wyrm Saga.” The first book of that trilogy is “Red Sails in the Morning.” It is very dark with a high level of violence and is set in the back drop of a massive scale. It has ten point of view characters. I love those huge epic fantasies that have a thousand pages per book. And I have in pre-write, the third of the Jason and Mortyiene Mysteries.
DAEDEN: Do you have a blog or fan page that readers can join, somewhere we can go so we won’t miss out on any new happenings?
VERONA: I have a blog on Good Reads, and a fan of Victoria Lynn Osborne group on Facebook. Feel free to friend me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter. One of my next tasks is to get a web page set up for me now that I have a book out in print.
GOOD READS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5792264.Victoria_Osborne/blog
Thank you so much for taking this time out of your day to speak with us. All of us at Nu Vibez are excited to share your story! It is always wonderful to see those we meet in Second Life do amazing things that springboard their skills and accomplishments into Real Life!
Don’t forget dear readers — get yourselves over to Amazon.com, search for “The Student Librarian” by Victoria Lynn Osborne and get reading!