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Tom Sutherland Church (attributed as T. S. Church) is the author of the several novels that take place in the world of RuneScape, which is Betrayal at Falador, Return to Canifis and Legacy of Blood. His first name was unknown to most, until the "Q&As, Charity Auctions and a RuneScape 2009 calendar!" update on the 21 November 2008.
At that time, Jagex invited players to ask questions of the author via the RuneScape Forums, and promised that the answers would be published two weeks later. However, the answers did not appear until seven weeks later, on the 9 January 2009. He has recently launched a website in response to the questions posed to him at http://www.tschurch.com.
Church has stated that his favourite authors include J. R. R. Tolkien (having had The Hobbit read to him at the age of four by his eldest brother), Charles Dickens (describing The Pickwick Papers as "a masterpiece of comedy"), Jane Austen, and Patrick O'Brian (especially for his Aubrey–Maturin series). He started playing RuneScape in December 2006, and still plays (as of January 2009). He has chosen to keep his username secret, but has revealed that his combat level was in the 70s, and he tries to train all his skills to about the same level.
Church began writing with a professional approach whilst at university. He would set himself tasks such as writing one story per week, with one chapter per day, and one day for preparation. This led him to begin a number of pieces that he has never completed, though he says that it was a "useful exercise", describing it as a "learning process which forced me to think and write in areas and with techniques I might not have usually used". He has stated that he would reduce the total time from a week to only a couple of days if he were to repeat it.
Church cites his dreams as a help with his writing, saying: "sometimes the solution to an apparent deadlock or plot contradiction can come in the form of a dream." For this reason, he keeps a pen and a pad of paper by his bedside for jotting notes on ideas as they occur.
Authorship of Betrayal at FaladorEdit
The concept of writing a novel came to him just one month after he started playing RuneScape. His intention for the book was "to introduce players to the world of RuneScape", which he thought would be helpful for new players. He spent six months from January 2006 writing the first draft of the novel, and then spent a few weeks reducing it from 190,000 words to 140,000.
Some people have criticised the concept of writing a book, with the belief that it should remain purely as a game. Church himself firmly disagrees with this, and believes that books add "more for fans to experience, and will hopefully get more people interested in reading."
- ^ a b Q&As, Charity Auctions, RuneScape calendar!. News List. Jagex. “A few things to update you on this week – first of which is our Question and Answer session with Tom Church, author of the first ever RuneScape novel, Betrayal at Falador. Head to this forum thread now, to ask any question you like (while sticking to the forum rules, of course!), and in two week’s time we will post Tom’s responses to his favourites.”
- ^ Mod Emilee (a Jagex Moderator), on behalf of T. S. Church. Answers from the Author!. Jagex Store Feedback pp. 1. Jagex.