NTMI: Good morning, everyone! Today we're here with epk, whose unique brand of reporting has given him 32 pieces in the Neopian Times. As we speak, there's a new issue coming out. Can we expect that to turn to 33 with this new one, epk?
epk: Actually yes. If you search the Neopian Times Search Engine with epk, you can find the article New World Expectations.
NTMI: Ah yes, the search engine- a good point! Folks, you can usually find out early what's in the next issue. By Friday afternoon, using the "search" button on the main page of the NT will let you hunt for your favorite author! So, epk, what got you started on Neopets?
epk: It was my friend actually. He started playing with a Fleye, the old version of Buzz. I heard about it on a Friday, and joined Sunday Night. My friend has stopped playing however.
epk: I actually refer to him in my first article.
NTMI: ah-hah, brent1314 ... ok! So after you got hooked on Neopets, how did you get started on the Neopian Times itself?
epk: There was nothing for Neopian Times writers back then. No trophies! The only thing worth it was seeing my name up in lights.
NTMI: So you read it and decided to "go for the neon" eh?
epk: You could say that. I wrote my second article because I enjoyed the Neomails I got back.
NTMI: Feedback, feedback, feedback... yet another testimonial to it, folks. If you like what you read, let them know! And speaking of your name, how did you come up with "epk" ?
epk: It started as an acronym, but after a while, I decided no one should know what it stood for, even I hated it. So now it will just stand for epic, until I can think of anything better.
epk: My name has never been a priority.
NTMI: What sort of things do you enjoy most about Neopets?
epk: I get most into it when a new world or plot is coming, or something like NPv2 or the Ski Lodge. (Go Number Six!) But on a day to day basis, I enjoy trying to scavenge Neopoints, collecting useless items, and improving my pets stats. I visit the News Page most.
NTMI: Ever play your pets in the Battledome?
epk: Heh, my Krawk and Koi don't, Chia Flour is everywhere nowadays. If I didn't pull off one battle in one quick move, my Koi wouldn't of been...fishy. My Gelert and Lab Pet are my main battledomers.
epk: (speaking of which, my Lab Pet, an Acara, just lost two levels...maybe enough to have gotten it some Cap'n Threelegs training yesterday... but he was too high yesterday)
NTMI: I noticed that due to numerous complaints, the Neopets team raised the price on Chia Flour. I thought that was an... interesting... response. Perhaps they were having too many two player battles, who knows. So when you write an article for the Times, how do you pick out your subject?
epk: Sometimes something will happen and I just have to write about it. The Whirlpool was Slowing is a good example. I'll spend 1-2 minutes thinking of a subject, I refer to past articles and recent events. Sometimes even features long forgotten. (The Lair of the Beast, Time Machine, Neopet Diaries.)
NTMI: So you're basically doing a reporter's job of scavenging news and making your articles from that.
epk: I can't put it any better.
NTMI: So once you get your idea, how long does it take to write an article?
epk: I never keep track of the little clock in the bottom-right corner of my computer. However, I'd say a little less than a hour. I'll let Josh do the editing.
epk: Which he never does and I get a whole lot of complaints.
NTMI: Uh-oh. What sort of complaints?
epk: Mostly numbers (2+2=5 type deals) and errors made by me, forgetting to add links. But that only happens every 5 articles luckily.
NTMI: Josh usually adds links in, that I've found out from personal experience! So what other sort of feedback do you get from other players?
epk: Three types. Questions like: How'd you get your Krawk, how'd you get your pets' stats so high, (You call that high?) Where do you submit articles. Then comments like: I love your writing style, you have a lot of trophies, I was going to write an article like that too. Lastly, you have the numerous Lupe-haters and lovers.
NTMI: How did you get mixed up with Lupes?
epk: It was a long time ago. Before guilds as we know them today came, there were webpages hosted by other companies people were using as guilds. I joined one called the Great Gelert Guild. It was not long before I became 2nd Council, and the 1st Man abandoned us. I was leader, and Lupes only ate Chocolate Chias. We considered Lupes the enemy to Gelerts, mainly because of a higher popularity. Lupes were like 5 or 6, Gelert's had place 13 or 14. That's how it originated, and it's still that way.
epk: Notice Gelerts now are #5, Lupes #4. The Gelert popularity trend started after a makeover a while back.
NTMI: Quite a change! So is that worst part about being a contributor to the Times, or is it something else?
epk: There's no bad stuff when I write to the Times. I enjoy writing about Neopets. (School Essays-bah!) I'll even laugh at my own work. It can get confusing, but it's always better then nothing.
NTMI: What is the most important thing you can tell someone trying to get into the Neopian Times?
epk: You may not be used to hearing this, but don't be original. Do something done before if you're trying to get in it for the first time. There you'll have something to base your writing on and be more likely to get in. After a little while, be original. It took me until 3 times to break away from the Earning Neopoints Articles, then I got the Ice Caves are Melting!
NTMI: And not only did you get that in, you've gotten plenty more into the NT afterwards. But what about outside of it- do you have anything else published on Neopets that we need to know about?
epk: I wish. Mostly everything I get published is in the Neopian Times. However, I do give the ideas for lots of projects, like in school. (Heh, I was in a group that had a project that was due in one day that we had an entire 3 months to work on, I quickly thought of a way to do it). The Neopian Times is just me going solo, I haven't had the inspiration for anything else.
NTMI: So what sort of future goals do you have for your writing, both on and off Neopets?
epk: Off of Neopets my biggest goal is convincing my Writing teacher I'm a good writer when school starts next fall. As I said, I'm famous for being lazy and not double-checking, and that is what they seem to focus on. They don't care about how witty your writing is. On Neopets, I'm actually writing a Series. This is my first attempt at Neofiction. (My only Short Story was sent in as an Article) It will involve my pets, evil maniacs, and a Slorg. I don't know if it'll be published, but I can cross my fingers.
epk: I'm halfway through part 3.
NTMI: Well we'll certainly look forward to it! I think that's all the questions I had, was there anything else you wanted to let us know about?
epk: Well, I'd say to any writers out there, not everything is published. Historically, my first attempt in the Neopian Times didn't make it, and it was Neofiction. But that is long and forgotten, so I'm considering my series as my next shot. I've also had articles that haven't gotten in. Also, with people saying Medieval World is around the bend on chat boards...you don't spell it Midevil...it's Medieval!
NTMI: You're right! Now if we could just get Neopets to put a spell checker in the chat boards, we'd be doing great!
epk: Yes. But then again, I have problems spelling Draik...or is it Driak? Let me look it up...yup, it's Draik.
epk: Sure, it was fun. Well, as I end all my articles, bye in six different languages until next time. (And before you ask me how I thought of that, it was just me having problems ending one article...and it sorta stuck with me.)
Would you like to read all of Epk's articles? Just click here to check him out in our database!