Dare to...INTERVIEW...with HeR Interactive

I highly aspire that when you hear my name you one day are brainwashed enough to not help but think of some keywords: Kingdom Hearts, the moon, blogger, Perfect Humans, the sea, Sailor Moon and ....NANCY DREW. Nancy Drew has been a gigantic part of my life and always will be. I read all of her yellow books growing up and that is what primarily got me into enjoying to read. At age seven I started playing HeR Interactive's game series based off of the books and those are one of my largest obsessions in life - and I am 25 now! Nancy Drew is a role model to me and I think can be for anyone. She shows you that it's possible to do anything on your own, that if you work hard you can solve any puzzle that life throws at you, that you should always have manners / be kind, and that you can do all of those things in STYLE! I could go on about why Nancy Drew should be someone you look up to - but I'll leave it there. As I mentioned, the company that produces the Nancy Drew games is called HeR Interactive. They were nice enough to do a giveaway with me almost five years ago when kenNERDdy just launched its baby self. (If you read that don't mind the awful formatting as it was imported from Blogger!) I was fortunate enough to land an interview with Calina Joyce of the Marketing team at HeR! She gave me the inside scoop of what it's like at HeR, offers her advice to the younger generation out there and much more this week on kenNERDdy!

"Our vision is to be the undisputed leader in creating high quality, fun and inspiring games for girls of all ages. Our philosophy is to create an environment that fosters excellence through the art of creative collaboration. We strive to create high quality synergy between game play, story and aesthetics that result in a fun and engaging experience. We hire smart, creative, resourceful and talented people and foster a fun, productive, collaborative and respectful workplace." HeR

Hello! Go ahead and introduce yourself to my nerdy readers! You can say anything you want - don't be shy!

Hello! I’m Calina, and I work on the Marketing team at HeR Interactive. In my spare time, I like to watch movies, read books, and play board games with friends and family.

How long have you been with HeR and what made you want to work there? 

I’ve worked at HeR for almost 7 years. I’ve been a huge Nancy Drew fan since I was 7, and this is practically my dream job, since I played the games when MHM first came out.

Do you have to be a die hard Nancy Drew fan to work at HeR? Or are you shunned in a way?

 Haha, no, you don’t have to be a die hard, but you must at least be aware of the character. It’s highly encouraged to at least played the latest two games before starting work at the office – that way you have an idea of what our world is like. ;)

What is your all time favorite Nancy Drew game? Why? Mine is definitely Secrets Can Kill (the original) as it was the first game I played and is what got me hooked!

That is such a tough question! It changes each season, but I would have to say The Final Scene for its intensity, history, and I LOVE theatres!

What is the atmosphere over at HeR like? I can only imagine how fascinating and fun living everyday in the Nancy Drew realm must be!

Since I’m a crazy fan of the games, I often sneak over to the art department or production department to find out what they are working on. I LOVE getting to see sneak peeks before other fans. It is a fun environment; to stay creative and to learn new techniques. We sometimes play board games with each other on Fridays, to get good ideas and better understandings of how puzzles and strategy work.

HeR is geared primarily to younger, female gamers it seems and I love that. What advice to you have to females out there? What makes you choose this particular advice? 

I would advise this: if you are in school, take classes that interest you. Even if you don’t know what kind of career you would like to be in, at least you’ll get an idea of things you’ll like, and of course get training on so that you can be doing something you won’t regret. Practice hard, learn diligently, no matter the obstacles. This is how I got my dream job, and I didn’t even know what Marketing was until I ended up here!

What is a storyline you'd love to see happen for Nancy? I've always dreamed of her being more "adult" - maybe a bit more like a 18+ game that has a CSI theme! 

That would be cool! I am a purist, though. I like to be true to the books, but would indeed like to have Nancy do more serious and dangerous investigations. If I were to pick my own storyline, it would probably be something related to U.S. History and some sort of national treasure hidden someplace by someone famous in American history.

Have you read the books? That is what introduced me to Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys originally! 

I have read all 56 yellow books and many of the newer books. My grandmother and mother introduced me to the books, and the first one I read at age 7 was The Moonstone Castle Mystery. I was hooked for life!

What treat from Nancy Drew games would you want to eat in real life? Which one's wouldn't you? I'm still itching to get my hands on a KoKo Kringle bar!

Well, I’ve had KoKo Kringle bars before, and I’ve made Jammie Dodger cookies from SPY and eaten Fundaes as well, but if I were to choose a new treat to try, it would be the clam chowder from Danger on Deception Island, simply because I’ve never tried it before.

Who has been your favorite villain from the series? Why? It's so tough to decide but villains are sometimes my favorite characters.

Spoiler! My favorite villain is from Stay Tuned for Danger. Dwayne Powers was the creepiest, most fearsome, crazy villain who had a passionate temper. I think he was a great villain whom I would fear in real life!

Which character do you relate most to and why? My answer is pretty obvious but I'd have to pick Nancy Drew!

 I relate most to Heather McKay in Danger by Design. She is the assistant who works with the real designer, and that’s like me. I’m in Marketing, which I like because it’s an interaction with fans, but it would be really cool if I could design a Nancy Drew game someday! And I look like her…

Touching back on the younger players -  what advice you have to females out there? I was brutally made fun of for playing video games yet still being into "girly" stuff for so long! 

It can still be a tough time for girls to be into gaming. I was made fun of for a long time for being such a nerd! Fortunately, I never experienced being made fun of for being smart or for having an interest in computers and technology. But if others tease you about it, just smile, ignore them, and remember how much smarter and more knowledgeable you may be than they are. Haha! But really, some good advice is to find other lady friends who share the same interests, so that you may support each other as you continue to learn and work and grow.

My slogan at kenNERDdy is "#staynerdy" - how do you #staynerdy in a way that isn't super obvious to the people in your life? For instance - I collect PEZ dispensers and any M&M's memorabilia!  

Who says you must be ‘not obvious’? It’s totally cool to be super nerdy! I go to the local Comic Cons, watch Sci-Fi movies, cosplay as Hobbits wearing elvish jewelry and claim that my second language is movie quotes. People who are not nerdy are missing out on the fun, I think.

I highly recommend doing Nancy Drew things in real life, by the way. Travel, try new things, eat new foods, help people out, read more books, learn new things, explore, and go on adventures, so that one day, you will have stories to tell. Stay sleuthy!

You may recognize Calina from HeR's YouTube channel! She does a lot of game play-throughs, live streams and things of that nature. I really enjoyed picking her brain as best I could from behind my laptop and hope you did too! I'll be back next week so in the meantime I must remind you to #staynerdy! 

INVESTIGATE HeR INTERACTIVE:

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FOOD FIND OF THE WEEK

Stephen and I are finally done, for the most part, settling into our new pad! That means we can finally start exploring the town and finding our new fave spots. Without a doubt one of those places is Tajima! It's a ramen place that offers some vegan selections AND has happy hour! We went with their vegan ramen, vegetable tempura, edamame, vanilla/mango mochi and Passionfruit Sake. I added sriracha to my portion of the ramen which made it one million times better. It was all so delicious! It was under $35 for us both to eat all of that food - which is pretty good as a date night treat. The ambiance was casual, collected and cool. I don't know if they always do this - but the music took me back to rollerblading in seventh grade at my local roller rink because it was all 2007 R&B! (Yes, I was cool AF jamming to Nelly while blading, drinking soda and winning at the crane games.) 

PURCHASE OF THE WEEK

One of my favorite artists / YouTubers is albinwonderland. I've followed her for a very long time and will support her 5ever. Her illustrations are a pastel blend filled with Kawaii, Lolita, and just plain cute realness. She recently released this tote pictured above. The characters on there are all her own, original designs. I ALSO picked up that lil "Just Girly Things" bag you see as well - although ALB released those a pretty long while ago but I just could not contain myself in the checkout on her Etsy when I saw there was only one purple left! The quality of both bags are great - they are sturdy and hold up nice with everyday wear. I've only had them a week now but I've used them everyday! 

MANI OF THE MONTH

Okay, phew, it's all okay. I FOUND my new nail salon! It was giving me such anxiety thinking of trying out new nail salons and trying to find a good pick. LUCKILY I did some extensive Yelp research and landed on Nails 2000+ (okay, the name needs a little work, right?) but that's all that needs work with this place because I am so HAPPY. They are quick, well priced and do a killer job. My technician even put up with this obnoxious request to do pastel rainbow nails with glitter on top. The techs don't try to over chat too, which I enjoyed because sometimes small talk is anxiety provoking!