Pre-screening Test Trailer

Pre-screening Test

Cover Reveal! I just finished the cover for my story in the GameLit Expansion Pack Box Set! I’m especially excited about it because I made the whole cover myself. I’ve always loved book covers. I hoped to make one sometime, but I never had the right opportunity before. I think it turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself.  🙂

GameLit Expansion PackThe box set has a cover already, of course. That’s what people will see on Amazon when they go to buy it. My book cover will be inside with my story. It’s the most amazing and artistic collection of interior art I’ve ever seen. One for each of the nine stories included, in addition to the one for the set.

It’s available for pre-order now– just 99 cents. Also, it will be a limited run. So you don’t want to wait too long before you pick it up. Here’s the trailer for the box set.

Also, there is a book trailer on YouTube, just for my story! Just 80 seconds long. It’s really a great little video, put together by Richard M. Mulder. You absolutely HAVE to see it! And you can hear the first part of my story on #FFF podcast.

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VR & PR

VR & PR

In just two weeks, my story Pre-screening Test will be out as part of the GameLit Expansion Pack. You can pre-order it now. As a teaser, an excerpt of that story, called VR & PR has been turned into an audio book like production for Flash Fiction Friday by Immortal Works Press. Read by Jon Grundvig. It’s available on the IW #FFF website, or on YouTube. Give it a listen!

GameLit Expansion Pack Box Set

GameLit Expansion Pack

GameLit Expansion Pack

Cover Reveal!

Now a story from my writing past…

When I started writing, I only wrote novels. I’d written ten or twelve of them when I started seriously querying publishers. After a LOOOOONG stretch of nobody interested, I heard people say sometimes you can break in by writing short stories and publishing those first to build up a writer resume. So I tried my hand at shorter form fiction.

I entered the Writers of the Future contest a few times and submitted to the big sci-fi magazines. Even those were a little above my level at the time. Eventually, I found some “for exposure” anthologies and managed to get three stories in. Soon after, I sold my first steampunk story for money ($20.00). And “won” a contest that included getting another story published and fifty bucks.20130530-222635.jpg

With this new resume, I began querying again. I saw Curiosity Quills calling for subs on Twitter, and they accepted my first book. That book, Theocracide, is GameLit. Only, at the time, nobody used that label.

The first label I heard of was LitRPG. My publisher caught a trend and wanted to brand the Actuator series accordingly. It worked well, boosting sales. But as the fans of LitRPG fleshed out what that really meant, the definition didn’t really fit my work. To be LitRPG, having a role-playing game the books are set in and including scenes where people go into video game realities isn’t enough. They wanted actual game statistics in the book. So my publisher re-branded the Actuator series as GameLit, where it belongs.

Actuator Series Wallpaper

I wasn’t excited by LitRPG books I read where they say things like, “Adarian leveled up when he killed the troll, gaining 6 hit points and better fighting skills.” It just pulls me out of the story. Clearly a lot of other authors felt the same way. So, they created a label to separate game-based literature from stories that literally describe the game terms. The new subgenre, of course, is GameLit.

actuator-rpg-e-book-coverAs I talked with other authors interested in these themes, and supported their facebook pages, Indie Illuminati issued me an invitation to put a story into an anthology designed to raise awareness of this new genre. Several authors writing in that field were each preparing novelettes (15,000 – 20,000 words) to go with GameLit books they’d written. One of the contributing authors dropped out and they asked me to fill the void.

It just so happened that my current work in progress, Virtues & Virtual Reality, is a GameLit book. If not, I probably wouldn’t have agreed to such a large side project on such a short deadline. Anyway, I immediately knew what story I’d tell for this antho, and I’m over 10,000 words into it now. That story: Pre-screening Test.

Since the rest of them are ahead, they already started advertising. The cover (top) is out and they have it available for pre-order on Amazon. When I looked it up today, I saw it’s already ranking on the Amazon charts! You should get it now while it’s cheap, BTW. Only 99 cents!

GameLit XP 03-2018 #45 Anthologies b

They have a “Pre-release Party” page up on Facebook, too. They’re giving away books every week until the release. (Go check it out!)

Also, there is a book trailer! (Watch it now!)

What struck me about this situation is how everything fell into place so neatly. After years spinning my wheels and never getting any kind of interest from publishers, I’m now to the point where invitations come to me. It feels pretty great.

So, if you’re an aspiring author, keep at it! Write a lot of books and stories. Write what you love. Submit like crazy. Most of all, keep writing. Once you break in, things get a lot easier. 🙂

GameLit Expansion Pack Box Set

 

Double Blogging

IW Spine logo.png

Now that I’m managing acquisitions for Immortal Works Press, I will be writing blog posts for their website about once a month. The first one is up! It’s about the audience IW is looking for and what we mean by “general audiences” in our submissions guidelines. Occasionally I might re-blog articles here, but if you want to get them all, you should sign up to follow IW’s blog.

And if you’re going to Comic Con in Salt Lake City this weekend, come see the IW booth at table number 2220.

Have a great day!

cyoa Marvel

Quirky Engine Games

Quirky Engine

I love games. I’ve played many and even made some. [Go see my free games.] So I wanted to feature a few here. These are all by a new company: Quirky Engine Games. So far they have three games out.

Panic Fire is also called “Shoot Your Friends.” Who doesn’t want to shoot their friends once in a while? See the YouTube video. Check out the reviews on Board Game Geek.

Admit it, if you had a junk yard, you’d get in a Trash War.  See the YouTube video. Check out the reviews on Board Game Geek.

And Hoagies are like my third favorite lunch. See the YouTube video. Check out the reviews on Board Game Geek.

Now you know you want them… or at least one of them. So head over to:

Quirky Engine Games!

Cover Reveal: The Actuator RPG

Actuator RPG E-book Cover

I’m thrilled to announce The Actuator Role-playing Game has been picked up by Final Redoubt Press! This is a module suited to work with any role-playing game system. The full version will be released digitally and in print this August, just after book 2 in the series: Return of the Saboteur. I hope to have copies for sell at Comic Con. The cover art is courtesy of Curiosity Quills Press, who published the books. If you can’t wait, you can get the beginning of the game now for free right here. A shout out to Robert J. Defendi for making this possible!

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The Dungeon Escape

Last weekend at CONduit, the Space Balrogs debuted my newest game, The Dungeon Escape!

Character Example

An evil wizard has captured and enslaved a large group of humans and dwarves, planning to sacrifice them to raise Gornash the demon to wreak havoc on the earth. The wizard botched the ritual, resulting in his own horrible death and leaving all the intended victims free, deep in a dungeon. Now they must fight their way past traps, dark magic, and monsters if they ever want to see the light of day again.

This is a role-playing game for huge groups of players… like hundreds. The audience each gets a character sheet, like the one shown. There are eight different professions to choose from: Brawler, Healer, Tinker, Teacher, Hunter, Farmer, Trader, and Sorcerer. They choose their gender, race (human or dwarf), and skill. Then, as the game progresses, they have an ability they can use once, they pick things up with their hands, and lose hit points. When they get to one hit point, a special kicks in. The character sheet is designed to be ripped as the game goes, so they don’t need pens or anything during the game.

A group of panelists draws encounter cards and rolls dice. The players react to the action as it unfolds. A combination of luck and strategy determines if they survive.

The games both went really well. I even had people asking if this game was available to buy. (Maybe, we’ll see.) We got great feedback and figured out how to adapt it to large groups. We are planning to play it full scale at Salt Lake Comic Con in September, so come and join us!