Sometimes, I feel like having such varied interests works against me when it comes to making a brand out of myself. Also working against me? Not liking the idea of making a brand out of myself. The common wisdom, available in photoshopped images of lightning on mountains and tweets ending in #truth, says that I should just “be myself.” I try to run with that idea, but I think it sometimes leads to confusion.
“It’s TIIIME… to discuss preconceived notions about acceptable interests in geek culture.”
During a discussion of interests, someone I had only recently met through gaming circles said, “Oh, so you’re a bro.” I didn’t really know what that meant. After some thorough research –apparently, I must be a pretty nerdy “bro”– I was happy to learn that I was grossly misclassified. The source of the confusion? My disinterest in several popular science fiction and fantasy series combined with my interest in mixed martial arts. MMA is, apparently, “bro” territory.
Instead of launching into the “well your interests are dumb, too” death spiral that powers the internet, I’d rather explain one of the reasons why MMA speaks to the writer in me. Continue reading
In case you didn’t know, Choice of Games is a company that’s been putting Interactive Fiction back on the map. Their apps are available through nearly every provider, and they represent a new era in the classic Choose Your Own Adventure style but with the added depth that working off of an electronic device can provide. Now, in very big news, two of their IF novels, Heroes Rise: The Prodigy and Heroes Rise: The Hero Project, are now available on Steam! They are also Steam’s very first text adventure games, an impressive milestone indeed.
In the grand tradition of networking, I was introduced to friend-of-a-friend, Jason Stevan Hill of Choice of Games. You see, fellow author Andrew G. Schneider (author of Nothing Left to Wish For and Undercaffeinated and Overexposed) introduced me to Alana Joli Abbott (author of Choice of Games’s Showdown at Willow Creek and Choice of Kung Fu as well as Into the Reach and Departure) who introduced me to Jason. Jason, in turn, graciously provided me with plenty of information and advice about Interactive Fiction. He spared a few minutes for me to answer some questions about Choice of Games adding Steam to their distribution channels. Continue reading
My typical reading selections rarely fall in the “uplifting” category. In talking to fellow gamers and writers I’ve also learned that I read far less so-called “genre” fiction than what is typical for someone who often enjoys writing in the science fiction and fantasy fields. Instead, I spend a lot of time on non-fiction and “not genre fiction.” (As usual, I don’t want to get into my thoughts about labels for fear of digressing too far.)
I just finished Svetlana Alexievich’s Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster and, if you have any doubt at all, this book does not fall in the “uplifting” category either. I find uplifting and moving to be two very different things. It might occasionally have an optimistic moment, at least relative to what surrounds them, the book is more notable for such a raw presentation of human emotions and vivid look at human perspectives, not only about disaster and tragedy, but also about self-delusion and grim necessities. Continue reading
I had the pleasure of making Andrew G. Schneider’s acquaintance after two of our articles for Dungeons & Dragons Insider contained some overlapping material. (Both adventures were set in the Chaos Scar, but Andrew’s “Scarred for Life” connected nicely with my adventure “Reflections of Ruin” thanks to an exceptional ogre and the Deck of Many Things.) We continued to correspond and commiserate about the joys of freelance and have even managed to get a game or two in on occasion.
Recently, Andrew published not one but two novels so I took a few minutes to lob some questions his way, chat about YA fiction, and see what he has planned now that Nothing Left to Wish For and Undercaffeinated and Overexposed: The Tale of a Coffee Shop Princess are off his desk. Continue reading