Monday, March 20, 2017

LitRPG Is The New Black

Okay, maybe I'm pushing that metaphor, but it feels like LitRPG--books based on role playing games of all types for those who might not know--has finally found an audience, and that's something that makes me very, very happy.

I've been playing (and DM'ing) dungeons of the traditional heroic fantasy and even of the paranormal variety for many years now, inspired by my father (Thanks, Dad!). I even started out my writing experience as a fanfic author based on some of my old campaigns (if you can call writing fiction about my own stuff fanfic... but I digress).

When I discovered LitRPG had a huge following and was growing rapidly, I had to explore the idea myself. But not in the ordinary way, because that wouldn't fit who I am.

And who am I, really? I had to stop and think about that when I chose to dive into this particular genre. Because I considered using a pen name for this series, it's so outside my usual work. And yet, every time I looked at the covers with the name that wasn't mine at the top, I felt like a fraud.

Not sure if you're aware, but we writers (artists in general) already fight fraud syndrome anyway, so I didn't need writing under a pen name to make things worse. It did make me take a step back and think about who I am, though, as a creator and as a person of passion looking to share my vision. I'm a writer, yes. A reader, too. As much a maker as a devourer of worlds in many forms, from video games to books to TV and movies. A creator of many different things and someone who loves all kinds of genres. That's why I'm excited to release the Genesis Gates and explore all the ideas I've been mulling over the past several decades.

Soulblade, Stage One of the series, is coming in April (sign up for email updates if you're curious so you know when that happens!) and I can't wait to share it. But there are eight more to follow in the Genesis Gates, so stay tuned.

For now, happy LitRPGing and a huge hell yeah for a genre that deserves the kind of attention it's finally generating.

Happy campaigning!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Giraffes and First Drafts

How I imagine April's baby :D
So, if you're like me, you're totally and completely obsessed with April the giraffe, star of the maternity show at the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, NY. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, where have you been? Go look at her. Go. Look. Okay, come back and let's get to this.)

Now until February 23rd, I had never heard of Animal Adventure Park, Harpursville (which I now must visit because APRIL and her BABY) or this particular giraffe soon-to-be-Momma for the fourth time (you go, woman!).

Now, I'm not a mom myself, except to a variety of very bossy voices in my head and a plethora of fur children who dominate my existence. But, like many of you, the pending birth of April's new baby with her darling partner, Oliver (all together now, awwwwwww!), has kept me going back--and back--and back--to watch her wander, pace, snack, lie down, stand up and generally be a giraffe for well over a week now.

And here's the thing. I started a new book, Fame and Fortune and Murder, with the expectation she'd be having her giant bundle of 150 lb. giraffe joy by the time I wrote "The End" on Fiona's latest mystery. A task I just completed about ten minutes ago.

I then proceeded to visit in with April. And found her lying there, on the job, doing nada, squat, bupkis.

I actually grunted in surprise. Because, honestly? The deal I made with her? I finish this book and she delivers. That was the plan. So simple. To find I've upheld my end of the bargain and she's literally lying there doing her giraffy nothing?


My very dear writing friend, Christina G. Gaudet, did mention I might be a little selfish about this. After all, to quote her, "You have a lot of books under your belt. But have you yet witnessed a giraffe birth?" As if April's pending achievement outweighs mine.

Huh. "I've helped deliver calves of a bovine nature," I replied, a bit snarkily, to be honest.

"But they weren't giraffe calves," she said in her wise way.


Which got me thinking about delivery dates and being in a hurry and how much pressure we put on ourselves as writers to produce. While darling April--the sweetheart of the internet at this juncture--chews her cud (I have no idea if giraffes chew cud so don't send me nasty notes that they don't unless you do the research and even then, whatever) and couldn't care less.

She's on April time, isn't she? And that's an excellent lesson right there, folks.

So, I'm going to celebrate finishing this book baby with a delicious pizza from a local joint I love (Famous Peppers, I'll take a tub of maple cream sauce to go!), and celebrate while April does her thing.

When the baby comes, I'll cheer and probably cry a lot and wish her well. But for now? Thanks for the lesson, you gorgeous girl, you. As for cud chewing, I'll take that pastime under advisement.