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Blog Tour Stop: Trick or Treat

These blog tour thingies are a fascinatingly modern concept, and this is the perfect time of year for one. Why? Because it reminds me of trick-or-treating. You go from “home” page to “home” page and get a little treat at each one.

If you’re here via the tour, then you stopped chez Alicia VanNoy Call‘s place first. She’s a highly creative and talented individual who can not only write well, but paint too—a skill combination of which I’m quite jealous. If you got here by some other means, I recommend you go take a look at her blog just so you can check out her artwork. Her app for kids which tells the story of “The Very Hungry Zombie” is beyond adorable too.

The questions for this particular blog tour are fairly standard, so I’ll try to make the answers as interesting as possible.

  1. What are you working on right now?
    I always have numerous projects going at one time. So, here’s the list:

    1. Guild Wars 2
      We’re continuing to build our story via the Living World project in the game. It’s like surfing. You just try to keep ahead of the wave and make sure you’re directed toward shore. Sharks be damned!
    2. My first short story collection
      I’m half a story away from finishing this up. I decided that in order to make this collection perfect, I needed one brand new story to cap it off. It’s turning into a novella all by itself. (They grow up so fast!) This collection contains all my darkest horror stories, most of which have a religious or otherwise traditional thread running through them. I expect to be shopping it to publishers by the end of the year.
    3. Science-fiction romance!
      Yes, you read that right. I’ve made a foray into writing romance at Silkwords.com. They’re doing “choose your own adventure” style romances, and my first title is “Time, Space, Love.” I’ve started working on my next one, which I’ve tentatively—and cheekily—entitled “The Adventures of Jasmin Joy: MMOrgy”. As you may have guessed, it’s going to be a bit steamy. 😉 You can expect it (perhaps with a different title) later this year.
    4. A non-fiction “how-to” book on narrative design
      I’ve been working on this for most of 2013, and it’s not done yet. The problem is that I keep learning things I want to include! Narrative design for games is a complex field, and every company out there has a somewhat different philosophy about. But, ultimately, it’s about telling a good story. The tools you have at your disposal may differ, but the goal is always the same. I look forward to finishing this book, and I think the only way that’s going to happen is if I promise myself that I’ll start right away on “Volume 2”.
    5. Casual game
      I’ve started working with a group of indie game designers on a casual game in the “hidden object game/mystery/puzzle game” genre. I am absolutely addicted to this kind of game, and so I am SUPER excited to be making one. I’ve started a little indie game company, and we’re just beginning to mobilize. So far, it’s been awesome and lots of work. We’ll have more information for you soon on it. The “hush-hush” hasn’t left the project yet, but if you know of any female (or male) Unity programmers who LOVE story-heavy puzzle games, send them my way. 🙂
    6. E-comic
      In support of the above game, we’ll be starting out by telling the prelude story online, so I’ve been brushing off my comic script skills and have been working on writing the script for this. Early days, but I do love writing in comic book format. It’s a totally different animal, and it allows me to work multiple parts of my brain at once. Writing for a comic book is a tightly contained exercise in combining art and words to create a greater whole. I love it.
    7. WilyWriters.com anthology
      The third in the “Best of Wily Writers” series is in the works. I hope to have it available for purchase in early 2014. As executive producer of the project, I can tell you that it’s going to be the best to date.
  2. How does it differ from other works in the genre?
    Kinda hate this question. No offense to its author. I’ll talk about my horror collection to answer it.

    I could tell you that MY collection of short stories will be completely different from all other horror collections, but that’s not really true. Every story is unique—both mine and those written by others. However, I’m not breaking new ground with my stories. I’m just trying to creep people out and to tell a whopping good tale, which is what every writer (every horror writer especially) wants to do. Therefore, I’m just like them. And hopefully, my little horror stories will entertain you and give you goosebumps just like theirs did.

  3. Why do you write what you do?
    I’m a natural storyteller. By that, I mean that I wake up thinking about the stories I’ll be telling, and I go to sleep thinking about… You get my drift. I have this insane urge to create, to tell stories, to entertain, and to move people. I write horror, fantasy, and science fiction, perhaps because my own experience of life is dreadfully predictable in comparison to the crazy-wonderful events that can happen if you step outside reality.
  4. How does your writing process work?
    It never turns off. I don’t even think it turns off when I’m sleeping. Doing the dishes? Yeah, I’m thinking about my current projects. Brushing my teeth? Yeah, I’m going over character storylines for Guild Wars 2. Driving to work? Yeah, I’m talking through dialogue in my head. Occasionally, I take a break to play games, watch TV, or chat with friends, but even then, I’m evaluating, learning, watching for interesting turns of phrase. It’s just how I’m wired.

trickortreatThere you have it, some candy corn for your curiosity. Now, it’s my turn to send you along to the next set of houses in the neighborhood, on 11/4, exactly a week from today. I’ve heard they have even better candy!

Knock loudly, and don’t forget to yell “Trick or treat!” as these talented writers answer their doors:

  • Warrior Scribe Alan Baxter, who’s celebrating a three-book deal——oh, and a new baby too. Congrats on both fronts, Alan. Nice work.
  • Horror Maven S.P. Miskowski whose creepy backwoods tales of personal horror will knock your socks off. Her novel KNOCK-KNOCK is the place to start.
  • I’ll have to get back to you on the last one tomorrow. They’re being coy. 🙂

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