Jennifer Brozek | All posts tagged 'guest-blog' - Page 2

Tell Me – Jim Hines

by Jennifer Brozek 5. August 2013 09:55

Jim Hines is a friend of mine, a great writer, and I love these books. I think all readers and writers want to know what it would be like to pull something--a lightsaber, a wand, the grail--from a book to have for their very own. Here, he talks about his protagonist's greatest love.

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One of my favorite things about Libriomancer and Codex Born is the protagonist’s attitude toward magic. Isaac Vainio is a librarian and shameless geek, with the ability to pull things from books—phasers, light-sabers, magic rings, pretty much anything that fits through the pages.

And he loves it. Isaac is completely and utterly in love with magic … occasionally to the detriment of whatever he’s supposed to be doing at the time. Even when he’s facing steampunk-style insects that escaped from a book and are oddly determined to kill him, a part of Isaac’s mind is distracted by the beauty of their construction, the combination of magic and miniature jewels and gears, the elegance of the metalwork...

He’s constantly asking “What if?” about both the books he reads and magic in the real world. How far could Harry Potter travel with that apparating spell? Did J. K. Rowling’s witches and wizards ever blip over to Mars to explore the planet? Could magic seeds from Piers Anthony’s Xanth series be pulled into our world to revolutionize farming? And where could Isaac get his hands on a magical chronoscope that would let him check out the lost episodes of Doctor Who?

Magic comes with a cost, of course. Overusing a particular book leads to magical charring, damage that spreads through every copy of the book and can make Bad Things happen. Magic also weakens the boundaries between the lirbiomancer and the book, meaning characters from those books can begin to creep into the libriomancer’s mind. And there are the occasional monsters and villains trying to use magic to take over the world.

But the core of the series is about hope and discovery and the thrill of learning something new. It’s about an insatiable need to learn, and to explore the possibilities of magic.

I have nothing against darker, grittier fantasy novels. But there seems to be an awful lot of it these days, where the world is a harsh, ugly place, and magic is a burden to be suffered with stoicism and occasional angst.

Isaac’s life certainly isn’t perfect. Any number of things are busily trying to kill him, his love life is confusing to say the least, and he’s not on the best of terms with Johannes Gutenberg, the centuries-old founder of the world’s magical organization. I mean, what kind of author would I be if I didn’t torment my characters?

But no matter what I put Isaac and his companions through, it never takes away that central thread of joy. The thrill Isaac feels when he discovers something new or finds that a long-understood “rule” of magic was actually more of a guideline.

At the heart of the series is the idea that magic is awesome. And that’s one of the things that makes these stories such an absolute blast to write.

 

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Tell Me – Kimmi Allbee

by Jennifer Brozek 24. July 2013 12:04

I will be at Convolution in the SF Bay Area, Nov 1-3. I'd really love to see the Goblin King's Masked Ball happen.

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I'm Kimmi Allbee, and I'm Chairwoman of this really amazing convention- Convolution 2013.  We're a new sci-fi/fantasy genre con, taking place in the San Francisco Bay Area on November 1-3rd.  Last year was our inaugural event, and we had unexpected success.  This, our second year, is shaping up to be more of the same-I have a hard time not gushing when I speak of how awesome it's going to be. 

Our Guests of Honor include Brian Froud & Wendy Froud, who's work you'd recognize from films like "Labyrinth", and "The Dark Crystal", Wendy & Richard Pini, celebrating 35 years of their brilliant ElfQuest comic book series, and Richard Kadrey, author of the dark fantasy series "Sandman Slim", which was recently announced as being developed for a new television series.  Featured Guests include Toby Froud, puppeteer and filmmaker, and Ivan Van Norman, RPG game creator, and one of the finalists from TBS' "King of the Nerds" TV series.  We're also closing the weekend with a private screening of the Cabal Cut of Clive Barker's epic horror film "Nightbreed", which was just announced at SDCC as being picked up for a new DVD release with the all-new, reworked scenes that were cut from the original release, bringing it back in line with Clive's original vision for the film.  Russell Cherrington, the man behind this film being made will join us, along with Craig Sheffer, star of Nightbreed, who played Boone.

When I first bid to chair this year's convention, I had a dream, and it's been amazing to watch that dream become a real thing, and to get to share it with all the people who are so excited for it to happen. We're also working our collective butts off to make it be a bigger, more amazing thing than it could have been on it's own, by running a Kickstarter campaign for Saturday night's dance, The Goblin King's Masked Ball.

We'll have live music performances from singer and cellist Unwoman, and from the trio of amazing performers who make up Tricky Pixie- Alexander James Adams, SJ Tucker, and Betsy Tinney.  We'll have local DJs spinning atmospheric music, and live performers from The Vespertine Circus.  The whole evening is themed after the iconic dream sequence in the film "Labyrinth", and we want everyone to don a fancy costume and mask, and come to the ball as your brightest dream, or your darkest nightmare, and revel for Halloween weekend in style and decadence.

We currently have 52 backers, with $4,944.00 pledged of our $12,500.00 goal, and we're not quite halfway done- we have 17 days left. We're at 39% funded-and this is a fantastic thing. In the next week, you'll see more updates as we add new performers, and unveil some extra reward level items to titillate new backers. We've gotten endless support from all of our wonderful Guests of Honor, and Featured Guests, and it just keeps coming, which is both humbling, and invigorating, as it repeatedly shows me that my dream is something that I can share, and have it become bigger than it was when it just lived in my head.

Please, go give it a look. There has been so much work, from so many people, going into making this project a success that I cannot possibly ask for more from any of them-but I can ask for more from you. Even if it's just $5, one less latte for the week-every little bit helps, and every little bit adds up to become part of a greater whole. And then, you'll have thrown a little bit of positivity out into the world, knowing you helped make a dream come true.

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Tell Me – J. A. Pitts

by Jennifer Brozek 8. July 2013 12:39

I have the great pleasure of calling John Pitts a mentor and friend. He is an excellent author and the Sarah Beauhall series deserves to continue on. I know a lot hinges on trade paperback sales. Forged in Fire is worth picking up in physical copy. Something to think about.

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On July 23rd, the trade paperback of Forged in Fire hits the shelves.  This is the third in the Sarah Beauhall series about a young lesbian blacksmith in present day Seattle who repairs a sword that just happens to be the legendary Gram and the chaos that ensues.

In Forged in Fire, Sarah has uncovered even more that is wrong with the world in the form of a blood cult lead by a seriously anti-social necromancer.  Justin, the necromancer, just happens to have once dated Anezka, one of the blacksmith masters that Sarah has had the pleasure of working with.

I love this book for several reasons.  It was a good chance for me to step out of my comfort zone in several areas which is a HUGE bonus for writers.  Breaking through the walls and trying things, exploring themes or touching on subject matter that is outside our norm makes for powerful story telling.

Sarah really has embraced the way her world is unfolding and is approaching it with a fervor she never knew she had in her.  Katie, her lover and best friend, begins to really come into her own as a bard, with the music and magic literally bursting out of her. 

The rest of the crew jump in and round out the story with depth and consequences.  Every action has meaning, magic has a cost, and even the most well intentioned decision has a ripple effect that goes beyond any careful (or not so careful) planning on everyone's part.

Another thing I find fascinating about this series in general is the fun of layering in story.  I get a very real sense of joy by planting clues that may bear fruit in this book, or maybe the next.  The world isn't a single D&D adventure that is completely wrapped at the end.  Oh, the story has a fine resolution, but the world rolls on, the characters have lives beyond this book, and I dearly hope that you the reader can't help but wonder just what might happen next.

At least that's the feedback I've been getting from eager readers.  Of course, as the author, there are things I know that the readers don't always catch.  But I can live with that.  What I'd really love is when you read the books, that you'd contact me, ask questions, let me know what you liked and what you didn't like.  Let me know if there are things I should do better in the future, or things that you want to see.

I can't promise I'll do any of those things, but it's a real boon to a writer to hear what's working and what isn't.  I especially want to know if the things I'm foreshadowing are what you the reader is anticipating as the next thing.

Beyond that, I just hope you're entertained.  That's the whole point of this exercise, after all.  I'm a sucker for a damn good story, and I hope Forged in Fire fill that for you. 

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Tell Me – Nayad Monroe

by Jennifer Brozek 1. July 2013 10:22

Nayad is an author / editor friend of mind that I’ve been privileged to work with upon occasion. This is one such occasion. I have a story in the kickstarter anthology, What Fates Impose, that Nayad talks about below. In an unexpected turn, Nayad asked me to write my own “Tell Me” about the Karen Wilson Chronicles and the story that is in this anthology.

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What Fates Impose: Tales of Divination

When I consider potential anthology themes, I'm really thinking about what kind of stories I would like to read. That's what led me to pitch the idea for this book of stories about predicting the future. I was curious about what various writers would think of when given the theme about fortune-telling. I wanted to see the dark side and the conflicts of divination, and the possibilities that other people would imagine. I was thrilled when Steven Saus of Alliteration Ink decided that he wanted to publish it.

Getting a glimpse of what's ahead is a special kind of cheat. It's not as easy as you want it to be. You don't know how the piece you're told will fit in with the whole puzzle of your life. You don't know when it will happen, or what will lead to it. Oracles are notoriously vague and inclined towards a trickster mentality; they're not trying to make life any easier for you. You can never tell how much of the truth they're telling, if they're telling any truth at all.

Looking at my own ideas about these matters: I don't believe that fortune-telling can work because I don't believe the future is already planned. I think that each decision we make steers the future in its own little way, but we each have a range of decisions we could make in any given moment. But what if predictions could be made based on trends and probabilities? What if there were ways to use magic to catch glimpses of what could be ahead? I can imagine worlds in which fate is inescapable, and worlds in which there are ways to change a predicted future.

The authors who wrote stories for me came up with ideas I never would have gotten on my own. A psychic elephant came from Eric James Stone. A conspiracy to fulfill a prophecy came from Ken Scholes. Jennifer Brozek's Tarot cards can change the world. Tim Waggoner shows us a fortune-telling creature that lurks behind a waterfall in the forest. And Lucy Snyder's predictions come from a grim creation in a secret cellar. All of the twenty-two stories I chose for the book showed me distinct, interesting possibilities.

From now until July 14, 2013, Alliteration Ink is running a Kickstarter campaign to raise enough money to pay professional rates for these stories. If we reach our goal, we get full funding, and if we don't reach our goal, we get nothing. Want to help? By pledging from the Kickstarter page, you can pre-order copies of the book and choose from a wide range of backer rewards. We are also offering random prize-drawings for backers when we reach important milestones. You can see it all here: http://bit.ly/kickfate (and you might want to do your ears a favor by listening to a portion of the book's intro, written and read by Alasdair Stuart). We will be gushingly grateful for all support.

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Tell Me – Amber Michelle Cook

by Jennifer Brozek 24. June 2013 21:34

What is FCI?

It's my term for three of the most wonderful things in life:  fantasy, creativity and imagination

Life is a serious business.  We have to be deeply grounded in reality.  But life is also incredibly complex.  It’s made up of matter and the rules that govern matter, and it’s also made out of emotion, thought and desires that all affect one another in sometimes unpredictable and immeasurable ways.  In a complex world, FCI is one of the best tools to help us negotiate them all and find our place in life. 

My blog, Caution: Adults Playing, is where I take the misconceptions around FCI seriously, while having fun playing with them.  There is an oppression of young people, and an oppression of adults.  Like you can insult a man by comparing him to woman when you believe women are less than men, you can insult an adult by comparing them to a child because we believe children are beneath us.  The oppression of adults runs a little differently.  Adults are expected to sacrifice everything in order to be, or at least appear to be, capable and productive.  As such, you can’t be seen acting ‘childishly.’  Between the two oppressions, they account for most of the personal and societal pressure to cut FCI out of our lives just when we need it most: to counteract the wear and tear on us from the burdens of too many routines and over-responsibility.  Just like we don’t have to adhere to a list of attributes attributed to our gender, we don’t have to go from being a child to leaving everything from childhood behind in order to become an adult.  

In my writing I champion and explore the benefits of using your FCI.  And I write my stories using all three. 

My first book, What the Faeries Left Behind, is an urban fairy tale in which Abigail Watson—stuck in a rut—is given an unexpected opportunity to allow FCI back into her life to help rejuvenate it.  My second book, Defense Mechanisms (coming out later this month), is also an urban fairy tale.  It’s the story of how thirty something Janey was bullied into giving up FCI growing up, and what it takes for her to reclaim it and give herself permission to be her real, whole self.  And my third book, Sleepwaking (coming soon) is a modern adaptation of Through the Looking Glass that takes us back to Wonderland—an urbanized version of it with an adult Alice—because the satire, word play and innocent fun that delighted us as children can be just as refreshing and stimulating for us as grown-ups. 

I’m launching Deep Meaningful Fun:  Defense Mechanisms, an urban fairy tale—a Kickstarter campaign for the release of my second book—on June 24th, 2013, to run for the next three weeks.  As an author/artist I’d love to connect with more people who relish their FCI and want to read more fun fiction—deep, meaningful fun fiction that is.  Participating in the campaign is like ordering an advance copy of my novel and getting backstage passes to the behind-the-scenes world of writing and publishing a book. 

And come to www.ambermichellecook.com, the gateway page to more of my FCI:  my Wubbulous Writing Website, the blog, and Chromatic Daffodil Shadows. 

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Tell Me – Sarah Hans

by Jennifer Brozek 10. June 2013 10:18

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Sarah at conventions and publishing her in anthologies. I’m really happy she got to do this anthology with Alliteration Ink. She and I will both be at Origins Game Fair Library this next weekend.

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If you’d told me two years ago that I would be editing my first anthology in 2013, I would’ve laughed at you, because I was a new writer with hardly any publishing credits under my belt. Two years doesn’t seem like much time to go from barely-a-writer to editor. But a series of events conspired to place me in the right place at the right time and friends with the right publisher. Steven Saus of Alliteration Ink asked me if I had any ideas for anthologies I’d like to edit, and I said yes! In writing, every door that opens leads to bigger (and sometimes better) doors, and if you want to make writing a career you have to diversify and try as many as you can. So I took a deep breath and opened the Editor door.

The idea for Sidekicks! came from the novel I’ve been writing since Summer 2012. The book is about a girl who is the quintessential sidekick, someone who is perpetually overlooked and continually underappreciated...even by herself. I wondered what other authors would do with the same concept. Why would anyone choose to be a sidekick?

The anthology was invitation-only because I’m too busy with a full time job and graduate school to deal with hundreds of submissions. I primarily chose authors I knew from writing groups and conventions, and Steven gave me a list of authors Alliteration Ink had worked with in the past. So if you’re an aspiring author and you’re out there wondering how to get on an editor’s invite list, the answer is to join a writing group and go to a convention or two. Networking is still surprisingly powerful in this day and age.

Sidekicks! contains twenty stories in a variety of genres. The authors we invited took the concept of the sidekick and really ran with it. We have a few of the stories you’d expect, about superhero and supervillain sidekicks, but I think you’ll find the trouble the characters find themselves in unexpected and entertaining. We also have stories about a telekinetic gun slinger, a dictator’s conniving brother, a stone-faced Martian warrior, and a kidnapping victim who takes matters into her own hands. We’ve got sidekicks who are female, male, people of color, soldiers, students, gay, straight, etc. Some of the stories are quite funny, and others are very serious, and still others are rather dark, so there’s a little something for everyone. We tried our hardest to answer the question of what motivates someone to become (and remain) a sidekick. I think the answer is different depending on which character you ask--but they all have their reasons. And they’re all good ones.

If you’d like to hear some of the authors from Sidekicks! read their work, we’ll be at the Whetstone Library in Columbus, Ohio on June 8 from 5-7pm (Facebook event here). To keep an eye out for future events or to ask me a question about this blog post, please find me on my blog, twitter, and facebook! Thanks for reading!

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Tell Me – David Raiklen

by Jennifer Brozek 28. May 2013 09:58

I've backed this movie kickstarter because it looks like exactly the kind of thing I love. Toss in some of my favorite creators and how could I say no? They are very close to being funded. Here's David to talk about the awesomeness of working with creatives.

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Why Blood Kiss?

First, thank you Jennifer for letting me guest blog, I feel honored to contribute here plus it's great fun. There's a sense of magic on this site. And that leads to Blood Kiss.

There's a sense of wonder and magic in the screenplay and the people involved. I want to help bring a unique story to life, and work with some of the most wonderful creative people in the world. Neil Gaiman, Amber Benson, Michael Reaves, Tom Mandrake and Daniela Di Mase are warm, funny, creative, and inspiring. Every day one of them says or does something that makes me think, laugh, and do better than I could before. Being part of a great team is key to having a successful project, and somehow I fit into this creative team. We blend our skills and make something new happen every day.

We all want to make the best movie possible, and that involves a lot of people, time, money, and resources. With such strong personalities there are differing opinions, and finding a middle way that works for everyone is a real challenge sometimes. Designing the campaign for Kickstarter took months, and everyone contributed. Because we believe in the project, the final version looks great and holds your attention. All the parts fit and help tell the story. In a sense it's a microcosm of how the whole filmmaking process works. Collaboration-Communication-Completion.

I'm a composer and love the Golden Age of Hollywood. Blood Kiss is set in that world and gives me a chance to update grand romantic gestures and spice them with creepy electronica. To do that takes money to hire live musicians. People are better than boxes. And more authentic. That means we have to raise enough money to hire great performers, string players and brass. In a project like this everything goes on screen and the more we raise the better our production values. Everyone knows what classic movies sound like and I have to create that sound. A real challenge. But with the support of fans it's possible.

Michael tried to get the studios to see the value in a new kind of character driven, glamorous Hollywood vampire tale. They didn't get it. But you do. We can do this together with your support. That's kind of amazing, that Michael's dream can come true, Neil gets to act, Amber can sing, I can orchestrate melodies, do things we really believe in and do well. With fans giving us the green light.

A big reason I'm part of Blood Kiss is that crowdfunding gives me a chance to to my best work, be creative in ways the old system might never allow. If we have great success, maybe we can even change the system a bit.

I'm grateful to Michael, Neil, Amber, Tom, Daniela, Leah, Dave, Dan, Tommy, and Fernando for doing amazing work. Please see their work at PledgeBloodKiss.com We're making magic here!

—David Raiklen, Producer/Composer, Blood Kiss

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Tell Me – Warren Schultz

by Jennifer Brozek 13. May 2013 09:38

The whole concept of Geek Field Guide started with the idea of traveling the world and documenting regional and local martial arts styles for others who share our passion for that sort of thing. The idea quickly took on a life of its own, and grew as we assessed where our talents and passions overlapped that we could provide a more compelling project to a larger number of people.

Some background… Photography has always been a great passion for me, and I’d always felt restricted by technology. Using cheap 110 film as a child was a great learning experience, but the quality ultimately left me disappointed by the results. The 35mm point and shoot that my dad owned was a significant improvement, but it wasn’t something I could go play and experiment with due to the rather significant cost of the camera for my family at the time. It wasn’t until college that I took a photography course and bought an old fully-manual Minolta SLR that I really grasped photography as an art form.

The ability to present a view of the world with such carefully-tuned composition and exposure was a door flung open in front of me into a new world. Between my third and fourth year of college, I took a trip to Italy through the university and studied art in Florence (Firenze) for a summer. This falls under the category of Life-Changing Experience. This was when I realized that I was truly happy out exploring and seeing the world, camera in hand. But… You can’t make a real career out of that, right? So I went home, and continued down the path of life toward jobs that happen in office buildings. Fast-forward through over a decade of game development from QA to co-owning an indie studio, a couple years of finally giving in and taking up fiction writing (including one published short so far), and splurging to get a DSLR, I finally had the experience I needed to re-assess my dreams.

Working in an office was no longer a requirement to my subconscious after freelance writing and dev work. I’d spent enough time living in hotels that I found that while it is essential to have a home base somewhere, the amount of time I feel I need to spend there isn’t that significant. I realized that the time to put all the skills and networking to use had arrived.

As the idea for The Project (as we came to refer to it) became more concrete to me, I started reaching out to friends with varied hobbies and careers for feedback on what would be useful to them. The response was staggering. Finding good reference for the types of projects that geeks do for fun and profit can be extremely time-consuming, or sometimes impossible to find. Everyone I talked to wanted to see me try to make this project happen.

I'm a tech geek at heart. While I no longer get as excited about technology for the sake of technology, new hardware, software, and techniques for furthering my art will grab my attention every time.

For this reason, the increasing low-light capabilities of DSLR cameras (I prefer to shoot in natural light), portability of HD video cameras (such as the GoPro), and techniques such as photogrammetry (turning a series of perspective photos into a 3D model), leapt into my mind as ways that we could document the world in new and exciting ways.

We tried to capture a cross-section of these techniques in our promo video on Indiegogo.

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/geek-field-guide/

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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Tell a Story Day

by Jennifer Brozek 18. April 2013 16:37

I'm participating in Genre Underground's Tell a Story Day story. This is my first dip into the ongoing storyline.

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The android tilted his head, its auditory sensors cranked up to detect the disturbance that certainly followed the elf to Assembly. As the sounds of roars, terrified metallic squees, and metal smashing against metal reached it, the android nodded. “I believe I have the trajectory of our quarry.”

“One moment.” The lawyer shuffled through his case again. “I need to make sure I have the correct contracts on hand. I’m biological but I’ve negotiated the right to traverse Assembly as needed in the pursuit of a case.”

“Logically, we are in pursuit of an elf with a troll who might have information on our case.”

“Yes. It all counts. Remember, I’m a master at the fine print.” The lawyer tapped his chin. “Which begs the question of how the elf was able to open a portal at all. I did remove his free will.”

As the disturbance in the distance gained volume, the android shrugged. “A thought experiment for another time. Our lead is getting away.” It turned from the lawyer and set off in the direction of the troll versus droid melee.

The lawyer jogged to keep up with the android’s long strides. “Troll first, then elf. Based on his actions, I deem the elf part of the case. Bounty hunter or not, he knows more than he’s saying. He knew the troll. He broke our contract. He came here. He may be part of the crime.” The lawyer stopped talking to save his breath for jogging as he searched his memory for how long he could be on Assembly without taking damage from the planet’s industrial tainted air. Not long if he remembered correctly.

As they came upon the scene of destruction, mauled bunny droid parts scattered hither, thither, and yon, their original quarry was locked in combat with one of the largest security droids either the android or lawyer had ever seen.

“Halt this combat immediately.” The lawyer pulled out his contract with Assembly and read. “By Section 37, Clause 3, Paragraph 15, of the Assembly Contract 597, this troll is to be bound and released into our custody.”

“Negative.” The security drone did not release the troll who continued to scream and pound against its metal frame. “In times of crisis, Security Protocol 19 supersedes Assembly Contract 597, Section 37, Clause 3, Paragraph 15.”

The android nodded. “This is a crisis.”

--

Jay Hartlove is next up.

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Tell Me - Janna Silverstein

by Jennifer Brozek 11. March 2013 10:42

Building a Worldbuilding Guide

How do you build a world? How do you convey that world to your readers? How do you manage the business of worldbuilding, whether it's your own world or someone else's? These are questions that everyone who's ever worked in science fiction, fantasy, and role-playing games has asked. When Wolfgang Baur asked me to edit an anthology of essays on the subject for Kobold Press, I was both excited and a little overwhelmed. It's a huge topic. I wasn't an expert, that's for sure. But between the two of us, we knew enough worldbuilders that we figured we might be able to get near to answering the question. And thus was born The Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding, a collection of essays by some of the top worldbuilders in roleplaying and in fantasy, with an introduction by Ken Scholes, bestselling author of The Psalms of Isaak.

What did I love about working on this project? I loved working with the people who wrote for it. Wolfgang Baur, for example, isn't well-known to mainstream SF and fantasy readers but he's a rockstar in the RPG world, and he writes about the creative side of worldbuilding with the insight and flair of someone who’s done it his entire adult life. Wolf explains difficult concepts with ease and real authority. He explains what is and isn’t important with the experience of someone who’s done it for games including Dungeons & Dragons, Call of Cthulu and, most recently, the Midgard campaign setting for Pathfinder.

I loved working with Michael A. Stackpole, with whom I’ve worked for decades. Mike’s produced wonderful original fantasy novels including The Books of the Crown Colonies as well as novels in some of the most beloved licensed universes around, including Star Wars and Battletech. He contributed a dynamite piece on creating cultures. Jonathan Roberts, who created the maps for George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, produced a terrific essay on creating the topography of a world, and writes as beautifully as he illustrates. I loved working with Jeff Grubb, who writes about post-apocalyptic worldbuilding—and who presents some key insights about it that never occurred to me before. Jeff’s fingerprints are all over Magic: the Gathering, Guild Wars, and Star Wars, too.

In case you’re curious, I didn’t just edit the book; I contributed an essay about worldbuilding in licensed universes—breaking in, following the rules, managing your role in such a situation. I’ve worked with properties including Star Trek, Star Wars, Aliens, Superman, and so many others. I’ve got opinions and I didn’t stint in sharing them.

Now, I know what my friends in mainstream SF and fantasy will say; I know that there’s a prejudice in our business that divides novelists and book publishers from game designers and game publishers. We don’t talk about it in polite company. Having straddled the divide between the two industries, I’m here to tell you something very important: the business of building a world is the same, whether you’re writing a novel or designing a game. If there’s a difference, it’s in how that world is conveyed to an audience, whether via a novel or interactive storytelling. But the effect is the same: drawing an audience into a fully realized world, convincing them of its authenticity, and carrying them away from their own lives in the service of adventure.

There’s no question that this book, targeting as it does, aspiring RPG designers, has a slant toward game design. But the lessons apply to novel-writing in ways you may not expect. I certainly didn’t when I started this project, and Ken Scholes certainly didn’t until he started reading the essays in order to write his introduction. The people who contributed to this collection have made worldbuilding their business, and they have a great deal to teach. What I want people to know about this book is just that: There are teachers here offering decades of knowledge about what it takes to make a world live and breathe. Take their advice; it’s solid gold.


The Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding
Edited by Janna Silverstein
Essays by Keith Baker, Wolfgang Baur, David “Zeb” Cook, Monte Cook, Jeff Grubb, Scott Hungerford, Chris Pramas, Jonathan Roberts, Michael A. Stackpole, and Steve Winter
Introduction by Ken Scholes
Kobold Press, January 2013
http://www.koboldquarterly.com


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Janna Silverstein is a science fiction and fantasy writer and editor with a number of anthologies and short stories to her credit. Her work has appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction, Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show, 10Flash Quarterly, and in the anthologies Swordplay and The Trouble With Heroes, among others. She was twice a Writers of the Future semi-finalist. She edited The Kobold Guide to Game design, vol 3: Tools & Techniques, and the Gold ENnie Award-winning Complete Kobold Guide to Game Design, both from Kobold Press. She lives in Seattle.

 

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YA Horror

(Out of Print)

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Never Let Me
YA SF-Thriller Omnibus

Amazon | Barnes&Noble |
Permuted Press

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Never Let Me Die
YA SF-Thriller Novel
Amazon | B&N |
Permuted Press


Never Let Me Leave
YA SF-Thriller Novel
Amazon | B&N |
Permuted Press


Never Let Me Sleep
YA SF-Thriller Novel

Amazon | B&N |
Permuted Press


DocWagon 19
Shadowrun novella
Amazon | BattleShop
DriveThruRPG


The Karen Wilson Chronicles
More InformationBuy Now.


Apocalypse Girl Dreaming
Fiction collection
Amazon | B&N |
Evil Girlfriend Media

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Jazz Age Cthulhu
Amazon | B&N |
Innsmouth Free Press


Jennifer Brozek: Writerholic

Jennifer Brozek is a multi-talented, award-winning author, editor, and tie-in writer. She is the author of the Never Let Me Sleep, and The Last Days of Salton Academy, both of which were nominated for the Bram Stoker Award. Her BattleTech tie-in novel, The Nellus Academy Incident, won a Scribe Award. Her editing work has netted her a Hugo Award nomination as well as an Australian Shadows Award for Grants Pass. Jennifer’s short form work has appeared in Apex Publications, and in anthologies set in the worlds of Valdemar, Shadowrun, V-Wars, and Predator. Jennifer is also the Creative Director of Apocalypse Ink Productions, and was the managing editor of Evil Girlfriend Media and assistant editor for Apex Book Company.

Jennifer has been a freelance author, editor, tie-in writer for over ten years after leaving her high paying tech job, and she’s never been happier. She keeps a tight schedule on her writing and editing projects and somehow manages to find time to volunteer for several professional writing organizations such as SFWA, HWA, and IAMTW. She shares her husband, Jeff, with several cats and often uses him as a sounding board for her story ideas. Visit Jennifer’s worlds at jenniferbrozek.com.

"I see story ideas. All the time. They're everywhere. Just walking around like normal ideas. They don't know they're stories."