No, it’s not writing to market. I always tend to do my own thing anyway.
It’s more like feeling the rush. LitRPG and GameLit is hot right now, and there are a lot of things happening all at once. The community is vibrant and talkative, there are real bestsellers, the stories are breaking all barriers of form, presentation, and sexual boundaries.
I like this pioneering feeling. Who gives a shit if some people don’t consider it literature? We like it, we buy it, consume it, so it’s real. I have torn through more LitRPG books these past few months than most people have read in ten years. There are audiobooks, paperbacks out there, thousands of reviews, ravenous fans. It would be dumb for me not to dip my toe in it.
The covers are trying new things, going minimal with Awaken online:
Yes, there is a real influx of “Online” titles in the burgeoning genre right now, but the sci-fi folks can’t really complain about it. There still are a million of “Star” title variations simply because they sell well.
So, I decided to give it a try and see where it leads. I’m not an avid gamer at this moment in my life but I have thousands of hours played since I was little. Remember Dune 2? I was there. Remember Day of the Tentacle? Exactly. Diablo? Leisure Suit Larry? Sonic?
Games are an escape and they have given us wonderful characters and deep storytelling already, and they are still going on. It’s not that big of a leap to grabbing the reader’s imagination with a literary format and some dramatic elements sprinkled in.
Most importantly, it’s fun. A huge part of our lives has already become gamified. Tinder dates, selfie likes, hot or not scores, twitter followers, the now defunct klout score that could make an employer reject you in an interview, everything in our lives is now trackable like a step counter. It used to be that you could track your score with land and sheep and coins. Now it’s also stocks and bitcoin and followers and all the other imaginary things I’m sure we’ll come up with.
It’s really easy to imagine a story in a contemporary world with some specific rules and real-life quests and goals, with real rewards. Gamification is all around us and it doesn’t seem weird and far off anymore.
I’m taking this Gamification concept to the extreme and have a few ideas fleshed out. The first two I can tell you about, the last two are a surprise. I don’t think anyone has ever done it before and I’ll tell you after the summer.
The two titles I’m working on are the Cyberpink series and the 7 Deadly Roommates series. The first book of Cyberpink is out and already selling like hotcakes. The print version will also be available next month.
The 7 Deadly Roommates story is on preorder, just at Smashwords for now. I’ll put it up on Amazon when I’m closer to the release date, which will be soon because it’s flying towards completion.