05 Oct

How to Write 15 Novels in a Year – An Interview with Jason Halstead

I write because I breathe, Jason Halstead quote

I write because I breathe, Jason Halstead quote Jason Halstead is a prolific writer. In the six years since publishing his first novel, he has added over 70 novel credits to his name – and that doesn’t include some 35 novels written under pen names or co-written with his wife Dawn Michelle. How does he do it?

“I write because I breathe,” says Jason Halstead. “It’s as important to me as eating, drinking, my family, and my hobby of lifting weights. It defines who I am not because I want it to, but because I have made it a core part of me.”

During the day, Jason Halstead is a regular Joe, spending 45 to 50 hours a week as a Lead Software Developer. He’s also a competition power lifter (in 2009 he set two state records in the Son-Light Powerlifting Federation of Michigan), a father, and a husband. On a typical day he gets up at 5:45 (he sleeps in until 6:30 on weekends), exercises, works, takes care of the business side of writing, and then writes a chapter or 2 500 words, whichever is less, before going to bed around 11 pm. Read More

30 Sep

When are you a writer?

Writing at the sea.

I’m a writer and game designer. I haven’t published anything and gotten paid for it. Even so, I am a writer and game designer. No matter my day job, no matter how I live or how I make my money, I’m a writer and game designer. I just haven’t gotten published yet.

In my opinion, if you write and finish what you’re writing, and edit what you finish, then you’re a writer. You’re working on mastering your craft.

A job has a title, a craft has a name. There’s a difference. If you lose your job you lose your title. You don’t lose your name until you chose to give up your craft. You. Chose. Key words, those. Read More

04 Sep

Advice for those dreaming of designing a game

Image: Flavio Takemoto/FreeimagesYou’re going to design crap. There’s no way around it. No matter what you do, you’re going to design crap.

When you start out, you’ll look to what others have done and attempt to copy them. You’ll look to published games and attempt to make something like them, only better.

You will fail. Read More

15 Jul

My new Best First Book on Game Design – Paid to Play by Keith A. Meyers, Review

Keith A. Meyers, Paid to Play, cover

Keith A. Meyers, Paid to Play, coverWhen I decided that I wanted to become a serious game designer (and isn’t that an oxymoron) I didn’t know where to start. The step between dabbling in game design and doing it systematically, accountably and efficiently seemed nigh on insurmountable.

I really wish that someone had given me Keith A. Meyers “Paid to Play” right about then.

Reading “Paid to Play” is the equivalent of spending a year or more perusing BGDF and the BoardGameGeek game designers forums. Everything you need to know about the basics of professionaly designing games is here, from finding your target market to the skills you need as a designer (persistence, persistence, persistence) to licensing and the dos and don’ts of submitting a query. Incredibly it’s all crammed into 87 quite airy pages. Read More