Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hear Ty Roar!

Fantasy author Ty Johnston is touring the blogosphere this month to promote his new e-book novel, Demon Chains, and each day he appears as a guest poster on a blog. Today he is here spouting out words of wisdom. Okay, maybe not words of wisdom, but words. His novels include City of Rogues, Bayne’s Climb and Ghosts of the Asylum, all of which are available for the Kindle, the Nook and online at Smashwords. To learn more about Ty and his writing, follow him at his blog

No demons or chains were harmed in the making of this photo.
Sadly, I can't say this about people and animals...
First things first. I want to thank Uri for not putting up too much of a struggle when I commandeered his blog today. Guess he missed a saving throw, or maybe I made a really good one.

Anyway, I have to admit to being drawn to Uri’s blog for two reasons: 1.) Uri and I shared the table of contents of a collection of speculative short stories and novel excerpts titled Dreams in Shadow, and 2.) This blog has a big focus on gaming, mainly D&D, and I miss gaming.

See, I used to play D&D, and other tabletop RPGs. A lot. I stopped about a decade ago. Why did I stop? Partially by choice, but not totally.

I was switching jobs, and moving, and my future wife and I were moving in together. All at the same time. Leaving behind two gaming groups, I soon found myself missing the artistic aspects of being a dungeon master and the creative outlet of playing a character. Where I moved there were no gamers, at least none I could find, so I could not hook up with a new group. Online gaming was just coming into its own, but for me it’s not the same as tabletop gaming, though I’ve enjoyed plenty of online gaming.

Needing a creative release, I turned to writing fiction.

I had been writing short stories for years at that point, but I had never tried anything more substantial. Still not feeling ready to take on a task as large as a novel, I turned to writing screenplays. By the time I had finished two of them, I felt ready enough to try my hand at a novel.

For years my mind had been filled with an epic fantasy tale, one that would need to be told in dozens of novels. Now I was finally serious about novel writing, and I got to it. That first novel turned into a trilogy, my Kobalos trilogy. Since then I’ve written five more novels in that same world with some of the same characters, the latest novel being Demon Chains.

I’m one of the fortunate in that I get to write fiction for a living, but I continue to miss gaming to this day. I’ve moved a few times since giving up gaming, but I never seem to have any luck finding a new gaming group. Either I’ve lived in the sticks where there is no gaming to be found, or when I have discovered gamers, we haven’t quite clicked in our gaming styles.

But actually, honestly, that is for the better. While I do miss gaming just about every day of my life, I have found that for me, much of the same creative energy I used for gaming I now use for writing. And since writing is now my career, I have to save all my creativity for my fiction.

Could I write and game together? Yes, I probably could, but I feel each would suffer from it. As a dungeon master, I tended to become fully immersed in the worlds I created, and as a player I became entwined with my characters. I do the same as a fiction writer, so much so I don’t feel I could do both without draining myself mentally and emotionally.

It’s a shame. But that doesn’t mean I would pass up a solid gaming group if it came my way. I’d just have to adjust. At the least, I might have to write something other than fantasy.

I’d like to try it someday. Until then, every now and then I take my dice out of my old gaming backpack and stare at them longingly. With memories sometimes comes inspiration.


  1. Uri, thanks for hosting me today!

  2. I bet I would have loved gaming if I'd ever gotten involved, but they didn't have such things in arkansas when I was growing up. Yes, I am apparently that old.