Today my partner-in-life-and-crime Christopher Rowe's first novel, Sandstorm (Amazon | Indiebound), releases into the wild, as they say. Said novel also happens to be part of the Forgotten Realms universe, a Dungeons & Dragons-related property of gaming publisher Wizards of the Coast. I'm sure a few years ago, I'd have thought I knew what that meant and I might even have been guilty (guilty is definitely the word) of dismissing many media tie-ins without a second thought. But that's because a) lots of people do so unfairly all the time and b) I didn't know anything about how such novels come into being. Suffice to say, it's pretty much like writing any other novel. Blood, sweat, tears. (In Mr. Rowe's case, also a typewriter.) With these, just about everything except the broader world is the creation of the author.
I also didn't realize just how many of my favorite writers have been strongly influenced by these books and gaming more generally. You might be thinking DUH, which I can certainly understand. It's been a great deal of fun to realize that D&D proves the lesson of modern pop culture: Everything geeky is secretly (or not-so-secretly) cool. I decided it would be fun to ask a few of these writer friends (including Christopher) to share some thoughts about this non-guilty pleasure on Sandstorm's release day. They gamely (ha) and immediately signed on to this wacky plan. So, without further ado, behind the cut you'll find geektastic comments from my esteemed panel:
Fabulous new writer Shveta Thakrar (who you'll be hearing a lot more about), and
I hope you'll share stories about your own fantastic geekdom in the comments.