Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

An Author is Me?

Posted by Rampant Coyote on December 26, 2013

“If you really like it you can have the rights,
It could make a million for you overnight.
If you must return it, you can send it here
But I need a break and I want to be a paperback writer,
Paperback writer.”
– The Beatles, Paperback Writer

In fourth grade, my class was assigned a creative writing project. It was supposed to be about a magical dolphin that appeared in a swimming pool that leads us to a magical land. We were given the first two sentences or something. My classmates wrote stories that were around one or two pages long, a few of them ending with the protagonist (the narrator, as the opening sentences were in first-person) waking up from the dream.

I wrote about eight pages, as I recall. Yes, even back then, I went on way too long. But I had a blast. I loved writing, but after discovering the Colossal Cave Adventure the following year, and Dungeons & Dragons the year after, storytelling and gaming became woven together in my mind. I kept up the writing through high school, but in college I dropped it as a priority. Gaming substituted for writing.

Much later – well, I had this blog, and I had writing for my games. It scratched the itch… mostly. I even managed to get other articles published – including two at The Escapist (“Going Rogue” and “Weekend Warrior“). But those weren’t fiction. During the development of Frayed Knights, I assumed that I’d still be able to draw upon my old talents in writing tons of dialog and story. It was much harder than I’d expected. I needed more practice – and feedback.

I learned about the quarterly anthologies published by Xchyler Publishing, and spoke with some of the authors at a steampunk convention over the summer. I also purchased one of their anthologies, Mechanized Masterpieces, which to me seemed like quality steampunk fan-fic for classic literature. I enjoyed it, and thought the regular competition would be a good motivation to force me to work on my skills. Besides, it sounded really fun to actually get published in an honest-to-goodness print anthology.

Unsurprisingly, my first attempt didn’t make the cut. I’m looking forward to reading the upcoming anthology, which should have fantasy stories involving time travel. It was a great learning experience, at least, which was my primary objective. I imposed on a lot of folks I know for feedback.

But earlier this week, I was informed that my short story for the spring Steampunk anthology had been a competition winner. Assuming things go as expected, I should be published just before summer, along with six other steampunk-flavored tales with a loose theme of “Around the World in 80 Days.”

While it’s a small thing, I’m pretty excited about it. It’s fun working in a different medium, and a nice change of pace once in a while from game development.

Filed Under: Books - Comments: 6 Comments to Read

  • Felix said,

    Congratulations! I kinda went the same route: after dreaming of becoming a writer for my entire childhood, I abandoned that hobby in favor of programming, then returned to it two years ago… and now I’m abandoning game development in favor of writing. Just remember to practice, practice, practice; your blogging experience helps a lot, but you’ll also need to write plenty of fiction proper, and accept some failures while you’re at it.

    Just remember to always have fun writing, or else it will show, and not in a good way.

  • Silemess said,

    Congratulations on your success! It serves as a good reminder to keep on trying for one’s goals. And, thanks for pointing out a steam punk reading source.

  • Rampant Coyote said,


    And yeah. I am under no delusions that I’m the next Stephen King or anything. But like being an indie game developer, I hope I can provide something unique, if a little raw.

    Right now, game development is still top priority. Sadly, writing a short story (and revising it LOTS of times, because I’m not good enough to get it right the first time… or the second… or even the third) has interrupted my game *playing* time pretty badly.

  • Brian 'Psychochild' Green said,

    Congrats! 🙂 Always nice when someone else thinks your work is worthy of getting more attention.

  • Cuthalion said,


  • Darklord said,

    Congrats! 🙂