The Stories of the Storycrafter
I call myself a "Storycrafter" because I enjoy crafting stories in various forms. Whether it's a deeply-realized background for a character I role-play in the online game Star Wars The Old Republic, or a self-published novel, a "blognovel," or a script for a podcast audio drama, I love creating tales of wonder and building worlds where my characters and live and breathe.
On this page you'll find the doorways to the various stories I've crafted.
I currently have two self-published Steampunk fantasy novels as part of a three-part series. They didn't begin as Steampunk. In fact, I didn't even know there was such a thing as Steampunk until someone called me out on it. I simply started writing in a world I dubbed "The Heart of Bronze" that involved an alternative American history that involved a lot of steam works, clockworks, and Tesla power.
Put simply, a "blognovel" is a novel-length story presented chapter-by-chapter as a weekly blog entry. There are two that I wrote many years ago still accessible on the Interwebs because that's what the Interwebs do; they keep things.
"Transmedia" is writing or storytelling across different creative avenues, typically with a specific "link." In my case, my novels are set in the same universe as my podcast, and pending anthology, art, and audio drama projects. There is even an aspect of the podcast that's a fictional character with a real Twitter account. Check out @Robbie_RBY2187 and you'll see. Promise him oil, and he'll tell you secrets.
Years ago, I wrote for a site dedicated to various aspects of the aforementioned Star Wars The Old Republic game. There was a lack of input about the art of role-playing, so I applied for a job at swtor-life. While the site eventually went belly-up, my column continued, and can still be found there, complete with tips and tricks for the role-playing gamer no matter their genre of RP.
Finally, I've included a blog I used to write that kept me in storytelling practice. The Book Bridging Blog was an exercise wherein you take a random paragraph from two completely different novels, and write a "bridge" between them. The object is to make the transition as believable as possible. You be the judge.
The sequel to Clockwork Looking Glass was published in 2018, and continues the story of the character "Pandora" from the first book.
The third novel in the series will reunite all the characters in an adventure that reveals many secrets about the Heart of Bronze universe.
You can get both books at Amazon here:
And you can find out more about them, including some fair reviews, on my Latest News page.
A "blognovel" is to novels what a test screening is to a movie producer.
Put simply, it's a first draft novel published weekly on a blog template. I came up with the idea while writing a blog about something fascinating (like the size of the spider in my bathroom, I'm sure). I realized that you could back-fill the publish date on blog entries to make a "serialized" story that grew from week to week.
I also thought it would be cool to let readers choose the names of exotic locations, the appearance of secondary characters or even the fate of the bad guy.
I currently have two blognovels "published" and copyrighted. One of them recently "came up" in the world and is now available as an e-book through Amazon.com.
An Angel for Sara Dawn is the story of a woman at the end of her life. Sara is lonely, living in the dark hole of a tragedy she was part of years ago. She wears her heart and feelings on her sleeve, and now it seems everyone in the small town of Haven would be happier if she'd just disappear... so she's ready to oblige them. Can an angel sent from God pull her back from the edge, or will he be the one to drive her over it? (NOTE: For the intrepid Web explorer, you'll find 'Sara Dawn's' original working title in the Wordpress link. The story was originally called Life in Heaven and half of the original plot was to take place in the Afterlife.)
August Winter was written as a National Novel Writing Month (NaNo WriMo) experiment: Would I be able to write a 95,000-word novel without an outline, without characters, and with only a flimsy premise? The short answer is "Yes!" The premise? What if a coldblooded murderer stumbles out of the rain and into a small roadside psychic parlor at the exact moment the "psychic" who owns the parlor discovers that she really can read minds?
I want it to be more about novels and stories. I want it to be about contact, images, feeling and being part of something bigger.
The Heart of Bronze Blognovel-turned e-book/paperback Clockwork Looking Glass includes characters and situations mentioned in The Steam Rollers Adventure Podcast, and some characters from the podcast are referenced in Clockwork Pandora. It's Transmedia, baby!
Heart of Bronze blends elements of Steampunk, Alternate History, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy and Romance into a thrilling adventure that bends reality.
Writer's Rule Number One: Write What You Know!
My first professional column covers the art of Role-Playing in the BioWare Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) game Star Wars: The Old Republic. Set in an era 3,000 years before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope, SWTOR allows players to create characters that can live and adventure as anything from a smuggler to a Jedi Knight, a bounty hunter, Imperial agent or even a Dark Lord of the Sith.
((The RP XP with MJ)) - which translates to "The RolePlay Experience with MJ" - was my weekly column about the game with a focus on character building and storytelling. As gamer interest migrated to the next shiny MMO, and my own schedule became filled with plans to extend the Heart of Bronze, I decided to let the column wane. All the past entries are still there, so if you're a budding RPer, check it out.
Long before I dared to launch my own site, I dove into a series of silly little blogs. I'm sure some of them are still out there in the Blue Nowhere, but who wants to read about the size of the spider in my bathroom? Really. Here's one I kept because it's so much fun to come back to from time to time...
The Book Bridging Blog was a blog worth keeping because it's so much fun to play with. If you're a struggling writer, a published author, or an avid reader who would love to write, but doesn't know if you can, check out the BBB. It's a great way to exercise your latent (or buried) storytelling skills. I take two short excerpts from two different novels then "bridge" them by filling in the gap between them. I turn to the BBB every time I'm feeling a little Writer's Block coming on.
I haven't been there in awhile. I think I have the dreaded W.B. licked (knocks wood).