On Thursday, May 27, 2013, the New Orleans Book Examiner featured an article detailing the incredible gem that is the Bundle of Holding +3 as well as a brief interview with its creator Allen Varney. As a follow-up, one of the contributors, Matt Forbeck talked to us about his experiences.
Q: Matt, for those not familiar with you, give us a little bit of your background.
A: I’ve been a full-time writer and game designer since 1989. I co-founded a tabletop games company called Pinnacle Entertainment back in 1996, which published games like “Deadlands” and “Brave New World”. I served as its president for four years before my wife and I started a family and returned to Wisconsin, where I grew up.
I’ve had around thirty novels published, many of which were based on games like “Blood Bowl” and “Dungeons & Dragons”. My latest work includes the first novel based on the TV show “Leverage”, the “Magic: The Gathering” comics from IDW, and the novels from the 12 for ’12 challenge I ran for myself last year, in which I attempted to write a dozen short novels, broken up into trilogies that all overfunded on Kickstarter.
The most recently trilogy of those books is called “Dangerous Games”, and it’s a trio of thrillers set at Gen Con, the largest tabletop gaming convention in America. The first book — How to Play — is part of the Bundle of Holding +3, and the second is due to be released Tuesday, July 2.
Q. How did you get involved in the Bundle of Holding +3?
A. The Bundle of Holding is the brainchild of Allen Varney, and Allen and I both started out as roleplaying game freelance designers way too many years ago. He signed me on for the original Bundle of Holding (+1), and I came back for this third one as well.
Q. What led you guys to choose PEN International and the Electronic Frontier Fund?
A. They’re both charities that speak strongly to the passions of writers and work hard to maintain the freedom of expression. With the various troubles that have cropped up in those arenas lately, they seemed like they could use a bit more attention and (better yet) a nice check.
Q. Tell us a little about the story you contributed.
A. “Dangerous Games: How to Play” is the story of Liam Parker, who goes to Gen Con for the first time to try to sell a game he designed to the publishers that attend the convention to sell their games to the public. On his first night there, he stumbles across the body of a world-famous game designer who’s had his throat cut in a dark alley.
It probably says something about how long I’ve known Allen that he’s the victim in the book. He volunteered for it though, honest!
Q. What are some of your other works?
A. Earlier this year I released the “Shotguns & Sorcery” trilogy, a set of fantasy noir novels set in Dragon City, which sits on a walled-off mountain surrounded by zombies. I’m in the middle of polishing up the last of the “Dangerous Games books: How to Win”. After that, I’m writing a novel called “Loot Drop” for Tor.
I’ve worked on all sorts of things over the years, from the latest “Marvel Heroes” MMO to “The Lord of the Rings” RPG to a few upcoming iOS games. Two of my novels — “Amortals” and “Vegas Knights” — have been optioned for films, and an indie film I cowrote — InSpectres, based on the tabletop RPG — is due to be released this fall.
Q. Growing up, who inspired you to write?
A. My parents love to read, and they passed that along to me. I also had a number of great teachers. The best English teacher I ever had was probably Sister Cabrini Cahill in 8th grade at the Catholic school I attended. She encouraged me to write what I liked and to do the best possible job at it.
Q. Who are your favorite authors?
A. I love to read just about anything, but the writers who’ve had the most influence on me are Ernest Hemingway, J.R.R. Tolkien, Raymond Chandler, and William Gibson, with a dash of Jonathan Lethem and James Ellroy. I’m fortunate enough to call some of my favorite writers these days friends, among which I’d number Chuck Wendig and Lauren Beukes, both of whom started out writing original fiction for Angry Robot, just like me.
Q. Any upcoming projects or appearances?
A. After the “Dangerous Games” books, I have a trilogy of YA novels called “Monster Academy” I’m getting ready. As for appearances, I’ll be at Gen Con in Indianapolis this August. Come find me there!
The Bundle of Holding +3 is no longer available after Monday, July 1, 2013. So grab your bundles and help out a couple of good causes while you are at it! For more book news, follow the New Orleans Examiner on twitter and subscribe for email updates!
- Matt Forbeck’s website
- Bundle of Holding website