My Guest Post on Terrible Minds

I’ve had a few pretty big fanboy moments in my life, and one of them happened just last week. In conjunction with the release of the Red vs. Blue book, I also had the honor of writing a guest post for Chuck Wendig’s blog, Terrible Minds.

My post: Bad Writing Habits I Learned from Video Games (Plus a Few Good Ones, Too)

If you’re wondering who Chuck Wendig is, he just happens to be the best-selling author of the brand new Star Wars novel Aftermath, the first post-Return of the Jedi story in the new order of Star Wars EU. He is also the author of some of my absolute favorite books of all time, the Miriam Black series.

You should do yourself a favor and read those books, by the way. Miriam Black is a woman who can see how you’re going to die, and just happens to get caught up in really dark, twisty, horrifying plots. She’s a total tornado of a woman and one of my favorite main characters ever.

But I’m fanboy-ing again. Just go read those books. After my guest post.

What a Day, What a Lovely Day

Today was kind of crazy.

Only Nux’s mantra can sum up what it felt like to see Red vs. Blue: The Ultimate Fan Guide finally make its way into the world.

I could round up the many amazing tweets I saw from happy fans. Or how I shed a few tears when I saw the thing in print for the first time today. Or how I could barely sit still while I was at work, wondering what people who were reading it felt about it.

But really, I just want to say that I’m extremely grateful to the Rooster Teeth community for how they’ve responded to the book. Sometimes when you spend a year and a half (!) working on something like this, it’s really easy to lose sight of it. There were long stretches of time where I pored over this book in a vacuum, and there were a few moments where I wondered if it was any good.

Reading it tonight in print for the very first time, I had a thought that doesn’t come often to us perfectionist writers: you know what, maybe I did alright.

I’m Writing for “The Know”

I guess all those years of faux journalism on GamerSushi paid off. For the last few weeks, I’ve been writing for Rooster Teeth’s gaming news channel on YouTube, The Know. I’m filling in for a bit while Ashley Jenkins is on a trip that is totally not a big deal.

So far the experience has been a total blast. It’s cool to dip my toes into these waters again, and I actually love seeing this side of the process. Meg and Ashley are total pros, and really know how to add color and energy to a script, especially considering how many bad puns I like to sneak in. It’s also nice to write something and then have an audience see it almost immediately for a change, compared to most of my projects which have to slow cook for months on end.

Anyway, if you’re a fan of video games and want to stay up-to-date on the industry, you should check it out. So far, only one person has called for me to be fired in the comments, so maybe I’m doing alright.

Here are some of my favorites from the last couple of weeks:

Continue reading →

What Is This Red vs. Blue Book Exactly?


Next Tuesday marks a pretty big day. On November 17, there will be a book in book stores with my name on it. That I wrote! Funny how that works.

For the last year and a half, I’ve worked on Red vs. Blue: The Ultimate Fan Guide, a book brought to you by Dey Street Books (a division of THE Harper Collins) and Rooster Teeth.

I’ve met tight deadlines, watched enough Red vs. Blue to question my sanity, dealt with tons of art to organize, missing assets, deleted Dropbox folders and notes (and more notes) from a variety of sources. But it’s done, and people are finally going to get to read it next week, which has me completely Freaked the Eff Out.

Some of you may not even know what Red vs. Blue is, who Rooster Teeth is, and what the heck this book even is. I get asked about all 3 of those, particularly from friends, family and co-workers. In certain (and quite large) corners of the internet, these questions don’t even need to be asked. Continue reading →

Work in Progress: Nat, the Lost Girl

A few months ago I put an excerpt of NAT, THE LOST GIRL, in my writing portfolio. It’s a work-in-progress that I hope to get revised by end of year. It’s the first bit of the first chapter, which is more than likely going to change, but I still wanted to have it here because it’s a concept I’m totally in love with.

It’s a tricky one to sum up, but it was born from the idea that if I ever lost my daughter, I’d like to think she would continue to have adventures somewhere without me. In it, a dead girl decides she’s going to see her parents one last time.

Read Chapter 1 of Nat the Lost Girl

Work in Progress: Old Killer

In the summer, when the humidity is an overcoat sticking to your skin, they say the old killer comes to east Texas. In between the crickets and the cicadas, the deadbeats firing off shotguns in the air at God knows who and God knows what and maybe God himself, you can hear the breath rattling inside an old man’s dusty lungs, sometimes right in your ear.

When that shuffle shuffle step hits your porch, you know it for true: the old killer’s come.

He don’t knock. Don’t want money. Just your years. And he’ll kill you for them. Anything to get a few back for his self.

My dad, says he saw the old killer once. Flash of a gaunt face through a bedroom window, looking back at him as if through death’s moonlit curtain. Blue eyes tinged with red spiderweb veins, barely perched in the old killer’s skull.

Gaze slid across me like a hound’s tongue, trying to decide if it wants to bite, dad says.

What did you do?

Not a damn thing. Went still as a crucifix.

Why didn’t he kill you?

Dad stuffs the tobacco in his mouth like it’s gauze plugging up an old wound. Smacks chapped lips.

Weren’t my youth he came for that night.

John Green Nails the Writer’s Life

John Green, the author of the wonderful book, The Fault in Our Stars, which sits on the precipice of a huge, huge opening weekend, offers an apt metaphor for what the writer’s life actually is: a game of Marco Polo.

The sandy-haired author said the process of writing a book is like a long, lonely game of Marco Polo.

“In which you’re in your basement alone for years and years, saying, ‘Marco. Marco. Marco. Marco. Marco. And then if you’re lucky, someone writes you and says … Polo.”

“Waiting is a huge part of a writer’s life. And I hate it. When I’m waiting, those thoughts creep in. That I’m not a very good writer, that no editor would want my book, that I’ll never have another idea as good as the last one I wrote…So, for those of us who can’t handle the waiting, here’s my thought: Stop waiting. Stop saying you’re waiting. Stop thinking about it that way. If you want news to come to you, make the news happen.”

Kate Brauning

“Your writing career will be long. Lots of peaks and valleys. Lots of digging in dirt, lots of learning ‘wax-on, wax-off,’ not sure how waxing a fucking car will teach you goddamn karate…

Every writer is her own creature, and every book a monster child different from the last.

A writing career isn’t a short game — it’s a long con.

You should always be writing, but never be hurrying.

It takes the time that it takes.”

Chuck Wendig

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