New Middle Grade Book Available

I finally finished The Serious Secret of Charlie Zimmerman and it’s now available in Amazon’s Kindle store. Click the link below to see more about it on this site (as well as see a link to Amazon):

The Serious Secret of Charlie Zimmerman

Thanks to all the “beta readers” who gave me ideas and feedback as I wrote this book. I really appreciate it!

In about 90 days it will also appear in Apple’s iBook store and I may even create an app version of the story. Still thinking about that. When I know, you;ll know. 🙂

The Serious Secret of Charlie Zimmerman

The book called “Flying Sucks” that I’ve been working on is finished and has a new name.

In fact, the hero of the story even got a new name — Charlie.

The name of the book is now, “The Serious Secret of Charlie Zimmerman” and it should be available in the Amazon store (for download, it’s digital only) in a few days. I’ll post a link here when it’s available.

Thanks to everyone who gave me feedback on the beta version of the story!

 

The Great Luhroo

Some of you may know one of my deep, dark, secrets — I play Dungeons and Dragons whenever I can. 🙂

The other day I was creating a new character for a game I was going to join and ended up with a Gnome thief named Luhroo. As I was playing around with his “background story” things just kind of snapped into place…

Luhroo travels around from town to town as an entertainer (known as The Great Luhroo) to keep a low-profile from people who don’t like adventurers and the kind of element they attract. He also takes advantage of his status to get into the homes and castles of rich folk — who have items he might need to “liberate.”

As I started thinking about the adventures Luhroo might have, I realized I was paralleling some of the ideas I’d had for Troupers and came to the conclusion that The Great Luhroo should be a figure that’s peripheral to the Troupers series and, in fact, will introduce the books with HIS story.

So look for The Adventures of The Great Luhroo sometime in the next few months. It’s going to be a blast!

Wind Jammin’ – A Board Game with Sailboats

Not too long ago I was reading a book I got from Amazon recently called “Paid to Play: The Business of Game Design” by Keith A. Meyers, who’s done a lot of board game creation and publishing. I bought the book because I thought it might have something good for my computer game development. And it surprised me…

…by giving me an idea for a board game. The last couple weeks, off and on while waiting for things to compile, when I needed a break from writing and programming, etc., I wrote up the rules for my game and created a prototype.

Here’s a picture of the final prototype played by myself and my kids this evening:

Finished prototype

While the board says “Sailing Challenge” on it, that’s not going to be the real name. I’m still trying to come up with that. (It’s harder than I thought.)

The object of the game is to be the first to sail around the San Juan Islands by rolling the die and using special cards that are drawn. Among those cards are “Disaster” cards that you can play on your opponents to slow them down. For example, put an “Off Course” on a player and they’re stopped until they can play a “Navigational Charts” card, a “Tow Boat” card, etc.

You can get Stuck in Customs and lose a turn (unless you’re holding a “Friends in High Places” card), land on a Treasure Chest square and get to move extra spaces, etc.

There are aspects of luck (die rolling and drawing shuffled cards) mixed with strategy (which cards do you save or discard, when’s the best time to stop your opponent, etc.) that make it more than just a normal board game.

Playtesting has just begun, so there are probably going to be some changes coming over the next few weeks, but according to the family, it plays pretty well right now. 🙂 (I know, I know, what are the kids going to say, that it stinks?)

A couple days ago it struck me — wouldn’t it be fun to have a board game of Zombies Ate My Poodle? I’d already planned on doing a computer game version (after the book is complete) and now I think a board game for ZAMP would be a lot of fun to play.

More info on that as plans come together…