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Giveaway (US/Int): Mutants, psychics, & vampires oh my! Get in the game with SciFi author Rafael Chandler
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Giveaway (US/Int): Mutants, psychics, & vampires oh my! Get in the game with SciFi author Rafael Chandler

by davincikittieOctober 15, 2012

Please help me welcome Hexcommunicated author Rafael Chandler!

WRITING THE VIDEO GAME

I sold my first short story to Lullaby Hearse magazine about ten years ago, which is right around the time I began my career as a video game writer. Strangely, these twin passions of mine — interactive fiction and traditional narrative — have fed on each other and produced a strange fruit.

Writing a video game is a collaborative undertaking, regardless of how many people are on the project, or who gets credited as the game’s writer. Everyone gets a piece of the action: management, project leads, and marketing personnel.

Sometimes, the writer spends part of the project in a vacuum, developing ideas, creating locations and characters, envisioning dramatic moments and shocking revelations. However, these ideas are inevitably presented for review, and there’s no telling how other members of the team will respond to the work that’s been done.

Quite often, changes to the game’s design require alterations to the plot, cast, and even locations or time periods. As you can imagine, this constitutes a huge part of the challenge of interactive narrative. And it can drive you insane, if you let it. Which I don’t. Coffee helps.

WRITING THE NOVEL

I’ve worked on a broad range of games, but the first game I wrote was Rainbow Six: Lockdown, a story about terrorists and hostages and biological weapons. Cheery stuff! Personally, I gravitate towards games with dragons, wizards, cyborgs, or zombies in them, but I enjoyed the project immensely. Later, I worked on a few of the Ghost Recon games, a few titles in the SOCOM series, and two installments of Modern Combat — more terrorists, more war, more guns, tanks, bombs, and pseudo-military jargon.

When the time came for me to take a break from video game design, and seriously devote myself to my long-postponed goal of writing a novel, my passions collided; my love of vampires, demons, and the macabre (which began when I discovered the fiction of Edgar Allan Poe while still a child) collided with my experiences as a writer of video games.

The first idea that popped into my head was the notion of vampire terrorists, detonating bloodborne biological WMDs designed to turn the populations of major cities into lesser vampires. Over the course of a year, this concept evolved into a wildly different animal: a vampire who works for a clandestine federal agency discovers a plan to detonate a Lovecraftian WMD in his hometown. Worse, one of the psychics on his team has already seen the future, and it looks like the vampire won’t be able to prevent the attack…

Writing this novel was a hell of a lot of fun, because I’d spent ten years developing a system for documenting my narrative; I covered a wall with post-it notes, scrawled in notebooks, and hammered away at my laptop, but always with a purpose, and always on time and for the alloted duration. When you write video games for a living, and you deliver text on a deadline or you don’t get paid, you learn to power through those moments of writer’s block, and this skill served me well when writing Hexcommunicated.

At the moment, I’m writing two new video games and a new novel, and flipping back and forth between projects is dizzying, but exhilarating. At some point, I should probably get some sleep, but I guess I can do that when I’m undead.

“I screwed the suppressor onto my pistol as the Nosferodent scaled the castle wall. Hell of a way to kick off the North Carolina State Fair.”

Murderous Soultergeists prepare a gruesome ambush in a Cary hotel. A massive Frankenstitch lumbers towards a quiet Apex farmhouse. And above a derelict asylum in Raleigh, a disembodied Skelekinetic deploys a horrific weapon.

Agent Nick Tepes is a Vampoule, a synthetic vampire specializing in counterterrorism operations. When his team picks up chatter about an imminent attack from the Al-Hazred terrorist network, Tepes and his unit of FAE operatives move to intercept.

However, a psychic has already seen the future: as the sun comes up, the terrorists will strike, and Tepes will die. The team has one night to prevent this prophecy from coming true, but the psychics of Hex Division are never wrong…

Hexcommunicated is an urban fantasy thriller set in a world of cybernetic werewolves, undead spies, and Lovecraftian terrorists.

Read an excerpt

Download (DOC, 69KB)

About the author

Rafael Chandler writes video games. While working for companies like Sony, Ubisoft, Kabam, and Gameloft, he’s written SOCOM 4, Final Eden, Gangstar Rio: City of Saints, MAG, and Rainbow Six: Lockdown. He also wrote Monster Madness: Battle for Suburbia, which was published by Dark Horse Comics, and The Game Writing Handbook, which was published by Charles River Media. In his spare time, Chandler designs tabletop role-playing games, including Scorn, ViewScream, Spite, and the upcoming Mall Jongg. Hexcommunicated is his first novel.

Giveaway (US/Int)

Rafael is giving away one e-copy of Hexcommunicated to one commenter on today’s post! To win, leave a comment answering the question below then fill out the Rafflecopter widget.

What intrigues you most about Hexcommunicated?

Note: If you are viewing this from our main Feed page, click the title of the post, then scroll to the bottom to view the Comments area.  You must leave your comment there, not in the Rafflecopter widget, in order to qualify for the giveaway. Good luck!

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About The Author
davincikittie
Sue "DaVinciKittie" Brown-Moore is a veteran romance blogger and reviewer and the primary voice for GraveTells.com. Sue has been shamelessly pimping book boyfriends since 2010 and has won several blogging awards with GraveTells. Sue is also a freelance Developmental Editor passionate about helping authors bring out the best in their stories. She loves reading romance, fantasy, and sci-fi and edits any genre she reads for pleasure. You can follow Sue's editing blog, with tips and tricks for authors, at DaVinciKittie.com.
9 Comments
  • Chris
    October 15, 2012 at 11:10 am

    This book seems such a mashup of really cool things. The idea is very cool.

  • bn100
    October 15, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    The excerpt was intriguing.

  • Simon
    October 16, 2012 at 12:13 am

    Hexcommunicated is just the kind of urban fantasy I like, plus I’m getting back into cyberpunk after something of a horror binge so the combination really works for me at the moment.

  • Lisa Cox
    October 16, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    I like that the author has changed things around. Synthetic vampires, cybernetic werewolves, undead spies… all too cool.

  • Ashley A
    October 16, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    I like that the author has changed things around from the norm. Synthetic vampires, cybernetic werewolves, undead spies… I never would have thought of that!! Awesome!!
    Ashley A
    [email protected]

  • October 16, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    Definitely edgy and a little out there for the genres GT normally spotlights, but I thought it was something some of you might enjoy and its certainly a fresh approach to supernaturals.

    Thanks so much to Rafael for being our guest!

  • October 19, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Thank *you*, Davincikittie! It’s wonderful to be here, and to meet all these cool people. And thanks for hosting my guest post!

    Chris — Thanks! Yeah, mashup’s a pretty good word for it, I think. I wanted to combine urban fantasy with other elements: techno-thriller, horror novel, and murder mystery (except that the protagonist is investigating his own murder before it happens).

    bn100 — Glad you think so! Hope you find the rest of the book is as interesting! 🙂

    Simon — Ah, very cool! Yeah, I’ve been a fan of cyberpunk since I first read Neuromancer, lo these many moons ago. Glad you dig the idea!

    Lisa — Thanks! I definitely wanted to put my own spin on the urban fantasy genre. I love vampires and werewolves (and zombies and ghosts and psychics), but I tried to come up with something that I hadn’t seen before. Hopefully, I pulled it off.

    Thanks again, all! I appreciate the kind words.

  • Hai-Yen
    October 20, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    This book definitely is original, a genre on its own. I look forward to reading it. Thank you for the opportunity!

  • October 22, 2012 at 3:55 am

    Thanks, Hai-Yen — that means a lot!

    Also, thanks to everyone who participated! And thanks to all who linked in with me via G+ or what-have-you. Great to meet you! Hope you like talking about vampires and wizards and dragons and robots and such! 🙂

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