What's your book about?

I can’t be the only member of the message board who’s writing a book. So what’s YOUR book about?

To start things off:

My book describes a new critical model for understanding play. It’s primarily targeted at game developers, so the first half focuses on laying out the model and examining how it can be used to address different issues in game design. The second half (which I’m working on now) shows how the model can be extended beyond games to understand the element of play that’s present within a variety of other cultural artifacts: books, movies, plays, etc. The overall goal is to create a new framework for talking about works of art as immediate experiences rather than as encoded meanings – so, hopefully, it will be of interest to an audience outside the game industry as well.

I’ve been working on it for about two years, but most of the writing has been done over the last 9 months. Right now I have about 70,000 words done, and I anticipate I’ve got about another 30,000 to go. If I can keep up this pace I’ll be done with the first draft by fall!

What are you working on?

My memoirs as a teacher. The working title is Mr. Silenus, how do you spell “illiterate?”. I’ve been collecting stories and quotes since I started teaching 23 years ago.

I’m working on two books at the moment, one fiction and one non-fiction.

The non-fiction one, which is taking priority at the moment, is about a high-profile soccer team getting relegated. I’ve been thinking about it for a while, but just started in earnest back in January. So far, I’ve done a ton of research and have written drafts of the introduction and the first two chapters. I hope to finalize those within the next couple of weeks, at which point I’ll start shopping it around.

The novel I’m writing is a mystery. A young artist from Mississippi was murdered in the 1940s and the crime has not been solved. Since that time, the artist has become quite famous. 50 years later, a journalist who grew up in the area retuirns to write a puff-piece about the artist. While there, he ends up solving the mystery. Those are the basic plot points, but at its heart, its a book about identity and self-denial.

Mine’s an urban fantasy murder mystery. No, I’m not kidding.

The protagonist accidentally discovered that she can cross into the afterlife and bring people back - when she was five she brought back a friend who died days earlier. Twenty-five years later she’s making a decent living at rescuing people who died too young, and is a foster mom for a teenage boy who has the same gift. Things only start to get complicated when a female police detective from a nearby city contacts her, wanting her to go and talk to child victims of a serial killer. Throw in the friend she rescued way back when being her now neurotic ex, and her current lover being a dead guy, and there you have it. More or less.

I’ve been working on it since November, and it’s about half finished.

I don’t generally go for ghost stories, but this sounds really interesting.

My book is about a relationship between a young man and woman. She is an overconfident half-Japanese woman without an iota of tact, self-awareness or sensitivity. He is a mentally ill man with an extensive abuse history and serious rage issues. What happens throughout the story is that they are both challenged by one another to confront the flaws in their own way of thinking. She has lived a relatively privileged life of Buddhist contentment until she meets him and the visceral horror of his situation causes a sort of existential crisis for her. On the flip side, her existence serves as a catalyst for him to lose his victim mentality and start being a productive member of society. It’s a violent, sexual, philosophical love story that is half-written and needs some major overhauls before I can continue.

I have two completed novels, both science fiction.
The first is about a small-colony contable who gets mixed up in corporate intrigue, the second is about a military officer assigned to guard a politician’s activist daughter on a tour of interstellar colonies that winds up in the middle of an invasion.
As for working on, well, I have done very little writing the last few years, but I have several partial novels, ranging from a first-contact novel to a fantasy.

Current work is a series of short stories which will evlove into a mash-up novel. Steampunk/ Space 1889 Martian adventures.

Sargeant Major Henderson has been assigned to travel from the (habitable) equatorial lowlands of Mars to discover access to the north polar Symmes opening. There is evidence that the lost human civilization of Mars has retreated to the hollow interior of the planet. (Burroughs-type solar system – if Earth has a lost world of dinosaurs and cavemen inside of it, logically then the interior of Mars should have an environment similar to current-day Earth’s surface.)

It is not as easy as the the buerocrats of Carter’s Landing would have him believe, especially as the Squids are increasing their efforts to push Man off the planet.

Sons of God. It’s about the legends of the sons of the gods (like Percy Jackson, if you’ve been following those). It started out being about the myth of Phaethon, but then the Dioscouri – Castor and Pollux – started taking over. Then the Theban Dioscouri tramped in, and I started covering the parallels from around the world – the Asvin in India, the Brothers in the American Southwest, and others, the Latvian and Baltic parallels. like the Medusa parallels around the world, the existence of so many similar myths is fascinating and deserves special study and explanation. I have some interesting and unique ideas about this that I’ve floated at Classical Associatio n meetings, and have wanted to put into book form for several years now.I have three chapters partly written.

i’m working on 2 books, fiction and nonfiction as well.

One is called The Paya Project, and is a series of lessons I learned through my father, who passed away in 2003.

The other is a YA fantasy novel that intertwines 2 groups of teenagers - both fighting their own rebellion against the Powers that Be.

I’ve written a non-fiction book about my family’s experiences following my younger brother’s diagnosis with cancer three years ago. The focus is on our collective sense of humor and how his developed during all the suffering he went through, but I do track the changes in our lives and particularly mine over that time. I think it’s mostly finished. I asked him to write several chapters, and he did, but he’s never done as much as I wanted to include. I’ve submitted it to some agents and I should get back to that, but I decided I needed a break from it. So I moved on to:

A novel about a celebutante and reality TV star. She’s is thrown in jail for DUI only to break out and start a revolution of no ideas that sweeps the country. It’s a sprawling comedy story with a lot of characters and I’m pretty much throwing in everything I can think of that makes me laugh. There’s a Marx Brothers influence but I’m trying to steer clear of just updating older stuff. I really believe in this one and I think it’s very current. I’m trying like hell to get it finished and stay ahead of what I see in the news.

Having had a couple of guidebooks to mainland Greece published, I’m now working on a book of travel literature about the country. I want to get away from the ‘I built a house in a lovely foreign country’ genre, for a start I didn’t build a house, but there will be elements of autobiography. I also want to include a fair bit of history and mythology, but with some humour and aimed at the layman. Also, and this is a bit odd, I want to get some physics in there too. I’ve got about 70,000 words so far, and a publisher and some agents interested, but so far haven’t hit on the right structure.