It probably will come as no surprise to discover that I play role-playing games. I have been an avid RPG player for a long time (somewhere around 30 years). Though I haven’t taken a hiatus from playing a couple of times in my tenure, I found myself being pulled back into this wonderful hobby again last year in early summer which is when I began a new campaign playing The One Ring. For those of you who don’t know, that is a game set and J.R.R. Tolkien’s world of Middle-Earth.


It also might not come as a surprise that I’m always game master. Again, for those of you who may not be familiar, there is one person who is in charge of the settings, backgrounds, and characters that fill the story that the players will be going through. It is a natural fit for a writer because it gets them into the practice of world-building.


One of the fascinating things about J.R.R. Tolkien’s world is it is so detailed and rich. It is one of those elements that appear to be overdone. There have been books written on his world and the characters in it. Websites are all over the place and there are also video channels that document his world. It has helped me create a richer campaign as we move on further in our adventures.


One of the things that surprise me comes from a survey I have new people who are part of the RIU Citizenship take after they sign on. The survey is about five questions and it’s meant to get the pulse of those who are interested in my work. Out of the five questions, the most interesting result was the answer to question number three which asks, “Which of the following interests you the most in reference to the RIU?” Out of the five options that people have to choose from, one is new book releases. The surprise was that option is not the number one option. The option that is the one most people who took the survey have asked for is unique RIU Citizen content. This would include things like background information on places and objects, hidden stories, character profiles, and the like. This beat out my releases for being what would interest my readers (though new book releases came in a close second so I’m not real disillusioned there).


Don’t get me wrong. I’m happily surprised that’s the case because I wanted to begin working on that background information regularly because it is key in putting together my world. It’s something I have been doing any way.

As I’ve said many times before and you can see it here at the website in the left-hand corner, I am a storyteller and world-builder. An integral part of what I do is building the world in which the stories that I tell take place. That takes a lot of work. I do a lot of prewriting before I begin any of my novels. For my next novel Blackson’s Repentance, I’ve finished my 15-page outline, a summary, chapter-by-chapter outline I’m editing at the moment. After that, I go into some pretty heavy character profiling. Some characters are recurring and some characters have become main characters and so now I have to go back and make sure those characters are cohesive and believable. Of course, this is not just for the book I’m currently writing, but for the world so i can draw from it for later works. For me, there is a lot of writing to be done.


If you want to take part of that survey, you have to become an RIU Citizen. You can become an RIU Citizen by clicking entering your email in the box on the right of this post at the top and clicking on the button that says Make me and RIU Citizen. You’ll get the Inception Trilogy and within a week or so be able to take that same survey. I’m always interested to hear what my fans are interested in.

RIU Membership Connection


In line with what the RIU citizenry has said, I am creating a membership for those who are citizens who will have access to the Veiled Athenaeum which will have all of these different world-building details within it. With this membership will come different levels of access. I’m not sure what I’m going to call that as of yet but there will be at least three tiers of access based on how involved citizens are. The rough draft of this is that there will be a level for those who are Watchers, another level for those who are Heralds, and a third tier for those who are my RIU Elites. If you’re not familiar what all of that is, just click on the RIU Codex on the right-hand side to get the definitions. Having this is very important to me because I want everyone to experience a certain level of enjoyment in being a part of the RIU citizenship. I will be working on this as soon as today.


Going back to my role-playing campaign, I already do this to a certain degree. I have a private Facebook group where I highlight different things of the world on different days during the week. This is so that my players don’t forget the things they have come across and so I don’t forget so I can keep those details in a file and use that for building other stories in the campaign.


It was never my intention to simply have people on a mailing list and let it sit there until I come out with a new book. I’m very interested in interacting with those who are fans of my work. One of the ways I do that is through this exclusive content which will be a part of the whole world that I am creating. I already have several backgrounds made for characters and at least one object which is found in the story The Gift.


So be looking in the next couple weeks to have new sections in my menu at the top of RIU HQ (this website). I will keep you updated on when this is live.


Until then, see you in the Tapestry!

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