Saturday, January 23, 2010

Todays post is an interview with MetaGames author Sam Landstrom

1. In MetaGame there are alot of odd product names and player names, was it difficult coming up with names for players that fit thier personalities and names telling what the products use was?

Some names just came to me while for others, I had to backfill later. For example, D_Light was originally named Nick. Nick was an inadequate name right off the bat, but I used it as a placeholder because it was short. Once I had come up with a better name, I "search and replaced" in Word.

For products, I kept a separate Notepad file on my laptop where I'd jot down names that I thought were cool or funny as I came up with them.

2. Was there alot of research involved to write MetaGame?

I have a background in biotech and software so most of the techie ideas were things I've picked up and wondered about over the years. I did do a fair amount of research into brain biochemistry, in part, because I wanted to formulate how the technology-enabled telepathy in the book would work. Ironically, nothing of that research made it in. The book was long enough without going into such mechanics.

Also, a few ideas were influenced by other sci-fi I've read, specifically Dune and Diamond Age.

3. Did you ever think MetaGame would be as popular as it is today?

I'm not sure you could call it popular. From what I can tell from my royalty statements and my website traffic, MetaGame has found its way onto about 26+ thousand devices. I'm not sure how many of those people have actually read it though.

Anyway, that is better than I expected. When I first uploaded it onto Kindle Store, my goal was to get at least one download a day. Needless to say, my expectations were exceeded. (:

4. Would you say D_Light is a bit like you? or vice versa?

Sure, in some ways. His sense of humor and introspective nature is probably similar to my own. As you'd expect, it's easy to write main characters that you can get into the mind of.

The experience he recalls to Lily about in his childhood being frightened of infinity is straight out of my own 8-year old past.

On the flip side, D_Light does some ruthless things, particularly at the beginning of the book. One might say that he was simply a product of his environment, but I'd like to think that I couldn't commit cold blooded murder even if it was condoned by society and profitable.

5. What is your favorite snack?
Mochas. I suppose that doesn't qualify as a snack since it's not a solid food, but it does have its share of calories.

I like Kit Kats... and sometimes gummy bears (classic kind only).

6. Lastly, On your site it says that you are working on a fantasy novel, can you give any snippet of info on it?

Hmmm, how to describe it... Well there's the typical stuff you expect in a Tolkien-influenced fantasy novel like a dragon, a platoon of goblin-like creatures, demons, zombies, knights, castles, etc. But then there's also a high school drunken kegger party, rap music, juvenile prison, Jesus, The Devil, Freud, time travel, and teenage sex.

Yup, should have it all, at least everything that's fun. BTW, I'll have a better teaser later. (;

I would like to thank Sam for answering my questions. To get a copy of MetaGame pick it up at (ebook only) and also check out his webpage for more info on MetaGame, Sam himself and other things!


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