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Progress Report #1: A Long Update

Posted on February 25, 2013 by Monica Valentinelli

Today, I kick off a new series that specifically talks about what I’m up to work-wise. I’ve made it a policy not to over-publicize games and stories that haven’t come out yet, primarily because I’ve been burned on that before. It’s tricky to manage because everybody’s promoting, but sometimes deals go bad or businesses fold or what have you. Hence, progress reports. Not promising you anything, but these are some projects I’m working on, have been involved with, and may be coming to a book store, game store, or online retailer near you.

Not taking the full-time Marketing Director position with Steve Jackson Games down in Austin, Texas was a tough decision and it left me a little sad (everybody there is just fantastic and ridiculously talented) yet curious about where to go next. (Previously, I was telecommuting and traveling a lot.) When I realized I’d go back to full-time freelancing, I took a look at what my core business will be. I did not want to “leave” gaming nor did I want to “stop” consulting or writing or cat herding. I like working in the creative industries and enjoy seeing projects through to completion.

Before I took on any more freelancing, I righted my wrongs. e.g. I had to get back into the discipline of writing for long periods of time again, and that meant I had shift gears dramatically. I also launched The Thirteen and we’ve been grooving and jiving for a few months now, too. That’s had a positive impact, overall.

Once I got back where I needed to be, which is approximately 2,000 to 5,000 words on average, I pushed the business aspects forward beginning in January. Everything you see here may seem like a ton, but remember — many of these are smaller, a couple-hours-a-week, projects and you’re catching the notifications of these announcements either after the fact or in mid-stream.

Since this is the first progress report, it’s definitely the longest, but next month’s will likely be a lot shorter. With that in mind, here’s some updates in that trio of spheres:


The financial reality of being a writer can be *ow* — which is why I’m consulting for select clients based on an hourly or flat rate. Namely, John Kovalic, who I’ve been working with for over a year now, and Onyx Path Publishing, the official licensees of White Wolf Publishing.

Kobolds Ate My BabyWhen wearing my consultant hat, I’m typically invisible. It’s part of these part-time gigs. I’m pleased to say that I was heavily involved with making ROFL! a reality and getting Kobolds Ate My Baby back off the ground. ROFL!, which was designed by John and published by the excellent folks at Cryptozoic Entertainment, will debut in March. Our friends at 9th Level Games will also be launching a Kickstarter on March 4th for a brand new edition of Kobolds Ate My Baby.

For Onyx Path, wow… Well, let’s just say that there’s been some serious discussions and a lot of progress made behind-the-scenes. I just started this part-time job in early February and we’ve talked a lot about fans, GenCon, and [redacted]. Since I occasionally freelance for the company *whistles innocently about [redacted]* I “get” White Wolf. There’s the joke in the industry about the White Wolf freelancers, right? We drive gold-plated Cadillacs, drink to oblivion, partake in recreational drugs — we’re the “cool kids,” living the life, swimming in money. Um… Okay, while some of that may (or may not) be true, the message here is that it’s too early to announce anything — but we’re working on wrangling several pieces while Rich focuses on producing games and fulfilling Kickstarters.

I’m open to discussing smaller consulting gigs, but I’m not taking on any other long-term clients right now. I’m heavily focused on what I can provide creatively and leverage my years of experience to consult, primarily so I can continue to write.

Games and Game Design

I’m reluctant to talk about what I’m working on (or with whom) right now, just because of my history with projects not coming out or businesses folding or goals changing, etc. There’s projects that sometimes get buried and then return from the dead — zombie projects!!! — which can bork expectations. What I can confirm, is that I am freelance writing again for games.

The Cortex Plus Hacker’s Guide Kickstarter just ended and I sent in bonus material for my essay “Roleplay Like You’re On TV.” Margaret Weis Productions and everybody I’ve been working with has been fantastic. I’m very proud to be part of the Firefly RPG team and will have an announcement soon about my role with that.

I want to launch a Kickstarter for The Queen of Crows RPG, but I’m still waiting on other people right now. There’s been some “hurry up and wait” related to that and there’s some concerns I, personally, have on the back end. I’m on deadline right now, meaning I have a few <20K pieces to deliver for other game lines by the end of March, so this isn't as high of a priority right now, and I'll likely push this back to the Fall. In the meantime, I'm going to focus on creating what *I* can in my spare time. Everything I do for The Queen of Crows RPG is on spec, so I don’t count that toward my core business, but… I care very deeply about making this game happen. This is the game I want to make, distribute, and get out there into the world. Badly.


Redwing's Gambit Cover ArtLet’s see… I have a few stories circulating out in the wild right now. Some I’m waiting edits for; others are completed and I’m waiting for the final word. Exciting news, my first short story comic will debut sometime this year. I had about seven or eight stories published in 2012, you can see what came out in my list of publications, and my first reprint for “Tomorrow’s Precious Lambs.”

The reprint was hilarious, and by “hilarious” I mean this is a typical Monica-ism. So, a big milestone, right? You get reprinted in an anthology and your story debuts before George RR Martin. You see him at a convention just walking around. Do you a) say how proud you are to be in a book with him? or b) babble like an idiot. Annnnnnd that would be “b.”

I made some headway on short storytelling last year and I was hoping the second novella I published, Redwing’s Gambit, would serve my goals for a book deal, but it hasn’t been “officially” released yet from Galileo Games. I have print copies if you want them. Just give me a holler on my contact page and we’ll work out a deal.

Right now, I’m kicking back and focusing on narrative prose that will sparkle in novel and novella form. More than that, I cannot say, but this will be a longer release/announcement cycle than anything else I’m working on this year.

So that’s it for Progress Report #1!

Questions? Ask away!

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