Monday, August 25, 2014

Backward Compatible NBtM

Not too long ago, in a town that, depending on your current location, is either not super far or actually quite close…

It is a time of chaotic hormones.

Two nerdy gents home for winter break have discovered a female gamer at a midnight release.

During the break, the gamer trio manages to reveal the game’s secret boss, a hidden enemy with enough power to destroy anything in its path.

Pursued by other gamers who want to be the first to beat this boss, George and Katie race to level up, and, in so doing, restore decency and sexual activity to their personal galaxy…

“These graphics suck,” George says and I look back at the screen. We’re standing in the middle of the Estate, colorful orbs quivering ahead of us. We each have to choose our starting advantage. Waterfalls shimmer in the distance and the sunlight streams over multicolored stones in the courtyard.

“Amateurs,” Lanyon concurs. “I mean, they couldn’t have five waterfalls?”

“Your ironic wit is mind blowing, but choose your damn orbs,” I tell them. I consider. Magic, defense, offense, stealth, and charisma. I always go for magic as a black mage, but I wonder if a druid needs something else. Screw it. I need charisma in real life, too.

“Charisma?” Lanyon asks. “No one ever picks charisma.”

“We’re a party of a thief, druid, and a bard. We’re screwed regardless.”

“You two underestimate the mighty power of my lute,” George argues.

“Did you start with charisma?” Lanyon asks.

“Hell, no. I have charisma in spades. I started with stealth.”

“Great. A stealthy bard,” I sigh.

“She’s right,” Lanyon concedes. “We’re screwed.”

However, it actually isn’t bad at all at first. We power through the Estate and make it to the Yobanaria Dale with no resurrections and all at level ten. I’m impressed. George hasn’t actually fought anything, but he has some pretty awe-inspiring charm mastery already. I think I might have a serious crush. He seals the deal when he buffs my hailstorm spell without even being asked.

“Can you guys watch El Thiefelo? My mom wants me to eat supper,” Lanyon says.

“Yeah, we’ve got it,” I tell him. “The first boss is in the elven ruins anyway, so we should grind a bit. I think he’s a twelve.”

George and I explore the Dale, taking out bats and Joba spores. It’s fairly quiet, except for when we combo with his charms and my spells and he yells out, “Eat lute, bitch,” but it’s nice. We work well, almost inherently understanding each other. I’ve never been able to play this effectively with anyone. I try not to think about his eyes. Stupid boys, being cute and stuff.

By the time Lanyon comes back, we’re all at level 12, although Lanyon leveled up just by standing by a door while we played. Still, we are ready to take on Balsa the Proud. As a black mage, it took me about nine seconds. Trees don’t like fire. However, druids don’t have the same level of black magic and all elemental magic is weakened by the need to draw from the elements nearby. Sadly, trees seem to avoid storing fire runes in their villages. I expect this to be a little more challenging. It might even take fifteen seconds.

“First boss. Also known as the freebie bitch to sucker the young folks into a false sense of security,” Lanyon announces as he runs into the center of Balsa’s lair. The cinema plays and then, in a moment of pure absurdity, El Thiefelo is squished as Balsa steps on him.

“Can someone revive me?” Lanyon whines.

Pete, thanks so much for stopping by. So, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?
I like cheese, sports, and fuzzy animals. I’m a teacher in my real life, although it’s summer now, so I’m reverting back to being lazy.

How did you get started writing?
I have been writing since I was little. As I got older, those weird stories just grew longer and eventually, I learned about things like style and genres.

What was the inspiration for your book?
There really aren’t a lot of books about gaming, at least not like this, and we both wanted one. So we wrote it.

What’s the one genre you haven’t written in yet that you’d like to?
A real horror novel. I wrote some horror short stories and some sort of comic horror, but I would love to come up with something for a really scary horror novel.

Are there any genres you won’t read or write in? Why?
I don’t really like traditional romance, like with Fabio on the covers, so I wouldn’t read or write that. Otherwise, not really.

So, what are you working on right now? Got any releases planned, or still writing?
Other than Backward Compatible 2, I hope I am close to releasing Helix Crashing by the time this interview goes live. It’s in editing and revision now, but it’s been about 15 years. I sort of wonder if it’s ever going to see a reader.

Alright, now for some totally random, fun questions. Favorite color?       Green

Favorite movie?      Manic

Book that inspired you to become an author?
I can’t really think of one. I always wrote. 

Alright, you have one superpower. What is it?
All-encompassing power, obviously.

You can have dinner with any 3 people, dead, alive, fictitious, etc. Who are they?
Ray Bradbury and my friends, Chris and Brian, because I haven’t seen them in ages.

Last question: Which of your characters are you most like and how/why?
Lanyon, because we are both obnoxious

Author Information:
Pete Clark likes writing, animals, potato chips, and cheese. Midnight Riders is his first published novel, although he can also proudly say he finally finished Helix Crashing, the fantasy novel he has been working on for over a decade. In addition, he has written Across the Barren Landscape, a collection of linked Western short stories. He also writes plays, both dramatic and comedic.

When he is not writing, Pete tends to ignore everyone around him and obsess over sports.

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