Home > Books, Trenchmates > New Year, New Creative Intentions, and New Publication

New Year, New Creative Intentions, and New Publication

Hard Setdown

What’s that?  Could we have a new soon-to-be-everyone’s-favourite sci-fi author guesting on this little blog?  Well, possibly; Trenchmate Tim has published his first short story and I’ve turned the blog over to him to tell us a bit more about it.

Shameless self-promotion time…

Regular visitors to these hallowed pages may have noticed that I’m a reasonably frequent Trenchmates contributor, talking mostly about my Marines and also waxing lyrical about Wild West Exodus. I’m intending to have a more hobby-productive year so hopefully there’ll be some more articles from me (on Project Deathwing and Kitbash Korner to name a couple or major undertakings for 2016).

When I’m not shackled to a cogitator station at work or turning out Trenchmate articles, I also write fiction – mostly the sort of fiction I like to read, so pretty gritty hardboiled science fiction, history and alternate history, and a touch of Fantasy. Oddly enough, most of the wargames and RPGs I enjoy fall into these categories.

I’ve just released my first (self-)published work on Amazon Kindle, Sam Cane: Hard Setdown. It’s a gritty, grimy science fiction novella, a survival mystery with a twist of horror. Sam Cane, reformed con-artist and ex-soldier, is fleeing her past and an enemy so dangerous, the only place she can hide is the other fringes of human settlement. Arriving at a small colony on an arid world to take up a posting as a security officer, she finds herself in a situation that’s no less dangerous. She’s forced to rely on her diverse and unique skillset to survive and work out what’s going on. Sam’s adventures by no means end here and I intend to keep publishing short works telling her story and exploring her world. If that tickles your fancy, you can find it here.

What has this to do with the hobby, I hear you think? In some ways, very little (did you notice the bit about shameless self-promotion above?). I’d love to write for GW or other hobby companies, even just doing fluff pieces for rulebooks (and will be applying to GW), but Sam is my own work and not connected with any existing universe.

What I do think is that wargaming and roleplaying help make me a better writer (and vice versa). There are a number of obvious similarities – running RPGs and writing both involve careful world building, characterisation, and attention to detail. The same applies to wargaming if you’re any kind of fluff player (which I am) – I create backgrounds for all my armies (and named characters and notable squads) and work out how those in any given game system tie together with each other and my opponent’s forces. I like a battle that has a narrative background and enjoy games linked as a story campaign. I think there’s also something in the hobby side as well, the careful attention to detail needed when building and painting a model and the thought that can go into telling a particular figure’s background in how it’s equipped, posed and painted. And I think, above all else, being immersed in something creative that almost entirely under your control helps sharpen the mind and hone the imagination – which is why I have no truck with people who say wargaming is just playing with kids’ toys.

I also can’t pretend that my years in the Grimdark haven’t coloured my writing at least a little bit – but it would be an odd writer or hobbyist who isn’t influenced by others.

So my plan this year is more reading across all my interests (want to get caught up with the HH series for one), more hobby time (including more Trenchmate articles) and more writing.

And if you do take a look at Hard Setdown, I hope you enjoy it and I’d welcome any comments on it.

Thanks for this, Tim.  I’ve just downloaded this for my PC/iPhone and I hope to consume it tomorrow.  Dear readers (all two of you), please, please, please download this, you won’t be disappointed. 

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