Been re-listening to our Ravenfolly Presents actual play podcast in preparation for figuring out what the project will be and C1E4, the Half-Made Man, might be the best thing I've worked on outside of my books, alternating between terror end tenderness and humor.
John's throwaway line about being tired of living is not the same as being willing to die here and a monster reminding the heroes that ordinary men are crueler than he could ever be. I really want to get a new show going in 2024 like this.
Coming up on the ten-year anniversary of the first Indestructibles book and I keep thinking about perspectives that have evolved and how it'd be different if I wrote it now, especially because a few recent readers have said it feels like it was written today.
A few of the characters weren't intentionally written to be ND, but definitely are - Emily for sure, Kate very likely, maybe Bedlam. Arguments could be made for others.
In the years since the first edition came out, I've occasionally wondered if Jane is ace/demi. The book was marketed as YA but didn't fit with a lot of the prerequisite tropes, and there wasn't much romance involved. Not by design, just how the characters reacted to the world.
Emily's pop culture obsession was intentionally evergreen so it wouldn't age out. She likes old nerdy stuff. Would change: she makes jokes a few times about a series I don't want to be associated with anymore, of course. But it feels weird to retroactively edit those out.
(Speaking of, as the resident Whovian Em would have adored Jodie Whittaker's Doctor, but her favorite remains the 9th. She would have imprinted on Eccleston's feral energy.)
I absolutely would have avoided the ship having an "AI" persona given what's happening now, but it's such a sci-fi trope I'm not too mad about it. I started working with AI researchers a few years after the book came out; I know so much more now.
More to follow... gotta step away for a bit but it's interesting doing a look back at one's own work as a writer.
It's finally here - a full-cast audiobook of the Indestructibles (Book 1)! Available on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes, the book is produced by Spoken Realms and features the voices of:
If you enjoy audiobooks, spread the word - the success of Book 1 will determine if we're able to produce the full series in the same format, so be sure to tell your fellow readers! A preview is available on all three apps as well as on TikTok (for those of you who are BookTok fans!).
At long last, the Indestructibles are coming to Audible! Currently in the last leg of production, book one will be available very soon - featuring a FULL VOICE CAST bringing all of the Indestructibles to life. Listen to the sample below to hear voice actor Gail Shalan as Entropy Emily from Emily's first day with super powers. Stay tuned for more details to follow!
I was joking around earlier today about how, as big of a grump I am most of the time, the holidays are ridiculously important to me. When I lived overseas the only time I really wanted to be home was Christmas Day. And before I wrote superhero stories, PFP Publishing had actually intended to publish a short story collection of mine that was, no joke, 10% stories set at Christmastime. Maybe it's how I grew up; maybe it's the mystery of the end of the year; maybe it's the perpetual threat of snow mixed with hope and loneliness and love.
Anyway. Here's one of those stories. It's called "bring your compassion," and it's about lonely people making the best of their time together. (It's also the sort of writing style that I was able to get closer to while writing Doc Silence: the Cost of Magic, which was so different from the other books because it got back to my roots.
I haven't posted a ton here about the new D&D actual play podcast I DM for because it's not book related, but we just reached Episode 04 and this is where the story really kicks into gear and becomes terrifying and profound. The first few episodes are eerie but light and playful as the cast gets comfortable, but this week's show is where it gets real, and I wanted to share it with you because I'm as proud of the storytelling we're doing there as I am of the books. The most recent episode is found here and on all your favorite podcasting apps, and the details about the show, including cast information, is over on ravenfollyinstitute.com.
If you like the creepier parts of the Indestructibles, Echo and the Sea, or the Dungeon Crawlers, you may enjoy this too - it's an actual play so there's randomness and dice rolling, but it's pretty tightly woven and broken out into bite sized chapters intentionally to be like a novel.
So I've referenced this a bit in the past, but the Ravenfolly Institute Presents, a new actual play D&D podcast I GM for, has just launched. It features a fantastic cast and a gothic/pastoral horror story arc set in the Sanguine Moors of Bathomir.
For regular readers of my books, the Sanguine Moors and the entire setting has evolved out of Roll for Initiative and the Dungeon Crawlers - not directly, but there's a building of themes and story elements that share a universe together.
We've already recorded a full first campaign/story arc, with episodes releasing each Tuesday. Hope you'll give it a shot. It can be found on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and soon on all major podcasting apps (if it's not there already - much like book publishing, they can release at their own pace sometimes even after the show has been approved). Just look for the Ravenfolly Institute. More information on the cast can be found at www.ravenfollyinstitute.com.
Just a quick note that there's a free writer's conference going on this weekend with a massive number of topics covered. All the sessions are prerecorded, but they've set up a Discord server for conversing with the writers and other panel participants. I'm taking part in Writing Believable Emergencies on Friday, June 10, and Writing an Ensemble Cast on Sunday, June 12.
Registration is still open, it's free, and there's literally a panel for anyone who's working on a writing project right now, from craft and theory to marketing and editing.
Register at: https://writehivecon.org/register-now/
So we're just a few weeks away from the release of Generation Wonder, an anthology by some of the best superhero writers in the game right now (and, well, me, but I'm just happy to be here). The publisher is running a Goodreads giveaway this month for ten copies - if you're so inclined, here's a link to participate: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/345568-generation-wonder-the-new-age-of-heroes
I've got a few author copies in-hand already and it's beautiful. I can't believe one of my stories is illustrated by the incredible Colleen Doran. (You can spot the lead character from my own story, "My Life as a Houseplant," at the bottom of the cover art.)
And yes, my story DOES take place in the Indestructiverse. It's not required reading for the main series, but there's some easter eggs in there for long-time readers of the series you may enjoy. Check it out!
I think I've mentioned before that I've been part of a podcast on D&D called Characters & Class with fellow author Colin Carlton. (If not... hey, I'm on a podcast!) Colin does all the heavy lifting with editing and such to give credit where credit is due. It's not a bad show for aspiring writers, too, because we randomly roll up characters and create backstories, motivations, lives for them with no prep, which is just as applicable to prose writing as it is to role-playing games.
Anyway, I should've mentioned that earlier, but I'm writing today because we're giving away some dice and thought there might be some RPG dice collectors who follow my work here. The rules to enter are over on this post. The dice are actually here in my office and I love 'em, so I'd love to send them to one of you. We're holding a random drawing on 4/18/22. Feel free to enter and check out the show! We're about to release a few actual play story episodes, too, which have been fun divergences from novel writing - it's terrifying and hilarious to tell a story when you know you can't go back and edit or fix things in a second draft. Plus I'm taking away tons of inspiration for the next few book projects.
About the author
Matthew Phillion is the author of the Indestructibles YA novel series, its spinoff Echo and the Sea, and the Dungeon Crawlers series of RPG-style novellas.