Celebrating a 2023 ENnie Award Nomination

Level 1 Anthology | Volume 3 2022 | Free RPG Day

The 2023 nominees for the ENnie Awards have just been announced, and I’m proud to mention I’m a finalist for the 2022 Level 1 Anthology from 9th Level Games along with a slate of fantastic folks!

The full contributor list for the ENnie Award-nominated 2022 Level 1 Anthology is: Gabrielle Rabinowitz, Evlyn Moreau, Dustin Winter, Quinn B. Rodriguez, Sea Carnelian, Loretta Brady, Skylar Bottcher, Gianna Cormier, Glenn Givens, Samantha Sinacori, Steffie de Vaan, Graham Gentz, Monica Valentinelli, Kyle Ott, Desks and Dorks, Patrick Watson, Dare Hickman, V.R. Collins, Zane Graves, Scott Slater, Alexi Sargeant, and Jim Dagg.

After you download a copy from DriveThruRPG.com, be sure to pick up One Night in the Catacombs. I designed this game as an expanded edition of “One Night at Bain House” featured in the anthology. Huzzah!

Congratulations to my fellow 2023 ENnie Award nominees! Woooooooo! Good luck and cheers all around. Voting will be open to the general public in mid-July, so be sure to watch for updates. Huzzah!



New Release! into shadow: a poetic exploration of personal fears

Written by Monica Valentinelli, into shadow: a poetic exploration of personal fears is the author’s debut collection of twenty-one poems.

The collection’s theme is broken into three books inspired by parts of the shadow: the umbra, penumbra, and antumbra. The fears presented run the gamut between surface-deep and existential. As such, some readers may be uncomfortable with light swearing and unsettling imagery. In book one: umbra, twenty-one original poems expose the author’s shadow. Notes and references for each poem follows in book two: penumbra, naming her fears and how she tackled them. Lastly, in book three: antumbra, the original drafts of each poem—including improper punctuation and sloppy word choices—are reprinted in their entirety, extending well beyond the umbra.

into shadow: a poetic exploration of personal fears is currently available in multiple digital formats.

Smashwords: (epub, mobi, pdf, lrf, pdb, txt, html)

Amazon’s Kindle

DriveThruFiction: (epub, pdf)

If you’re new to DriveThruFiction, please note that purchasing a copy from that eTailer automatically grants you access to all additional formats and corrections uploaded for that title’s listing.

You can also find this collection at additional online booksellers, including the iStore, pending approvals required for broader distribution. Additional announcements may be forthcoming collating these new venues.

Funded on Patreon (@BooksOfM), into shadow: a poetic exploration of personal fears would not be possible without the support of Monica’s patrons and supporters.

Interviews and review copies are available upon request from the author.

50-75% Off Sale on OGL-Affected #TTRPG Titles

Red 20-Sided Dice Illustration from Wikimedia Commons

In light of discussions regarding a leaked draft of the OGL, several gaming publishers have put their games on sale.

Click Here to Save 50-75% off all of my Scarred Lands titles and several other games, adventures, and characters.

I’m not sure how long the sales will last or what’s to come. I do know that licensing is extremely complicated (OGL stands for Open Game License) and often requires an attorney’s review. My DMsGuild titles fall under a separate license, so those are not affected. At the moment, I’m waiting to make any further decisions or comments at this time until the new OGL is released and attorneys have a chance to review it.



My Year-End Summary and 2022 Publications

Hello, hello!

2022 was an interesting year in many ways. Reflecting on 2021, this year was a time to start shedding everything that wasn’t working for me. My 2021 New Year’s Resolution was to write for myself every day and the most important part of this goal turned out to be the importance of writing for myself. As it turned out, one of the things that wasn’t working for me was worrying about what comes after release/submission or—even worse—predicting what those outcomes would be. To be blunt: no sphere in publishing has fully recovered from the pandemic. Past Monica might have worried about that, because this affects my future. Present Monica says: “Well, shit. That sucks. Nothing I can do about all of that except focus on what I’m doing now.”

I’m happier than I’ve ever been despite substantive cuts and losses—this year was full of surprises. At the beginning of the pandemic, I made a huge wish list of stuff I wanted (or wanted to learn and do). Many of the things I was hoping for came true in an unusual way. I’m not a “true believer” in magic in a fantasy sense, but I absolutely believe in the psychology of perspective and how that shapes your reality. For example, if you’re convinced that artists must suffer, deep down, in order to make great art? Well, if you’re an artist you’ll wind up suffering—with or without the art. Deprogramming harmful messages to release the outcome is challenging AF because there are a lot of them! For me, this year I knew I wanted to get back into photography. I had no idea that desire would turn into snapping pics of animal ambassadors and guests at an AZA-accredited zoo—a fabulous and joyful outcome.

This, dear Reader, is also the reason why I’ve decided to abandon my New Year’s Resolution this year because it doesn’t work for me. Instead, I’m focusing on a symbol and all it represents—the sun—to “color” my perspective with a little warmth and light. Timely, too, because the sun is having a very hard time getting past all the clouds and snow. And, with a little luck, I’ll be going to Egypt.

With that in mind, here’s a list of my 2022 publications. In addition to this list, I had the pleasure of teaching through the Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers. If you get an opportunity to take one of Cat Rambo’s classes or check out her books, please do so! You can check out one of her recent stories online; read “The Woman Who Wanted To Be Trees” on Slate.com. Cat is a rare gem who builds community in an empowering way, and she’s an important part of the speculative fiction community and publishing landscape.

I’m looking forward to a productive 2023. On Saturday, January 7th, I’ll be teaching a new class called Emotional Self-Care for Creatives. Also in January, I’ve got an essay about the witch hysteria in Apex Magazine along with a new project I’ll announce via BooksOfM on Patreon.

Thanks for sticking with me in 2022. If you’ve got your own end-of-year blog posts, please link to them in the comments. And Happy New Year!

Published Games in 2022

I am pleased to announce that two of these games topped DriveThruRPG.com’s best-seller’s lists in 2022 according to Geek Native. Congrats to all who worked on these games with me!

HUNTER: THE VIGIL SECOND EDITION, 2022, Onyx Path Publishing/Paradox Interactive – Number One Best-Selling Horror RPG of 2022 and the Number One Best-Selling Modern Era RPG of 2022!

ONE NIGHT IN THE CATACOMBS, 2022, BooksOfM
TALES OF THE RED: STREET STORIES, 2022, R Talsorian Games – Number One Best-Selling Science Fiction TTRPG of 2022!

LEVEL 1 Volume 3, “One Night in Bain House,” 2022, 9th Level Games

DEAD MAN’S RUST, Scarred Lands 5th Edition, 2022, Onyx Path Publishing



New! Workshop to Help you Adapt your Stories to Games

Workshop to Help you Adapt your Stories to Games

Saturday, December 3, 2022

1-3 PM Pacific Time

Are you a writer with a fascinating world? Characters? Have you thought about turning your novel into an RPG or your short story into an interactive game? In this class, gaming industry veteran will walk you through the ins and outs of adapting your work to fit a gaming world. This class is not designed for adaptations of someone else’s work. Scholarships are available!

Join me in December for a fun online workshop to learn how to turn your fiction into a game. Registrations are now open! You’ll get a comprehensive overview so you can confidently learn the ins and outs of adapting your fiction. Hope to see you there!



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