Back Million Dollar Podmate on Kickstarter!

Million Dollar Soulmate RPG

Million Dollar Soulmate is a tabletop RPG of romantic uncertainty designed by Greg Stolze. Two players create a pair of courting lovers. One of them just spent a million dollars to have an algorithm find their perfect match, the person who completes them and expands their personality. The other… is that match.

What could go wrong? Well, plenty.

Greg launched Million Dollar Podmate on Kickstarter with a funding level of $200 to do a podcast with me! We did hit the funding goal, so we’ll record the game session. Want in on the fun? Greg has additional guests planned for this hilariously unpredictable romantic-themed game!

For more about the Million Dollar Soulmate RPG and podcast recordings created by Greg Stolze, head on over to Kickstarter today!



My First Quarter 2020 Update

Captain WhinypantsA few months ago, I had planned on sharing a quarterly update with you to highlight news on the proverbial home front. I had no idea I’d be writing this update from quarantine in my office next to a snoring cat. (Not Captain Whinypants. The other one. The orange ball of floofy one.) I don’t want to dwell on COVID-19 related issues other than to say “Yes, I’m affected.” Luckily, no one is sick in my household. Cross all appendages hoping that holds true! At the same time, I know several people who either do have it or lost someone recently. It’s a little surreal summing up the past three months, because I don’t know how the next three will fare. All I can focus on is one day at a time.

With that in mind, here’s a rundown of my year so far. Late December, I started by taking inventory of my 2019 list of publications. I used that exercise to revisit my goals, take stock of what I had, and put together a wish list. I wound up trunking everything I had so I could start fresh. (Zsa Zsa Gabor: “I just hated everything.”) In January, I was also prepping for the Hunter: Vigil Second Edition Kickstarter and had attended Midwinter Gaming Convention for a business meeting. I knew February was going to be busy, because I’d managed and promoted Kickstarters in the past, but I had no idea how swamped I’d be. Most of that month was swallowed up with a lot of news, Kickstarter cheerleading, and new releases. I was thrilled to release Underwater Memories accompanied by a themed soundtrack through Sub-Q Magazine, attend RadCon in Pasco, Washington as a guest of honor, and prepare for the SXSW release of my contributions for Wonder Stories, an app to help kids read.

Following this, I flew to Florida for a Make Art Not War writer’s retreat hosted by Alethea Kontis at the beginning of March. The first week and a half was lovely; we used the time to reset and reconnect. In that first week, I had so much news showing signs of growth and some wonderful experiences–including a SpaceX launch and a writer’s meet-up. Then, COVID-19 hit just a few days later. The launch at SXSW for Wonder Stories was cancelled along with several conferences I’d planned to attend. A spooky anthology I contributed to, called Haunting Shadows, also debuted. On top of this, I fell seriously ill. (Yes, we did check into testing but none was available.) We’re not sure if I had COVID-19 or adenovirus, but we took precautions in any case. During my recovery, I taught an Intro to Game Writing class through the Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers. I also mentioned I’m running for SFWA Director-At-Large as a write-in candidate. My class was lovely and everyone was enthusiastic and talented! (I still feel awful about my voice going in and out, but we made it work!) I didn’t write much, other than morning pages that last stretch of time. I wanted to be well enough to fly home at the beginning of April; there was a solid week or so I don’t remember.

I am now kicking off the second quarter in quarantine at home. Our state’s quarantine is through Friday, April 26th; the national recommendation is April 30th. However, my office quarantine is scheduled until Saturday, April 18th to ensure I’m not presenting any symptoms, especially after flying out of Orlando. I’m also dealing with a few other behind-the-scenes related issues, too, that have popped up because of this crisis. Additionally, I decided to pen a 30-day journal in quarantine for our local historical society. I feel this kind of documentation really matters–especially right now. I’m writing these entries in lieu of morning pages, but also to pay attention to how I’m feeling. I have a few deadlines this month and a lot of spec opportunities to follow up on, both of which should keep me busy.

I wish I could end this quarterly update with a comment about where my career will be by the end of June–but it’s impossible to predict anything. Change and uncertainty are the new “normal”. I jokingly called this era “The Chaos Timeline” before COVID-19 hit. Unfortunately, that description is very apropos of 2020 thus far. I’m still writing, but I’m also proceeding with extra caution–especially since many people I know and love are immunocompromised. To what end? Only time will tell.

Wishing you and yours health, stability, and a lot of luck in this tumultuous time.



Coming Soon! Hunter the Vigil Second Edition Kickstarter

Hunter The Vigil Second Edition Logo

Hello hunters!

I am pleased to announce that we’ve been working on the Hunter: The Vigil Second Edition Kickstarter. When I talk about the game on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, I’ll be using the hashtags #htv2e and #ttrpg. Hunter: The Vigil is a modern horror game where you–YES, YOU!–secretly hunt monsters with your friends. It’s a fan favorite and beloved Chronicles of Darkness tabletop RPG that has so much lore! To celebrate this new game, I’ve reached out to my team and asked them for interviews which will be posted on FlamesRising.com.

Here on my blog, I’ll be announcing when the Kickstarter goes live, when we’ve achieved funding, and when it has ended. I’ll sneak in some links to those interviews I mentioned pending their publication as well. If you want to ask me about the game, the best place to do that will be in the Kickstarter itself.

There will be other posts I offer during that time, too, and I anticipate a few more announcements in the coming weeks. If Hunter is not your jam, totally understand. I hope you do find a game or [insert fandom you love] and have a blast with it!

‘Til next time!

[Announcement] Your Best Game Ever Will Happen!

Your Best Game Ever Cover Art

Your Best Game Ever is not your typical RPG sourcebook. It’s not a book with adventures, spells, creatures, or magic items. It’s not a book for characters at all, but a book for players! If you play or run roleplaying games, this book is for you. Inside this gorgeous hardcover book, suitable for your coffee table or your gaming table, you will find advice and suggestions for enhancing your RPG experience at the table and away from it. This is an insider’s look at everything that goes into the hobby—finding a group, making a character, running a game, creating adventures, finding all the right ideas, hosting a game…and that’s just for starters.

If You’re an Experienced Gamer

You’ve been gaming for a while now. Maybe even years. You get the concepts, and you understand the rules. No one needs to explain the dice to you. Your Best Game Ever embraces the hobby you love, and provides real tips, immediately usable advice, and hands-on pointers you can use at your game table. You’ll find everything here from enhancing immersion, tips for running games online, creating characters with depth, worldbuilding, designing rules, dealing with personality conflicts that arise at the table, and more!

If You’re Fairly New to Gaming

Your friends play RPGs. You’ve maybe watched some streaming games, or given it a try a few times. You get the general idea, but where do you go from there? How do you really get into this hobby the way so many others have? This book will give you everything you need to learn how to choose the right game, how to fit into your game group or start your own group, and get you going on the fast track to being a great gamer.

I am pleased to announce that I am one of several consultants on this 2019 project. The Your Best Game Ever! Kickstarter has already funded, and we’re on to stretch goals.

Monte Cook is the primary writer on the book. He’s joined by a wealth of talented contributors that includes: Eric Campbell, Matt Colville, Luke Crane, Stacy Dellorfano, Tanya DePass, Ajit George, Jennell Jaquays, Eloy Lasanta, Tom Lommel, Matthew Mercer, Susan J. Morris, Alina Pete, and yours truly.




Looking for Monica’s books and games that are still in print? Visit Monica Valentinelli on Amazon’s Author Central or a bookstore and game store near you.

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