David is new to writing fantasy gaming material, but he is no stranger to the genre, having written seven novels so far. Read on to learn about him and his work.
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF
I am David Walters, author of six kindle books (the Dragonwarrior trilogy, the Samurai’s Apprentice trilogy and City of Masks). I’m 36, married and have a son – we all live in Edinburgh, Scotland. I can’t wait until he’s old enough to be introduced to my gamebook collection – I sure hope he is interested!
HOW DID YOU GET INTO GAMING?
My very first experience was with fighting fantasy books when I was seven. I borrowed a few from a ‘mobile library’ van that used to visit my countryside school every other month. I loved the books and quickly got sick of waiting for the van so started spending my pocket money on buying the books - the first one was Steve Jackson’s Creature of Havoc. I remember wondering if I had bought a book from the right series, as it was far harder than the previous books I had read and I could not get very far in it!
Fortunately it did not put me off, and following on from that I got into the Warhammer series at school, and then into other RPGs included Dungeons and Dragons.
WHAT IS IT YOU FIND SO APPEALING ABOUT GAMING?
Gaming is a chance to use your imagination, to escape the reality of everyday life and step out of your skin for a while. I am a cautious person by nature, and it is fun to take risks and do heroic deeds in a safe environment, or simply be someone else for a while.
It is also great to have a laugh with friends and have a common bond from sharing something only your group has experienced together.
SHARE A FAVOURITE GAMING MOMENT WITH US
I remember playing the Star Wars RPG with a group of friends. It was getting to a climactic scene in the campaign where x-wings were flying in to attack a key base of the Empire. The Gamesmaster was mimicking the radio chatter of the lead x-wing and wanted to say ‘cover your wing-men, we are going in’. Unfortunately what he said was ‘cover your women, we are going in’.
We couldn’t stop laughing after that, and the end to the campaign was not quite so tense thereafter.
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY PLAYING?
Nothing at the moment – I’m too busy writing, but I really do miss it. I am reading the new advanced fighting fantasy rules though, and I’m waiting for Crown of Kings campaign to arrive through my letterbox.
CAN YOU TELL US WHAT YOUR FAVOURITE GAMES ARE?
I love the Way of the Tiger gamebooks by Mark Smith and Jamie Thomson. They obviously had an effect on me as I write my novels with a strong far-eastern theme. They were in a really detailed setting (the world of Orb), and you could play the same ninja character through all the books in an involving story. The authors also wrote Talisman of Death and Sword of the Samurai, both of which were great.
I also like the Crown of Kings books, again another series where you could play as the one character, in this case as a sorcerer, and the magic system was fun.
I liked the Dragonlance setting too, with its interesting characters and settings, although the final age was a bit disappointing. The orders of high sorcery were my favourites, and draconians were great bad guys.
WHAT WAS THE LAST GAME YOU PLAYED?
I devised my own rules for an RPG based on my Dragonwarrior novel, and GM’d that. It really helped me flesh out my ideas for the novels.
TELL US ABOUT THAT SYSTEM.
TELL US ABOUT THAT SYSTEM.
I experimented with using a deck of card instead of a dice-based system - I figured a deck of cards was just as common place in the home as dice, and seemed a little less random based on which order you played your cards.
Basically, each player had paper stats and was dealt a hand of 7 cards which could be replenished during gameplay as attribute tests were made. Each player had a certain class based on their Dragonwarrior order (Fire, Shadow or Air), and these corresponded to different playing suits which acted as 'trumps' in certain situations, along with the numerical value of the card. The fourth suit was trumps for their enemies.
One thing not having dice did was help the players to focus on their character rather than dice rolls, and to feel like they had a little more control over key events ('if they played their cards right')!
WHICH PRODUCTS HAVE YOU HAD YOUR WORK PUBLISHED IN?
My work is kindle-only at the moment. I’ve read a few gamebooks on the kindle and online, and I really think the new digital format can invigorate the genre (provided we can get away from some of the old ‘instant death’ thinking of old gamebooks).
ARE YOU WORKING ON ANY GAMING-RELATED PROJECTS AT THE MOMENT?
I’m writing my first entry for the Windhammer competition. Gamebooks inspired me to be the author I am today, so I want to try writing one for this completion and see how it measures up.
It would be a bit too obvious to continue my fantasy world from City of Masks, so instead I’m going to try a tricky dystopian future story that is forming in my head. I like a challenge! If the format gels with me, I may write some commercial gamebooks in the near future.
DO YOU HAVE ANY WEBPAGES OR SOCIAL NETWORK ACCOUNTS WHERE FANS CAN FIND YOU?
I’m on twitter as @davidwaltersx, and Facebook as David Walters author. I also am on amazon on the following link: http://www.amazon.com/David-Walters/e/B005NWQY4G/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
I have a minimal web presence beyond that at the moment, as I want to focus my attention on more writing, and let my stories speak for themselves.