The Origin Story

When I was in fifth grade, I wrote a play about the Trojan War. My homeroom teacher thought it showed initiative, so the class put it on at the end of the year. When I left the school in eighth grade, the school was still performing it. That was the year in which I watched a whole new class hide under our enormous papier-mache’ horse. In that moment, I said to myself, “Man, this crap sounds like it was written by a fifth-grader.”

And that’s about how my life has gone ever since.

In college, I took a lot of writing courses and formed a writing team with my then-girlfriend, now-wife. We broke into the world of pencil-and-paper roleplaying games. After college, we realized that world wasn’t going to pay the rent, and tried our hand at screenwriting.

In our first paid gig writing a ten-o’-clock spy drama, we sat down with one of the senior writers and asked his advice. When times got tough, what did he tell himself that made staying in the industry worth it? He considered for a moment and said, “Well… I discovered anti-anxiety medication.”

So the quest for a better life kept going. After a trip to the Game Developer’s Conference in 2005, we ended up in the video game industry. Now, video games have their own horror stories, but through the grace of whatever gods watch over video games (probably Eulalia, Muse of Franchises), I ended up at a series of pretty good places to work. I managed to build a career that’s spanned a bit more than a decade. I get to geek out about science fiction, fantasy, and horror as part of my day job, and that day job lets me support the family that I love.

So what do I want now? I want you to come on an adventure with me.

Blog

In Which Underdog Vampires Defeat the Amazon Overlord

Okay, okay, this post isn’t about a  battle between vampires and a mind-controlled Queen Wonder Woman. It’s just a colorful way to announce that my vampire rights novel Civil Blood is now available in non-Amazon stores. Thanks to the lovely people and hard-working computer code at Draft2Digital, Civil Blood is now available on Barnes & Noble’s Nook, …

Contact

You can contact me by e-mail at heplerorama@gmail.com. I like to write back, but I can’t always.

I prioritize working over ego, and family over working. Maintaining a web site and contacts with fans falls under “ego” stuff.

I’m sure you’re a cool person and we’d have lots to talk about.

A Writing Tour

This is is where I show off promotional materials, excerpts from books, links to published or produced works, and so forth. My LinkedIn page covers my specific responsibilities for the collaborative projects.

I have also spoken at the Game Developers’ Conference on the topic of writer research skills. If you’re an attendee, you can find my 2016 lecture “What Wikipedia Doesn’t Know Can Hurt You,” in the GDC Vault.

Video Games

Pirates of the Caribbean

Relics of Gods

The Mass Effect Trilogy

Star Wars: The Old Republic

FableLabs Projects

Novels

Civil Blood (Now Available!)

Television

The Agency

Tabletop Role-Playing Games

Legend of the Five Rings

Shadowrun

Earthdawn

Paranoia

Comics

M.I.T.H.