One of Gaming’s Greatest Writers Is Busy Crafting Romance Novels
Do you still play games on your own for fun?
I haven’t, the last few years. That side of my brain—I’ve always been a person who had to have something like that. I’m very obsessive. So I spent a few years doing jigsaw puzzles, hundreds of them. I’ve been a crossword addict and a solitaire addict, and my current thing now is I’m quilting, which is actually very much like, you cut things apart and you put them together in different patterns. It’s very pattern oriented. But I mean, I’ve been a gamer my whole life, basically. Just not as much recently. That highly detailed, little widget part of my brain, it just loves that kind of stuff.
Have you thought about doing a crossover with your romance work, like a gay romance visual novel?
I would if there was a good opportunity. I was contacted by an interactive fiction company a couple years ago, and I did something for them. They were a new startup. I wrote a story, but they had a really weird system. They were trying to sell coins for different emotions. And they had all these strict rules about how you had to write it, so people would have to buy emotion coins. And then, when they went public, they ended up just becoming about user-created content.
So I’ve seen some of those like, they’re very popular with the new generation on iPads and stuff, these interactive fiction games with very cartoony graphics. I really like trying new things, so I’m always up for doing something new if an opportunity comes along. But I haven’t been really researching that, mainly because I’ve been on this treadmill of releasing my books so quickly. It takes up a lot of my energy.
What about a crossover in your audience—do any of your fans follow both your games and romance work?
A few, not many, but I do occasionally run across somebody who says that they found me through Gabriel Knight, found my romance through Gabriel Knight.
I feel like there was always this quasi-romantic streak in the Gabriel stories. Is that what pushed you to get into romance?
I don’t think so. It’s just a reflection of who I am as a writer. My two loves are horror and romance, and that sounds really psychotic, but I read romance growing up, and I read tons of horror growing up, and both of those had a thread in Gabriel Knight. Gabriel was definitely a classic rogue character, the bad-boy womanizer who you can’t help but love and be attracted to.
When I found out about your Eli Easton work, I felt so vindicated, because The Beast Within had this incredibly homoerotic tension in it.
Yeah, it’s interesting that that came out then. I think at that time I had never written a gay romance, obviously. But I was really influenced by Anne Rice, and she always had a lot of homoerotic tension in her stories, and sometimes more than that. Cry to Heaven is one of my favorite Anne Rice books. It’s about a castrati, and he has a long-term relationship with another man, and it just sort of came out in that book. But the interest has always been there and has reached fuller expression more recently.