New LitRPG Book from KC Author

In part 6 of my KC Creator series, I introduced you to Kansas City author (and my husband) David J. Pedersen. He recently released his seventh book, this time in the LitRPG (literary role-playing game) genre, and it’s already receiving 5-star reviews. Read on to find out about the challenges of writing in this new genre, and his new YouTube channel.

Please introduce yourself.

I’m David J. Pedersen, author of the 5-book Angst fantasy series and middle-grade fantasy Clod Makes A Friend.

You recently released a new book in a different genre. Tell us about your LitRPG novel, Entriss Online.

Entriss Online takes place in the near future, where the majority of Americans spend their days in virtual worlds. The most popular game is Entriss Online – a first-generation fantasy role-playing game. Ian Gregg works for Entriss as a lead developer by day and plays the game at night as the accomplished Wizard, Mandorf.

After a surprise announcement that Entriss Online is shutting down, Ian discovers orphaned code that never made it into the game. Moments before being fired, he checks in the code, triggering a world event, and unlocking a hidden quest. But how can he finish the quest in time when he’s stuck at level 1?

If someone is new to this book genre, what is LitRPG?

LitRPG is an acronym for Literary Role Playing Game. It’s a sub-genre of GameLit. GameLit novels are stories that take place in a world with gaming elements. Jumanji, Ready Player One, and Ryan Reynolds’ upcoming Free Guy movies are great examples of this.

LitRPG stories are more stat driven. Most or all of the story takes place in a world with game mechanics or a virtual reality-based MMORPG. (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game – like World of Warcraft.) There is often progression from leveling, stats similar to an MMO or Dungeons and Dragons, and some books even include damage from attacks.

What makes LitRPG unique is that you get to enjoy a fantasy or sci-fi story along with the exhilaration of leveling a character.

Why did you decide to try writing in a new genre?

There are so many things to enjoy about LitRPG. Not only did I get to write fantasy in the virtual world of Entriss Online, but I also had fun creating my own MMORPG video game. Since it takes place in the near future, I also got to sprinkle in some sci-fi.

How was writing this book different from working on your fantasy adventure novel series, Angst?

While many teased me about Angst being autobiographical, and I still don’t know what they’re talking about, Entriss definitely isn’t about me or anyone I know. Because of this, I think readers will relate, or at least appreciate the characters and their relationships.

It was also a fun challenge going back and forth between the near-future world and the virtual fantasy world. 

Tell us about a particularly memorable moment while writing Entriss Online.

The praise I received from my editor took me by surprise. She’s always been supportive, but this was different. You always hope that readers connect with your story. Not only did she like it, but the consensus from my advance review team is also that they can’t put it down.

You also recently started a YouTube channel. Tell us about that and what kind of content you plan to produce.

Based on my research, successful YouTube channels are supposed to focus on a singular niche. Apparently, I’m bad at taking advice because mine is more like a variety show. I’ve done several author readings from my books, shared videos of my corgi Marvel and my office renovation. I also started a series of videos to encourage other writers called “Believe In Your Story.” There’s a lot going on and I’m having fun making them.

What are you working on now, and what plans lay ahead for you?

My most recent YouTube video is about the difference between traditional fantasy and LitRPG.

I’ve also started working on the second Watson’s Worlds novel. It’s going to be a horror/suspense story. If you’ve ever enjoyed the darker aspects of my books, you’ll appreciate that I’m cutting loose for this one.

Where can someone find more information about your work?

Watch the book trailer above, then listen to the first chapter of Entriss Online, read by the author!

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