Friday, March 8, 2013

Bundle of Holding Interview - STEPHEN D. SULLIVAN

About the Bundle
A "bag of holding" is a magical purse or sack that contains more on the inside than it would appear to from its size.  (Yes, SF fans, it's like a TARDIS.)  A "Bundle of Holding" then is a collection of books that contains more than it would appear to -- or more, perhaps, than you would expect to find for what you've paid.

All the Bundle of Holding authors have a roleplaying game
background. Tell us about your gaming work.
In 1980, I joined the staff of TSR to work on Dungeons & Dragons, becoming an editor on what is now called the Moldvay/Cook version of the game.  I was at TSR for the better part of 4 years, working in the editorial and art departments. After that, I helped found Pacesetter, Ltd. -- the creators of CHILL -- and was the Art Director (and a designer) there for the life of the company.  After that, I did a lot of freelance game-related work, including maps for the Dragonlance books and Middle Earth RPG, and a long-running comic series in Dragon magazine, The Twilight Empire: Robinson's War (which is now available in a print collection).

How, if at all, does your game background influence your
approach to fiction? How does it help or hinder narrative writing?
My work in gaming gave me a lot of experience "world building" and developing backgrounds and characters for stories.  Even today, I do story bibles for my major work.  The Blue Kingdoms bible, where the Tournament of Death is set, runs over 40,000 words.  The role-playing I've done, both playing and running, has helped sharpen my ear for character dialogue and motivations.  All that has been useful, though films and books have had at least as much influence on my work.

Do you have other books related to your Bundle of Holding book?
Tournament of Death, my contribution to the bundle, is the first in a series of books.  The second one, Tournament of Death 2, is already available -- and I used a Kickstarter last year to help fund its writing.  Chances are that I'll be writing Tournament of Death 3 during next year's Winter Olympics.  Keep an eye peeled for announcements.

Which other writers in the Bundle would you recommend
to your readers?
I've known Matt Forbeck since he was a kid, playtesting for Pacesetter, and he's a fine writer.  I'm really looking forward to reading his Bundle book.  And I've loved Paranoia since it's creation, so Allen Varney's book is high on my to-read list, too.

What are your current projects?
I just finished publishing the print editions of Tournament of Death 1 & 2, and I'm gearing up for my next projects.  2013 is going to be my Year of Horror, in which I will (finally) release my Frost Harrow series of modern, Gothic-horror novels.  I also have a zombie project or two on deck.  Chances are, I might squeeze in a short or two as well -- maybe something steampunk and something with Crimson.

Where can readers learn more?
The best place to keep up with me is at my website --  There, you can sign up for my free newsletter, too.  You can write me directly at  I also have pages on Twitter -- -- and Facebook --  -- which are great day-to-day ways to follow what I'm up to.  Hope to see you there!

Enjoy the Bundle!

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