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Wandering Men Interview – Full Version

The Wandering Men rock! Even though one of them likes white dragonlike creatures you should check out their website, their latest book – Skein of Shadows, and their answers to these questions. Enjoy!

1. Are you adventuring authors or writing adventurers?

Nathan: I’m an adventuring author, but I’d love to make the transition to writing adventurer.

Davis: Both. I live for the adventure, would do it whether or not I pushed back The Nothing…Yet my favorite form of release is pecking out a good yarn.

Corey: I’m definitely with Davis on this one; I love to roam and explore wherever I am, and writing gives an avenue to transport others into those experiences or the product of those experiences.

Brannon: I’m a 6th level adventuring author with two levels in the writing adventurer Prestige Class… Not sure what I’m taking next level, but I’ve got my eyes on a slice of the NYT Bestseller template.

Hall: Either way you slice it, it’s the adventure we love. Whether it be exploring the ruins of a 17th century sinking fort, or attempting a writing style that is different from the norm, we want you to see the Wandering Men logo and roll your eyes while asking yourself, “What in the world are they up to now? I guess I better find out.”

2. Do you just wander or you actually go places?

Nathan: Yes. In my opinion, we go places to wander, it’s all part of the adventure. Though I’d love to go somewhere with one of excursions. Who’s up for the PCT or the AT?

Davis: Oh, we go places. We’ve kayaked long bayous or crossed the Mississippi to get to specific, remote places for high adventure. We’ve back-packed many trails, including portions of the AT.

Corey: Both. While set hikes are desirable (anyone have discount tickets to Nepal?), I love to discover what the world around me has to offer. Glory and wonder can be found in very nook of creation should one seek it out…and often the only thing necessary is a pair of open eyes and attentive ears.

Brannon: I’d have to say both, but usually the former leads to the latter. We love to wander, but often times those aimless journeys morph into full fledged explorations.

Hall: We wonder when someone was going to ask us about our wandering. I’ll simply say that wandering down a path that leads to a place, allows you to place your wandering skills to the test, when you wonder were that place is that you are wandering to. Glad I could clear that up for ya.

3. How many books / short stories have the wandering men written?

Davis: Members of the Wandering Men have published in two professional works of fiction, Skein of Shadows and Southern Fried Weirdness.

Brannon: Published or unpublished? If we’re talking the former, then Skein of Shadows is our first novel, and Davis was recently published in a short story anthology called Southern Fried Wierdness. Also, I (Ashy) have several credits in the RPG industry; you can check my bio on the site for a list of publishers. If you’re talking unpublished, then check out our site and Plotstorming.com – we are pretty prolific guys and have tons of stuff waiting in the wings. I’ve got boxes of unpublished manuscripts and Davis is almost done with an unpublished trilogy!

Hall: If you took the works of Shakespeare, Tennyson, Keats and Dr. Seuss and combine them together, you’d wind up with some tragically heroic stories told in a robust, poetic rhyming scheme which had been specifically suited for children, and while the Wandering Men wouldn’t have anything close to that number of publications; it’d still be about that good. ;) Some of us, however, have been writing from a very young age. As a matter of fact, you’ll have to ask him yourself, but I do believe Davis was writing short stories 3 months before he was born.

Dungeon Mastering: Check out bios of all the Wandering Men!

4. Who did your website?

Nathan Ellsworth and Brannon Hollingsworth primarily, and they maintain it, but everyone provides the content.

Brannon: It’s an in-house kinda deal. Nathan Ellsworth and I (Ashy) have done most of it, but each of the Wandering Men helps to produce the updates, so it’s a communal thing and it works well, I think!

Hall: Depends: if you like it, Hollingsworth set it up, we all do a bit of updating (especially Hollingsworth) and I do most of the art. If you don’t like it, a troop of pygmies from the forest of the Sahara Desert did the site for us, in exchange for some volcano ritual that we let them take Corey on. No, really?

5. Which RPG are you currently playing the most?

Hall: Homebrew D20 style setting called “The Misfits”, which is an amazing campaign set in a world created by and run by Hollingsworth – it rocks! Arcade game style: the original Zelda for NES! No, I haven’t beat the game yet and NO, I don’t want any help!

Brannon: Actually, not much currently, as I’ve been BUSY with the novel, but before that, I DM a long-running game in which Corey and Hall play (The Misfits : see link above). Actually, some of the writing on that website helped make Skein of Shadows possible!

6. Red dragons or gold dragons?

Davis: Smaug the Golden…

Brannon: Depends on if I’m DM’ing or playing! Seriously, I’d have to say Red, because I love their primal anger and I have so many cool images of Reds flapping around in my brain.

Hall: White Dragons! Never was one to pick from the choices I was given. I always got to go on a limb – sorry mom, love you!

7. How many conventions will you go to in 2008?

Davis: A whole lot…

Brannon: Six at the current count – we’ve got a Con Schedule up on the site, but we may also support other cons, but they will not be attended by the bulk of the Wandering Men. The six we’ve got on our schedule we’re all trying to make.

Hall: How many books did you say you wanted?

8. Describe the generic gaming convention experience in 14 words or less.

Brannon: Don’t bother with a hotel room; you’ll be gaming too much to sleep anyway.

Hall: Caffeine, Caffeine, Caffeine, Doritos, Caffeine, Caffeine, Caffeine, Role play, Caffeine, Caffeine, Hack n Slash!!!

9. City adventure or dungeon crawl?

Nathan: Dungeon crawl, I prefer the unidentifiable horrors of the deepest depths.

Davis: Dungeon crawl. Done it….literally….and have pics to prove it!

Corey: Dungeons definitely, unless the city happens to be Mayan wastes or a Greco-Roman necropolis.

Brannon: Dungeon crawl, without a doubt. I’ve always wanted to go toe-to-toe with an illithid…

Hall: In a good RPG Campaign, it is amazing how both contain the other.

10. On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being great and 10 being uber-awesome) how good is your book, Skein of Shadows?

Brannon: 45…really… I mean Bob Salvatore might as well pack up his word processor and retire, man!

Hall: 9.5 (trying not to be called a biased judge here.) I think you?ll find this type of story to be unlike any other you have read before.

Nathan: 8.5, we’ve tried to do something few would have considered attempting – weaving five novellas together – and I think we pulled it off well.


11. I hear you’re getting “Men: The Wandering” trading cards – will you get enough to make a whole deck?

Brannon: We sure hope so – we’re already working on the cards for our NEXT Con (Chattacon) and I think the RPG industry will really like them! They’re going to be Con-specific, which will make having a whole set harder, but when they sell on Ebay for eight bajillion dollars in a few years, it’ll be worth the extra gas money.

Hall: Yes, these are con specific cards that will one day be worth millions! I would like to have a different card or group of cards per con that we attend. How many cards will you see in ‘08? (see answer to question # 7).

Dungeon Mastering:  Men: The Wandering contest underway.12. Do you only write fiction, or do you also write in the RPG industry?

Nathan: I’ve dabbled in both. I wrote a couple pieces for the Wanderer’s Guild. Recently I’ve begun to write Uncommon EVIL – RPG oriented articles about utilizing overlooked monsters in unique and EVIL ways.

Davis: The Wandering Men are very diverse, with members who have written and provided art for many RPG projects. Others are strongly fiction-oriented.

Brannon: Both (see question #3 above), but I would rather write fiction, given a choice.

Hall: We have a broad range of talent and writing styles in the five members of the Wandering Men, from historical non-fiction to RPG fantasy and core rules, to sci-fi, we don’t fear the pen or what might come out of it.

13. What’s your next big project?

Davis: We have several projects in the works, and of course Skein of Shadows 2.

Brannon: Which one? We’ve got several in the works! The only one we can mention currently is Skein of Shadows, Book II, however. There’s a preview of it in the novel, a preview that I think will firmly insert the hook in many mouths. I know *I* can’t wait to read Book II! As we can talk about our other projects, you can be sure you’ll be hearing about them on our website, however and hopefully in future interviews with DungeonMastering.com!

Hall: Relaxing! Actually, very far from it; if you lean in real close, I’ll tell ya… Closer…a little closer…that’s it…okay? It’s a secret.

14. Goblins or Kobolds?

Nathan: Kobolds, never turn you back on the buggers!

Davis: Goblins…a Dwarf’s favorite enemy.

Brannon: Well, I have to give props to the Great Goblin of my youth – those images from the Hobbit will be with me until my last days, so put me firmly in the “Goblin” camp. Just please let me belt on Orcrist first, though, ok?

Hall: Kobolds of course, they have their own magazine! (Kobold Quarterly)

15. Why can’t you live without DungeonMastering.com

Brannon: Duh! ‘Cause it rox! Obviously from my answers above, I like a little humor tossed in with my RPG-ness, so DungeonMastering.com is RIGHT up my alley.

Hall: It rocks!

16. What is the last character you’ve played?

Davis: Horace, a mutant porcupine in TMNT the RPG. Care to guess what his special power was?

Corey: Saint Tsidkenu “the Transfigured”, a Luminous (positive energy race) Radiant Servant of the One/Saint…perhaps one of the coolest clerics in da RPG mythos–can we say Elf wizard/Cleric who destroyed his race turned hallowed guide and savior of his world? (with the help of a few other Misfits, o’course )

Brannon: LOL! I actually had the rare opportunity to play one of my old NPC’s as a PC in another DM’s game. Long, complicated story, but basically I got to play Jo’tasz Ringweaver, a githzerai Chaos Shaper/Wizard/Priest – high level and powerful — niioooce!
EDIT: I got to play Captain Thunder, leader of the Freedom League at Con on the Cob – with Steve Kenson as GM! WOOT!

Hall: Jekka Brokentusk; a half-orc female with four arms, tentacles, a mammoth sword named “Sparkspitter” and nicknamed “WowweeZowwee”. Interested? Want to learn more about her and the band of the Misfits? Learn more about her and the band of the Misfits.

17. What’s your inner character? (take the survey)

Nathan: Chaotic Neutral Half-Celestial Elf Druid!

Davis: Chaotic Good Half-Elf Barbarian!

Corey: Lawful Good Elf Ranger! (At least they got the ranger part right…oh, and the good too. )

Brannon: Lawful Good Half-Elf Paladin!

Hall: Chaotic Good Half-Celestial Halfling Rogue!

18. Where were you on January 17th 2005 at 8:42pm?

Davis: Trying to figure out what to do with all the trees on the ground.

Corey: Probably sittin in my computer chair, wondering what to do.

Brannon: My lovely wife and I had just flown back from attending a Winter Gala on the eastern seaboard for my day job and I was likely reading a bedtime story to my middle three children.

Hall: Working a 16 hour shift, designing ice cream cakes for the local DQ, and asking myself: “Gee, I wonder if any would want to know what I was just doing at 8:42pm, January 17, 2005.” Wow! Thanks for asking!

19. How can I contact you?

Davis: Check out www.wanderingmen.com!

Nathan: Stop by the PlotStorming.com forums and see what we’re up to!Brannon: The best way is to email Ashy@whateverdomainyouwant.com… I think I have that email address on every known domain now! LOL… Seriously, snag us at the “Contact Us” page on the Wandering Men website.

Hall: Mental telepathy is a great way, but due to interruptions from increased psionic services, it has become a bit unreliable. Email, http://www.wanderingmen.com, and home phone (not my shower phone, as I haven’t figured out how to turn off the auto-vid option on the phone yet).

20. When I contact you how can I be sure I’ll be dealing with the coolest of the Wandering Men?

Nathan: Hmm, fantasy author and cool, that’s new. But I’ll mail you my Burroughs & Chandler Certification, I hope that suffices.

Davis: I’m the one who wears a kilt…

Corey: I’m the only one with a plant named after him.

Brannon: ‘Cause I’m the only one called “Ashy”…

Hall: Oh you will know…you’ll know.

21. Do you have an RSS feed or newsletter?

Brannon: We have five RSS feeds (take yer pick) and due to the massive demand for a newsletter at Con on the Cob, we’re starting one up very soon!

Hall: If I answer “No”, do I lose cool Wandering Men points?
(Brannon sez YES!)

More Wandering Men!

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