James L. Sutter talks about co-creating RPGs and his new novel, DARKHEARTS
In this episode we’re going to deviate a bit from the usual focus on fiction to talk about writing for tabletop roleplaying games and related media. RPGs have always been deeply interconnected with fantasy, sci-fi, and horror, and right now they are more popular and prevalent than ever before.
James L. Sutter co-created the lore and story-rich fantasy RPG PATHFINDER for Paizo Publishing, which has become one of the most popular roleplaying games in the world. He then took the role of Creative Director on STARFINDER, a science-fantasy RPG that reimagined the world of Pathfinder in a space-faring future.
Along the way, he’s written Pathfinder tie-in novels DEATH’S HERETIC and THE REDEMPTION ENGINE, RPG adventures and source books for Pathfinder, Starfinder, and Dungeons & Dragons, and a large body of short fiction, comics, and video games.
His latest book, DARKHEARTS, is a departure from genre fiction—a young adult romance about estranged bandmates that must reconcile the loss of their best friend, and their unexpected attraction to each other.
DARKHEARTS is available now from Wednesday Books:
All of the RPG work previously mentioned is available at your local game store, or wherever books are sold:
- Pathfinder (1st Edition) Core Rulebook »
- Starfinder Core Rulebook »
- Pathfinder Tales: Death’s Heretic »
- Pathfinder Tales: The Redemption Engine »
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About James L. Sutter
James L. Sutter is a co-creator of the Pathfinder and Starfinder Roleplaying Games. From 2004 to 2017, he worked for Paizo Publishing, starting out as an editor on Dungeon Magazine, moving on to do foundational work for Pathfinder, and eventually becoming the Creative Director in charge of launching Starfinder, as well as the Executive Editor of the Pathfinder Tales novel line for Paizo and Tor.
James is also the author of the young adult romance novel Darkhearts, as well as the fantasy novels Death’s Heretic—a finalist for the Compton Crook Award for Best First Novel—and The Redemption Engine, which won the 2015 Scribe Award for Best Original Speculative Novel. His short stories have appeared in such venues as Nightmare, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Escape Pod, and the #1 Amazon best-seller Machine of Death. In addition, he’s written comic books, essays in venues like Clarkesworld and Lightspeed: Queers Destroy Science Fiction, a wealth of tabletop gaming material, and video games.
When not writing, James has performed with musical acts ranging from metalcore to musical theater. He lives in Seattle.
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Perfect for fans of Alice Oseman and Red, White, & Royal Blue, Darkhearts is a hilarious, heartfelt, enemies-to-lovers romance about love, celebrity, and what happens when the two collide.
When David quit his band, he missed his shot at fame, trapped in an ordinary high school life while his ex–best friend, Chance, became the hottest teen pop star in America.
Then tragedy throws David and Chance back into contact. As old wounds break open, the boys find themselves trading frenemy status for a confusing, secret romance—one that could be David’s ticket back into the band and the spotlight.
As the mixture of business and pleasure becomes a powder keg, David will have to choose: Is this his second chance at glory? Or his second chance at Chance?