D. B. Goodin - Hilariously Wild Worlds, Detailed Stat Blocks, and Intricate Game Systems

D. B. Goodin - Hilariously Wild Worlds, Detailed Stat Blocks, and Intricate Game Systems
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D. B. Goodin has had a passion for writing since grade school. After publishing several non-fiction books, Mr. Goodin ventured into the craft of fiction to teach Cybersecurity concepts in a less intimidating fashion. Mr. Goodin works as a Principal Cybersecurity Analyst for a major software company based in Silicon Valley and holds a Masters in Digital Forensic Science from Champlain College. As our Author of the Day, he tells us all about his book, Blast Off.

Please give us a short introduction to what Blast Off is about.

Cassidy is an up-and-coming product manager who tries to do the best job she can. When a criminal ring uses the game for malicious intent her loved ones get caught in the middle of the conspiracy. She must use all of the tools given to her and the game's environment to succeed.

What inspired you to write a criminal conspiracy programmed from ones and zeroes?

Hacking the game is a plot point for the book so I think this line in the description is accurate. One of my goals for writing is to impart some practical knowledge to my readers. I prefer to do this in a fictional construct.

You have worked in Cybersecurity for many years. How has that influenced your writing?

In 2011 I wrote various cybersecurity tutorials for teens which fell short because it was dry and probably uninteresting for that age group. I took a different approach and fictionalized this when writing my first novel: White Hat Black Heart.

Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?

I enjoy a variety of outdoor activities like hiking, photography, and videography. A secret skill I aspire to is surfing.

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Why did you pick an ultra-gamer as the main protagonist for your story?

Actually, at the beginning of the story, Cassidy is more of a gaming noob. This is very much a gaming coming-of-age story. She eventually becomes a gaming maven, but it takes a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to get there.

Tell us more about Cassidy. What makes her so special?

At the beginning of the book, she is new to playing video games and doesn't understand the potential of Interstellar Online. She has a lot of misconceptions and stereotypical views of what a gamer is. She just wants to become the best product manager that she can be. So, after she tests out the game she discovers that it has all the tools to solve the problems she has.

What did you have the most fun with when writing this book?

Working out the kinks in my comedy. I'm a discovery writer and I wrote most of the jokes, especially the sexual ones off the cuff (improv style). Later, I had to rewrite some of them because they either weren't landing or they weren't funny. I also enjoyed creating the LitRPG stats. Since this was my first LitRPG novel I reached out to a few people in various LitRPG groups and asked questions. Before long I had ten or more pages of Cassidy's stats taped together across the dinner table. My wife often asks: Are these stats necessary? My answer is always absolutely. I think I had the most fun creating the sensual skills in the book. It was fun finding out how Cassidy used them to interact with the game world. The LitRPG genre got me into planning more of my content. I also enjoyed coming up with the spaceships and stats. When I was a kid I always enjoyed reading things like the "Star Trek Technical Manual." I created my own manual for my universe.

The book takes a couple of twists and turns. Did you plan it all out before you started writing, or did some of it just "happen" along the way?

Most of the bumps along the way were a result of my process of discovery. As I wrote I thought of other items that I thought would be cool or hilarious.

This is the first book in a series. Can it be read as a standalone? How do the other books in the series tie in with this one?

When I wrote Blast Off I wasn't even thinking of a series until I was going through the dev editing process. I also had so many ideas for what I wanted to achieve, but wouldn't have time to do.

Does writing about surreal worlds and enigmatic scenes present any particular problems?

When I first created the solar map for the Nuperian System (where the story is set) I wanted to incorporate humor into the process of creating some of the names. The planet names Sol-86 and Bobdingang are some examples. Once I had the planet map I started writing then the problems came into focus. There are certain minerals that are only on certain planets for example. I also had parts of an asteroid field that housed a rare mineral. The main problem was keeping everything straight in my head so I created a universe bible.

When starting on a new book, what is the first thing you do?

If the book is a continuation of a series I consult my universe or world-building bible. Then I write story beats to roughly sketch out how I want the story to play out. I usually flesh out the plot points as I write.

Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?

I have a very demanding day job and I'm often up well before dawn. I don't start my writing day until after my family time, usually between 9 and 10pm. Then I will write until I drop. On the weekends I spend a lot more time writing, usually several hours per day. I also write every day (including holidays) to keep the rhythm up.

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What are you working on right now?

I've finished the bulk of the writing for Sol-86 Academy and I've started writing Cosmic Squeeze, Cassidy's third Interstellar Online adventure.

Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?

The easiest way is to send me an email: [email protected] My amazon author page is a great way to see all my books: https://www.amazon.com/author/dbgoodin But, I'm also active on Facebook and Twitter as well. My main website davidgoodinauthor.com and my blog at dbgoodinbooks.com are other areas. I personally respond to all emails.

Blast Off

D. B. Goodin
A criminal conspiracy programmed from ones and zeroes. Can a keyboard warrior stop her world from going south IRL? If you like hilariously wild worlds, detailed stat blocks, and intricate game systems, then you’ll love D. B. Goodin’s high-flying tale.
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Brad Good - Engaging International Tale With an Atypical Hero.
FEATURED AUTHOR - Brad Good began living and working in China over thirty years ago and has invested across the country. He holds an MBA and Masters in East Asian Studies from the University of Chicago and a BA from U.C. Berkeley. He speaks fluent Mandarin and is a fifth-degree blackbelt in Shaolin Kempo Karate. After spending COVID in China, Good now resides in Austin, Texas. As our Author of the Day, he tells us all about his book, The Control Center.