You guys asked some really good and difficult questions. Hopefully this is as much fun for you as it is for me. If not, well, that's too bad, because I'll probably do it again.

Ben asked: What is your least favorite book?

Of books I've read to the end, my least favorite is probably Tribulation Force from my least favorite series, Left Behind. It wasn't the theology that bothered me (I was actually interested in a 'what-if' of rapture theology). What bothered me was the dozens of major characters all alike, the paper cut-out villains, the huge apocalyptic moments handled in a single paragraph.

So why this book rather than one of the other 16? The title edged it out. Tribulation Force is just... not a cool name.

Ben: What is the worst thing you would do to get published with your favorite editor?

I would crush my enemies, see them driven before me, and hear the lamentations of their women.

Was that your question?

Ben: What is your favorite quality of your writing or yourself as a writer?

When I'm outlining and drafting, I love everything. When I'm getting critiques and rejections, I hate it all. I will say this: whatever anyone else thinks, I love writing air pirate dialog. It's just fun, aye?

Of course even my most critical betas said they enjoyed the way air pirates talk, so I might have just decided, after the fact, that I like it too.

Anne L. B. asked: Why do you write (other than you can't not)?

I've always loved to create stories - kindergarten make-believe, Star Wars action figures with my brothers, writing Choose-Your-Own Adventures, designing video games, GMing D&D sessions...

About 6 years ago I decided my time was too limited to do everything I wanted. I chose to focus on writing because - between making novels, board games, computer games, or movies - I thought a novel was something I could most likely complete with the skills/resources I had.

Of corollary interest, around the same time I wrote a prototype game based on the Air Pirates world. It just shows how long I've been thinking about it, I guess:

Natalie said: I've always admired what you do in Thailand. What made you want to go there and work with kids?

The short answer: God called us.

A longer answer: Cindy (who is Thai-American) wanted to run an orphanage since highschool. When I first told her I liked her, the third thing she said to me was, "If God calls me to be a missionary overseas, what will you do?" (Yeah, we were thinking long term from the start). That got missions in my head.

Years later we finally decided to "become missionaries." My original thought was to plant a church or something, but one thing after another kept putting Fatherhood on my heart. When we moved here, and started volunteering at a children's home while we learned the language, I realized being a father was all I wanted to do. It's what I was made for.

Natalie: What's your favorite Final Fantasy? Least favorite?

I've only played the big ones a little bit (meaning VII thru XI). Of the ones I have played, Crystal Chronicles is my favorite. You can't beat multiplayer RPGs, I think. Four guys on a couch in a boss fight, yelling at each other so we can get the combos timed just right... Yeah. Good times.

My least favorite was probably Final Fantasy I, not because it wasn't good, but because I recall many hours of fighting Frost Gators just to level up. On the other hand, FFI introduced me to airships.

Hilary asked: After reading the first page of my manuscript, would you want to keep reading?

Yes, largely due to the stranger (yay, tension!) and because I want an explanation for the last paragraph. I left more comments in your comments.

Hilary: When/where are you most inspired to write?

For some reason, the ocean tugs something inside me; when I see it I want to write, to create worlds. Mountains and other landscapes do it too, but nothing quite as strong as the ocean. I don't know why. It sucks that I live like 20x farther from the ocean than I've ever lived in my life.

Excellent stories also make me want to write excellent stories. Miyazaki, Cowboy Bebop, Firefly, and Naruto inspire pretty consistently (yes, most of that is anime). Though occasionally something really excellent, like say Dark Knight, just makes me think, "Man, I'll never be able to write like that."


Natalie Whipple said...

Yeah, that first one was, uh, not fun. CC was great, except I didn't have 4 buddies, sniff.

Thanks for sharing so much! It was fun to read your answers.

MattyDub said...

I was going to ask some really embarrassing question, but I felt bad, so I didn't. Considering how well we know each other, I also decided it was sort of a MAD situation, so I'm keeping the lid on it.
Even though I've known you now for...let's see...coming up on 14 years(!), I still had fun reading these questions and answers. As one of the 4 guys you played CC with, I have to agree, that was a lot of fun. I think you and Brian were better at it than me and Nate, though.
What is that map from Junk Runners? It looks really familiar. And do you still have the source for that anywhere?
Am I your most critical beta? You can answer that in email if you'd prefer.

Natalie Whipple said...

I think it might be me, Matt;P

Adam Heine said...

I'm glad you guys enjoyed it. I had no idea what you guys would ask, so this was a lot of fun. I'll do it again sometime.

The map was "borrowed" from Black Isle's Torn. It was never meant to be final.

I do still have the source for Junk Runners. You wanna fiddle with it?

I don't really want to name betas; comparing you guys is like comparing the X-Men. Yes, some mutant powers are more desirable than others, but none of them are the best for all situations. It takes the team to save the world.

Natalie Whipple said...

How...diplomatic of you, lol.

Adam Heine said...

*bows* Thank you, Natalie. Plus I got to make an X-Men reference, so it's a double win :-)

BJW said...

Thanks Adam,

You are incredibly brave and took it all without even flinching. Well done.

I think you were very thorough, particularly with the lamentations of their women as you drove them out and crushed them. Yes, that was my question.

And good reasoning behind Left Behind. I swear some pretty popular books, particularly series, can be pretty slight.

You're hilarious too. I feel the same way writing, then getting critiqued. You just said it way better and funnier.

Your prototype game looks awesome too. This is coming from the guy who loves the Civilization games nearly as much as his wife and dog, but that's just between us.

BJW said...

And dang good for you guys to take care of orphans.

"Religion God the Father accepts as pure and faultless is this, to look after Orphans and Widows and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

That's from memory so I should really remove the quotes, but what I'm getting at is, what you're doing is very important. Particularly in Chiang Mai. Met some wonderful people there. Some really cool kids too.

Adam Heine said...

Thanks, Ben. I'm glad I answered your questions to your satisfaction :-) And you've got a good memory. That's pretty much the verse, almost word for word (it's one of my favorites).

Anonymous said...

Those are indeed good questions! Also, that game you designed looks neat - what program did you use?

Adam Heine said...

Thanks, Anica. The game is programmed in Java (being the language I know best).