ESPionage is based on The Faith Machine, my psychic espionage thriller. This body of work consists of a novel, two novel outlines, half a dozen short stories in various stages of completion, and a comic book pitch, not to mention a notebook full of incomplete ideas. I had a lot to draw on. Spilling it out on the page was easy. Organizing and filling that information’s given me a new perspective in the material.
For example; early on I based the spy lingo for psychic phenomena on poker and card expressions. But I hadn’t got further than ‘Card’ means psychic. The glossary of a game book can’t stop at one word. That’s not even a sidebar. So then…a team of Cards, that’s a Hand, clearly. And an agency that operates multiple teams, that’s a Table. Many nations will have more than one Table, like a casino or House. Then the entire psychic espionage community at large, that’s the Strip.
Organization’s the bomb, yo.
And not just details. This goes for themes too. I received a piece of advice at the Writers’ Coffeehouse; At the beginning of a novel make a list of six things the story is, and six things it’s not. This isn’t for the audience. It’s for the author. But it made a good introduction for the game book:
- ESPionage is stale beer with martini moments, more Jason Borne than James Bond. It takes its queues from John le Carré with an occasional nod to Ian Flemming. A secret world that’s less about good guys verses bad, and more about getting the job done whatever the cost.
- ESPionage Cards are the most powerful individuals who ever lived, but still have to watch their backs. A bullet to the skull doesn’t care how powerful the brain inside was.
- ESPionage is about characters with mental disorders living their lives and doing their jobs, without being defined by their conditions.
- ESPionage is about characters getting their hands dirty in the field. It’s not about rooms full of servers crunching data.
- ESPionage is about teamwork. A small group of talented agents who depend on each other to accomplish the mission and look out for each other. It’s not about calling Homeland Security for help with a threat. Sometimes, Homeland Security is the threat.
- ESPionage is about a secret war with many sides. Nations, terrorists, gods, and ghosts pushing forward with their agendas at the cost of anyone who gets in their way. It’s not about safety or working toward retirement. Once you’ve played on the Strip you’re in the game for good.
I’m closing in on a first draft. If everything goes right, I’ll run it online and make a YouTube channel out of it.
Holly loves working with fun couples and colorful weddings, emphasizing personality, emotion, and candid moments, with both natural light and off-camera flash. She also specializes boudoir, high school seniors, and commercial photography.
Through years with Child Protective Services, from changing the course of her career in her last year of college, Karen set out to have her own practice from an early age, and succeeded. Hear how she set her goals and stuck to them.
“In today’s society, we all face many challenges in our daily lives. With demanding schedules, the increase in technology and increased external expectations, a greater number of people are reaching out for therapeutic assistance to help them cope with their day to day lives and move towards greater productivity and happiness. When it comes to treatment for many mental health concerns, one method that has shown particular effectiveness in clinical studies is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.” – Karen
Lindsey LaShell’s on her second run in tech, having spent some time in education too. This time around she’s heading up her own Digital Marketing Group and getting her clients products and projects out there and in front of customers.
“I think the internet can level the playing field like nothing else in history. Education of all kinds is cheaper and more accessible to more people than ever before. Authentic voices can be heard by larger audiences.” – Lindsey
Between stints in the Army, the real estate business, and performing music, Chad Cavanaugh has always dives right into whatever he’s doing headfirst. Ultimately, he settled in as a comic book creator with his own imprint, Grunt 1B Comics.
“You’ll find the issues of my original, post apocalyptic series, The Map, the vigilante/crime noir Bedlam In Troubletown, a supernatural western called Dead Oro Live and my viking series-created as an homage to my former Army roommate (RIP) Radgød, at my store!” – Chad
Stephanie found out that the career she’d worked her way through college to get, wasn’t what she wanted. So she left the job, moved to California, and studied to become a yoga instructor.
“I used to think that yoga was something people did just to stretch. But seven years ago, to counter the stress I put on my body running, I began practicing asana and discovered something I had been seeking for years: the manifestation of meditation through motion.” – Stephanie
Matt Meis has been in the jewelry business, designer, appraser, and seller, for over 40 years. Hear how he transitioned from working in store fronts and malls to breaking out on his own.
“I meet with my clients at their offices and homes throughout San Diego. This makes the custom jewelry design process effortless for you. Plus, not having a storefront also means lower overhead, which allows me to offer very competitive pricing. I proudly serve clients across the US and around the globe.” – Matt Meis
Eleanor sings jazz and teaches voice. Listen to her talk about instructing, using the internet to get students, and the influence of American Idol and K Pop.
Eleanor is a voice technique consultant for individuals, bands, studios and large music events companies. She additionally coaches artists on their stage shows and presentation. Her students and clients have garnered wins and nominations at the GRAMMY Awards, Chinese Music Awards, and Los Angeles Music Awards.