THIS WEBSITE focuses on the many hats I wear as a writer (and my specialty in new media), and also on my work as a speaker, teacher and consultant.
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The third edition of my book, DIGITAL STORYTELLING: A CREATOR'S GUIDE TO INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT will be out soonÖ on May 21, to be exact. Hereís how the cover will look. I love the fantasy figure emerging from the iPad! The new edition contains up-to-date material about hot areas like tablet computers and how to create content for them; the latest developments in gamification, mobile apps and second screen TV, and an updated chapter on transmedia storytelling, with new case studies. It also contains a brand new chapter on harnessing social media for storytelling purposes. In short, the entire book is revised and updated.
Meanwhile, the second edition of my book continues to be the only book on the market to cover the entire arena of content creation for digital media. It is still completely relevant and contains timeless information about character development, structure, and the development process. It also covers transmedia storytelling, Alternate Reality Games (ARGs), virtual worlds and serious games. In addition, it contains an entire multi-chapter section on using digital storytelling techniques for information, education, training, promotion and marketing.
So, rather than wait until the new book is published, it still makes good sense to obtain a copy of the Second Edition. It's available in various retail bookstores and through my publisher Focal Press. It can also be ordered directly through Amazon (by clicking on the box on the right).
I'm one of the contributing authors of the The Blackwell Companion to Creative Writing published by Wiley-Blackwell. My chapter is a comprehensive introduction to writing for digital media.
I've also contributed a number of chapters to Write Your Way into Animation and Games (Focal Press, 2010). As with my other books, and books Iíve contributed to, it is also available on Amazon.
It's going to be a busy spring in terms of making presentations! Iíll be a keynote speaker at the futurist Steam3 Conference in Austin; a featured speaker at LA WEBFEST, and a faculty member of the Dust or Magic ebook retreat in Pennsylvania. Things fortunately wound down a bit in 2013 (phew!), and my last presentation of 2013 was at UNMís Computer Colloquium in November, when I spoke about how computer technology and storytelling intersect. A two part video of the event was made and a link to it is available below, under videos
One of the highlights of 2012 was doing a series of keynote speeches, master classes and mentoring for XMediaLab, an international digital media think tank. I traveled to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Perth, Australia, for an amazing opportunity to work with creative professionals in those regions. Also on the international front, I gave a lecture in the UK on transmedia called Two Different Cultures Building Transmedia Stories Together: Hollywood and Silicon Valley. The lecture took place at De Montfort University in Leicester, England.
In addition, I gave talks on digital media for the SouthWest Writers Script and Screen Conference, for Friends of Film New Mexico and for the New Mexico Film Office. I was also recently on a panel called Jumping the Gender Gap for LunaFest, a festival of short films made by and about women, and participated on a panel about children's media for New Mexico Women in Film. The panel on children's media led to my being interviewed on the radio to further explore the subject of children's media (see below). It's encouraging to me to see so much interest in media geared for young people, an area that has been of major importance to me throughout my career but does not often garner much attention.
As noted above, I was interviewed on the radio about creating content for children's media. The interview was for a show called Cinema Scope, a regular program on KSFR, Santa Fe. You can listen to the interview here.
You can see a YouTube video of my "Seven Kisses of Death" talk that was taped in New Jersey, though the beginning unfortunately got lopped off. Also, why in the world am I waving my hands around so much??? Well, I guess talking about this topic always gets me excited.
I've been working on an on-going basis for UQ, Inc., a startup company in San Francisco that's creating a cutting edge multi-player multi-platform digital world for children and their families. I both helped design and wrote the initial video game for the project. Right now, UQ has been flying under the radar, but I'll post more about it here when things become more public. In addition, I've also been working on a transmedia project that will bring a traditionally-written novel to life by using digital media assets.
Until recently, I've also been a consultant and writer for a Web-based virtual world for girls in the Middle East, the Jasmine Club, developing and writing a multi-part series of interactive stories for it. However, the project is in hiatus at the moment, but here's a link to an article about it.
For more information about my work as a writer and consultant, please visit the section of my website on writing, speaking, teaching and consulting.
For about seven years, I've been teaching various semester-length courses on digital storytelling and video game development for the University of New Mexico, most recently for its IFDM program (Interdisciplinary Film and Digital Media). Among the courses I've taught for this program is one called Activating Digital Space, where my students created games for smart phones, developed interactive stories for the Web and built transmedia projects. I also occasionally teach for the Santa Fe Community College Film Program, including a summer course called Girls Make Media.
In addition, I've had a long-term relationship with De Montfort University in the UK, guest lecturing online for their forward-looking Master's Degree program in Creative Writing and New Media. I've also served as a Dissertation Mentor for several students in the program who were getting their masters degrees. Sadly, though, this wonderful program has been discontinued. However, I'm grateful that the university has archived some of my materials and has also archived my lectures, as well as the lectures of other guest lecturers.
I recently joined Founders Space as an advisor. Check them out.
I'm also a member of the Writers Guild of America West (WGA) and the WGA's Videogame Writers Caucus. However, since I'm based in New Mexico, I can't be as active in WGA activities and committee work as I used to be.
On a more personal note, though, I am also a member of the Rio Grande Mule and Donkey Association, and have very much enjoyed getting involved with a whole new set of equine-related activities. I'm also a board member of both Congregation Beit Tikva (CBT) and The Santa Fe Jewish Film Festival. I've been able to put my filmmaking skills to use for CBT by producing a short film for the congregation called Restoring our Torah.
Please, do come back again for updates and new features!Thanks.