Sunday, April 1, 2012

A: Ashton Saylor

Hello visitors, new and old! Welcome to my blog. I have just signed up for the April A-Z challenge, so hopefully some new faces will be turning up around here. As my name happens to start with an A, I thought I would take this opportunity to introduce myself.

My name is Ashton Saylor. I'm an aspiring writer and game designer. I have a particular passion for the union of stories and games in the form known as the "gamebook." A gamebook is an interactive story. You may know of them from the Choose Your Own Adventure or Fighting Fantasy books of the 80s and 90s. Today, the Gamebook Adventures series is breathing new life into the genre, along with several independent sites and authors, such as the Windhammer Prize for Short Gamebook Fiction, Lloyd of Gamebooks, and Lone Tiger Gamebook Reviews.

For me, gamebooks are a great form because I love creating both stories and games. This allows me to do both at once. I love the interactivity that they offer, letting the reader make choices as they read, which affect the outcome of the story. A lot of gamebooks, especially older ones, don't have strong narratives, but to me that is missing the point. What fascinates me is letter the reader enter the story. Letting them participate, make choices, and have to deal with the consequences of those choices, good or bad.

Of course, it's one thing to declare that as your vision, it's another thing to accomplish it. I'm still working on the latter ;) But someday, my dream is to create beautiful stories with strong plot arcs, compelling characters, and memorable scenes in the form of gamebooks. In the meantime, I'm doing the best I can ;)

I should mention that, while gamebooks have a special place in my heart, I do also work on straight fiction and traditional game design, independently. My current project is to write a novel in time for submission to the Angry Robot Open Door Submissions for fantasy novels in late April. I'm neck-deep in writing, so taking on the April A-Z Challenge as well may be insane, but who am I to complain :)

Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope you come again. On your April A-Z journey, please take this blessing to the end:

May good blogs rise up to meet you.
May the tubes never lead you astray.
May visitors rain down upon your site.
And may spam avoid your inbox.


  1. wow Ashton, this is very interesting to me. I never heard of these career choices, and so if they are your dreams, goodluck in your pursuit. Keep focused and you can achieve your goals.

    1. Thanks for the well wishes! There are still a lot of people who have never heard of gamebooks and interactive fiction. I'm glad to have brought you the word!

      I tried to follow back, but it looks like you have several blogs going. Which should I go look at?

  2. Hi Ashton! It's great that you are doing the April A to Z. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. I look forward to all of your posts.

    Thanks for the link!


    1. I'm looking forward to it! I was initially concerned about having time for it, but the limits on my productivity at the moment are limits of motivation, not of time. My hope is that doing this will take time but bring inspiration, and that's a trade I'll take at the moment ;)