Posted October 15, 2012 by davincikittie in Informational

Giveaway (US/Int): Mutants, psychics, & vampires oh my! Get in the game with SciFi author Rafael Chandler

Please help me welcome Hexcommunicated author Rafael Chandler!


I sold my first short story to Lullaby Hearse magazine about ten years ago, which is right around the time I began my career as a video game writer. Strangely, these twin passions of mine — interactive fiction and traditional narrative — have fed on each other and produced a strange fruit.

Writing a video game is a collaborative undertaking, regardless of how many people are on the project, or who gets credited as the game’s writer. Everyone gets a piece of the action: management, project leads, and marketing personnel.

Sometimes, the writer spends part of the project in a vacuum, developing ideas, creating locations and characters, envisioning dramatic moments and shocking revelations. However, these ideas are inevitably presented for review, and there’s no telling how other members of the team will respond to the work that’s been done.

Quite often, changes to the game’s design require alterations to the plot, cast, and even locations or time periods. As you can imagine, this constitutes a huge part of the challenge of interactive narrative. And it can drive you insane, if you let it. Which I don’t. Coffee helps.


I’ve worked on a broad range of games, but the first game I wrote was Rainbow Six: Lockdown, a story about terrorists and hostages and biological weapons. Cheery stuff! Personally, I gravitate towards games with dragons, wizards, cyborgs, or zombies in them, but I enjoyed the project immensely. Later, I worked on a few of the Ghost Recon games, a few titles in the SOCOM series, and two installments of Modern Combat — more terrorists, more war, more guns, tanks, bombs, and pseudo-military jargon.

When the time came for me to take a break from video game design, and seriously devote myself to my long-postponed goal of writing a novel, my passions collided; my love of vampires, demons, and the macabre (which began when I discovered the fiction of Edgar Allan Poe while still a child) collided with my experiences as a writer of video games.

The first idea that popped into my head was the notion of vampire terrorists, detonating bloodborne biological WMDs designed to turn the populations of major cities into lesser vampires. Over the course of a year, this concept evolved into a wildly different animal: a vampire who works for a clandestine federal agency discovers a plan to detonate a Lovecraftian WMD in his hometown. Worse, one of the psychics on his team has already seen the future, and it looks like the vampire won’t be able to prevent the attack…

Writing this novel was a hell of a lot of fun, because I’d spent ten years developing a system for documenting my narrative; I covered a wall with post-it notes, scrawled in notebooks, and hammered away at my laptop, but always with a purpose, and always on time and for the alloted duration. When you write video games for a living, and you deliver text on a deadline or you don’t get paid, you learn to power through those moments of writer’s block, and this skill served me well when writing Hexcommunicated.

At the moment, I’m writing two new video games and a new novel, and flipping back and forth between projects is dizzying, but exhilarating. At some point, I should probably get some sleep, but I guess I can do that when I’m undead.

“I screwed the suppressor onto my pistol as the Nosferodent scaled the castle wall. Hell of a way to kick off the North Carolina State Fair.”

Murderous Soultergeists prepare a gruesome ambush in a Cary hotel. A massive Frankenstitch lumbers towards a quiet Apex farmhouse. And above a derelict asylum in Raleigh, a disembodied Skelekinetic deploys a horrific weapon.

Agent Nick Tepes is a Vampoule, a synthetic vampire specializing in counterterrorism operations. When his team picks up chatter about an imminent attack from the Al-Hazred terrorist network, Tepes and his unit of FAE operatives move to intercept.

However, a psychic has already seen the future: as the sun comes up, the terrorists will strike, and Tepes will die. The team has one night to prevent this prophecy from coming true, but the psychics of Hex Division are never wrong…

Hexcommunicated is an urban fantasy thriller set in a world of cybernetic werewolves, undead spies, and Lovecraftian terrorists.

Read an excerpt

Download (DOC, 69KB)

About the author

Rafael Chandler writes video games. While working for companies like Sony, Ubisoft, Kabam, and Gameloft, he’s written SOCOM 4, Final Eden, Gangstar Rio: City of Saints, MAG, and Rainbow Six: Lockdown. He also wrote Monster Madness: Battle for Suburbia, which was published by Dark Horse Comics, and The Game Writing Handbook, which was published by Charles River Media. In his spare time, Chandler designs tabletop role-playing games, including Scorn, ViewScream, Spite, and the upcoming Mall Jongg. Hexcommunicated is his first novel.

Giveaway (US/Int)

Rafael is giving away one e-copy of Hexcommunicated to one commenter on today’s post! To win, leave a comment answering the question below then fill out the Rafflecopter widget.

What intrigues you most about Hexcommunicated?

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Sue "DaVinciKittie" Brown-Moore is a veteran romance blogger and reviewer and the primary voice for GraveTells.com. Sue and GraveTells have won several blogging awards, and GraveTells recently celebrated its five-year anniversary! Sue is also a freelance Developmental Editor passionate about helping authors bring out the best in their stories. She loves reading romance, fantasy, and sci-fi and edits any genre she reads for pleasure. You can follow Sue's editing blog, with tips and tricks for authors, at DaVinciKittie.com.