Thursday, July 12, 2012

All the World's a Game...

All the World's a Game - The Beginnings of Dime Store Novel
Sometimes a story starts with an image. Sometimes with an overheard conversation. Dime Store Novel started with a game.

We owned a game shop at the time -- a little place frequented mostly by teenage boys. Some nights we held a role-playing game in the basement. That night John was running a game we'd never played before -- Call of Cthulhu, a game based on the fiction of H. P. Lovecraft. John was the storyteller. I played a young herbalist named Toledo Cats who had a mangy cat named Voodoo. Tony, a friend of ours, played Hanover Fist, a young detective who had a thing for Toledo.

The time - the 1920s. The place - a haunted house in New Orleans. We were ready to rock. Officer O'Malley made his first appearance as a ghost who calls Hanover and tells him he needs to investigate this house. O'Malley didn't have a first name yet or a wife and daughter -- those details of his life would emerge much later. Hanover's parents owned a restaurant and a friend named Doug played a priest who sat in the restaurant slurping soup. If you've read From the Gator's Mouth, you know that  Doug's slurping priest gets a cameo. The story was suspenseful -- what story about a house haunted by zombies isn't? But it was also humorous.

John went on to run several other Call of Cthulhu campaigns. Tony always played Hanover Fist. I rotated between Toledo Cats and Regan Worth, the flapper daughter of a bootlegger who loved to flirt with Hanover.
The characters stuck. John got the idea to write a series called Dime Store Novel. He took a stab at one using the Lovecraft mythos. It was close, but not quite right. One night before dinner, we were talking about the world. I said, "Why not create our own mythos?"

The light went on. Soon after, Agatha, the earthbound swamp goddess was born, followed shortly thereafter by Caprice, the goddess of chaos. As the stories evolved, the gods proliferated. Khrou-ach, the storm god, and Acongojar, the pain god, became antagonists inRips in the Weave and The Desert Rose. Chiindii, the god of the desert, and Ravir, the goddess of pleasure, are key to the plot in bothThe Desert Rose and The Reunion. We also gave fairies and goblins a different twist. I don't want to spoil the fun, so you'll need to read the books to figure that out. The good news is, you can get The Reunion kindle edition FREE during our Lucky Friday the 13th special (Friday 7/13 through Monday 7/16). We'd like to invite you to escape the humdrum world of day to day and experience the world we created at a gaming table in a cool, dimly lit basement.

The Dime Store Novel characters blog at

A huge Thank you to the great writers of Dime Store Novels! Go, get and Read!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Never knew the beginnings of these fun stories were actual role playing games! That's amazing! I hope everyone goes and gets a copy of The Reunion this weekend--I could not put it down once I started reading it!