For those of you who have developed a hearty, vigorous infatuation with the stentorian basso profondo of @lordof1 (AKA Nick) in the Whartson Hall recordings, here's a link that'll whet your appetites:
SciFi Diner Podcast interviews Nick Marsh.
Should you wish for further insight into the psyche of a gaming luminary, trying to fathom what drives a man possessed of such staggering intellect, such easy masculinity, and such an eerie fondness for palpitating pustulent lumps protruding from a dog's bottom - click here, or read on:
My parents were both teachers, and when I was a kid, they used to take me on three- or four-week-long holidays around Germany and Austria - a lifetime when you're knee high to a wienerschnitzel. They loved to plan the route themselves, spending months deciding where would be best to go - great fun for them, but as a consequence the holidays consisted in large part of sitting in laybys on the Autobahn, listening to my parents intermittently puzzling and swearing over large maps of the Black Forest, or driving slowly around Baden Baden searching for a magical 'Zimmer Frei' sign that would indicate we would have somewhere to sleep that night.
I got into the habit of taking lots of books from their school's library with me to kill the time (I brought them back, I promise!) during these extended foreign invasions, and two in particular must have hit me at a particularly impressionable time, because they informed what I'd be doing for the rest of my life.
The first (it would be called a 'young adult' novel now but back then was a kid's book) was a novel by Douglas Hill called 'Galactic Warlord', about the adventures of the last Legionary of the fabled planet Moros, selling his superior martial skills to noble causes while he pursued his quest for revenge upon the murderers of his homeworld. The second was 'Every Living Thing' by James Herriot, the tales of a young veterinary surgeon in pre- and post-World War II Yorkshire. I read these books, and suddenly I realised what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.
Unfortunately, as I grew up, I discovered that it's actually incredibly difficult to become an indestructable alien mercenary, so I became a vet instead.
Okay, okay, that was flippant, but it's a neat way of summarising the biggest parts of my life; animals and geekdom. University squashed my writing urge for a while, but a few years after qualifying I started writing a novel - initially it was going to be a straight novel about veterinary surgeons, but me being me I soon found aliens and century-dead magicians creeping into the story. That became Soul Purpose, my first novel, which was picked up by Immanion Press. The writing career sort of grew from there.
As far as being a gamer (and although I do play a lot of video games - currently Spelunky, Dishonored and Saint's Row IV, if you're interested! - I mean a gamer in the traditional board- and role-playing games sense) - well, that was thanks to another book from my parent's school's library - The Forest of Doom, by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone. That Iain McCaig cover drew me straight in, and I was sold from the first paragraph. From there I graduated to Dungeons and Dragons, Call of Cthulhu, Traveller and all the various games that have brought me so much joy over the years.
Hmm, this might belong in the 'Introductions' section.