We spoke about why tabletop games are so popular today, why Cheetos are a terrible game-night snack, and so much more! It was a really fun discussion.
Related: Julie is a terrific interviewer and I’ve added Top of Mind — which covers a wide range of topics — to my podcast subscriptions. (Search for “Top of Mind with Julie Rose” to find it in your podcast app!)
There’s a lot of anecdotal evidence that the pandemic — which is causing many more people to stay at home much more often — has led to increased sales of board games and jigsaw puzzles. In this report from NPR, reporter Rob Schmitz looks specifically at the modern classic Catan (aka Settlers of Catan).
Rob talked to me for the story and some of my comments are included. When he asked about the impact Catan has had on boardgaming, I gushed (if my recollection is correct) even a little more than is included in the final report.
It’s difficult to overestimate, in my view, the influence Catan has had on the design of modern board games. You can’t draw a straight line from every game back to Catan, of course, but that’s also part of its influence. It broke the mold, and was wildly successful doing so. That helped inspire other designers and publishers to take more risks, to be more creative.
We’re all treated to a much richer selection of tabletop games today because of Catan.
You can listen to Rob’s story below, or on NPR’s website (where a transcript is also available).
Years ago… well, decades ago, I was a reporter for the Lebanon (PA) Daily News. I covered the courthouse and politics and whatever else I was assigned. (My boss, editor Paul Baker, once had to remind me — strongly remind me — that my job included covering stories that were somewhat less interesting than a murder trial. He was, needless to say, correct.)
I talked to Les Stewart — a reporter straight out of Central Casting, and a reporter who taught me a lot during my time there — about my short story collection THE THROES OF CRIME, the Lebanon County roots of the story “The Murder of Ernest Trapnell,” playing board games, and much more.
The collection, published by Gutter Books and edited by Jay Stringer, includes 25 stories by David Accampo, Hailey Ardell, Gorman Bechard, Eric Beetner, Kristi Belcamino, Jerry Bloomfield, William Boyle, Angel Luis Colón, Jen Conley, Rory Costello, Josh Flanagan, Ed Kurtz, S.W. Lauden, Tom Leins, Mike McCrary, Franz Nicolay, Rick Ollerman, Eyre Price, Manuel Royal, Alex Segura, Johnny Shaw, Josh Stallings, Jay Stringer, Liam Sweeney, and me. (Easy to see why I’m pumped to be included, right?)
My story, “Election Day,” is about a television news reporter whose past catches up with her in an unexpected way. I hope you like it.
Audio versions of “Election Day” and S.W. Lauden’s story “Customer” are available on the Title 18: Word Crimes podcast, or you can listen right here.
Sandra Ruttan at Spinetingler Magazine recently took some time to ask me a few questions about my short story collection THE THROES OF CRIME, my adventures in play-by-mail professional wrestling simulations, fleeing the country, and much more!
Authors Laura Lippman (HUSH HUSH, WHAT THE DEAD KNOW, EVERY SECRET THING) and Duane Swierczynski (CANARY, EXPIRATION DATE, THE BLONDE) were in Philadelphia on Thursday night as part of the Free Library’s Author Events series.
Lippman and Swierczynski each read from their most recent novels, then answered questions from the audience.
Swierczynski bribed the audience with yellow Peeps to help generate questions (not needed, since the audience had plenty to ask these two talented writers), although — sadly — he didn’t toss the Peeps into the audience. Rather, they were daintily carried from the stage to the audience by library volunteers…