Below are my main projects and experiments in Storytelling and Digital Media. Feel free to pursue and explore the projects further with the links provided. I hope these inspire you to start experimenting with your own fiction!
In 2014 I have banded together with voiceover artist, Kevin Powe, and actors Colin Smith, Sam Piaggio and Lois Spangler to produce a podcast of my fantasy manuscript, Priori. Inspired by Scott Sigler, Pip Ballantine, J.C. Hutchens and co, I decided it would be a great way to test out the manuscript and build an audience for my fantasy work. The first five chapters of the novel have already been recorded, so watch this space for more information on the launch date!
If you’re curious to learn more about Priori, it was the manuscript I worked on with my fantasy writing mentor Isobelle Carmody. I blog about my journey with Priori and the mentorship on my Original Fantasy blog.
Story City is a digital storytelling experience that puts you in the story. It combines fictional choose-your-own-adventure style stories with physical locations, allowing the fantasy to become ‘real’! The Story City app and adventures are FREE to download and enjoy.
Rather than reading these adventures in the old-school ‘book’ format, you’ll be able to take part in the adventure via the Story City app on your smart phone or tablet. Then you choose how you’re going to explore your city! Will you explore Brisbane while running from a zombie apocalypse? Or how about cruising the Adelaide streets while solving a mystery? Or will you be pillaging the city looking for pirate supplies? It’s your adventure, so it’s up to you!
Story City was made possible due to a $25,000 grant awarded to me by the Brisbane City Council Innovation Award. Story City now works with councils and organisations to create these events for their city. We have also just opened out books to new writers and artists who wish to create stories for the app. If you’re interested in writing a future Story City adventure (and getting paid!) you can sign up for the newsletter here.
Based on my 2012 experiment with Adelaide: Choose Your Own Adventure (the world’s first Choose Your Own Adventure style event) Brisbane City Council hired me in 2014/13 to create Street Reads – a physical choose your own adventure story around the Brisbane CBD using QR codes. You can follow this project on Facebook.
Rather than reading the Choose Your Own Adventure in printed book form, our project will be placing QR codes around Brisbane city and South bank that you can scan with your smart phone. Then once you read the next part of the adventure you can choose from several options to continue your story. Each new part of the story takes place in the location of the QR code, showcasing Brisbane landmarks in a whole new way!
The adventure starts from a single point in Reddacliff Place (opposite Queen Street Mall) then branches off into three separate stories. Will you choose become the apprentice of death, the sidekick of a rather dim Hero or fight off a zombie invasion?
2012 – Adelaide: Choose Your Own Adventure
In 2012 with the co-operation of If:Book Australia I organised the world’s first interactive Choose Your Own Adventure event in Adelaide City during Writers’ Week.
Each new part of the story took place in the location of the QR code, showcasing Adelaide city landmarks in a whole new way.
For this initial pilot project I wrote a story branch on the alien invasion of Victoria Square, a comic piece incorporating street art, churches and four unusually rowdy statues.
Experimental Book Projects
Over the past two years I have been experimenting with telling story in a series of Facebook Novels. Aimed at a YA/New Adult audience, ‘The Grand Adventures of Madeline Cain’ is a comedy told through Facebook status updates, comments, private messages and notes. The novel also includes an interactive Facebook experience, where readers can interact with the book’s characters.
I created an interactive world that readers could plunge into after they had read the story, as a way to engage, but also to give a sense of realism to the tale. I made Facebook pages for each important character of the story. All of a sudden, using this free medium, I was able to provide readers with character backgrounds in an unobtrusive way, post pictures or videos on my characters profiles that fitted their personalities (and which are difficult to add to a print/e-book) and have the characters interact with each other.
If you’d like to check out the book itself use the links below!
You can find the main page for the Grand Adventures of Madeline Cain here, or check out the personal pages of each character at the following links. Feel free to interact, I can guarantee they’ll respond! Madeline Cain, Kathy Bloomingdale, Tim Gleeve, Cliff Wheeland, Kevin Doherty, Nadine Cain, Mike Cain, Kim Enuik.
Jake’s Page came about as I started playing with how a writer can change format in digital publications. The short story was written as though you are reading the story from a Facebook page. It was then adapted to a play when I realised that just one version or format of the tale would not tell the whole story.
It was an experimentation in how story changes with format and how e-books can free writers from traditional publishing restraints.
It was performed in 2012 by the Urban Myth Youth Theatre in Adelaide.
2011-2012 – Isobelle Carmody Mentorship
In 2011-2012 I undertook a twelve month writing mentorship with fantasy legend, writer Isobelle Carmody. I blog about my lessons learnt from this experience here.