Today I welcome a good online friend and relative several times removed, Ed Wetterman. There is a missing link that occurred when my ancestors migrated from somewhere in Germany/Austria, via Sweden, to America. But my remembrance of my grandfather in his youth looks a lot like Ed Wetterman teaching class on his photo page on Facebook. I discovered Ed is passionate about fantasy and gaming when I searched for my first book on Amazon by typing in the name “Wetterman” and finding Ed’s name pop up. Please welcome Ed to our blog discussion.
Howdy cousin. I’m grateful for the opportunity to take part in this blog discussion and I hope whenever someone does a search for Wetterman that both our names pop up often.
I’ll second that. How did your love for fantasy and gaming get its start?
I was nine years old and it was 1977 in a dark movie theatre. The movie was Star Wars. I wanted to be Luke Skywalker. I wanted to be Han Solo, and sometimes I wanted to be Darth Vader. Combine that with an ADHD imagination (think Calvin and Hobbes) and a love of reading and it was not long before I was diving into Tolkien, Brooks, and many others. I was soon introduced to Dungeons and Dragons and I’ve been an avid lover of fantasy and gaming ever since.
Does Tracey share your love of gaming or has she developed her own pastime for when you dive into the dark cave of creativity and play?
No, she is not a gamer. However, she is an avid fantasy reader and we both share a love for Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series and many others. She has always let me explore my creative side and has been supportive of all my endeavors. My first company was called Memory Writers, and I would write up people’s family histories, stories, etc. My favorite book I put together at this time was for a man named Wardell Leisk who played football for LSU in the late 1920s and played professional football in the infancy of the NFL as well. I learned a lot from the experience.
Let’s talk about Reality Blurs. You do both writing and line development for Agents of Oblivion. Describe for us the concept behind what you call, “The perfect Cocktail of Horror and Espionage” and how this integrates into Savage World.
One of the next companies I got involved in starting up for production of gaming adventures was 12 to Midnight. We were dedicated to producing good modern horror gaming adventures and we were pretty successful for an independent company. We began by writing for the Open Gaming Licensed d20 system that became the rage of the industry in 2000. Later we were contacted by Shane Hensley of Pinnacle Entertainment Group best known for his Deadlands and Savage Worlds games and adventures. Mr. Hensley is one of the true greats in the gaming industry and he brought 12 to Midnight into writing for the Savage World’s system. It soon became my system of choice for both writing and playing (though the older I get the less I really game).
It was during this time that Savage World’s was opened up to a few licensees. One of them was by a guy named Sean Preston and his company was Reality Blurs. He had written a great plot point setting for Savage Worlds called Runepunk. Over the next few years Sean and I became friends and though he lives in Tennessee and I live in Texas, we usually communicate at least once a week. His company grew and I started doing some things for him including editing, writing, and we bounced lots of ideas off each other. I contributed to Realms of Cthulhu and several other of his books such as Iron Dynasty. One of his ideas was for a horror-based, espionage game full of international intrigue, global politics; fiendish groups bent on world domination, and of course, monsters! It was called Agents of Oblivion. We even wrote a common timeline for his imagined world and 12 to Midnight’s Pinebox campaign.
About two years ago, Sean contacted me and asked if I would finish the product for him as he had way too many projects to see to. I said yes, began editing, and then realized that I thought it needed a little more rounding out. Sean had other staff writers and told me that I could give them some of the writing assignments. I’ve never been great at delegating and soon was writing away on it with pure joy. I knew that this one would be a hit with the consumers and gamers out there. It was different. It was James Bond meets Cthulhu (think big, bad scary end-of-the-world-monster), and I was hooked.
The best thing about Agents of Oblivion is that there are simply so many ways to play it. You and your friends could play real-life type espionage games, Bond-esque games, or games that include aliens, governmental conspiracies, approaching apocalypse, bug hunts, or many others. With its high-tech gadgetry, powers, and agencies it is a real thrill for gamers everywhere. That’s why we call it “The perfect Cocktail of Horror and Espionage.”
You write for Savage Worlds and one of your works is Last Rites of the Black Guard. Describe the setting and its place in the Savage World game system.
Last Rites was the first published adventure I ever wrote and the first one 12 to Midnight produced. It is about an evil Nazi who is seeking the power of immortality and though he lives an extra-long time, he eventually dies and is raised as a Mummy. The adventure takes place when the heroes are contacted by a lady who is in dire need of help. Her home and children are being haunted by ghosts and she has exhausted all her resources hoping to put an end to it. With creativity, investigation, and adventure, the heroes help her and defeat the bad guys (I’m always about good defeating evil!)
At the time (2002) we thought it was a great product. Later I realized just amateurish it was and it was rewritten and re-released for the Savage Worlds system. (See comments above about Shane Hensley).
We produced several great adventures including Bloodlines, Green’s Guide to Ghosts, Weekend Warriors, Innana’s Kiss, Fire in the Hole, and several others, though my favorite book is not an adventure-but a book of short stories about our fictional setting of Pinebox, Texas. The title is Buried Tales of Pinebox, Texas. Pinebox is in deep East Texas (Texans always capitalize East for East Texas) and is a small college community with many dark secrets. Several great writers wrote short stories for us including gaming greats Jason L. Blair, Jess Hartley, Shane Lacy Hensley, Charles Rice, Monica Valentinelli, Filamena Young, and J.D. Wiker, as well as more prodigious authors like Derek Gunn and David Wellington. My 12 to Midnight partners also wrote some stories in it (Preston Dubose, Trey Gorden, and yours truly). If you want to find out more check out www.buriedtales.12toMidnight.com and even better, buy the book!
A couple of years ago, 12 to Midnight became the property of Pinnacle Entertainment Group and we are thrilled to be working with Shane Hensley-who has encouraged us from the beginning.
I’m told you speak Klingon. Sometimes my version of English sounds like Klingon, but I have never learned the language. Do you, and if so, which spinoff from Star Trek is your favorite? Mine is Deep Space Nine.
I speak a rare dialect of Klingon that mixes hard consonants with the long drawn out vowels of East Texas, so I’m not really sure anyone out there can understand me. I’m a fan of the original series and the recent JJ Abrams version (wow, loved it), though I have watched it in all its incarnations. Will Wheaton of Wesley Crusher fame is actually a fan of Reality Blurs and reportedly loves Agents of Oblivion! I think that news made my geeky year.
What new can we expect from Ed Wetterman? What’s in the works?
Preston Dubose and I (rarely now, more Dubose than Wetterman) are still rewriting and reworking our East Texas University plot point setting for Pinebox in the Savage Worlds system. I have many short stories, novels, and essays that I am always working on as well, and hope that someday more of my writing will be produced instead of gaming materials, but I need the time to really devote to the craft. It is the War of Art, and many times I am losing. Maybe it’s my own ADHD mentality or the fact that I have so many hobbies in my life. I am currently working to become a lay-minister in the Methodist church, coaching football, teaching US History to 8th graders, and have been asked to direct a play next summer for the local community theatre. I am also kept very busy by my two boys, David (soon to be 17) and Kevin (10), my two dogs, one cat, my love of horses as I volunteer on a friend’s ranch, my own twenty acres of land, and with the tasks my wife requires of me to keep my job as husband and father. I have been active in the Walk to Emmaus movement, and am hoping to join the Kairos Prison Ministry for Christmas. Oh, and on the rarest of occasions I like to fish, dabble in genealogy, watch football on TV, or catch a movie with my wife and kids.
Thanks for being my guest. I’ve enjoyed our conversation. I attend the Lexicon Writers Conference each year. But that’s almost a year away. I think Denton is a bit far for us to meet, but if I ever get down your way, I’ll give you a buzz.
Please do. I’d love to get to know you better and maybe partake of a bit more of your own wisdom when it comes to writing. If you ever make it down to Dallas, Houston, or Austin let me know. Thank you for letting me have this conversation and I hope to read more good things of yours in the future. “To everyone reading this, God Bless, be joyful in all you do, keep God first, and remember to love your neighbor as yourself and you will find joy.” De Colores.
To buy Ed Wetterman’s books, click on the following link.
To buy my novels, click on the following link.