Meet the Publisher: Matt Forbeck, Full Moon Enterprises
Posted on September 20th, 2012
Matt Forbeck is a man with a truly impressive track record, both as a writer and publisher. He has over a dozen published novels to his name, as well as an ongoing Magic the Gathering comics series, and his career history in the games industry is legendary; he was the President and co-founder of Pinnacle Entertainment Group and has created content for a wide range of game systems, as well as resource books on games design and gaming. Last last year Matt announced that he was going to undertake what was quite possibly his most ambitious project to-date: a Kickstarter-funded publishing programme called 12 For ’12, in which… well, tell you what, we’ll let Matt explain it. Take it away, Matt!
Most Angry Robot fans probably know me from the three books I’ve published with the company: Amortals, Vegas Knights, and Carpathia. However, I wrote over a dozen tie-in novels before I started writing originals for Angry Robot, and Marc Gascoigne — the AR overlord himself — actually commissioned four of those from me for the Black Library back when he headed up that division of Games Workshop.
Before all that, though, I started my writing career working on tabletop roleplaying games. Back in 1996, I even co-founded a games publisher called Pinnacle Entertainment Group with my pal Shane Lacy Hensley. As president of the company, I oversaw the production of scores of products every year, bringing them from our heads to the tables of games around the world.
I spent many years as a full-time freelance game designer, but I’ve moved over to writing more and more fiction of late. At some point last year, I decided I wanted to push that even farther and create lots more stories. I’ve always been a fast writer, and some quick math told me that I could probably — if I was crazy enough to try it — write a dozen novels in a year.
Of course, no publisher — not even my pals at Angry Robot — would be willing to buy a dozen novels from me in the course of single year. Rather than try to shop the books around to a mixture of publishers, I decided to take the plunge and publish them myself. I’d learned all the skills I’d need to pull that off back when I was Pinnacle’s president. I just needed to apply them to producing novels as ebooks and print-on-demand books instead.
My mad plan formed together under the title 12 for ’12, and I set to work. I broke up the dozen books into four trilogies and launched them separately on Kickstarter, a crowdfunding platform for creative projects like this. The first three trilogies smashed through the financial goals I posted for them, and the final one — for a trilogy of YA fantasy novels called Monster Academy — ended on Sunday, September 16th.
As I finish the books, I let them sit for a bit and get some feedback from early readers. Then I revise and polish them and release them into the wild. The latest outpost at which you can grab these stories for yourself is right here at the Robot Trading Company.
The first trilogy of books is complete and are on sale here already. These are based on the Brave New World roleplaying game I created for Pinnacle and AEG back in 1999. They’re set in a dystopian United States in which superheroes exist but are forced to work for the federal government or become fugitives from the law.
The second trilogy is called Shotguns & Sorcery, a trio of fantasy noir books set in Dragon City, a mountain ruled over by the Dragon Emperor, who keeps his citizens safe from the ravenous hordes of undead that constantly scratch at their walls. I’ve shipped the first of these off to my Kickstarter backers, and I should have it ready for release through the Robot Trading Company soon.
The third trilogy is named Dangerous Games, and it’s a trio of thrillers set at Gen Con, the largest tabletop gaming convention in the States. I’ve been going to Gen Con since I was a kid, over 30 years straight, and I’ve been a guest of honor there for 10 years running, so I know it as well as anyone. The chance to play with murder mysteries and intrigue there hauled me right in.
The fourth trilogy is called Monster Academy, and it’s a set of young-adult fantasy novels that take place in a kingdom in which the good guys won but now have to figure out what to do with all the innocent young monsters that haven’t done anything wrong — yet. Look for those early next year.
If you care to follow along with my 12 for ’12 project, stop by www.Forbeck.com for regular updates. I hope you’ll find a lot to enjoy.