by Max Barry

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by The Write Pretty Speech of Todd McCloud. . 1,560 reads.

The Listonian - NSer Writes a Book

Hello group! Some of you may know me, and others may not, but I've been playing this game for some twelve years now. That's a long time - a little over a third of my life. Why is this important? Well, it's not that important, but I guess what I'm trying to say is I initially played this game through the gameplay aspect, but over time I kind of morphed to roleplay / NS Sports play. The nice thing about NS is it's one giant sandbox for the most part - you set your own goals and you find ways to play your own game. Know what I mean? It's a snap! Anyway, I wrote a book. It's a chapter book.

You can smell the plastic on the cover! Actually, not really. But it has glossy justice!

Gimmie the book!
It's available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble to start, and may soon branch out to other stores. I won't link these sites here, but if you want to look it up, you may do so Linkhere. The link also has some sites where you can purchase it if you want. But books can be kinda pricey these days. So next month I'll have the same book as an ebook, which will be a cheaper alternative. If you'd rather wait for that, TG and I'll let you know when it's available in ebook form. But either way, if you buy it, thank you kindly!

What's the book about?
The book introduces two main races - human and vulpine - and the interaction of the two. We begin with a young vulpine, Kirin Stapen Evesuni, and follow him as he tries to understand the world around him: his home nation of Asmonia, the neighboring nation of Hobrethia, and the vulpine-dominated nation of Vekaiyu, among others. This particular fellow is easily written off - he's poor, he smells, he can't really read, and most would likely brand him as ugly. He undergoes a series of unfortunate events, and from those hardships he gleans a voice and a passion that speaks to others. Yet what is passion without action? And just how much action is required to move the seemingly impossible? Everyone has bad days, and some bad days compel us to move. What happens if we don't stop?

The back cover description is below:

"What makes an identity? What does it mean to earn a name? For one individual trapped deep in the bowels of rootless squalor suppressed by two mighty nations, it is the equivalent of finding one’s own being, perhaps one’s own soul. Stapen Evesuni was never one to step out of line. He knew his place in life and understood the path ahead of him. He knew he was at the bottom rung of the ladder of society, slightly above the dirt he was commanded to till. But life is not a direct path. There was something in him that told him otherwise, something that compelled him further. Maybe it was the dim light of a family he longed for, yearned for in the brightest of days and the darkest of nights. Perhaps it was the musings of a mad dictator. It could have been his unusual religion. Regardless of the reason, he tried to press forward despite his limitations and handicaps. One who could not read was not a threat. One as ugly as he lacked the charisma to truly change the world around him. One raised on the streets couldn’t possibly gain the trust of any sensible dreamer. Yet despite the toils and struggles, despite the problems and perils peppered with pert petulance, Stapen Evesuni journeys on a struggle for his soul. Across the blood and battles, the soliloquies and speeches, he seeks to find his true self, chasing the identity of that which eludes him: the Listonian, the identity of his people."

It was a fun book to write, and I hope you enjoy reading it at least a little bit, should you buy it, of course. But I am still rather happy about this first book reaching a finale.

So what? What's this gotta do with Nationstates?
Well... that's kind of a long story. I was discouraged from writing in high school by a teacher who told me to stick to math because that's what I'm good at. I felt pretty bad about it, and didn't write anything, anything at all when it came to stories until 2008 when I joined The East Pacific. That region had and still has a thriving roleplay community. I was intrigued and joined in, but when I did I was hammered, hard by some of the more skilled writers. My characters kind of stunk. My plots were too superficial. My settings just didn't make sense. I initially took the constructive criticism hard, but over time I wanted to get better. So I kept at it, and eventually learned the basics like in any other good writing group. We then kinda sharpened one another as the years passed and players came and went. I decided one day to try my hand at writing a book and kind of didn't stop.

I still roleplay today, though it is less due to some stuff occurring in my life that's been selfishly keeping me from that fun and my friends. But I can safely say, had it not been for TEP and the roleplays we did, well... get the picture.

Did you use anyone's RP characters?
No. I didn't want to use anyone's characters, names, nation names, etc. because I ultimately didn't feel comfortable with taking anyone else's thing and inserting it in a book. It has some of my characters, yeah, but the book takes a pretty strong turn compared to the RP universe I know.

Who made the cover?
A really good friend. Another friend helped me make some maps. They are credited, received stuff, and so on.

Is this a... FURRY BOOK??
I... guess that depends on your definition. It contains anthropomorphic animals who happen to be vulpine. Are they a special breed who protect the forests with their guardians of the sky and sea like many of the works in that genre do? No. Do they roam free and forage and teach people how everyone's abusing the planet? Ha, no. Do they wear suits and do things in them? I mean, they can wear tuxedos and business attire, sure, and they'd likely do planning in their business attire. I guess what I'm trying to say is I don't consider it a furry work. I personally am not a furry, but I do have an appreciation for some of the art, though I steer clear of the... scary art... but I like the book because it involves anthropomorphic people but doesn't really have the typical aspects of something "furry". Of course, this is all my opinion.

I'd kind of place it in fantasy, but grounded fantasy.

Ugh... fox people?
Ever notice how when some people make a species the species almost always seems to be better than a human? Like they're taller, smarter, live longer, whatever? Yeah. Forget that. Good species design has their flaws and they're held back by those flaws. So yes fox people. But not superhuman fox people.

Are you going to write more?
So long as I have the time, I will. A second book, The Vekaiyun, is finished and being distributed to publishers. A third book is in the outline stage. I plan to write five if I am afforded the time. Maybe I'll make a Discord chat. I don't know.

Why DL Nighly?
Well, I just chose two random initials and looked up obscure British last names. It's on Facebook. That's pretty much the long and short of it.

Are you going to be like Max?
Nah. Max has a talent. I have a hobby, and not really a talent. And truly, this is a hobby. I hope to break even when it comes to money, but if not, oh well, I had a lot of fun writing it. I'm kind of hoping Max reads it. I tried to offer him a free copy, but I don't know if he ever got my message.

I'm sure I'm not the first NSer to write a book and I'm sure I won't be the last. But I just wanted to share this with you all. Hope you like it.