Questions and answers for 26, an organisation for writers:
What is your day job?
I’m CEO and co-founder of Six to Start. We make story-like games and game-like stories, and our most popular game is Zombies, Run!, a running game and audio adventure with over one million sales, co-created with novelist Naomi Alderman.
What are you working on now?
We’re making Season 4 of Zombies, Run! – due to launch in Spring 2015 – and we have four new games and apps coming out in the next two months.
What are your private passions? Is Mars still up there?
It’s a mixed bag. I do a lot of running, walking, and reading. The internet has changed my reading habits; sites like Metafilter and The Browser and 3QuarksDaily feed a never-ending stream of interesting articles to my iPad, which is great, apart from the fact that I don’t read as many books as I’d like. I’m also learning programming, but it’s slow going as I haven’t yet thought of a project that motivates me enough.
Mars, and space exploration in general, is still an interest of mine, but it’s not something I spend much time or money on any more.
What would be the title of your your next Ted Talk be?
“Why don’t we plan for the future any more?”
What do people get wrong about you?
They assume I only know about science, technology, and games.
What does the future life of a writer look like?
Pretty much the same as it does now; staring at a blank screen waiting for the inspiration and words to flow. You’ll earn much less money, but hopefully we’ll have a guaranteed basic income by then.
Which future objects do you think will most interest writers? The Reading Rooms, the Conversation Brokers, Smart Drugs, another helpful tool covered in your book or something so futuristic it’s not even in print yet? All of the above?
A society with a guaranteed basic income will be of great interest, since it would give everyone more time to write – not that that’ll do anything for finding an audience or inspiration!
What advice would you offer new authors on finding the best angle for your book?
I don’t know if I’m qualified to do that, given I’ve only written one book! I’m just glad I picked a subject that I found sufficiently interesting to keep me going through two years of evenings and weekends.