A Note on Biographies:
As near as I can tell, authors spend between
3% and 6% of their time writing various versions of their own
bios for various purposes. I tend to try to avoid updating mine
after each publication because I don't think a new sale makes
me even marginally more interesting. I do, however, spend a
lot of time rewriting them because I keep on misplacing the
various files once I've written them.
With that in mind:
Is Richard E. Dansky?
I am currently employed, more or less
gainfully, as the Manager of Design for Red Storm Entertainment
in Morrisville, North Carolina. I also work as the Central
Clancy Writer for UbiSoft, Red Storm's parent company, which
means that in some way, shape or form I get my hands on the
storylines and content of most Tom Clancy-themed computer
I began my professional writing career in the
early 90s with two chapters of the book Haunts for White Wolf's
Wraith: The Oblivion. After freelancing extensively for White
Wolf, I accepted the position of Developer for both Wraith
and Mind's Eye Theatre. While at White Wolf, I also did development
work for Vampire: The Dark Ages, Kindred of the East, Werewolf:
The Wild West and Vampire: The Masquerade. My development
credits include, among others, Wraith: The Oblivion 2nd Edition,
The Guide to the Camarilla, Laws of the Night, and the critically
acclaimed Charnel Houses of Europe: The Shoah. I also continued
to write for White Wolf during this time, and produced or
wrote for books including Corax, Kithbook: Sluagh, The
Dragon-Blooded, Ends of Empire and many others. All told,
I contributed in some fashion to nearly 130 books for White
Wolf, which led to many interesting conversations due to sleep
deprivation and at least one incident wherein I accidentally
set my office desk on fire.
Leaving White Wolf for Red Storm in 1999, I
began work in the computer game field. I have designed or
otherwise contributed to several titles, including Shadow
Watch, Anne McCaffrey's Freedom: First Resistance, The Sum
of All Fears, and the award-winning mission packs for Ghost
Recon: Desert Siege and Island Thunder. More recently, I have
contributed to IRainbow Six 3: Raven Shield, IFar Cry, and the revitalized
Might and Magic franchise, among others, as a writer.
In addition to gaming material, I also write
fiction. I've published four novels, including the Trilogy
of the Second Age for White Wolf's Exalted RPG. My short fiction
has appeared in anthologies such as Dark Tyrants and A Fistful
O' Dead Guys, and also in Stillwaters Journal. Additionally,
I have written for magazines including InQuest, Green Man
Review, Yes! and Lovecraft Studies. (Yes!, incidentally, is
subtitled A Magazine of Positive Futures, and is not in fact
the fanzine for the band that sang "Owner of a Lonely
Heart". Honest.) I also write under a pseudonym for an
online humor magazine, but in the interest of preserving anonymity
and saving my friends and family from further embarrassment,
that pen name will not be disclosed here.
So That's What He Does. But Who Is He?
Good question. I was born in Brooklyn,
New York, long after the Dodgers left town. I've long harbored
the suspicion that they'd heard I was coming, and decided
to get while the getting was good. I grew up outside Philadelphia,
where in high school I played the role later immortalized
by Anthony Michael Hall in The Breakfast Club, namely that
of the geek. I can honestly say I never took a flare gun into
school to blow away a shop project, but if you ask me how
many science fairs and science olympiads I competed in, the
answer would be "a lot." (I did, however, have a
stranglehold on the "Rock and Mineral Identification"
competition in the PA State Science Olympiad for several years
in the mid-1980s, and completely failed to take advantage
of this fact to impress girls.)
I attended Wesleyan University for my undergraduate
work, spending most of my time in a live-action roleplaying
group but somehow managing to graduate with Honors and a B.A.
in English. For the record, my senior thesis was in fact devoted
to a structuralist analysis of the work of H.P. Lovecraft,
which is probably something neither Mikhail Bakhtin nor Lovecraft
After that, I attended Boston College for two
years, acquiring an M.A. with Distinction in English and thus
rendering myself nearly unemployable. During this time I did,
however, make my first publication, which was a rewrite of
one of the chapters of my thesis for Lovecraft Studies. I
also began freelancing for White Wolf during this time, and
did foolish things like dabble in theater, run massive LARPs,
and throw my back out sleeping on a broken futon.
I've had the usual succession of weird jobs
all writers must present as their bona fides: lab guinea pig,
research assistant, K-Mart sales clerk, beta tester, MIS director
for an executive outplacement firm, and GMAT prep instructor,
among others. All of that experience has taught me how to
perform certain types of logic problems, how to transcribe
audio tape of four year olds hitting each other with Legos,
and how to fold mass-produced
green sweatshirts with the Philadelphia Eagles logo on them.
Needless to say, I'm much happier in the video game industry,
though the jury remains out on how the video game industry
itself feels about my continued presence.
These days, I live in Durham, North Carolina,
where I share a house with the lovely and talented Melinda
Thielbar. We serve as caretakers for the property's real owners,
two cats. When not occupied with scribbling things like this
and thus avoiding real writing, I like to cook, play games
and otherwise make a nuisance of myself. I collect the works
of Manly Wade Wellman, cut glass and the occasional bit of
baseball memorabilia, and when time permits, I can be found
in the cheap seats at one of the local minor league ballparks,
cheering on the Durham Bulls or Carolina Mudcats.
Now, aren't you sorry you asked?