The Great Big Beautiful Podcast, Episode 199: Matt Forbeck
It doesn’t matter if you were a jock or a nerd, a boy or a girl, or lived in the city, the burbs, or the country – all kids in the 80s had one thing in common: “choose your own adventure” books. Sure, those four words might be trademarked and just one brand, but that style of storytelling was all over the place in the 80s. From the ubiquitous Choose Your Own Adventure titles to Time Machine, Twistaplot, Pick a Path, Find Your Fate, Lone Wolf, Fighting Fantasy, and Endless Quest . . . the list was seemingly endless.
And it’s Endless Quest that we’re talking about today since author Matt Forbeck and Candlewick Entertainment have revived the series and brought the format back from near extinction. The first wave of four books in the series focuses on four of the Dungeons & Dragons archetype characters: Fighter, Wizard, Cleric, and Thief. The books target younger readers and are a great introduction to both D&D and game books in general.
On this episode, I talk to Matt about his history with game books, how writing a branching storyline with multiple pathways presents unusual creative challenges, what the new (and upcoming) Endless Quest books have in store for us, and his experiences writing for various established franchises versus original worlds.