One of my favorite parts of my Games of Love series is the games. Whether it’s video games, role playing games, or board games, there’s nothing better than hanging with friends and having fun. So it should come as no surprise that I love writing about and creating games for my characters to enjoy. Like many other things in a novel, my games and gaming locations are based on real-life places. In Finish Him, there are three games/places of gaming that were inspired by real life.
–Marshall’s and Magics
This is the table-top role playing game my characters play throughout the series. It’s based on Dungeons and Dragons, fourth edition to be precise. I played 4 in college, and really enjoyed it more than some other versions.
The group and sessions are also partly based on my college campaign. When I initially workshopped Critical Hit-On, some people said it was unrealistic to have more women than men in a gamer group. They’d never had that in all their gaming years. My college group was three girls and a guy plus a male dungeon master, and I saw nothing wrong with this. Four people (one for each character type) is a good number for a campaign. So I switched things up a bit and had two guys and two girls plus a female game master. By the end of the series, it will all be evened out.
This is Sonya’s favorite video game ever, which is based on my favorite video game ever, Mortal Kombat. For those who don’t know, Mortal Kombat is an arena fighting game where guy A and guy B beat the snot out of each other until one falls down and the other is announced victorious. It’s pretty simple, which is partially why I chose it for Finish Him. There’s a lot going on in this book, and I felt that adding the plot line of yet another game would be too much.
Beyond simplicity’s sake, I chose an arena fighting game because it seemed to fit Sonya and Jaxon’s relationship well. They don’t meet under the best of circumstances, and things get more and more complicated up until the final chapters. In many ways, the progression of their relationship is like an arena battle. Step, attack, block, shield, retreat, charge—it’s all in there. And like in a fight, someone wins.
This was the one thing I knew for certain would be in the book when I started writing Finish Him. There would be a date in an arcade. The 24-hour part came later when I realized the date wasn’t quite a date and that it happened at midnight. Technicalities aside, an arcade made perfect sense. Where do video game lovers go to have fun? Answer: somewhere with video games. The arcade represents a safe place for both Sonya and Jaxon. It’s neutral ground, and for Sonya especially, it’s a second home.
The arcade itself is a mix of a place I used to go on vacation when I was a kid and a local arcade where I live now. The first is a place called Fun Spot that’s located in New Hampshire. The place dwarfed the Bonkers arcade in my hometown, and I remember it had every type of game imaginable from Blackjack to racing games to even Mortal Kombat. Its multi-level design found its way into Finish Him. The now-local arcade provided the inspiration for the layout of the 24-hour arcade’s first floor. Jungle Rapids has a separate area for kid’s games, driving games, shooting games, and others. Plus, as is mentioned in Finish Him, there is a centrally located air hockey table where a puck can be heard smacking while in play.
Finish Him officially releases on November 17th!
Deanna Dee is strictly human and does not, to her knowledge, own a hyena. She lives by the sea, which she takes full advantage of in the summer time. People, reading, and pop culture make up the shameless downtime of her life. The rest of it is writing, and she’s okay with that.