Guild Wars: Ghosts of Ascalon, which he co-wrote with Jeff Grubb.
What have you learned that seemed completely unrelated to writing at the time but has influenced your writing career?
The most valuable class I ever took in high school turned out to be typing. This was back in the days before computers were common, and half my class had to work on manual typewriters, while the others were blessed with electrics. You could tell people who worked manual typewriters back then because their fingers had to be strong and sure to make the words happen fast.
Learning to touch type made me a much faster writer than I would otherwise be, and that in turn now allows me to write fast enough to make a living at it. At the time, I hated it, and I got the worst grade in that class of my entire high school career, but it paid off in the end.
A toy manufacturer has decided to make you their new superhero action figure. What is your superpower and what are you wearing?
I'm an immortal traveler of both time and space, who peeks into the lives of other people in fantastic worlds and reports on their most exciting tales. Because of this, I'm dressed in a set of clothes filled with anachronisms that work together but don't quite match up: a bulletproof trenchcoat that projects full-body protection against biological, chemical, and radiological dangers; boots that provide bursts of speed; gloves that are invulnerable to anything; and a hat that links me mentally to a plant of hyperintelligent supercomputers that guide me on my way—when I let them.
Do you ever regret deciding to become a professional writer?
Only when my bills come due.
Honestly, no. I love being a professional writer, and I've been at it full-time now for over two decades, which means I've ruined myself for anything else. There's little like getting paid to make things up for a living, and I'm grateful to all the people who buy my books and games so I can keep doing it.
What is the best part of being a professional writer?
I enjoy the challenge of new and exciting projects, and the chance to entertain people for a living. I love going to conventions and meeting with gamers and readers and other people who do the same kinds of things I do. But on a personal level, the best part about this life is the flexibility it offers me.
As a father of five young kids (a 12-year-old and a set of 8-year-old quadruplets), my children place a lot of demands on my time, but because I work at home and set my own goals and hours, I can always be there for them when they need me. That's worth a lot more than money to me.
Give us a quick overview of what you write and where we can find it.
"I started out as a tabletop game designer, but these days, I mostly write novels and work on computer games. I've had two novels published this year through Angry Robot: Amortals and Vegas Knights. Both have been getting rave reviews.
I have two nonfiction books due out later this year: Star Wars vs. Star Trek and Book of Extreme Facts. Plus I have a novella in G.I. Joe: Tales from the Cobra Wars, a short story in Hot and Steamy: Tales of Steampunk Romance, and a short story in The New Hero 2. On top of that, I wrote the story for the Conduit 2 game for the Wii. I also cowrote and helped produce a film called InSpectres, based on Jared Sorsensen's roleplaying game of the same name.
For details about all this and the rest of the things I'm working on, stop by Forbeck.com or follow me on Twitter at @mforbeck.