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Newsletter Archive

FREELANCERS #25 - 03/03/24


Hope you liked Fhenriss's date last month. Was tons of fun to write. I market my work as character-driven, and I always love seeing even over-the-top characters in more relatable or mundane situations.


I have a quick progress update, recommendations for some lo-fi tunes, then I'm going to gush about Final Fantasy 7 since it's making my heart happy right now.

Progress Update

My Brooklyn 99-inspired story concept, Nexus 99, is in range to start a first draft. Each volume will be episodic and should be easier to cook up, being more like an episode of a show at novella/short novel length. Will have the character-focus I usually run with, but the tone will be lighter, leaning more into comedy and cozy mysteries. Will follow the slice of life adventures of a crew of investigators solving mysteries and having a good time on Aesteria's largest space station.


Phoenix Company is still in development. It's my baby and don't see myself dropping it, but I do feel like I could use a second series in the works. Should have some bits to share of Nexus 99 next month.

Lately, YouTube has been recommending some lo-fi bangers. This music is perfect background noise for doing anything creative, I find. Something about it just takes you somewhere else. Here's some I've been vibing too. Let me know if you have any more like this you'd recommend.

These days, I don't find many movies, shows, books or games I get really excited about. Then I got a notification that the next part of the Final Fantasy VII Remake was coming out on Feb. 29.

There's something special to having a story that makes you want to drop everything and dive in headfirst. Do an internet blackout to prevent spoilers. Besides part 1 of the FF7 Remake that came out in 2020, I haven't felt this way since I played through the Witcher series after 3 came out, and the Mass Effect titles before that.


For reference, if you don't know, Final Fantasy VII was a Japanese video game that came out in 1997. My dad came home one day and handed 12-year-old me a Playstation 1 that he won in a golf tournament for the longest drive. The first game I picked up was FF7. It's hard to describe how a story/experience resonates with you so hard it changes your life in some ways.


Is funny how seemingly small choices can have such long-lasting effects. Another honourable mention to Mass Effect that I picked up in a Blockbuster bargain bin years after it came out and blew my mind. In Aesteria, Zydlari take a lot of cues from the Asari, and Valhai from the Turians.


Now, FF7's DNA is present in most of what I create. I see a lot of Midgar when I describe Rax City on Rakuur. I play a lot of the breathtaking soundtrack while writing scenes. The game showed me how compelling dynamic, 3-dimensional characters can be.


I was skeptical when part 1 of the remake was coming out. The day before launch, I watched a stream of it and saw an image like this.

That night, I bought it on PS4 and started downloading it for the launch. Even got my wife enjoying it while I played on the couch. It makes my soul smile playing while my daughter lies in my lap in the morning. Makes me wonder what her FF7 will be.


Suffice to say, a bunch of hours in my day are being devoted to loving the hell out of this game until I finish. It might be a pipe dream, but it would make my life if my work could impact someone like FF7 impacted me.

If you have any questions or comments for me, go ahead and reply to this newsletter, email me at, message me on Twitter at, or on Bluesky at Might give Threads a try soon, but haven't really figured out what I want from social media yet.


If you've read my books or others, please leave a rating or review on appropriate sites like distributors, Goodreads, Bookbub, etc. I'd very much appreciate it.


Thanks very much for reading. I'm thinking I'll write something bombastic and action-packed on the 15th to shift gears. Have a good one.

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