Thursday, December 2, 2010
Secret Force: Quest for the Pro Tour II is now available.
Secret Force contains everything from first seeing the card Verdant Force, to trying to make a deck out of it, to testing sessions with the hilarious Joshie Trash Talker and the evil genius of Magic, Alan Webster. From there chapters include local tournaments, playing at Shawn “Hammer” Regnier’s store, the evolution of the deck, attending Pro Tour Qualifiers, some philosophy lessons, additions to the Wakefield School of Magic and playing Army Magic in the middle of the Vermont forest in the dead of winter.
It contains a small amount of new material, reprinted articles you may have already seen, articles that were only published in magazines, and the secret letter I sent out to Green mages only, showing them Secret Force for the first time.
It has been edited thoroughly, set in chronological order and while it contains strategy and theories you might find useful, I think it makes for a more compelling story than anything else.
If that's not enough to convince you, here’s a quote from Mark Rosewater, head of Magic R&D, writer, head of the Pro Tour and all around good guy.
MaRo: “My favorite Magic writer of all time is Jamie Wakefield. I felt like he wasn't a Magic player that wrote but rather a writer that played Magic. He definitely helped influence me to write more about my life and not worry about getting off topic. I loved how he stressed that Magic is part of his life and how interwoven it was. Plus, the boy can write. I remember he spent a whole article writing in a completely different style (in a magazine feature style if I remember correctly) just to demonstrate a particular tone.
One of the things that's missing when people talk about writing is craft. Writing is a skill and part of that comes from some very technical aspects of writing. Jamie was a solid technical writer.
You can tell that everything he did was a conscious decision. I find it funny how often when I talk with people about my writing and I get into decisions about why I did something that people seem shocked the amount of time that went into figuring out exactly how I wanted to write something. Good writing feels effortless, but that doesn't mean a lot of effort didn't go into it. It's very hard to sound like you're just saying what's coming out from the top of your head. It's a skill I focused on lot on when doing stand-up comedy that's all about mimicking sounding like you're talking as thoughts come to you. Anyway, while Jamie is an entertaining writer, there's also all this craft that might be invisible to most people but is obvious to other writers that Jamie nails.
I loved Jamie Wakefield's writing so much I often read his other writing about his life. In fact, the most emotional I've ever gotten reading anything was when I was catching up on his blog and stumbled upon the last six months of his wife's life. For those that don't know, Jamie's first wife, Mare (as he called her), died of cancer, and Jamie wrote about all of it from her getting diagnosed through her death, and it was one of the most brutally honest things I've ever read. It affected me so much that I got us to make a card in Mare's honor (Timbermare from Planar Chaos) that we let Jamie preview.
I'm quite happy that Jamie has been able to bounce back and find a new life for himself. He just got married – Congratulations, Jamie! He's also writing again (well, about Magic), so that's awesome.”
The paperback is available here-
The Kindle edition is available here-