*As a note, the intro for this was written by Steph from TTRPGkids, and the below description was written by the project’s creator
Let’s talk about stories
We all need stories from time to time, tales of interest or excitement, of drama or adventure, to give us direction, to give us time from our troubles, to give our imagination a space to fly.
To have stories, we need storytellers. This is where I come in. My name is Michael, and I’m a teacher, parent, and general children’s plaything living in southern Japan. I publish YA fantasy under my wife’s family name as Maikel Yarimizu. I’ve been telling tales my entire life, but in the past eight or so years of that, I’ve been working on an Amazon Kindle series called Princesses of the Pizza Parlor (TTRPGkids review can be found here). It began as an idle musing of what I’d do if my niece, then ten years old, were to ask me to help her run a tabletop role-playing game. From there it has grown into a series of eleven episodic novellas, three shorter side stories, and a longer summer camp paralogue novel—and the adventures of its tween protagonists and their in-game princesses are still on-going.
Princesses of the Pizza Parlor
Princesses of the Pizza Parlor is a serialized tale written for middle school and up, with each episode encompassing one session of a tabletop game not unlike some of the more famous examples of the genre. At times, the action is focused on the kids around the table, and at others it dives into the imagination to show the story unfolding from the game characters’ point of view. It’s silly at times, but that’s just how things roll.
Point to note: All dice rolls shown in the text actually happened. This occasionally causes great annoyance for the author, but he just rolls with it.
(Seriously, in hindsight giving the chaotic witch a Rod of Random Magic was not the best idea, but it’s given me lots to write about.)
Right now, the series has four paperback volumes, three of them collected episodes and side stories. Each episode and side story is available as an individual e-book, with two or three released annually on average. Episode 12, “The Wickedest Witch of the Woods,” is in the process of getting cover art, and the fourth side story, “Pasta and Partisans,” is in the planning stages. With any luck, I shall have both of those available as e-books by the end of the year, and the fourth paperback collection in early 2024.
This enterprise is entirely self-published by me, which means that I am covering the art costs completely out of pocket. It’s worth the expense, though; my regular cover artist, Astrid Vujnovic, has done some amazing work for me over the past four years, and I want to continue supporting her as well. This series has at least five more episodes and side stories left to it, and I would see it through to the end.
Crowdfunding to continue writing
Finally, while writing is a passion for me, it does use up resources. I can be thankful that notebooks for manuscripts are cheap, as are ballpoint pens, but laptops are not. Mine is on its last legs as we speak. It has seen me through four years of hard typing, but I need to replace it before it suddenly dies and takes any recent progress with it.
In this day and age, stories are more important than ever. However, it’s a rare author who can survive on their writing alone, so whenever you find one whose work you enjoy (and I hope you enjoy mine), please remember to show them you care. We need all the help we can get.
Lastly, credit where it is due: The “Dungeon Master – Will Run Games For Pizza” t-shirt in my top image is the perfect complement to this series, and it’s from the SunburstRPG Etsy store (https://www.etsy.com/shop/SunburstRPG/). Check them out for more TTRPG-related items.
Check out this project to support the creator, and, if you liked this post, make sure to subscribe to the TTRPGkids monthly newsletter to stay up to date on the latest reviews, tips and tricks, game and podcast list updates, and more! Thank you for playing tabletop RPGs with your kids and sharing this awesome hobby with the next generation!