What better way to learn about someone than to understand what they like to do in their spare time. Knowing someone's hobbies can often times explain that person's motivations and inspirations for a lot of things they do. I mean, think about it, do people do Halloween costumes for things they don't enjoy or the things that they have an interest in? Usually it is what there is an interest in. For instance, as a Star Wars fan, I'm more likely to choose a costume that fits that interest of mine before something say like Star Trek of Flash Gordon.
In a similar fashion, understanding my hobbies may better help others to understand why I write stories the way I do about the subjects I do. Some authors like horror, some like romance, others do suspense, and then there are those like me who prefer fantasy or sci-fi. My hobbies, I think, are a direct reflection of my writing, just as I presume other authors have their writing influenced by their hobbies, lifestyles, or preferences.
So what are my hobbies?
If I were to wrap up my hobbies in a one word summary it would be 'games'. I love to play games. Console games, PC games, offline games, online games, board games, card games, tabletop games, and just about any other type of game you can imagine.
Most of my gaming is split between console gaming and card games though. I spend a lot of time playing on my Nintendo Switch, Sony PlayStation, and Microsoft Xbox. On my consoles games I typically prefer to play RPGs or FPS games. Final Fantasy, Call of Duty, Mass Effect, Dragon Quest, and many others have had hundreds of hours devoted to them over the years. Of course, the RPGs range from sword and magic based to futuristic gun based which explains a lot about why The Ascension Legacy series is firmly set in the fantasy world with swords and magic but the first non-series books I've finished the rough drafts on are all sci-fi oriented with spaceships, guns, and alien races.
In addition to my console gaming, I use to be very involved in MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) like Everquest (EQ), World of Warcraft (WoW), and others. Most of these were firmly based in the fantasy world of paladins, rangers, wizards, etc. but there were some like Eve Online, Earth and Beyond, and Anarchy Online that were more futuristic in their settings that very much aligned them with the sci-fi theme. These days many of those MMOs have gone belly-up and I only casually get online from time to time to play. Most of my friends that I use to play those games with no longer play but I still like to log in for the nostalgia effect.
Aside from my video games, I do like to spend a considerable amount of time playing card games, one in particular. In the late 90's a friend introduced me to a card game called Magic the Gathering. It is what is known as a CCG (Collectible Card Game) where the cards are not only for playing but tend to have value to other players much like baseball cards. Some cards can sell for hundreds, even thousands, of dollars.
I'll admit, when I first started learning to play MTG (Magic the Gathering), I didn't have the amount of disposable income that I do today. In those early years I did not buy/collect a lot of cards. I might buy a small pack of cards every few weeks or months but mostly only had enough cards for 1 or 2 decks to play with. Over the years, as my income level changed, so did my level of cards. Today I have nearly 30,000 MTG cards that span the lifetime of the game and I continue to collect and grow my collection today.
I enjoy this game so much that I taught 3 of my 4 kids how to play. We play casually around the house and with our friends as often as we can. My wife is a thankfully a good sport about it and doesn't complain when we take over the house to play for hours. We've even hosted small tournaments for all of our friends to come and compete for prizes instead of just playing for fun.
We do not play professionally and I have no intention to play in sponsored or ranked tournaments. Not that I have anything against those tournaments but I like to be able to use all the cards I have collected over the years. I mean, I have invested thousands of dollars into this collection over the last 25 years and most of those big tournaments restrict which cards you can use. If I bought it, I should be able to play it. That's my philosophy so I play at home where we can play whatever we want and still have a good time.
And there you have it, my main hobbies. Aside from playing video games and MTG, everything else I do is geared around my family, mainly my wife. We like to watch TV shows together, usually spousal murder documentaries that we jokingly call 'murder porn'. My wife likes to play card games too but not MTG. She's more of a Skip-BO / Uno girl and we play a fair amount of that on family game nights, though those games usually don't influence my writing.
There was a time that our spare time was filled with our children's activities, mostly sports, but now that they have all grown up to the point that they are either adults or at least have their own cars, we find ourselves with a lot more spare time that I have opted to fill by enjoying my hobbies again. But now, I've added writing to my list of hobbies which means if my wife, children, and friends are all busy that I am writing if nothing else.
I really am just a big nerd at heart and I think it shows not only in my hobbies but also my writing. What are your hobbies and how do they influence your writing or reading preferences?