The book that made the greatest creative impact on me was the 1983 “Choose Your Own Adventure” book called Escape. It was written by R.A. Montgomery, one of the two undisputed maestros of the CYOA format. (The other master was Edward Packard.)
I was a reluctant reader as a child, save for those CYOA books. Escape was my favorite. It chronicled a near-future United States torn apart by war, conspiracies, spies and political intrigue. Its cover featured spectacular flying machines, fireballs and 4x4s.
Fast-forward nearly 30 years. Today, I write novels and online narratives that often feature near-future settings, conspiracy theories, espionage ... and flying machines, fireballs and 4x4s. Further, I tell stories in unconventional ways, often using multiple media and emerging technologies.
I can now clearly link my present-day passion for nonlinear and transmedia storytelling to my love of those Choose Your Own Adventure books, Escape especially.
J.C. Hutchins is an award-winning transmedia storyteller, novelist and screenwriter. He has helped create transmedia narratives for A&E (for the TV miniseries Stephen King's Bag of Bones), the Discovery Channel, St. Martin's Press (with the transmedia novel Personal Effects: Dark Art) and his own 7th Son sci-fi thriller novel series. He also helps independent video game companies create and expand their games' storyworlds.