Shawn Kass was born in Killeen Texas. He attended a series of colleges while serving as a Staff Sergeant in the United States Air Force. He earned five degrees in subjects including Mathematics, Psychology, Education, and Secure Computer Systems Networking. While on active duty from 1997 to 2006, he was stationed stateside in Texas, California, Florida, Illinois, and Washington, D.C. and while overseas, he served in several Middle East locations.
Upon exiting the service, Shawn became a high school math and science teacher educating students in Washington, D.C., England, and Michigan.
MDB: Why gaming? What prompted you to dream up a virtual world?
SK: I have been a gamer since my parents brought home my first Atari system back in the 80s. The idea of writing something like this, however, didn't strike me until I read Ernest Cline’s amazing book, Ready Player One. Since then, I did some research on other popular LitRPG titles like the Play to Live series and The Way of the Shaman, and then made sure to compliment them by doing something slightly different. I didn't want readers to have to sift through all of the stats and data, and so I shoved that into the background and focused more on the exploration of a beginning game player in a new world.
MDB: If you could transport yourself to the world you created, would you do so? And if you did, which of the game characters would you like to play?
SK: To be honest, I think I would jump into the game. I would want to bring my wife with me as my player two, and I think the experience would be incredible. The main character, Sam, is modeled off several of my own reactions to the gaming world and the tropes usually associated with JRPGs, but I would have handled a few things differently if it had been me. For instance, I think I would have spent more time leveling up by killing off small non-threatening creatures rather than jump in and face some of the trials Sam had to go through.