Local author Brandon Sturak will debut his new science-fiction novel “Imperium: Adventure Reality” on Wednesday, March 22. The story is a culmination of his professional writing career and life-long passions in the gaming and esports industries.
“Imperium: Adventure Reality” is a sci-fi/fantasy adventure novel that explores a virtual reality video game of the same name and the exploits of one of its greatest players, Maximillian. Out of the game, Max is a high school graduate that is somewhat lost in life and struggles with his strict father on what his future will be. However, in the game, he's a top-level player that, with his good friend Amaya and a growing cast of characters, becomes wrapped up in a series of adventures that lead him not only to his future, but also to the realization that Imperium: Adventure Reality isn't just a game. It's so much more.
“This story blends together so many parts of my life,” Sturak said. “I’ve always been a gamer, since I was a kid, and writing is something that I gradually came to love as I matured. Playing video games is seen by many as just a pastime, but for me, it’s always been so much more. Besides the many fantastic stories, they’re a way me and many others build friendships and make memories. I think this story really drives home that point and is exciting for people with that background, and equally as fun and accessible for those who’ve never picked up a controller before.”
Sturak is a Western New York native and proud Niagara University graduate. In his professional career, he pursued his passion for gaming by serving as an esports coach at Niagara University, as a writer for The Game Haus and Esports.GG, and as an editor for ESTNN. He brings a fresh perspective to the literary field and explores topics such as people’s relationships to technology and games, the strains of family relationships, and finding your own passions in life in “Imperium: Adventure Reality.”
A press release noted, “The book is being published by Wandering Minds Publishing, an independent, small, woman-owned and LGBTQ+-friendly publishing company with a mission to provide a genuine and viable route to publication for disadvantaged and first-time authors, regardless of their background and circumstances.
“Wandering Minds Publishing makes a point of providing publishing services well below the market average to alleviate financial barriers to publication.”
“In addition to providing affordable publishing services, Wandering Minds Publishing donates 10% of all book sales to an organization or cause of the author's choosing. This commitment to giving back is a core value of the company and highlights its belief in the power of storytelling to create positive change.”
A portion of the sales from “Imperium: Adventure Reality” will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a charity Sturak chose because it is a “truly great organization that does amazing things for children and families in need. Helping people in such a difficult position, in whatever way I can, fills me with joy, and I’m honored Wandering Minds has given me the opportunity to do so.”