Veterans in Creative Careers

He gets paid to play video games!

772654Ever been curious about how video game streamers make a living by playing video games? Check out our interview with streamer MachineGunnerUSMC, Owen Monahan:

I met Owen when I was putting together my book, Military Veterans in Creative Careers – he’s a super helpful and nice guy, and it’s amazing that he gets to make a living by playing video games. Cool stuff!

Layla Marie Hunter and the WGF Veterans Writing Project


616Wb8YEq0L._UX250_As another session of the Writers Guild Foundation’s Veterans Writing Project approaches, I thought I’d highlight a previous attendee. Please let me introduce you to Layla Marie Hunter. Military veteran, and writer!

  1. Tell us about your military experience and how you see this helping you in Hollywood.

I served in the Navy and even though my service was cut short due to an injury it has instilled the utmost respect for ethics and ambitions.

  1. When you were transitioning out, did you have any idea you wanted to go creative? What were some early steps you took to make this transition?

I’ve always been an artistic person and have always wanted to get into that area but with living in Ohio, the idea of it seemed far fetched until, years later, I moved to Los Angeles. A fellow VFT member told be about the program and about 3 months after applying my life and my writing techniques were set on to a different course.


We’ve launched the Military Veterans in Creative Careers PODCAST!

MVICC podcast logoWe’re happy to announce that we’ve launched the podcast titled MILITARY VETERANS IN CREATIVE CAREERS.

iTunes || Googleplay (coming soon) || Simplecast.Fm 

This is a podcast where we discuss how veterans can transition into creative careers such as writing, acting, directing, producing, and even sometimes art and dance. We bring on amazing interviewees, and I’m sure you will love it!

Check it out, and leave a review please. Thanks!

And to celebrate, I’ve dropped the price of the Military Veterans in Creative Careers book to $0.99 – so now’s the time to get it if you haven’t yet!

Nook || Kindle || iBooks

The print and audiobook are now available!


Who are we?

Tom-Morkes-headshot3Tom Morkes is the CEO of Insurgent Publishing, a book publishing and marketing company responsible for numerous bestselling books, the author of “The Complete Guide to Pay What You Want Pricing,” and the creator of, a community, training program, and book launch platform for indie and self-publishers.

Tom has marketed and published books that have been featured on Forbes, Huffington Post, Psychology Today, as well as have reached USA Today, Amazon, and other international bestselling lists. Tom is considered a thought leader on growth hacking, pricing, and digital products and has been interviewed or featured on leading publications, including Forbest, Business Insider,, and where he’s been featured alongside the people behind Twitter, Dropbox, and Apple.

Tom is also the co-founder of, a website devoted to helping veterans make the transition from military to business and entrepreneurship.

Tom is a West Point grad, Iraq War veteran, and spent his last year in the Army in a Special Forces Airborne unit where he got paid to jump out of helicopters.


Trevor Scott VeteranTrevor Scott is a Los Angeles-based actor who has appeared on television shows such as Criminal Minds (CBS), Enlisted (Fox), Days of Our Lives (NBC), The Young & The Restless (CBS), and General Hospital (ABC), and has had lead roles in the films Zulu 6, Book of Choices, and Texas Zombie Wars. He has appeared in numerous national commercials as well. Trevor recently was seen starring on stage in “Tracers,” directed by John Difusco and co-produced by Rogue Machine Theatre and USVAA. L.A. Weekly declared the play their “Pick of the Week,” singling out Trevor’s performance as “particularly compelling.” Trevor holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Loyola Marymount University and has also studied at Lesly Kahn, Margie Haber, and The Groundlings. In addition to his acting career, Trevor served five years in the 1-506th Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division in the U.S. Army, completing tours in both Ramadi, Iraq and Wardak Province, Afghanistan as an Infantry Sergeant.


Justin Sloan HeadshotJustin Sloan is a video game writer on such titles as Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, as well as a novelist and screenwriter. He is the author of such fiction books as Falls of Redemption and non-fiction as Military Veterans in Creative Careers. He studied writing at the Johns Hopkins University MA in Writing program and at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television’s Professional Program in Screenwriting. Justin is also a co-host on the Self Publishing Answers podcast.

Justin was in the Marines for five years and has lived in Japan, Korea, and Italy. He currently lives with his amazing wife and children in the Bay Area, where he writes and enjoys life.



Help us launch the MVICC podcast!

MVICC podcast logoIf you’ve enjoyed my interviews  with Military Veterans…  our podcast officially launches this Wednesday, Veterans Day (

BUT what we’d like to ask your help with is this – we’re trying to hit new and noteworthy, so we’re going with two big pushes, and the first is through Thunderclap.

– Click on the link, then hit support on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr, and what it will do is send social media messages from all of us on the 16th.
– We need to hit 100 supporters, so please join and share like crazy.
– Many of you #Veterans will likely be on the podcast if you haven’t been yet, so in a way you’re pre-supporting yourself!

If you’re not a veteran, you’ll still love the podcast! So help us spread the word, subscribe to the podcast, and leave us some reviews. We appreciate it.

And here’s the link (below). Thank you again!

And we’re doing it in two parts, so if you could also help us with this launch by supporting on HeadTalker.

The 2015 Austin Film Festival Schedule is LIVE!

AFFWhile I may have missed last year’s Austin Film Festival (AFF) due to having a baby, I consider myself an annual attendee. Well this year is special for me, because I will be a panelist. I look forward to seeing you all there, and especially at the barbecue! To see my panels, click here. 
Here are some highlights I’m seeing for this year’s festival:


Supporting Operation Supply Drop with My Book

osd cupA few years back I realized I could no longer ignore my creative passions, and that I never should have ignored them to begin with. The problem was that, when exiting the military, I had no idea what it meant to actually make a career out of what I loved to do. Now I am living the dream, or at least my dream, as a writer on the games Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead at Telltale Games, as well as a novelist and screenwriter.

It is with this in mind that I’ve set out to ensure others no longer have their doubts. Too often the problem is that we don’t know what we don’t know, but I’ve written my advice and interviewed military veterans who have gone on to follow their dreams. Many have succeeded, and many have at least seen progress toward success. Regardless, all are doing what they love, and they have shared their stories and advice with us in my book, Military Veterans in Creative Careers.

Nook || Kindle || iBooks


Veterans in Creative Careers: Eric Johnson, Author (National Guard)

Eric JohnsonEric Johnson is retired from the National Guard. He has been deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan in his 15-year career as an active duty Soldier and a National Guardsman. He has used his experience when writing military science fiction, and aims to relive or transfer those experiences to his writing. He has also written erotica as well as a steampunk short story. He currently lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

His website is and his Twitter is


Find interviews like this one on the Military Veterans in Creative Careers podcast (more…)

Veterans in Creative Careers: James Bane, Actor (Marines)

James BaneJames Bane was born and raised on Dale Hollow Lake near Celina, Tennessee. He was a fun loving, goofy kid. Fortunate enough to have received football and academic scholarships to Campbellsville University in Campbellsville, Kentucky, James majored in Communications and Theology, earning his Bachelor of Arts in both. He graduated Marine Corps bootcamp in August 2001, and served in Iraq in 2004 and 2006. After an Honorable Discharge in 2008, James went on to graduate from the University of Southern California’s (USC) School of Dramatic Arts in 2013, with an MFA in Theatre. He now resides in Hollywood, California.

Find interviews like this one on the Military Veterans in Creative Careers podcast


Veterans in Creative Careers: Owen Monahan, Video Game Streamer (Marines)

Owen M.Owen Monahan served in the Marines for four years as an 0331 Machinegunner, where he went on three deployments before being honorably discharged. He went on to become a fulltime video game streamer for Team2g on Twitch., meaning he broadcasts video games for a living. You can find him under the tag MachinegunnerUSMC.

These interviews, along with the author’s advice on the topic, are available in the book Military Veterans in Creative Careers.

Find interviews like this one on the Military Veterans in Creative Careers podcast



Veterans in Creative Careers: Thomas Hennessy, Filmmaker (Navy)

Thomas HThomas Hennessy was born September 17th, 1976 in Blue Island, Illinois, USA. He is a writer/director and cinematographer, along with occasional actor, best known for directing the feature films What We Can’t Have and Another Time, his supporting role in Nick Broomfield’s Battle for Haditha, and his work with Cloud Imperium Games.

Find interviews like this one on the Military Veterans in Creative Careers podcast (more…)