video games

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.



New Podcast: Creative Writing Career

CWC Podcast Logo_v3If you’re anything like me, you love podcasts. But hey, even if you’ve never heard one, you at least have an interest in either writing or understanding a bit more about writers, right?

Lucky you, because we just launched the CREATIVE WRITING CAREER podcast!

So far, we’ve interviewed or have scheduled such folks as Elias Madias (Shadow of Mordor), Tim Powers (On Stranger Tides), Matthew Ritter (Telltale Games, comics, and indie Games),  Jazon Denzel ( and publishing with Tor), Will Wight (The Traveler’s Gate trilogy), Lee Jessup (Getting it Write, Screenwriting coach), and Linda Poitevin (Sins of Angels), and more.

Find it on iTunes or through your android podcast search. You can also find it at Please remember to share and leave a review!

Hosts: Stephan Bugaj, Justin Sloan, and Kevin Tumlinson

Launch date: November 2, 2015


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


Featured Writer: Mark Simborg

DrivingAs many of you may recall, I interviewed Mark Simborg a while back for my blog and the follow-up book, Creative Writing Career. To keep you up to date and share what these awesome writers are up to now, I thought I would start a “Featured Writer” section of my blog, where I’ll check in with a writer every week or two, and let you all know what they are up to. So here goes – welcome Mark!



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…)

Interview: Don Gomez, Games Writer (Army)

Q9NyzmoVDon Gomez is an officer in the United States Army and an unapologetic gamer. He has served as both an infantry non-commissioned officer and infantry officer, completing multiple combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Outside of the military, Don has dedicated significant time working on behalf of veterans at both the local and national levels. He has written dozens of articles on veterans, war, and gaming that have appeared in various publications, to include the New York Times, The Daily Beast, and Vice Magainze.

Don is particularly interested in the intersection of the military and video games and writes about it frequently on his blog Carrying the Gun. On his last deployment to Afghanistan, Don’s platoon was the recipient of a “supply drop” and experienced first-hand the important work that Operation Supply Drop does in “bringing fun where there is none.”

Don is from New York and has an MA in Near and Middle Eastern Studies from the School ofOriental and African Studies in London and a BA in International Studies from the City College of New York.


Military Veterans in Creative Careers – The Book!

Military Veterans in Creative Careers - Justin SloanI’ve been working on a passion project for some time and finally have it ready!

My book Military Veterans in Creative Careers on Amazon for pre-order (available 7-4-15).

And we all like free stuff, right? Well to celebrate the publication of this book, I have a couple freebies:

1) Everyone who joins my mailing list and follows me on Twitter will be entered in to win one of 10 free copies of my Creative Writing Career audiobook (regular price = $19.95).

2)  If you order a print copy and leave an honest review, shoot me an email and I will give the first 5 people to do so a signed copy of the book and a digital copy of the audiobook when they come out, AND a digital copy of the Creative Writing Career audiobook now. If you aren’t one of the 5, you will be entered into a chance to be one of 20 people to get the audiobook free when it comes out.

And stay tuned, because I will be announcing other freebies and giveaways shortly!

(The above applies to U.S. and U.K. customers only, sorry)


Many of our nation’s men and women exit the military without a clue of what to do next. Others pursue their passions, doing everything they can to break into the life they’ve always dreamed of.

This book provides guidance on how to follow your passions, and includes interviews with MILITARY VETERANS who have gone on to creative careers.

Interviewees include:
– Novelists
– Screenwriters
– Actors
– Producers
– Directors
– People in Video Games (writers, producers, and more)

Brought to you from the author of Creative Writing Career, this book will serve as your mentor and guide as you too pursue your passions.

CALL TO ACTION: If you would like to be part of this campaign and help spread the word, email me at I am happy to provide #free review copies to those of you willing to post an honest review.

Thank you for your support!


To follow Justin Sloan:

#veterans #videogames #screenwriting #film #publishing

Veterans in Creative Careers: Kel Symons, Screenwriter (Army)

Kel SymonsKel graduated from the screenwriting program at the American Film Institute in 1997.

His screenplay, If They Move, Kill ‘Em, about director Sam Peckinpah, landed on the Blacklist and The Hit List in 2012. Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (whose Me, Earl and the Dying Girl won Sundance in 2015) developed the script and is attached to direct.

He wrote a live-action remake of Aladdin for Disney, co-wrote a horror script St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 with Joshua Malkin, for Universal, and is adapting the crime novel Money Shot for producer Mason Novick.

He wrote for the video game based on HBO’s Game of Thrones for Telltale Games and created three comic books published by Image Comics, including critically acclaimed adventure series The Mercenary Sea and the new swords & sorcery series, Reyn.

He produced the 2008 documentary, The Dungeon Masters, directed by Oscar-nominee Keven McAlester. He co-wrote, produced and directed the short documentary Excavating the 2000 Year Old Man with Matthew Buzzell, which premiered on PBS and Turner Classic Movies in 2013.

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