Those of you familiar with Deadlands, the roleplaying game I helped Shane Hensley produce at Pinnacle, might remember the main hero in many of the books: an undead gunslinger by the name of Ronan Lynch. Before he hit the big time, Ronan was the name of my character in the first Deadlands game I ever played. Before that, though, Ronan Lynch appeared as a reporter in Deadwood in two other western RPGs I wrote: Western Hero and Outlaw.
Before even that, Ronan Lynch was one of my best pals at the University of Michigan. As an Irish exchange student, he wrote some of the funniest essays I’ve ever read, published regularly in The Michigan Daily. We shared many a pint of Guinness in those days, including one in the shadow of the St. James’s Gate Brewery.
A while back, Ronan left for the University of Texas, pursuing a doctorate, and we lost track of each other. Just a few weeks ago, we finally got back in touch. He’s gone in and out of investigative journalism, speaking truth to power wherever he goes, and suffering the consequences for it. In the meantime, he’s written a novel or two (yet to be published), works on other books, and writes songs for and sings in a roots reggae band (based in Dublin and Berlin) called Sealion. I just ordered the band’s first CD, Spirit Live, and can’t wait to listen to the full thing.