Interview and Giveaway – LitRPG author Apollos Thorne, CODENAME: FREEDOM

Welcome to the blog, Apollos Thorne, author of Codename: Freedom: Survive Week One, one of my newest books on Kindle Unlimited. I’ve really enjoyed reading LitRPG books like The Land and Viridian Gate Online. I’m excited to meet new authors in this field, and Apollos sounds like he’s got a great idea going here. The giveaway will be for a Kindle book of Codename: Freedom. Comment below to be entered. US only. Giveaway ends at noon CDT on 9/8/17.

(If you’re new to LitRPG. Here’s a link to a list of books and a definition of the genre.)

1. How did you first become a fan of LitRPG?

That’s really hard to pinpoint, so instead I was first inspired to start writing in the genre by Sword Art Online and The Gam3. 

2. What ideas inspired you to write your own?

I saw a lack of realism in the genre at the time, specifically in regard to combat and the game systems. The question, what would this look like in the real world led me to Codename: Freedom. The leveling system is based on military grade mixed reality and how it could enhance our abilities. Other than that, the players have to really learn how to fight to take advantage of their new found enhancements.

3. How does your newest book, Codename: Freedom blend what you love most about sci-fi and fantasy?

I hinted at this above, but I have a background in boxing, kickboxing and MMA, so the lack of gritty, realistic action looked like an opening to me so I capitalized on it. Also, there is a space opera vibe that’s hinted at, that will only grow. 

4. How does Codename: Freedom incorporate a game experience into the narrative?

Once the MC and other characters enter Codename: Freedom, they level up just like in any RPG, but they upgrade their enhancements based on military mixed reality. As an example, their local map expands as they level up and more detail can be added if they choose to upgrade that aspect with their ability points.

5. What are the stakes in the game and for our main character?

100% pain. The reason why Codename: Freedom wasn’t longer was because I wanted to focus on how the MC and his friends deal with really having to face this pain factor. Its not the first LitRPG with this as an aspect, but I don’t think anyone has really done it justice, or focused on it until now. They have to figure out whether its even worth it for them to stick around in Codename: Freedom if you will have to suffer for an extended period of time while their wounds heal.

6. What is the setting and time period?

Approximately 300 years in the future. The tech used for Codename: Freedom isn’t a deep dive system. Each player has to enter their own house sized cube filled with dozens of robotic arms. When they run, their character runs. When they fight their character fights. When they get hurt…

7. What’s your production schedule for more stories? Any way to get bonus content via newsletter or secret group?

Right now I’m aiming for a new book every 4-6 months. If book two does well, then I can possibly go full time, which will greatly improve my output. The best avenue for extra content is I also have book 1 of Underworld – Level Up or Die! coming in approximately 2 months. 

Thank you for the opportunity!

Apollos Thorne is the author of the series Codename: Freedom and Underworld: Level Up or Die! originally posted on After 500k views on the rough draft of his first fiction, he concluded it would be foolish not to pursue publishing. A little over a year and a half later, he is now publishing book one to Codename: Freedom on 07/12/2017.

He first got a taste of RPGs with Dragon Warrior on the NES at around the age of six. Final Fantasy VII propelled RPGs from a hobby of his to more of a passion in his early teens. His first MMORPG was NexusTK – Kingdom of the Winds, a 2D Korean online game from the 90s. Since he has played over fifty different MMOs. His passion for reading and writing started later but was inevitable because it was the story of RPGs enticed him. In high school, he tried reading The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings but had trouble staying interested. It was in college when he picked up the Farseer Trilogy that his love of fantasy fiction really took off. After that, it was rare for him not to finish at least a novel a week. In 11/01/2015 he found the website As a website it allowed anyone to publish your fiction and get feedback from readers. He was intrigued. Beginning to post book one of Codename: Freedom, he finished eight months later. Another story came soon after and hopefully mid to third quarter 2017 he will be self-publishing book one in the Codename: Freedom series. Underworld: Level Up or Die! should come later in the year or early 2018. If things go well, he expects to publish a new book in each of these ongoing series every 3-5 month.

About Timothy C. Ward

Timothy C. Ward is a former executive producer and Hugo Nominee of Adventures in SciFi Publishing. He has been broke and lost on the other side of the world and now dreams of greater adventures from his keyboard in Des Moines, Iowa. This summer, he released his second Sand Divers book, Scavenger: A.I., where two parents use an ancient technology to fight a reproducing A.I. while trying to resurrect their deceased infant, and a new series that begins with Godsknife: Revolt, an apocalyptic battle for godhood in the rift between Iowa and the Abyss. Sign up for his newsletter for news, sales, giveaways and more:

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