When Matt Buchman began writing military romantic suspense novels, he was not expecting his characters to create a card game. 

In his Amazon No. 1 bestselling Miranda Chase political technothriller series, Buchman’s heroine might be autistic, but she’s a genius when it comes to solving airplane crashes. In the fifth book, Miranda’s team of air-crash investigators begin playing a card game.

“The more I wrote, the more the game evolved,” Buchman said. “Finally, I needed to play the game myself.”

A Gloucester-based author, Buchman teamed up with board game designer Alexander Massar. They spent about eight months collaborating on Zoom during the COVID-19 pandemic to transform this fictional card game into a reality dubbed “The Great Chase.”

The collaborative strategy game for ages 12 and up allows players to enter into Miranda’s world and work together just as her air-crash investigation team does to solve mysteries. 

Other than the fact that it was created by fictional characters from a novel, what makes this game so unique is its design.

Buchman said that he was adamant that the game had to fit in a pocket and get past aircraft security.

“So no metal parts and it has to be very very small,” Massar said, explaining that the board is divided up into cards so that you can lay it out across two air tray tables.

“You can play an air-crash investigation game on an airplane,” Buchman said. 

The game can be played solo or up to six players. 

While this is Buchman’s first take at creating a table top game, it is certainly not his first dance with literature.

With more than 70 published books and 100 short stories under his belt, Buchman’s journey to becoming an author originated on flight south from Japan to Australia to ride his bicycle across the Outback. 

Not exactly the writing desk you’d imagine. 

But this solo around-the-world voyage would launch Buchman’s writing career and ultimately place him as a USA Today Bestselling American author, writing as M.L. Buchman. 

Residing in Gloucester and spending much of his time writing along the coastline, Buchman has no plans of putting down the pen … or the dice anytime soon.  

With pieces made and cards designed, Buchman and Massar are raising the necessary money to produce a high quality game and distribute it to anyone and everyone.  

According to their Kickstarter pitch, 186 people have already backed their game to a total of $10,467 as of Thursday afternoon. They are looking to make it to their stretch goal of $12,500 in order to provide expert-level mission cards in every set.  

If they exceed that stretch goal, backers may get an upgrade in quality of the card game, an audiobook of one of the Miranda Chase novels, or a new Miranda Chase short story that has yet to be released.  

The fundraiser will end Tuesday, July 20, 2021 at 11:59 a.m.

Staff writer Taylor Ann Bradford may be contacted at 978-675-2705, tbradford@gloucestertimes.com or on Twitter at TayBradford97.


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