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Waldport Writer Wins Hall of Fame Award


This summer Waldport resident Rose Estes, owner of the Hauser Gallery in Seal Rock,

will be inducted into the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design Hall of Fame.

On March 16 Estes received an email from AAGAD Hall of Fame curator Michael Elliott

informing her she had been chosen for this honor, given to individuals “who have made

exceptional contributions to the field of tabletop gaming.”


He continued, “This year we did an extensive review of early Role Playing Game history

and it was felt by the RPG historians we interviewed and the members that your work

championing and writing the Choose Your Own Adventure book series Endless Quest,

which pulled many readers into the RPG community, was an important contribution to the

history of RPGs, as was your later work writing fantasy novels.”


Initially Estes was “floored.” She had written those books some 40 years ago! Then the

doubt crept in. Might this be an elaborate scam? She did some research into the AAGAD,

discovered they were real, and that she would be in respectable company. Before moving to Waldport Estes had been the 13th employee of TSR Hobbies, Inc., the company that invented Dungeons and Dragons.


"When my marriage ended, I was living in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. In order to support myself and my three young children, I had two options, take the train into Chicago every day and write for a newspaper or stay in town and take a job that didn't pay very well. I took the job with TSR. "I had never even played the game, but one of my jobs was explaining it to parents,

teachers, religious leaders and anyone else who was worried that the game was leading

their children into demon worship and worse.


The game is actually very moral, good versus evil in the most basic of terms, but it was a very hard sell.” “One day, Estes picked up a used paperback book, "The Stone of Time," by R. A.

Montgomery. It was a multiple-choice book where the reader is offered several options

for where the story line goes. Some choices end well, many do not. She realized that this

was the perfect vehicle to explain the game, not just to adults but also to young people

who might want to learn how to play the game. “So I shared my thoughts with the

company. Unfortunately, they weren't interested. At all. But I made such a nuisance of

myself that I was told that if I thought it was such a hot idea I should go home and write

it myself. So I did.


"I never thought I had anything to say in a book, but that one came to the attention of

Random House, who was distributing the game, and soon I'd been told to write three more

- in three months time. So I did. The first six books stayed on Barnes & Noble’s Best

Sellers list for six months. Four of them remained on for a full year, holding spots 1-6. At

last count they had sold over 16 million copies and been translated into 12 or more

languages.


"I wrote those books 40 years ago, Estes says, "Never could I have imagined that all these

years later they are still being read and that fathers and mothers are handing them down to

their own children. They write me letters, and come to meet me at the gallery and buy

dragons, and have me sign the books they've kept for all those years. And now, this

award. I've learned that the awards were established in the mid-70's. There have been only

77 inductees in all that time, only five are women and only two are writers. This is akin to

winning an Academy Award. It's extremely humbling and has made me very, very happy.

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