New Heart's Choice Author Interview! Raven de Hart, "These Thieving Hearts"

Originally published at: New Heart’s Choice Author Interview! Raven de Hart, “These Thieving Hearts” - Choice of Games LLC

Pull off legendary heists to steal the world’s most magical treasures, and stay one step ahead of your rivals. What’s hotter: the goods or the guys?

These Thieving Hearts is an interactive high-heat gay romance adventure novel by Raven de Hart, author of Freshman Magic: Spellbooks and Tangled Sheets. I sat down with Raven to discuss their upcoming game and what they’re reading these days. These Thieving Hearts will be out on July 18th, 2024; you can wishlist it on Steam in advance of release—it really helps.

So excited to be sitting down for another author interview with you! Freshman Magic, your first game with us was a wonderfully spicy read and I know Heart’s Choice fans will be eager to dive into These Thieving Hearts. What do they have to look forward to in this game?

I’m so excited to be here! And yes, Freshman Magic was definitely all heat, all the time if that was the way you wanted to play it. That’s still prevalent in These Thieving Hearts – you can always choose not to get physical, but when you do, I don’t skimp on the details. These Thieving Hearts started years ago, if you’ll believe it. I love heist flicks, so I tried and failed to get the idea to click into a story for a long time before I finally landed on These Thieving Hearts. Turns out when you have globe-trotting ne’er-do-wells, the best fit is to be able to fall in love with them. Who knew? Does this mean I have a thing for bad boys? You know what, this isn’t my therapy session.

How has the second time around with our style of interactive fiction gone for you?

In many ways, it was a much smoother process for me on the back-end. I had a whole game under my belt, so I didn’t trip up as much on the numbers and statistics side of things. I could understand more intuitively how to branch off and change values around, and how those would play into the product as a whole.

Or, to put it another way, I’m already noodling with an idea for a third game, so clearly it’s got its hooks in me.

What did you feel you learned from Freshman Magic that you applied a little differently
this time, or did you learn something new from this project?

One thing I tried in Freshman Magic that seems to have worked well is the approach to the romantic storylines. I come from a romance novel background, and tropes reign supreme there. When I wrote Freshman Magic, I aimed to make each individual romantic plot adhere to its own trope. Friends to lovers or geek-jock or bad boy. So I carried that into These Thieving Hearts, but I started on it from the very beginning and made it intentional. When I was in early brainstorming for it, one of the first things I wrote down was a list of five tropes, one for each romantic interest. While certain things changed throughout writing, since they always do, having that guideline to turn toward helped me keep things moving and make the characters feel more distinct.

I know you’re the kind of writer absolutely brimming with different ideas and pitches. What else have you been working on?

Oh lordy. So much. As I implied above, I’m noodling over an idea for another game. I haven’t even pitched it or hinted at what it might be, so I’ll continue to keep my mouth shut, but rest assured it would be more gay romance and more fantasy and just as spicy.

I recently wrapped up the first book in a new contemporary romance series, based around a home renovation show. That will be releasing soon, and I’ve started on the second book to make sure we can keep things moving at a clip. They’re not intense, very popcorn-style books. I love reality TV unironically, so it was a good fit.

Then, over in complete non-romance land, I’ve started in on my first progression fantasy. I have no clue when I’ll be able to get that up for public consumption, but it’s a style of fantasy that really clicks for me.

Are you reading any good romance or fantasy these days you’d recommend to our readers?

For romance, two that have really stuck in my brain as of late are Earth Boys are Easy by C. Rochelle, a really fun superhero romance, and Tavia Lark’s Fortune Favors the Fae series, which is just right up my alley. Hot fairy guys? Yes please. And on the non-gay romance front, Book Lovers by Emily Henry is straight-up just fun.

In fantasy, I’m almost through my second reread of Will Wight’s Cradle series. I’m a serial rereader, but I usually have to take at least a year gap between reading and rereading a series. Not this time. Cradle really got its claws in me. Next on the list is probably Babel by R.F. Kuang. I loved The Poppy War trilogy, and while this is definitely a whole separate vibe, it still sounds like it’s right up my alley.


Just a note: we’re starting to publish author interviews a little earlier than release week when possible! We’ll still have our “Coming Thursday” post with a game’s demo on the Monday of release week for our HC and COG games. In the meantime, if you like what you see on one of our author interviews please take a minute and wishlist the game on Steam, even if you don’t intend to buy it there. It really helps our visibility! These Thieving Hearts on Steam


I’m very excited to see this one in a few weeks time! Lovely to hear from @Raven_de_Hart about the writing process, and I’m sure the game will be fabulous!


I’ve been excited for this game from the first time Raven de Hart hinted he was working on a second game. I loved Freshman Magic so much, and I have every hope that These Thieving Hearts will be just as creative and fun. (And this post has me already looking forward to his next project!)


I’m sure this one has A LOT of things it can bring to the table. Already that lingering aroma is pulling us in…


I had the privilege of beta testing this one and I’m really excited to play when it’s released. I love the characters, their chemistry, and I really couldn’t put it down until it was finished.
And then I played again. And again!
Ok, 6 times.


Female MC possible? If not it will be a pass sadly.


No, it’s m/m.


sad but ty


Can’t wait to buy this when it releases, FM is one of my favourite HC


I felt that in my bones. :smile: Congratulations to de Hart on These Thieving Hearts and the many exciting projects and reads ahead! :partying_face: :partying_face: :partying_face:

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