Employee Deep Dive: Thomas Clement – The Story Player
We sat down with Thomas Clement, Content Operations Project Manager at Inkitt to learn more about the things in his life that he feels have made him who is today.
Thomas loves to experience new stories and create new worlds in computer games. At Inkitt, he uses his playful approach to develop stories for the platform.
Starting as a member of the writing team, he soon graduated to the newly formed Content Operations team at the start of 2021. One of his main duties is helping push the recently-signed books into what he deems ‘blockbuster’ territory.
“When a book gets passed along to me, I figure out what parts I can make and mold to get the most readers interested,” he says. “Different covers, a new title, rewriting summaries, bundling (when free chapters are given away), anything and everything to make the book shine, I do, obviously with the author’s approval, and influenced by Inkitt’s reader-powered algorithm. It’s like a fun game.”
It’s interesting that he brings up games. During the conversation, one sleeve of his shirt slides up to reveal a tattoo on the underside of his arm. When asked about this, he pulls up both sleeves and shows four tattoos.
Two are gaming related, the amulet of Lara Croft, of “Tomb Raider” fame, the other being the logo of a game called “Remember Me”. His two other tattoos reflect literature. “Attendre et espérer ” – “To wait and hope. All human wisdom is contained in the two words”, he quotes from the novel The Count of Monte Cristo, as well as the stylized set of the Moka Efti – the legendary club from the German series Babylon Berlin.
Gaming is an important part of his life. He started gaming as a child, when he played computer games with friends. But why did he have the logos and symbols of these computer games tattooed on him?
The two games accompanied him through a time of upheaval and new beginnings. At the end of his university studies he lost his part-time job, so he moved back to his hometown. Computer games gave him support and structure during this time. They were both a reward and a reason to get up in the morning. In the morning he looked for a job, in the afternoon he rewarded himself by playing.
In returning to his old life, he found solace in his favorite series, “Tomb Raider”. He explains the game that took him through that time was a reinterpretation of the character. It was a comforting experience, of going on a new adventure with an “old friend”.
Is playing an escape from reality for him? In a way, yes. Just as books are. For him, the games he plays are always about discovering new worlds. He wants to experience stories and adventures. When he explains and describes the games he particularly likes, it sounds like he is retelling the plot of books or films.
Even though he now works mainly with literature, he keeps in touch with the gaming scene. He enthusiastically describes how he designed worlds for a tabletop fantasy game similar to Dungeons and Dragons: “ They asked me to kind of play God in a sense and populate the entire world”. And he still develops games and enjoys meeting others for game jams. “You connect with a bunch of other people on the internet and try to build something.”
And so it’s no coincidence that he’s written games, first in his university bedroom, then working for a mobile game company. At the same time, he also worked as a bookseller, merging the roots of literature and gaming once again.
And so Thomas continues to travel between the two worlds, playing with and in stories, with Inkitt being the playground of his dreams, building the Disney of the 21st Century.
At Inkitt, we believe that every author in the world should have an equal chance to succeed. That’s why our mission is to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Join us on our mission and start the next chapter of your career with us!