Web game brings fame to alum

Raynor Denitzio

Everyone has a dream. Whether it is to become a professional musician or a best selling novelist, people aspire to some personal goal which will allow them to rise above their ordinary lives. Too often these dreams are allowed to die in a dusty attic somewhere as we “grow up.” R. Troyan Krause refused to let his dream die.

Krause, a 1972 graduate of Villanova law school, always aspired to be a writer. “I always wanted to write the great American novel,” Krause said.

An avid reader, Krause poured over the Writer’s Digest in high school, absorbing as much good writing as he could. The dream to write remained strong, but the world of professional writing can be a tough place to make a living and, as such, Krause set out on a more secure career path. After graduating from Villanova law, he worked for a number of years as a lawyer on the Main Line. Yet the dream to write never left him.

Late in 2002, this dream was realized when Krause’s first book, “The Works of the Flesh,” was released. The work is based in part on Krause’s experience as a lawyer on the Main Line. Yet publishing alone did not guarantee success. “Unless you’re a Hillary [Clinton] with perhaps a story about a boy named Bill, it’s tough for new authors to make a name,” Kraus said. “It took best-selling author John Grisham two tries. He sold his first book out of the trunk of his car.”

Following a book tour for “Works of the Flesh,” Krause was surfing the web and, by what he refers to as “dumb luck,” came upon the “Game to Fame.” The site, the brainchild of engineer David Y. C. Ho, is an Internet site that allows unknown people to become famous. After seeing shows like “American Idol,” Ho wondered why he couldn’t use the Internet as a tool to help people get recognized. Aspiring actors, musicians and writers are able to post a picture and a short summary of their work on the Web site. As Ho put it, “If being famous simply means that your name and picture is widely recognized by millions of people, shouldn’t we be able to use the Internet to give everyone a chance to play for fame?” The site, which is almost a year old, has 1,500 contestants.

Krause posted his picture and blurb on the site, and is currently in second place with 9,300 votes. He hopes the exposure from the site will lead to future sales. “That’s an awful lot of exposure,” Krause states. “Pure math alone means there will be sales generated.” He has three more projects in the works including a non-fiction piece and a follow-up to “Works of the Flesh.”

Krause is pleased that, although it took some time, his dream of writing professionally has finally been realized. He offers this advice for other aspiring writers. “Become a part of life. Don’t be an observer, be a participant,” Krause said. “You’ve got to be part of life. Fiction may be make-believe but, really good fiction is rooted in reality.”