Friday, 19 January 2018

Gamebook Friday: Onward Adventurer

The latest episode of Starburst Magazine's podcast Brave New Words - #2.27 Onward Adventurer - is available to download for free from iTunes. The reason I mention this today is because not one, not two, but four of my books get a mention. I say a mention, but they are actually discussed for a good 40 minutes or more, which is nice.

The books in question are YOU ARE THE HERO Parts 1 and 2Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland and The Wicked Wizard of Oz. Fighting Fantasy Fest 1 and Fighting Fantasy Fest 2 also get a mention. (And when I say a mention...)

There is an interesting discussion concerning how well, or not, the artwork of the Fighting Fantasy books has dated, although I completely disagree with one of the panel who thinks that there were some poor artistic decisions made in the YATH books and who argues that if you are writing a history of something you should consider reworking iconic images associated with it. (And we all know how well that's gone down with some FF fans with regards to Scholastic re-imagining classic images from the FF gamebooks.)

I'm pleased to say that the panel are suitably wowed by the look of the special edition of The Wicked Wizard of Oz, and are especially impressed by Kev Crossley's designs for the playable characters, although the same panellist misunderstands that the Scarecrow isn't The Grim Reaper but A Grim Reaper, and it would have been nice if somebody had actually read/played through the book before reviewing it.

You can listen to the podcast for yourself here.

         

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Steampunk Thursday: Neugieriger und Neugieriger*

Germany, are you ready for Alice im Düsterland?


This German translation of Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland is coming later this year from Mantikore-Verlag.


* Or as Alice would say, "Curiouser and curiouser!"

Monday, 15 January 2018

Thought for the Day: Blue Monday

Writing books is, "lonely and demoralising and you're often in tears," says celebrity children's author David Walliams who has raked in over £11 million pounds from his children's books.

#nicerproblemstohave

Not as lonely and demoralising as reading about another celebrity 'author' pocketing a tidy advance and later enjoying massive sales due to their celebrity status as opposed to any discernible talent. That's what leaves me on the verge of tears!


Thursday, 11 January 2018

Steampunk Thursday: The Charles Dickens Museum

On the twelfth day of Christmas I visited the Charles Dickens Museum in Holborn. Despite having lived in West London for over 20 years, this was my first visit and I couldn't have timed it better, since the house was decorated for Christmas.





Unless this is the first time you have visited my blog, you may have noticed that I've been a little bit obsessed with Dickens' A Christmas Carol of late. Unsurprisingly, considering the season, the museum was hosting an exhibition about the most famous Christmas story in the world (after the Nativity), which included costumes from the recent film The Man Who Invented Christmas, and delved into the origins of the story.



If you've not been before, and you're down London way, it's definitely worth a visit. You can see the actual desk and chair that Dickens wrote at in his study, along with his personal collection of books.



It may not be Christmas any longer, but the first Scrooge and Marley (Deceased) tale, The Haunted Man, is still available as an eBook from Amazon, and I fully intend to write further stories over the coming year, as long as there's enough support for the books.



On a side note, is it just me or is The Carol of the Bells absolutely everywhere now around Christmas time? Ten years ago I don't think I'd even heard of it, but now it's everywhere, in adverts, on TV shows and film soundtracks... there's no getting away from it. Not that I'm complaining, I think it's great - especially this version.



Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Warhammer Wednesday: Black Library Open Submissions

Exciting news, Black Library fans! Not only is the Black Library open for submissions from new authors, but Inferno! magazine is coming back!

For anyone who doesn't know, Inferno! was a bi-monthly magazine packed full of comics, short stories and artwork. During its run, I had thirteen short stories published in the magazine - set in the worlds of Warhammer, Warhammer 40K, and Necromunda - along with a couple of comic strips. This led to me writing novels for Black Library, which eventually led to me writing Doctor Who books and creating the Pax Britannia for Abaddon Books.


Incredibly, 2018 marks two decades of the Black Library and to celebrate Inferno! is being given a new lease of life as a collection of short stories, penned by new authors and old, and showcasing the best works from across our many universes, including Warhammer Age of Sigmar, Warhammer 40,000, Necromunda and Blood Bowl.

If you think you have what it takes to write for the Black Library, now's your chance! You can find out more about the kinds of stories the editorial team are looking for, how long you have to submit ideas, and how to format your submissions, plus full terms and conditions, here.