Monday, 18 March 2019

Thought for the Day

"Don’t throw away books. Books aren’t clutter. They add room. They make a small space infinite. They’re not mere objects, they’re portals. You open one up and you enter a different world."

~ Matt Haig, author

Monday, 11 March 2019

Thought for the Day

"The more time you spend outlining and brainstorming before you write, the less time you'll spend rewriting. But each writer excels at different portions of the process. Find the balance of preparation to rewriting that is right for you and don't worry how other writers say to do it."

Friday, 8 March 2019

Gamebook Friday: International Women's Day

This time last year, I posted about the heroines who feature in my ACE Gamebooks, concluding:

"And then there is NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters!, which I am currently in the process of writing, and which features not one but two heroines, the Lara Croft-esque shipwreck survivor Wendy Darling, and the Sabretooth-riding heroic hunter Tiger Lily."

Well NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters! has now gone to print, and here's how Wendy and Tiger Lily ended up in the book.


Wendy Darling
Shipwreck Survivor, The Girl Who Lived

Oldest child of George and Mary Darling, Wendy was eighteen years old when she and the rest of her family – including her younger brothers John and Michael, and their pet dog Nana – boarded the RMS Titanic at Southampton on 10th April 1912, for the passenger liner’s maiden voyage.

She is well-educated, well-mannered, and resourceful. While at finishing school in Switzerland, as well as learning the formal rules of etiquette and improving her French, she also learnt how to fence.



Tiger Lily
Heroic Hunter, Saviour of the Accala

Daughter of Chief Great Panther of the Accala, and therefore technically a princess, Tiger Lily nonetheless dreams of being inducted into the elite warrior brotherhood of the tribe. She is already well on her way, having raised her Sabretooth steed Fang from when he was a cub, after his mother was killed while protecting him from one of the terrible lizards that dwell on the island. She is adept at using not only her flint-headed tomahawk axe but also a spear, whilst hunting with Fang.

Tiger Lily models herself on the great Warrior Queen Lai Tai’Glaa, the legendary ruler of the Accala who supposedly first brought her people to the promontory the tribe now calls home.


NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters! goes on general release on 1st June.

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

I'm in an audio drama with Charlie Higson!

The audio drama in question is Deathtrap Dungeon: The Last Champion, and we're even in a scene together!


Okay, so he has a starring role as Baron Sukumvit, and I am merely a reveller, with a blink* and you miss it cameo, but that still counts... right**?

Writer David N. Smith has done a great job of turning everyone's favourite Fighting Fantasy dungeon bash into a cohesive story, and the range of vocal talent involved - not just Charlie and myself - is incredible. I mean David Warner - yes, that David Warner from Time Bandits - plays the part of Yaztromo!

Also, Richard Fox's sound design really puts you in the depths of the labyrinth, with such iconic monsters as the Giant Scorpion and the Pit Fiend, while the opening scene with the Bloodbeast is particularly atmospheric, and sets the tone for the rest of the story.

And if you're interested, Track 14 on the CD is an interview with a certain FF author and historian.

What's even better is that Deathtrap Dungeon: The Last Champion comes as part of a four-story box-set, offering the listener over four hours of Fighting Fantasy-themed entertainment. Perfect for long car journeys! You can order yours here, and remember to tell them the Fang reveller sent you. ;-)


* But for ears.

** Does this mean I can join Equity now?

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Beowulf Beastslayer - your last chance to back!

Some of you may have seen pertinent pieces of Russ Nicholson's artwork for my ACE Gamebook Beowulf Beastslayer online recently. If you have and it's made you think, "I wish I'd backed the Kickstarter" you still have a couple of days left to place a Late Pledge via Indiegogo.

In Beowulf Beastslayer, you take on the role of the eponymous hero, and play through the major events of his life, from his battle with the monster Grendel in King Hrothgar's mead-hall Heorot...


To his hunt for Grendel's mother, the Sea-Hag, in her lake-bottom lair...


Through to his final epic battle with a barrow-dwelling dragon...


The adventure has been illustrated by fantasy art stalwart Russ Nicholson and you can place a Late Pledge to back the book, and receive backer-only perks, here. But hurry - the Indiegogo project page has to close on Thursday, 28th February!

Monday, 25 February 2019

Thought for the Day

"Half my job as novelist is to convince myself that the book will be worth reading, otherwise I'd give up. The other half is convincing the readers."

~ Rod Duncan, author