Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Big in Singapore

Here's a great picture of Night of the Necromancer, along with various other of my Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, on sale at the Prologue bookstore in Singapore!

Monday, 28 June 2010

Star Wars The Clone Wars - The Way of the Warrior

The news is out! The Penguin Group is embarking on its second venture with print on demand publisher Penwizard. Following the success of Peppa Pig: Go to Playgroup last year, the two firms will add to the personalised portfolio with Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Penguin has published Clone Wars in traditional book formats since its launch in 2008, but this new agreement will allow it to offer Star Wars fans a completely unique book.

Visitors to can enter the universe by selecting and customising a Jedi Knight or Sith avatar. The book can be personalised by choosing facial features, along with hair style and colour to create a likeness. A name is included, along with an optional personal message on the inside front page.

"We're really excited to be working on this project with Penguin and Penwizard," said Carol Roeder, director of publishing at Lucasfilm. "This is a unique product and one that will give fans the opportunity to truly feel part of the Star Wars universe."

Oh, and I wrote the book. ;-)

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Night of the Necromancer - another great review

Night of the Necromancer is still doing well on the book sales charts and another great review has been posted on Amazon...

Another great addition to the Fighting Fantasy series. Like Howl of the Werewolf, this is a very well-structured gamebook. The various ghostly abilities that the reader's (deceased) character can gain provide for interesting possibilities. And it goes without saying that undead beasties abound in this macabre tale - many of them depicted in Martin McKenna's brilliant artwork.

Top stuff.

Abaddon's Pax Britannia Podcast

On Thursday I headed over to Oxford, specifically to the Abaddon Books dungeon, to record next month's (or maybe it was this month's) Abaddon/Solaris podcast. This time the focus is on the Pax Britannia line, so I found myself answering various questions about the genesis of the series and my thoughts about steampunk in general.

Al Ewing was also there, as the only other author to have contributed to the Pax Britannia line to date. Al, Jon Oliver (Abaddon's editor-in-chief) and I had a great time recording the interview (and adding a couple of Jackanory-style extract readings); I only hope there was enough usable material to create something that can be posted on iTunes.

Al Ewing - fellow Abaddon author and creator of El Sombra

M.C. and Abaddon Overlord Jon Oliver

We certainly managed to fill the interrogation chamber with our 'Geek miasma' (as Jon O put it) and it was great to hear about Al's plans for El Sombra, Doc Thunder and the world of Pax Britannia.

Al and I and the whole of the Abaddon editorial team were then released - blinking, into the light - to take some sustenance and discuss the future of PB - which included mention of heat rays, Andy Warhol and howling commandos. It was great to catch up with Jon, Jenni and David and a discussion with Al (whilst giving him a lift to the station) about dinosaurs and King Arthur gave my creative gears the kick they needed for another future project.

Where the magic happens... Jenni, Jon and David mastermind the Abaddon/Solaris takeover of the publishing world

As you can see, much important thinking took place on Thursday

The latest Pax Britannia novel Blood Royal is out now, while Al's Gods of Manhattan is out in July. To get an idea of just how good this book is, you should read editor Jenni's blog-spurge here, on the Abaddon news page.

McNeill takes the Snaga

A belated post but a very necessary one...

In cast you haven't heard, Graham McNeill has won the coveted David Gemmell Legend Award for his Warhammer Legends novel Empire.

Congratulations, Graham!

You can read more about his success on the BL blog here, on Graham's weblog here and on editor Nick Kyme's blog here.

Writing for the Black Library

Have you ever fancied yourself as a Black Library author? Well if you have, and in the past you've despaired that the only way to get noticed was via the annual short story competition, then you should follow this link now.

Black Library are currently looking for new writers to join the hallowed ranks of our best-selling Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 authors. The 2010 submissions window closes on 31 July 2010. Writers whose work they consider fit for publication will be contacted within 8 weeks of the window closing. Rejected submissions will not receive a response.

So, what are you waiting for?

Meanwhile, Warhammer author Chris Wraight has posted about his experiences of writing for the Black Library here, and how to go about getting a commission in the first place here.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Scottish Miscellany - four months and counting...

I can hardly believe it's only about four months now until my next non-fiction title - Scottish Miscellany - is published by Skyhorse Publishing.

If you liked What is Myrrh Anyway? (a.k.a. Christmas Miscellany in the States) then you'll love this book too. From Scottish culture to the ancient history of the country to modern pastimes, this book has all this and more.

Find out why the thistle is the floral emblem of Scotland, how Scotch whisky is made, why the Scots celebrate Hogmanay, how to play the bagpipes, and much more. This delightful book is the perfect gift for anyone planning a visit to Scotland, with an interest in Scottish history, or a drop of Scottish blood.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Blood Royal is here!

Blood will out!

Magna Britannia reels from the events that saw some of its citizens mutated into hideous insect hybrids. The streets are awash with rumours of a twisted new religion created from the destruction surrounding St Paul's Cathedral. In Europe, the spectre of war rears its ugly head, a war fought by unnatural beings. In the centre of the chaos, hero of the Empire, Ulysses Quicksilver, must maintain his calm, while madness reigns and he fights to protect civilisation itself. From the insect-haunted streets of a shattered London, to the cold snowy wastes of Russia, Ulysses finds himself on an adventure into the heart of a dark and bloody empire.

Monday, 7 June 2010

UK Games Expo 2010

I had a very enjoyable weekend up in Birmingham at the 2010 UK Games Expo. This was my first visit, and I was taken aback by the size and accomplishment of the event. As well as the expected traders, demo games and tournaments, there were no less than three Daleks, three different Doctors, stormtroopers and Darth Vadar, as well as Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone!

In fact, Fighting Fantasy had a notable presence at the event. Not only was there an FF stand, hosted by Wizard Books, and the aforementioned Jackson and Livingstone, there were also fans, old and new, by the score, and me. And best of all, the cover of the programme was Emerson Tung's glorious painting of the Eye of the Storm from Stormslayer! That gave me a real buzz, I can tell you.

One of the highlights of the weekend was the talk on Saturday give by Steve and Ian about the history of Games Workshop and Fighting Fantasy. It was very amusing and not only because of all the photos from the 70s. I even got an honourable mention and a round of applause - which was nice.

Steve Jackson, Ian Livingstone and yours truly - what a fine collection of shirts.

The crowds waiting to meet Steve and Ian (the queue went out the door!) whilst Gav Thorpe and Alessio Cavatore sign too.

FF editor Nick Sidwell proudly displaying his wares.

His wares - the brand-spanking-new FF gamebooks!

I also caught up with Ralph Horsley (who I collaborated with a couple of times back in the day), chatted jungle maintenance and work avoidance tactics with Gav Thorpe, and met Alessio Cavatore who was there promoting his new board game Shuuro (which I heard a punter describe as 'Chesshammer').

Ralph Horsley surrounded by his phenomenal body of (vibrantly colourful) work.

Alessio demonstrates Shuuro.

So all that remains now is for me to thank all those who organised the weekend (Tony and his team), everyone who dropped by and said "Hi!" and let me deface their new books, and Nick Sidwell, the FF editor, who manned the stand all weekend, doing sterling work, and who scored me a pass for the event.

Pax Britannia - Blood Royal

It's here, at long last! And here's the fantastic ad from the back of the current issue of 2000AD to prove it.

You can get hold of your copy of Pax Britannia: Blood Royal right here. So, what are you waiting for?

Siege of the Necromancer is here!

The long-anticipated second Gamebook Adventure from Tin Man Games is here at last! So pop over to the Apple App Store and search for Siege of the Necromancer now!

To read more about the latest GA release, follow this link.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

UK Games Expo 2010

Thought some of you might like to know that I'll be at the UK Games Expo 2010 this weekend, dropping by the Fighting Fantasy stand from time to time, and the bar as well, I expect.

You might also be interested to know that Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone will be there on the Saturday, signing books as well as giving a talk...

An illustrated history of Games Workshop and Fighting Fantasy

We are delighted to have a visit from Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, co-creators of the Fighting Fantasy Books who are also exhibiting at UK Games Expo. Steve and Ian will be signing books and will give a talk about the Fighting Fantasy Books. After their talks they will also sign copies of Family Games: The Top 100

I'll also be there on the Sunday, so if you're around why not pop by the FF stand and say 'Hi!'

Maybe I'll see you there...