Monday, 28 February 2011

World Book Day - Thursday 3 March 2011

Yes, in case you hadn't heard, it's World Book Day on Thursday (3 March 2011). Now I'm not doing anything in particular for World Book Day (other than plotting another book) but in case all the furore surrounding this particular literary event has got you wondering, here's a round-up of all the different books I've written.

Fighting Fantasy
This series of gamebooks is where my writing career began and to date I've written seven Fighting Fantasy titles. Howl of the Werewolf topped a recent fan survey as the fan favourite whilst my most recent, Night of the Necromancer, has garnered great reviews from all over the place.

Black Library
I've written six novels in total for the Black Library - three Warhammer and three 40K, two of which have recently been re-issued as The Armageddon Omnibus. To date I have also written fifteen short stories set within the two Games Workshop universes.

Pax Britannia
I'm currently plotting the eighth Ulysses Quicksilver adventure, which - along with the six novellas I've written - will bring my contribution to the steampunk alternative history sci-fi series I created to close on three quarters of a million words.

Doctor Who
I've recently finished my second official Doctor Who tie-in. The first, The Horror of Howling Hill was a gamebook (of sorts) but Terrible Lizards is a fully-fledged chapter book.

Other tie-in work
I've also written for Star Wars The Clone Wars, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Sonic the Hedgehog.

I've penned four non-fiction books so far (with hopefully more to come) that have been published in different editions around the world. I'm probably most well-known in this field for my Christmas books.

Pax Britannia: Dark Side - a new review

Edi of Edi's Book Lighthouse has written another great review of Pax Britannia: Dark Side, which you can read for yourself here.

Pax Britannia - now available on Kindle

Friday, 25 February 2011

The Frankenstein Corps

Yesterday I posted Pye Parr's brilliant illustration that's to be used in the forthcoming Anno Frankenstein.

It's actually the logo of the Frankenstein Corps, which features heavily in the book (and which was first mentioned back in Ulysses Quicksilver's second adventure Leviathan Rising).

I feel that the Frankenstein Corps needs some sort of motto, to go with this badge. What I've come up with off the top of my head is:

The Frankenstein Corps - waste not, want not.

But I'm sure you can come up with something better. If you can post it here and I might be able to find a small prize for the best suggestion.

Scrolls at Abaddon Books

The Scrolls podcast I mentioned the other day has got a mention over at Abaddon Books online HQ today. Click this link to find out more.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Pax Britannia: Anno Frankenstein

Ace designer Pye Parr emailed me this today...

Just thought you might like to see it. ;-)

Pax Britannia hits Piccadilly (part 2)

Just as an update to this morning's post, the people at the Waterstone's store in Piccadilly have been saying some very nice things about my Pax Britannia books.

Here's what they had to say about Dark Side:

Ulysses Quicksilver returns! Hurrah! This time around he finds himself on the wrong side of the Luna Prime Police Force... not a position he's used to. Will his charm, guile and bravery be enough to see him through?

And here's what they had to say about The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus:

Three books in one! That's always good news, surely? They follow the adventures of Ulysses Quicksilver, a gentleman explorer. It's a well-sketched world of zeppelins, neon lights and massive statues of a queen who's reigned for over a century. Quirky fun.

And, while we're on the subject of Pax Britannia, just wait until you see what Pye Parr's come up with for the forthcoming Anno Frankenstein!

Pax Britannia hits Piccadilly

Seen in the Piccadilly branch of Waterstone's, in the heart of London, a Steampunk promo display featuring not one, but two Pax Britannia titles - alongside the likes of China Miéville, Robert Rankin and Stephen Hunt.

If you don't happen to live within walking distance of Waterstone's Piccadilly you can pick up The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus and Pax Britannia: Dark Side here.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Star Wars The Clone Wars - The Way of the Warrior

The Clone Wars book I wrote for Penwizard, in which the reader is cast as either a Sith or Jedi character on a mission to fulfil the Palawa prophecy known as The Way of the Warrior, is now available to buy through my Amazon store.

To find out more about this book - and why the review below gave it 5 stars! - click here.

A book that contains your child's name and likeness goes down a treat.

The new release "The Way Of The Warrior" is now at bedtime hit and I am only allowed to read these!

This Star wars title is excellent. A choice of Jedi or Sith, The customised character appears throughout the story alongside iconic figures such as Yoda, Anakin and Count Dooku.

The book is personalised by selecting facial features along with hair style and colour to create a likeness to your child. Kids love being able to "see" themselves in a story with their favourite characters.

JG on Scrolls at the Geek Syndicate

Dion Winton-Polak of Scrolls has kindly let me know that the interview he conducted with me at the SFX Weekender 2 is now available to listen to via podcast over at the Geek Syndicate.

Follow this link and scroll down to 'Scrolls Chapter 12, Part 1: Author Interviews'. I make a couple of appearances throughout the recording, and at the start you can hear my frankly ridiculous (but honest) answer to the question "How many books have you written?"

Gamebook Adventures - new titles announced!

In case you haven't heard yet, Tin Man Games have announced the next two titles in their Gamebook Adventures range. They are Catacombs of the Undercity and The Wizard from Tarnath Tor.

Catacombs of the Undercity has been written by Andrew Wright (who is a well-known figure on the Fighting Fantasy fan circuit) and you can see the trailer for the new game right here!

JG at the Bibliothèque Interdite

Bibliothèque Interdite have recently announced that they no longer have the license to publish Black Library novels in French. Black Library France has been set up to do that instead.

However, as a result, French readers can snap up some great deals over at their site - including the French editions of The Dead and the Damned (my first Warhammer 'novel') - and Crusade for Armageddon (my first Black Templars book).

And talking of La croisade d'Armageddon, here's a 5-star review of the book on Amazon France!

Pax Britannia Lego - grab it before it's gone!

Today's your last chance to get your hands on an exclusive Pax Britannia Lego kit. Don't miss this once-in-a-blog's chance and grab yours today, before they're gone!

To buy your Oddfellow's Sphere, Rolls Royce Silver Phantom Mark IV or Copernicus lunar rover, click here.

Monday, 21 February 2011

We have a winner!

As many of you are no doubt aware, this weekend I ran a competition on my forum to win nearly a kilo's worth of books, signed by myself.

Well, forty people signed up to my forum, on top of the fifteen who were already members, by 9.00am this morning and this afternoon a winner was selected at random from all fifty-five forum members.

Actually, that's not entirely true. Only fifty-three members qualified. I'm one of them - and so disqualified due to the fact that it would be too weird to sign books to myself - and one's a known spammer.

The winner has been notified by email this afternoon and now I'm just waiting on a reply so that I can send the lucky forum member their books. Who knows, in time maybe I'll be able to post a picture of the happy winner with their prize.

If you didn't win, have no fear - I'm planning another similar competition in a few weeks' time to boost forum membership past 100 after the great response this one garnered.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Blog updates

Since I finished my two most recent projects - Pax Britannia: Anno Frankenstein and Doctor Who: Terrible Lizards - I've been catching up with a bit of blog postage, whilst working on various proposals (including the next Ulysses Quicksilver Pax Britannia adventure). And there's been a fair bit going on, actually, so in case you missed the highlights here's a quick round up.

1) Win almost a kilogram of books!
I'm giving away four brand new books in my latest competition. Click here to find out more.

2) Ask me anything*
I'm planning a Q&A for my next Vlog and the questions are already coming in thick and fast. If you'd like to ask me something about my books or my experiences of writing, click here.

3) Curse of the Mummy
Is out in the new large format edition but that's not all... Click here to find out more.

4) The Armageddon Omnibus
Having been out of print for a few years now, my Warhammer 40K novels Crusade for Armageddon and Conquest of Armageddon are available again as part of Black Library's Print on Demand range. You can find out more here.

5) Pax Britannia: Dark Side
You can now download a desktop wallpaper inspired by the Lego version of Pax Britannia: Dark Side. If you think that's something that would enhance your computer experience, click here.

6) Fighting Fantazine #5
The latest issue of the Fighting Fantasy fanzine is out now and features an essay about my most popular gamebook Howl of the Werewolf. Read more about this here.

7) Pax Britannia Lego
Like Lego? Like the steampunk world of Pax Britannia? Then you'll love these Pax Britannia Lego playsets!

* Within reason.

Forum giveaway

How would you like to own these four books, all signed by the author - for nothing?

Well, it's easy. All you have to do is register as a member of my new forum here and when we hit 50 members, I'll put everyone's names into a hat and pull out one winner.

That winner will then receive a copy of Howl of the Werewolf, the new edition of Curse of the Mummy, Pax Britannia: Dark Side and the Warhammer 40K short story anthology Victories of the Space Marines, which contains my Imperial Fists' story But Dust in the Wind. And I'll sign them all too.

So what are you waiting for? Don't delay, sign up today!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Ask me anything*

Following in the footsteps of some of my other writer acquaintances, I'm going to record a Vlog in which I answer all** your questions about my books and my experiences of writing them.

Got a question about the world of Pax Britannia? Curious as to how to go about writing a gamebook? Wondering what it takes to write a Doctor Who tie-in? Then ask away.

You can post your questions at the end of this post or email me at Alternatively you can contact me via Facebook or Twitter @jonathangreen.

So, ask away, and when I've collated enough questions I'll answer them in my next Vlog.

* Well, almost anything.

** Okay, maybe not all, but most.

Guess the book cover

Any takers?

How about now?

You got it!

Curse of the Mummy is available now!

Curse of the Mummy

I received my author copies of the latest edition* of Curse of the Mummy today. It looks fantastic in the larger B format and Martin McKenna's image of the undead Akharis is still as powerful as it was sixteen years ago**.

If you've not read it before, you can pick up a copy here. However, even if you have read it before, it's still a must for every FF enthusiast because it contains three original pre-generated characters, namely Zofia of Shazaar, Lucius Arandyce and Sartosa 'Vatos' Lux.

So what are you waiting for? The Desert of Skulls and the Black Pyramid await...

* Actually the third, to the best of my knowledge.

** Sixteen years? Is it really?

To blog or not to blog?

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Abaddon Books at the SFX Weekender

I have to confess that I've been somewhat remiss in not having yet blogged about my experiences at this year's SFX Weekender*. Okay, so I have posted a vlog on the subject, but there was a lot more that happened than I was able to relate on camera.

However, have no fear for Jenni Hill at Abaddon Books has posted a photo blog (now that she's finished going through Pax Britannia: Anno Frankenstein).

You can see for yourself what Al Ewing, Scott Andrews and myself got up to, along with Jenni, David and Pye Parr from Abaddon HQ.

During the course of the weekend I met Steven Dean who brought a rucksack, full of books of mine for me to sign! It was a seriously impressive haul.

* I have been busy, finishing off Doctor Who: Terrible Lizards and going through my editor's comments on Pax Britannia: Anno Frankenstein.

Pax Britannia: Unnatural History - at the Penny Dreadful Review

I stumbled across a new review of Pax Britannia: Unnatural History the other day, over at The Penny Dreadful Review. Here's just an overview:

Every great cliché you can think of is here, including the mustached/scar faced villain, the fantastic names (almost approaching James Bond Moonraker cheesiness, and I mean that in a great way), the ever loyal Alfred Pennyworth-esque chauffeur/partner in crime, the color by numbers plot twists, etc etc. I loved it all.

Here's the best part, though: Unnatural History is completely self-aware. Its author, Jonathan Green, intentionally dips as deeply as possible into the bottomless well of pulpy deliciousness. There are a few passages here that were perfect, good enough to make me laugh out loud in my room by myself...

Yes, author Jonathan Green is well aware that he's writing pure pulp, and finally someone is proud of it. All of Abaddon books is aware of it and proud of it. This is a marvelous genre worthy of authors who enjoy the world, the language, and the tools it takes to put together a good old thrilling yarn. Think it's easy? Watch Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull for a nice cinder block to the head reminder that it's really not...

It's just fun, and you can tell the author is having a great time writing it, as well...

It's steampunk with scallywags, dinosaurs, dirigibles, neanderthals, automatons, femme fatales, spidey-sense, and self-aware jokes. So really, what are you waiting for? Perhaps the best news of the day is that Ulysses Quicksilver himself is the central reoccurring character in Abaddon's Pax Britannia series.

Let's hope he's around for a while.

So thanks are due to Eric the Well-Read. You can read the whole review for yourself here.

It's so satisfying to read a review where the reviewer really gets what I've been trying to do with the series. And it's great to see Unnatural History holding its own four years on, when the series as a whole has progressed in so many ways.

Whilst putting together the latest Abaddon Books/Solaris Books catalogue, one of my editors said that whilst looking for reviews of the Pax Britannia series he discovered that people either got what I'm doing - and so loved the books - or didn't get it at all, and so hated them. I guess that's better than a 'Meh!' reaction to your work.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Kurt Vonnegut's Eight Rules for Writing a Short Story

1) Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.

2) Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.

3) Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.

4) Every sentence must do one of two things—reveal character or advance the action.

5) Start as close to the end as possible.

6) Be a Sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them—in order that the reader may see what they are made of.

7) Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.

8) Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To hell with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

Pax Britannia: Dark Side - The Unusual Suspects

You can pick up your own copy of Pax Britannia: Dark Side here, and you can buy your own Dark Side Lego set here.

The Armageddon Omnibus

The Armageddon Omnibus is available now as part of the Black Library's Print on Demand range of classic Warhammer and Warhammer 40K novels.

Collected within this very special edition of the book are the short stories Sanctuary and The Relic, and there's even some brand new, original content in the form of A History of the Most Honourable and Holy Solemnus Crusade.

Want to know more about the Black Templars of the Solemnus Crusade and their quest to hunt down the Ork warlord Morkrull Grimskar? Then why not watch the video below?

Monday, 14 February 2011

February Releases - Curse of the Mummy and The Armageddon Omnibus

The latest large-format edition of Curse of the Mummy (my third Fighting Fantasy gamebook) is now out from Wizard Books. You can pick up your copy here.

Also out this month, is The Armageddon Omnibus, published by the Black Library as part of their Print on Demand range. I've known about this for a while, of course, but now the rest of the world does too - and apparently that news it going down a storm in certain quarters.

Crusade for Armageddon, the story of the Black Templars of the Solemnus Crusade and their search for the murderer of their Chapter World Morkrull Grimskar, was my first Warhammer 40K novel and was published back in 2003. It was followed two years later by a sequel, Conquest of Armageddon, which threw Chaos and another Space Marine chapter into the mix, along with Imperial Stormtroopers and Armageddon Ork Hunters.

And having been out of print for five or six years, both books are now available again, together for the first time, as The Armageddon Omnibus.

But even better than that is the fact that collected along with the two Black Templar Armageddon novels are the short stories Sanctuary (which only ever appeared in Inferno! magazine #38) and The Relic (which first saw print in Legends of the Space Marines).

But even better than that, is the fact that the omnibus contains some brand new, original content. Yes, you heard me right - brand new, original content. A History of the Most Honourable and Holy Solemnus Crusade charts the Black Templars' journey from their Chapter World to the war-torn shores of Armageddon, and everything in between.

So, what are you waiting for? In the grim darkness of the far future there is only war - and it's available as Print on Demand!

Howl of the Werewolf - the Fighting Fantasy fans favourite gamebook!

The long-awaited Fighting Fantazine #5 is here and includes a fantastic cover by Natalie Gingerboom, an interview with one of my favourite (and most under-used FF artists) John Sibbick, the massive amateur adventure Bones of the Banished, news of the revised Advanced Fighting Fantasy range, and the readers' poll to find out the most popular Fighting Fantasy gamebook.

It's that last part that I'd particularly like to draw your attention to here.

Seventy different gamebooks feature in the readers' poll and mine are ranked as follows:

45= - Curse of the Mummy
31= - Knights of Doom
31= - Night of the Necromancer
30 - Spellbreaker
23= - Bloodbones
23= - Stormslayer
1 - Howl of the Werewolf

Yes, you read that right - Howl of the Werewolf topped the survey with an overall score of 84.6% (Plot 85.8%, Gameplay 82.5%, Atmosphere 88.3%, Illustrations 81.7%). I have to say that I am utterly thrilled (needless to say) but should also mention that without Martin McKenna's fantastic illustrations, I doubt Howl would have placed so high, so thank you to him.

It must have been a mammoth task collating all of the votes and working out the rankings so I would also like to extend my thanks to Alexander Ballingall and his team over on the Fighting Fantazine for all their hard work.

You can download Fighting Fantazine #5 from here, and, best of all, it's free!

Doctor Who: Terrible Lizards

I've had two Deadline Days in as many weeks (which was weird) but I've kept the second project pretty hush-hush - that is until now, as my editor has said I'm now free to tell the world about Doctor Who: Terrible Lizards!

A few years ago now I was delighted to receive a commission for my first Doctor Who book, a gamebook featuring the Tenth Doctor (as portrayed by David Tennant) entitled The Horror of Howling Hill. Well, three years on I was given the opportunity to write for the Eleventh Doctor (Matt's Smith's incarnation). But this time, it wasn't a gamebook, rather a chapter book - in other words a short novel for younger readers.

The brief for this new range of books asked that the subject matter be particularly appealing to boys. As I sat down with my jotter I started off by asking myself the question, 'What won't they be able to do on telly, due to budgetary restraints?' I came up with, filming in the Caribbean on an actual sailing ship, and dinosaurs - lots of dinosaurs. (The image of a million TARDISes also popped into my head but I couldn't work out how to fit that one into the story, so I'm putting that idea on the back-burner for now.)

So I sat down and wrote my pitch. It featured pirates, specifically Blackbeard, and a search for the Fountain of Youth in the Florida Everglades. Two topics appealing to boys. Pirates of the Caribbean meets Jurassic Park. How could it fail?

Imagine my surprise when my editor got back to me to say that they loved the idea but the pirates clashed too much with something they were doing for Series 6. Since then, of course, I've seen the pictures of the filming of a pirate epic in St Austell. Fortunately dinosaurs still seemed to be fair game.

Anyway, a nip here, a tuck there, a change of period and a few other details, and Time and Tide became Terrible Lizards. I sent off the finished manuscript last week and now anxiously await my editor's comments.

Do you like this?

And this?

And these?

And him?

And her?

And, of course, him?
Then you'll love the forthcoming Terrible Lizards!

Doctor Who: Terrible Lizards will be published this September, back-to-back with The Web in Space. And I, for one, can't wait!