Wednesday, 31 July 2013

The DOs and DON'Ts of approaching an agent

If you're serious about writing and you think the best way forward is to get yourself an agent, then you should read this piece by agent Juliet Mushens about the best way to do so, and common pitfalls to avoid.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Uncovered Books uncovered

According to the Uncovered Books website:


I'm always slightly sceptical of such writers' resources. Okay, I'm very sceptical.

If by "no longer meeting the needs of writers" it means "not allowing any old Tom, Dick or Harry to call themselves an 'author' by publishing what the hell they want without a critical eye being cast over their work first" then I'm more than just sceptical.

But is Uncovered Books really any different from something like Unbound, or vice versa?

Discuss.

Monday, 29 July 2013

The Big Kindle Giveaway - Was It Worth It?

Well, I say big, there was only actually one book on offer, and only for five days, but here's how things panned out?

UK - 152 downloads
USA - 93 downloads
Germany - 7 downloads
Canada - 3 downloads
Japan - 2 downloads
India - 1 download

So that's a total of 258 free downloads over five days. I might have hoped for more, so, the question has to be, was it worth it? Well it generated some interest in my work at the time, and probably brought some new readers into the fold, but best of all the book received these 5 star reviews (which never hurts):

"Although creepy, there were no real shockers in there for me until the very last story (The Doll's House) which was also my favourite of the collection. A struggling mother gets dangerously close to losing it after the appearance of an unwanted childhood toy brings old nightmares back to life. It's one of those stories which you know isn't going to end happily ever after, so the only question is when and how bad is it going to be. Other stories which stood out for me were Necropolis - A criminals plans for an evening of getting up to no good backfire, and as panic and paranoia set in, the busy streets of London offer little hope. Also Fear to Tread - Always enjoy this type of story. A move to a nice quiet village turns out to be anything but as sinister signs are revealed and nothing is quite what it seems."

"The Dolls House (10/10) When a struggling new mother finds that home life is running her ragged, she decides to root out the problem."

"Seeing the name Jonathan Green on a cover of a novel, for me, sells it instantly, knowing this is a collection of short horror stories again, sells it. The best thing for me about collections like this is it generally cuts down the genre to just the bare essentials instead of giving authors way too much space to fill up and distract from the bones of the business and this is where Green is always at his best anyway. Direct, creepy as hell and worth every second of your time."

Thought for the Day

"Literary fiction is a genre that pretends it is not a genre."

~ Matt Haig, novelist
 
 

Sunday, 28 July 2013

An Open Letter to New and Would-be Writers

AN OPEN LETTER TO NEW AND WOULD-BE WRITERS

Re: expected sales of your debut novel (and probably most novels after that)

Click here to read the letter written by author James Smythe.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Pax Britannia Author Jonathan Green On “The Books That Made Me”

In case you missed it, I was on SFX.co.uk again on Thursday, this time as part of Waterstone's “The Books That Made Me” campaign. (Thanks to Scott Malthouse for making this happen.)

YOU ARE THE HERO gets a mention, as does Pax Britannia and my Dreaming In Darkness novella The Serpent's Egg.

Here's the link...

Friday, 26 July 2013

Gamebook Friday: Howl of the Werewolf by Martin McKenna

These arrived with the postman the other day. Both feature artwork by Martin McKenna from my fifth Fighting Fantasy gamebook Howl of the Werewolf.


The image on the cover of the notepad is that of Aranaea the Spider Queen while the notecards feature the cover painting. If you'd like to purchase your own Howl of the Werewolf products, click this link.

Much as I love Martin's art, I don't think I'm ready to go this far just yet...


Thursday, 25 July 2013

Steampunk Thursday: Pax Britannia goes to Germany

Okay, so I know Ulysses Quicksilver has been to Germany before (in Pax Britannia: Anno Frankenstein) but he's never been to Germany quite like this before...

The exciting news (that I've been sitting on for the best part of a year) is that German publisher LUZIFER-Verlag has acquired translation rights for Pax Britannia: Unnatural History, the first of Ulysses Quicksilver's gonzo Steampunk adventures. And here's the, quite frankly awesome, cover of the German edition.


Thanks to Ben Smith of Abaddon Books and Steffen Janssen of LUZIFER-Verlag for making this happen, and let's hope that German readers enjoy Ulysses' adventures as much as readers in the UK and the US have done so far.

Who knows, if sales are strong enough, there may well be more German editions of  Pax Britannia books in the future.

Steampunk Thursday: The VSS Awards 2013

It must be almost a month since I plugged this last, so here we go again...

The Victorian Steampunk Society Awards 2013 are now open for nominations, so please consider the following...



9 out of 10 for Time's Arrow from Starburst Magazine: "This is a pun-fuelled, fun-filled romp for people who like wearing the colour brown and decorating everything they own with cogs."

The Eloquent Page: "Who knows where steampunk-ninja Jonathan Green will take Ulysses Quicksilver next, I can’t wait to find out."

Thank you. :-)

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the birth of their son!

And now, like every other business in the country (or so it seems), in honour of the event, Dark Heart - my collection of short horror fiction - will be free to download to your Kindle for five days, starting from today.



Enjoy! (And don't let me hear you say the Royal Family never did anything for you.)

Scratching the Itch


Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Tie-in Tuesday: Murray Gold's Top Ten Doctor Who Hits


In television, music generally ends up being nothing more than background noise. But every now and then there's a show where the music is so much more, managing to burst forth from the background so as to gloss even the most mundane of scenes with emotion, depth and atmosphere – and making better ones soar beyond mere performance. Under the conduction of composer Murray Gold, Doctor Who has most definitely become one of those shows.

To discover which are Murray Gold's Top Ten Doctor Who Hits, follow this link.


Monday, 22 July 2013

Dreaming In Darkness



Kindle edition available from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

Thought for the Day

"Fairy tales don’t tell children that dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed.”  

~ G. K. Chesterton
 

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Dreaming In Digitial Darkness

It's here! The ebook edition of Dreaming In Darkness (the Cthulhu collection I contributed to along with John Prescott, Adrian Chamberlin and Aaron French) is available from today!

You can read more about the book here, and read the press release here.


Saturday, 20 July 2013

Short Story Saturday: Dreaming In Darkness

Something is coming, rising up from the light-less, foetid depths of oceans older than man...

That's right - the ebook edition of Dreaming In Darkness (the Cthulhu collection I contributed to along with John Prescott, Adrian Chamberlin and Aaron French) is released tomorrow worldwide, so watch this space...

You can read more about the book here, and read the press release here.


Friday, 19 July 2013

Gamebook Friday: Shadows Over Sylvania - a new review!


"I've been a fan of game books for well over 20 years and also have played Warhammer for a similar time. It was then with great delight that I discovered 'Shadows over Sylvania'. Jonathan has done a great job of bringing the Warhammer World to life in a new and totally unexpected way. 

The story is set in the dark lands of Sylvania at a time prior to the current Warhammer setting and was of particular interest to me as a Warhammer Vampire Counts player.

The book pits you as a vampire thrall of one of three bloodlines, each with their own unique abilities and sets you on a quest to secure land for your master.

I just can't stop playing through this adventure, there are some many twists and turns and the different bloodlines adds a interesting new aspect to the story as well as the allies system which adds a totally new layer to the game.

Karl Richardson has also done a fantastic job of bringing the horrors of the Warhammer World to life.

Overall, this is a fantastic game book that I have revisited many times and undoubtedly will again.

Easily 10/10, I hope there are many more to come."


Thanks, Andrew! 

To order a copy of Shadows Over Sylvania for yourself, click here!

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Rewards of the Spider God

Good news! If you pledged to receive the SPIDER level reward for YOU ARE THE HERO you should now have received your desktop Gamebook Adventures!
They've been a while coming, but you're going to love how these games look on your desktop, not to mention the fun you'll have playing them. In fact the experience will probably take many of you back about 30 years!
(As is always the way, if any of you have not received Gamebook Adventures 1-7 for your Mac or PC and think you should have done, drop me a line and I'll get it sorted for you. It won't have been Tin Man Games' fault - it will have been a clerical error on my part.)
It just remains for me to say a huge THANK YOU to Neil Rennison and Ben Britten Smith of Tin Man Games who so generously offered this reward in the first place and sent out the codes. And once you've played through GA 1-7 you should really check out their new app versions of a certain gamebook series from the '80s too. ;-)
May you always roll sixes!

Five Words That Are Older Than You Think


LOL
Text (the verb, as in 'to text')
Unfriend
Fanboy/Fangirl
Hip-hop

To find out more, click this link.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Seven Reasons Why Writing A Book Makes You A Badass

"If I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say, “I have an idea, I’m going to write a book about it” and then watch as they never did it, I’d have—well, I’m not sure exactly how many nickels I’d have because I’m terrible at math, but it’s safe to say I’d have a ton of them."

Read Brian Klems' blog post about why writing a book makes you a badass here.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Thought for the Day


"The first steps into a novel are always ginger, tentative, like walking in the dark through a house that isn't yours."

~ Chuck Wendig, author.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Recent Releases


Click the relevant link to find out more about these recent releases.

The Demonologia Biblica - featuring my short story The Torment of St Anthony.

A-Z Cities of Death - featuring my short story City of the Moon.

La Nuit du Loup-Garou - the French edition of my fifth Fighting Fantasy adventure gamebook Howl of the Werewolf.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Short Story Saturday: Dreaming In Darkness - the first review!

Dreaming In Darkness was launched at World Horror Con this year, and has already received a glowing review by Michael R Collings. Here's what he had to say about my contribution to the collection:

“The Serpent’s Egg,” by Jonathan Green, eschews historical periods and instead uses the Mythos to transform another piece of fiction, Bram Stoker’s “The Lair of the White Worm” as well as Ken Russell’s subsequent “abomination of a movie” based on the Stoker story. Using language at once reminiscent of Stoker and Lovecraft, Green follows a budding novelist into the north of England, to the ‘original’ site of the horror and the legendary home of the“Lambton Worm.”

Judging by the way the review reads, Mr Collings doesn't appear to have realised that The Serpent's Egg is actually a Cthulhuisation* of the Legend of the Lambton Worm, which also happened to be the inspiration for Stoker's Lair of the White Worm. But that aside, I think he liked it.

You will be able to order the eBook version of Dreaming In Darkness very soon. More on that imminent release when I have it!


* Yes, that is a word... Well, it is now...

Friday, 12 July 2013

Gamebook Friday: YOU ARE THE HERO - Work In Progress

I thought you might be interested to catch a glimpse of one Martin McKenna's roughs for the cover for the forthcoming YOU ARE THE HERO, a history of Fighting Fantasy gamebooks.

So go on, feast your eyes.


(I'll hopefully have something to show you from Iain McCaig soon too!)

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Bloody Parchment - open for submissions

The SA HorrorFest Bloody Parchment short story competition has only recently opened to submissions for the 2013 collection.

To find out more, click this link.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Warhammer Wednesday: Space Marines

This doorstop of a tome came through the post the other day.


Clocking in at almost 900 pages(!), it's another Black Library omnibus, collecting together the short story collections Heroes of the Space Marines, Legends of the Space Marines and Victories of the Space Marines, which means it includes two of my 40K short stories, The Relic (featuring the Black Templars*) and But Dust in the Wind (featuring the Imperial Fists).




Space Marines will be hitting the stores in August.



* And not the Deathwatch, as it claims in the table of contents for some reason...

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Your Top Ten TARDIS moments

What would be your Top Ten TARDIS moments?

CultBox.com has put together its own list, to get you thinking. Check it out here.

I remember an editor acquaintance of mine once remarking that the TARDIS was like an infinite city.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Have you got what it takes to draw Judge Dredd?


It's Dragons' Den meets the Nerve Centre as Tharg the Mighty's minions slide top talent unearthed from the Thought Bubble weekend's portfolio sessions beneath the searing gaze of his top-name art-droids.

Want to be the next great artists to draw Judge Dredd? Then follow this link, and take this opportunity to have your art seen by one of the world's best known publishers by entering the 2000AD portfolio challenge!

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Inspiring quotes from composers that could just as easily apply to writers

"Inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy."
~ Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

"Don't only practise your art, but force your way into its secrets."
~ Ludwig Van Beethoven

"If it is art, it is not for all, and if it is for all, it is not art."
~ Arnold Schoenberg

"Nothing primes inspiration more than necessity."
~ Giacchino Rossini

"Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art."
~ Frederic Chopin

"There is only one real happiness in life, and that is the happiness of creating."
~ Frederick Delius

"In order to compose, all you need to do is remember a tune that nobody else has thought of."
~ Robert Schumann

"Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils."
~ Hector Berlioz

"Every great inspiration is but an experiment."
~ Charles Ives

"It is a mistake to think that the practice of my art has become easy to me."
~ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

"I should be sorry if I only entertained them. I wish to make them better."
~ Georg Frideric Handel

"It never seems to occur to people that a man might just want to write a piece of music."
~ Ralph Vaughan Williams


Friday, 5 July 2013

Gamebook Friday: La Nuit de Loup-Garou


La Nuit du Loup-Garou (the French version of Howl of the Werewolf) has received its first review:

Alors là un mot : Whaouuuu !

Ce livre est pour moi digne des meilleurs au niveau ambiance (style manoir de l'enfer ou vengeance des démons).

Les combats sont plutôt faciles pour un DF (pas mal d'ennemis a 6 en hab) et avec mes 10 de base je suis parvenu a conserver en moyenne entre 10 et 15 points d'endurance. (on croise pas mal de bestioles garou ou d'horreur vampirisée....)
Les illustrations très très belles (Martin McKenna est vraiment doué pour les ambiance lugubres)
Les situations vont du malsain au très malsain !

Dernier bon point : ce n'est pas un one true path ! (Chemin unique) Ce qui permet aussi de refaire le livre en changeant de chemin pour voir quelles abominations ont a raté.

Some of the choicest comments translate (roughly) as follows:

"This book, to me, is of the highest quality (like House of Hell)."

"This is not a one true path book! This allows you to read the book again, changing your route, to see what abominations you have missed."

5 stars!

You can pick up a copy of La Nuit du Loup-Garou here.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Ricky Gervais on Writing

"Even in the industry it’s not looked upon as important. I’ve never seen Alan Yentob run across a crowded room to hug a writer.”

~ Ricky Gervais, writer, actor, producer, comedian, and man from Reading
 
 

Steampunk Thursday: Author and Editor Scott Harrison on Steampunking the Classics

Scott Harrison, just in case you don't know, is an author and editor. It was he who put together the Resurrection Engines Steampunk anthology that includes my own anachrotech take on Moby Dick entitled There Leviathan.

Scott was interviewed over at SF Signal back at the beginning of the year about the anthology and how he came to put it together. If you've not seen it already, it's worth a read.


Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Warhammer Wednesday: Khorne Lord of Skulls

Do you remember this piece of classic Warhammer artwork by Geoff Taylor?


Personally, I loved it, but the bit I loved the most was the cyclopean Lord of Battles in the background.

And if you remember that, do you remember this?


It's the Epic 40,000 scale Lord of Battles.

Well the latest issue of White Dwarf magazine arrived at the weekend at Chez Green featuring this on the cover.


It's been re-christened the Khorne Lord of Skulls, but isn't this just screaming out for a story to be written about it?

Now there's an idea (to add to the already massively long list of ideas)...