YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 is now funding on Kickstarter

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Steampunk Thursday: Alice returns...

Alice is back in Wonderland and it's just as nightmarish as it was the first time around!

That's right, Kev Crossley has produced another 24 unique drawings, inspired by the Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland adventure gamebook, but this time he has drawn them to be coloured - by you!


Here's Kev's first rough for the cover...

... which then became this...


... before finally ending up like this!


Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland Colouring Book 2 - or as I like to call it, Through the Looking-Glass and the Horrors Alice Found There - is unlike any other colouring book you have ever tried because it even includes tips from the artist on how to colour the images inside the book!


So don't delay - order your copy of Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland Colouring Book 2 today!

Steampunk Thursday: Steampunk Author Showcase at the Essex Book Festival

Just a quick reminder that I shall be appearing at the Essex Book Festival in Chelmsford, on Saturday 25th March 2017, as part of the Steampunk Author Showcase, along with m'colleagues Toby Frost and Raven Dane.

If you're in the area, why not stop by? The event will be taking place from 2:30pm - 3:45pm but I shall also be selling my wares on the day, include my Pax Britannia books, as well as my steampunk-inspired Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland.

To find out more, and to book tickets, follow this link, down the rabbit-hole...

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Happy World Poetry Day!

There once was a girl, name of Dorothy,
Who challenged the Wizard’s authority.
Reunited at last
With three friends from her past,
She made besting Great Oz her priority.

The Wicked Wizard of Oz - pre-order your copy now!

Are you ready to return to Oz?

Monday, 20 March 2017

Happy Happiness Day!

Today, Monday 20th March 2017, is the International Day of Happiness.

Apparently Norway is the happiest country in the world, but then if you've been there you'll know that they have a lot to be happy about - it's a beautiful place, without many people living there (comparatively) and with a very high standard of living.

Denmark is a close second, but then it would be, what with having Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales, LEGO and all that Danish bacon.

The United Kingdom is 19th on the list.

But do you know what would really make you happy? Backing YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 on Kickstarter. Not only would it leave you with a warm feeling inside, knowing that you've helped make something special to mark Fighting Fantasy's 35th anniversary year, but you could also receive a copy of the book and even the award-winning first volume if you so wish.

You'll find the Kickstarter here, with rewards starting from as little as £1.

And do you know what else would make you feel happy? Helping to spread the word about the project so that the book ends up being the very best it can be.

Be happy!


Thought for the Day

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”

~ Haruki Murakami

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Shakespeare Sunday: Shakespeare Week

Next week is Shakespeare Week (running from Monday 20th March to Sunday 26th March) so what better time is there to pick up a copy of Shakespeare Vs Cthulhu and dip into the myriad short stories through the next seven days?


Friday, 17 March 2017

Gamebook Friday: Kickstarter loves YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2!

I am delighted to report that last night Kickstarter selected YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 as one of their 'Projects we love', and indeed it is the most loved Publishing project in the UK at the moment, and #6 in the world!


I would just like to say, once again, thank you to all those people who have backed the project already and helped to spread the word, and you can rest assured that I am busy preparing some very special additional rewards.

This weekend I will announce further stretch goals for YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2, so keep an eye on your inbox, and if you haven't already backed the project, you know what to do.


Thursday, 16 March 2017

Appetite of the Spider God


Apparently, 25 million metric tonnes of spiders exist on Earth and between them they consume 400-800 million tonnes of insects every year, which is equivalent to the amount of meat and fish that humans consume over the same period!

There are quite a lot of spiders in my Gamebook Adventure Temple of the Spider God, although not 25 million metric tonnes worth!

There is also a giant spider - albeit a rather unusual one - in the forthcoming The Wicked Wizard of Oz, as drawn here by Kev Crossley.


Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Happy π Day!

That's right π , as in Pi the mathematical constant.

And why is today called Pi Day? Because according to the American dating system, the 3rd of March is 3.14, which is Pi to three significant figures.

On such occasions as this, I try to link the event to my books, and in the case of Pi Day, the most suitable candidate is Match Wits With the Kids.

However, since that particular book is out of print, I'm going to go with Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland instead, because Alice's creator, Lewis Carroll, was really Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a mathematics don at Oxford University. My gamebook even features a few mathematical teasers.

As regular readers of this blog will already know, Alice's Nightmare produced a spin-off colouring book, which went down a storm in the States, and so artist Kev Crossley has drawn a whole new set of pictures, specifically for colouring this time, so expect to see Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland Colouring Book 2 hitting virtual bookstore shelves very soon.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Thought for the Day

"The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt."


~ Sylvia Plath (1932-63)

Sunday, 12 March 2017

YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 - Kickstarter update!

I was going to post an update yesterday about the progress of YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 on Kickstarter, but then things went a bit crazy!

The project only went and funded in just over 21 hours!

So now we're working towards the first stretch goal, which is to have legendary fantasy artist Chris Achilleos paint the cover for the book. If the project raises £11,950 (or more) everyone who backs to receive a physical copy of the book will also receive an adorned art print, signed by the artist!


So if you've not backed the project already, what are you waiting for? Don't delay - back today!

Friday, 10 March 2017

Gamebook Friday: YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 launches on Kickstarter tomorrow!

Just to let you know that the Kickstarter to fund YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 - the sequel to 2014's YOU ARE THE HERO - launches on Saturday 11th March 2017, at 1:00pm GMT*.



If you're only after the eBook, then the £10 Golem reward level is for you.


If you would like the A4 full colour softback then the £20 Gargoyle reward level is what you want.


However, if you would like to receive a hardback copy of the original YOU ARE THE HERO, as well as YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2, then you want the £60 Gark reward level.


Other rewards on offer include Fighting Fantasy gamebooks signed by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, having your name appear in the book, and even a special lunch with the co-creators of the FF phenomenon.

At the moment there is not a hardback version of YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2YOU ARE THE HERO only came out as a hardback because backers of the original Kickstarter raised so much money. So, in theory, if the Kickstarter raises enough money, then a hardback version of the sequel could become a reality. But for that to happen as many people as possible need to hear about the project and pledge their support.

So, fingers crossed then...


* Which is 8:00am in New York, 2:00pm in France, 9:00pm in Taiwan, 12:00am in Melbourne, and 2:00am on Sunday morning in New Zealand!

Gamebook Friday: Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland Gamebook Companion

Thanks to Mark Stoneham, with the Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland Gamebook Companion you can now play the first ACE Gamebook on the go.

Store your stats and equipment in the easy to use and convenient layout. There are dice, a handy Combat screen, and buttons to test all your abilities as you play. Navigation is easy using left and right swipes on each screen.






To find out more, and download the app yourself for only £1.99, simply follow this link.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Steampunk Thursday: Clockwork Cairo

Twopenny Press's inaugural anthology, Clockwork Cairo, edited by Matthew Bright will be released on 28th May 2017. An anthology of Egyptian-themed steampunk stories, it will take you on adventures from the steam-powered souks of Cairo, to the clockwork bazaars of Alexandria and the shadowy mysteries of the pyramids.

The table of contents had been announced, which includes a brand new Pax Britannia short story Worthless Remains.


The Curious Case of the Werewolf that Wasn't, the Mummy that Was, and the Cat in the Jar - Gail Carriger
(A story in the Parasol Protectorate world)
*
The Angel of Khan el-Kalili - P. Djeli Clark
*
Mock the Midnight Bell - Sarah Caulfield
*
Worthless Remains - Jonathan Green 
(A  Pax Britannia story)
*
The Lights of Dendera - Tiffany Trent
*
Ushabti - Zan Lee
*
Thermodynamics; and/or The Remittance Men - Chaz Brenchley
*
Lucky At Cards - David Barnett 
(A story in the Gideon Smith world)
*
Sun River - Nisi Shawl
(A story in the Everfair world)
*
The Sun Shall Lie Across Us Like Gold - Benjanun Sriduankaew
*
The Word of Menamhotep - George Mann
(A Newbury and Hobbes story)
*
Silver Linings - Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine
(A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences story)
*
Antonia and Cleopatra - Matthew Bright
*
The Museum of Unlikely Occurrences - Rod Duncan
*
Jabari and the Giant - Christopher Parvin
*
To Kill A God - M.J. Lyons
*
The Infernal - Anne Jensen
*
Imhotep's Dog - John Moralee
*
But For The Pieces He Left Behind - E. Catherine Tobler
*
The Copper Scarab - K. Tempest Bradford

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

International Women's Day 2017

Today is International Women's Day, so I thought I would tie-in today's blog post to the theme of strong, independent women, by highlighting a couple of my books which feature just that... Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland and The Wicked Wizard of Oz!


Monday, 6 March 2017

Thought for the Day

“I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose.”

~ Stephen King

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Forthcoming Events

A couple of dates for your diary...

Essex Book Festival - Saturday 25th March 2017

I shall be appearing at the Essex Book Festival in Chelmsford, on Saturday 25th March 2017, as part of the Steampunk Author Showcase, along with m'colleagues Toby Frost and Raven Dane.

If you're in the area, why not stop by? The event will be taking place from 2:30pm - 3:45pm but I shall also be selling my wares on the day, include my Pax Britannia books, as well as my steampunk-inspired Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland.

To find out more, and to book tickets, follow this link, down the rabbit-hole...


Freeway Fighter Signing - Saturday 20th May 2017

Join an all-star Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks line-up at Forbidden Planet, launching Titan Comics’ Ian Livingstone's Freeway Fighter: The Comic on Saturday 20th May from 1 – 2pm!

Forbidden Planet are pleased to welcome Gamesmaster Ian Livingstone, artist Jim Burns, editor Jonathan Green, and creators Andi Ewington, Simon Coleby and Orlando Arocena, bringing us the first leg of a furious three-way road trip.

Celebrating 35 years in 2017, Fighting Fantasy brought together choice-driven storytelling with a dice-based role-playing system to create a world in which ‘YOU are the hero!’ The series sold over 18 million copies worldwide and has been translated into over 30 languages.


In the new comics series, an unknown virus has wiped out over 85% of the world’s human population. Former I-400 Driver Bella De La Rosa is one of the 15% – living every day as if it were her last. Now, eighteen months after the collapse of civilisation, faced with a new world order where violence and chaos rule the Freeway. She must hone her racing skills and survive any way she can! 

Stepping away from the usual mix of orcs and goblins, FREEWAY FIGHTER is a road trip like no other. Dare you take it? If yes, turn to paragraph 132!


Fighting Fantasy Fest 2 - Saturday 2nd September 2017

On Saturday 2nd September 2017, a host of dedicated Fighting Fantasy fans will gather at the University of West London, in Ealing, to mark the 35th anniversary of the publication of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, and the subsequent series of adventure gamebooks it spawned. And you could be there too!

Tickets are now on sale for Fighting Fantasy Fest 2, via the official Fighting Fantasy website here.


Thursday, 2 March 2017

Celebrate World Book Day by booking your ticket to Fighting Fantasy Fest 2

While school children up and down the country are marking 20 years of World Book Day, six months from today, on Saturday 2nd September 2017, a host of dedicated Fighting Fantasy fans will gather at the University of West London, in Ealing, to mark the 35th anniversary of the publication of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, and the subsequent series of adventure gamebooks it spawned. And you could be there too!

Tickets are now on sale for Fighting Fantasy Fest 2, via the official Fighting Fantasy website here.


We are working very hard to make sure that FFF2 is similar enough to FFF1 that those who didn't manage to go last time (back in 2014) get to experience something of the same vibe, whilst also making sure that it is different enough that those who did go last time don't find themselves sitting in on talks they have heard before.

So expect new talks, new guests, new game demos, new traders, and new friends to be made, on Saturday 2nd September 2017, at Fighting Fantasy Fest 2!



Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Happy St Dragon's Day!

Since today it St David's Day, I thought I would draw your attention to works of mine with a Welsh focus... or at least ones featuring dragons!

Actually, my very first published book Spellbreaker features a lot of Welsh names.

When I was starting out as a writer, I consciously tried to steer clear of fantasy cliches in my writing (although a magic sword does appear in Spellbreaker), but one of my earlier gigs was writing an article about Dragons in Warhammer, for White Dwarf magazine, entitled Enter the Dragon.

Dragon-like creatures appear in Knights of Doom and Stormslayer, but there are not technically dragons.

There was a dragon in Warlock’s Bounty: Revenge of the Sorcerer, and there was a Zombie Dragon in Shadows over Sylvania.

I do have ideas for various stories featuring dragons, including a Pax Britannia one, but I just haven't got round to writing them yet.

I gave the old explorer's adage 'Here be Dragons' a twist with my Doctor Who novel Terrible Lizards, and I intend to revisit that concept later this year, in Neverland.