Friday, 23 February 2018

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Steampunk Thursday: The Festival of Steam & Transport

Despite my first steampunk novel having been published eleven years ago(!) in 2007, I have never visited Chatham Dockyard. But that's all about to change as this year I am going to be attending the Festival of Steam & Transport as one of their guest authors.

The event takes place on 1st - 2nd April 2018, on Easter Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday, and you can find out more here.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Warhammer Wednesday: Black Library Celebration

It's rather appropriate, seeing as how today on the blog it's Warhammer Wednesday, that I should have been working on some new proposals for the Black Library this morning.

But the reason for today's post is to remind you that this Saturday, 24th February 2018, is Black Library Celebration day.

As well as being a celebration of 20+ years of fantastic adrenaline-fuelled fiction from the worlds of Warhammer, the brand new Inquisitor Eisenhorn novel, The Magos is being released on Saturday, along with Josh Reynolds’ new Warhammer 40,000 novel Lukas the Trickster.

There will be all sorts of other goodies up for grabs, including an exclusive resin Citadel miniature of Inquisitor Eisenhorn, a Lukas the Trickster model (which is usually exclusive to the GW Webstore), a commemorative collection of Black Library Postcards (featuring 100 pieces of cover art from across the history of Black Library novels), and a themed Warhammer 40,000 journal. Not only that, but every purchase made on the day will be rewarded with a free gift of a Black Library Celebration paperback containing six short stories - two each from Warhammer Age of Sigmar, Warhammer 40,000 and The Horus Heresy.

I will be stopping by the Warhammer store on Tottenham Court Road on Saturday (hopefully in time to pick up some goodies myself) but I won't be hanging around too long as I have another commitment on the 24th February.

And as to those proposals? You can be sure that I will let you know if anything comes of them...

Monday, 19 February 2018

Thought for the Day

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies... The man who never reads lives only one.”
~ George R R Martin, A Dance with Dragons

Friday, 16 February 2018

Gamebook Friday: Herald of Oblivion at 70% off!

Tin Man Games are holding a Lunar New Year Sale, in honour of the Year of the Dog, and my Warhammer 40,000 gamebook app, Legacy of Dorn: Herald of Oblivion is available at a whopping 70% off!

There are also other gamebook apps available with massive reductions, including The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, which I also worked on.

So don't delay - get over to the Tin Man Games Steam store sale now!

Monday, 12 February 2018

Thought for the Day

“I’m not a scene stealer. I try to do justice to the writing. I’m not intimidated by other actors at all—or directors. I don’t care who they are. But I am intimidated by writers. I hold them in the highest esteem.”
~ John Mahoney, 1940-2018

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Happy Birthday, Charles Dickens!

Did you know that Charles Dickens was born on this day in 1812? Which means that he was 31 when he wrote A Christmas Carol. My first novel The Dead and the Damned* was published when I was 31, but that particular book certainly hasn't endured like Dickens' novels have.

And despite having had the idea several years previously, it wasn't until I was 46 that I actually started to write the first Scrooge and Marley (Deceased) story, The Haunted Man, which takes as it's premise, 'What happened after the events of A Christmas Carol?'

But it is pure chance that meant I was writing a new Scrooge and Marley (Deceased) story actually on the occasion of Dickens' 206th birthday. Maybe that's why the story, which I had really been struggling with up until now, started to come together at last today.

Let's hope I can finish it tomorrow. After all, the submission deadline is on Sunday...

* More a glorified short story collection than a novel.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters II - 48 hours to go!

There are now has just 48 hours left until Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters II concludes its run on Kickstarter.

My contribution to the anthology is called The Ghost in the Machine.

Rewards include a limited edition hardcover of Kaiju Rising II, with a hand made slipcase, and a limited edition hardcover of Kaiju Rising I with a matching slipcase too!

If giant mutated coral monsters float your boat, make sure you back the Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters II Kickstarter before it's too late.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Thought for the Day

"Fantasy isn't just about wizards and silly wands. It's about seeing the world from new directions."
~ Sir Terry Pratchett, 1948-2015

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Short Story Saturday: Kaiju Rising II - 4 days to go!

Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters II now has just a few days left to run on Kickstarter with over £1,000 to go until it funds.

My contribution to the anthology is called The Ghost in the Machine and here's an extract:

Keoni gasped. With the appearance of the strange tentacles he had momentarily forgotten all about the Great White. It suddenly surfaced again beside the outrigger, threatening to smash the port boom to matchwood as it fought to free itself from the tightening tentacles. The huge fish twisted and turned with such force that Keoni was worried that, even if it didn’t destroy the outrigger with its desperate thrashing, it would swamp the boat with seawater and cause it to sink it just the same.

The shark snapped its jaws open and closed, as if in a feeding frenzy, but still it could not free itself from the clutches of the tentacles. Inexorably it was being dragged backwards through the water towards the centre of the atoll, where the water was darker.

The sea frothed and foamed as the shark continued to fight the tentacles, but it was a fight it could never hope to win.

But if being witness to what he had thought was the apex predator of the Coral Sea being captured by this only half-seen tentacled leviathan wasn’t shocking enough, what happened next expanded Keoni’s understanding of the truth of his world in ways he could never have imagined when he had set out that morning.

As the shark was hauled in, the tentacles began to rise out of the water, impossibly high for a giant squid, or even an overgrown octopus.

It very soon became apparent that it was no mutated squid that had caught the shark but something much, much bigger.

As the tentacles rose out of the water Keoni saw that they surrounded a vast mouth that now made the monster look more like a gigantic starfish or some impossibly large anemone. The writhing limbs were there solely to feed food into the gaping maw, and as Keoni stared dumbfounded at the leviathan emerging from the Great Blue Hole, he saw the frantic shark disappear inside.

Rewards include a limited edition hardcover of Kaiju Rising II, with a hand made slipcase, and a limited edition hardcover of Kaiju Rising I with a matching slipcase too!

So, if giant mutated coral monsters float your boat, make sure you back the Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters II Kickstarter before it's too late.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Gamebook Friday: Small Press Expo at Forbidden Planet

On Saturday 24th February, the Forbidden Planet London Megastore will be hosting an event with a difference – welcoming a host of authors and editors from four small press publishers into a mini convention in the store, from 1:00-2:30pm!

NewCon Press (with whom I have a new short story coming out this summer), Fox Spirit Books, Kristell Ink Books and Snowbooks will be there, and I'll be there as part of the Snowbooks contingent, pushing the SHARKPUNK anthology, my The Wicked Wizard of Oz ACE Gamebook, and YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2.

So, if you're in town that day, why not come along, buy a book, and get it signed? Maybe I'll see you there.


Thursday, 1 February 2018

Steampunk Thursday: Alice's Adventures in Oz

I say Oz, but I really mean America (seeing as how The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is 'the king of American novels').

I'm delighted that my ACE Gamebooks are finding an audience across the Pond. (I was in New York last April and I have to say, I love that city.) Especially The Wicked Wizard of Oz, seeing as how it was inspired by L. Frank Baum, an American author.

Here's what one reader had to say about the book:

"The writing of the sections make or break this type of book and Jonathan Green's clear descriptions bring the scenes to life."

Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland has been out longer and so has garnered a few more reviews, including these:

"Delightfully grizzly fun! Best book purchase I've made in a while."

"It's not at all what I thought it was going to be... It's BETTER!"

"I have had a blast with this book. Every time I pick it up it is like reading a new story!"

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Warhammer Wednesday: The Magos

I must admit, I am slightly confused as to why Black Library is celebrating 20 years since its founding this year, in 2018, when its 20th anniversary was actually last year*. But no matter the reason, on Saturday 24th February, Games Workshop and Warhammer stores around the world will be holding a celebration of all things Black Library.

As well as being a celebration of 20 years(?) of fantastic adrenaline-fuelled fiction from the worlds of Warhammer, the brand new Inquisitor Eisenhorn novel, The Magos is being released on 24th February 2018. Games Workshop and Warhammer stores will have a host of special merchandise to commemorate this special occasion, including an exclusive resin Citadel miniature of Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn, based on the classic Clint Langley** artwork depicting the Inquisitor in his younger days.

I hope to be able to drop into the London Warhammer store on the day but I have another commitment on the 24th February, but more about that later.

In other news, this week is National Storytelling Week. I'm trying to tell a new story of my own at the moment, but it's proving a little tricky to fit in around everything else I have to do. But there's a deadline looming and that's usually all the motivation you need.

* And I should know, seeing as how the first piece of fiction published by the Black Library was my Warhammer short story, the Badenov's Band tale The Hounds of Winter.

** Clint Langley produced the cover art for my very first novel, the Badenov's Band adventure The Dead and the Damned.

Monday, 29 January 2018

Thought for the Day

"The unread story is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp. The reader, reading it, makes it live: a live thing, a story."

~ Ursula K. Le Guin (1929-2018)

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Short Story Saturday: Kaiju Rising II

Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters II is now into its final two weeks of funding and still has half the money it needs left to raise.

If you've been considering backing this Kickstarter project - which features a brand new story by Yours Truly, called The Ghost in the Machine - then you may be interested to learn that some new rewards have been added, along with a couple of stretch goals.

Outland Entertainment are now offering a limited edition hardcover of Kaiju Rising II, with a hand made slipcase from Two Tone Press. These will be signed, numbered, and extremely limited.

Furthermore, they are offering a limited edition hardcover of Kaiju Rising I with a matching hand made slipcase!

This will be your only chance to get a hard cover edition of Kaiju Rising II.

If the Kickstarter raises $16,000 (or more), the book will feature seven pieces of artwork. If it reaches $17,000, it will feature another seven pieces of artwork!

Outland Entertainment also have a few other things they're cooking up to roll out over the last half of the Kickstarter. So pledge your support today, and keep an eye out for more announcements!

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Burns Night Book Plug

"A wealth of information guaranteed to keep you in whiskey at any pub. A wealth of information for both Scots and those who wish they were."

That's what one reviewer had to say about Scottish Miscellany: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Scotland the Brave, my book about all things Scots published by Skyhorse Publishing back in 2010.

And seeing as how it's Burns' Night tonight, today seemed like the perfect time for another shameless plug!

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters II - Ask the Authors Anything!

There is a special event taking place today, from 6.00pm GMT, on Facebook. It's an 'Ask the Authors Anything!' party in connection with the new monster-sized anthology of kaiju stories, Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters II.

Here's the schedule:

As I'm based in the UK, and will be asleep when it's time for the last minute questions, I'm going to stop by when I can, earlier on, so feel free to leave me a question about my story, The Ghost in the Machine.

The Kickstarter to fund production of the book is 37% funded, with just over two weeks left to run, so please help spread the word about Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters II.

Other contributors to the book include Lee Murray, Melanie R. Meadors, Cullen Bunn, Kane Gilmour, Guadalupe Garcia McCall, Jeremy Robinson, Nick Cole, Steven Diamond, Marie Brennan, Mari Murdock, Sabrina Vourvoulias, Zin E. Rocklyn, Dan Wells, and M. L. Brennan.

The awesome cover art for Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters II by Tan Ho Sim.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Thought for the Day

“I’m not a prophet. Let’s get rid of that idea right now. Prophecies are really about now. In science fiction it’s always about now. What else could it be about? There is no future. There are many possibilities, but we do not know which one we are going to have.”

Friday, 19 January 2018

Gamebook Friday: Onward Adventurer

The latest episode of Starburst Magazine's podcast Brave New Words - #2.27 Onward Adventurer - is available to download for free from iTunes. The reason I mention this today is because not one, not two, but four of my books get a mention. I say a mention, but they are actually discussed for a good 40 minutes or more, which is nice.

The books in question are YOU ARE THE HERO Parts 1 and 2Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland and The Wicked Wizard of Oz. Fighting Fantasy Fest 1 and Fighting Fantasy Fest 2 also get a mention. (And when I say a mention...)

There is an interesting discussion concerning how well, or not, the artwork of the Fighting Fantasy books has dated, although I completely disagree with one of the panel who thinks that there were some poor artistic decisions made in the YATH books and who argues that if you are writing a history of something you should consider reworking iconic images associated with it. (And we all know how well that's gone down with some FF fans with regards to Scholastic re-imagining classic images from the FF gamebooks.)

I'm pleased to say that the panel are suitably wowed by the look of the special edition of The Wicked Wizard of Oz, and are especially impressed by Kev Crossley's designs for the playable characters, although the same panellist misunderstands that the Scarecrow isn't The Grim Reaper but A Grim Reaper, and it would have been nice if somebody had actually read/played through the book before reviewing it.

You can listen to the podcast for yourself here.


Thursday, 18 January 2018

Steampunk Thursday: Neugieriger und Neugieriger*

Germany, are you ready for Alice im Düsterland?

This German translation of Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland is coming later this year from Mantikore-Verlag.

* Or as Alice would say, "Curiouser and curiouser!"

Monday, 15 January 2018

Thought for the Day: Blue Monday

Writing books is, "lonely and demoralising and you're often in tears," says celebrity children's author David Walliams who has raked in over £11 million pounds from his children's books.


Not as lonely and demoralising as reading about another celebrity 'author' pocketing a tidy advance and later enjoying massive sales due to their celebrity status as opposed to any discernible talent. That's what leaves me on the verge of tears!

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Steampunk Thursday: The Charles Dickens Museum

On the twelfth day of Christmas I visited the Charles Dickens Museum in Holborn. Despite having lived in West London for over 20 years, this was my first visit and I couldn't have timed it better, since the house was decorated for Christmas.

Unless this is the first time you have visited my blog, you may have noticed that I've been a little bit obsessed with Dickens' A Christmas Carol of late. Unsurprisingly, considering the season, the museum was hosting an exhibition about the most famous Christmas story in the world (after the Nativity), which included costumes from the recent film The Man Who Invented Christmas, and delved into the origins of the story.

If you've not been before, and you're down London way, it's definitely worth a visit. You can see the actual desk and chair that Dickens wrote at in his study, along with his personal collection of books.

It may not be Christmas any longer, but the first Scrooge and Marley (Deceased) tale, The Haunted Man, is still available as an eBook from Amazon, and I fully intend to write further stories over the coming year, as long as there's enough support for the books.

On a side note, is it just me or is The Carol of the Bells absolutely everywhere now around Christmas time? Ten years ago I don't think I'd even heard of it, but now it's everywhere, in adverts, on TV shows and film soundtracks... there's no getting away from it. Not that I'm complaining, I think it's great - especially this version.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Warhammer Wednesday: Black Library Open Submissions

Exciting news, Black Library fans! Not only is the Black Library open for submissions from new authors, but Inferno! magazine is coming back!

For anyone who doesn't know, Inferno! was a bi-monthly magazine packed full of comics, short stories and artwork. During its run, I had thirteen short stories published in the magazine - set in the worlds of Warhammer, Warhammer 40K, and Necromunda - along with a couple of comic strips. This led to me writing novels for Black Library, which eventually led to me writing Doctor Who books and creating the Pax Britannia for Abaddon Books.

Incredibly, 2018 marks two decades of the Black Library and to celebrate Inferno! is being given a new lease of life as a collection of short stories, penned by new authors and old, and showcasing the best works from across our many universes, including Warhammer Age of Sigmar, Warhammer 40,000, Necromunda and Blood Bowl.

If you think you have what it takes to write for the Black Library, now's your chance! You can find out more about the kinds of stories the editorial team are looking for, how long you have to submit ideas, and how to format your submissions, plus full terms and conditions, here.