Monday, 24 September 2018

Thought for the Day

"How to be a Writer:
Re-read chapter you wrote yesterday.
Delete chapter.
Feel inexplicable sense of achievement.

Friday, 21 September 2018

Gamebook Friday: Beowulf Beastslayer sets sail for the Land of the Danes soon!

On Monday 1st October 2018, the Kickstarter for Beowulf Beastslayer, my latest ACE Gamebooks project will go live. Five years in the making*, here's the video promo for the gamebook...

And if you want to know a little more about the story of Beowulf, here's me from five years ago, to fill you in...

* Or, more precisely, five years since I first announced the project.

Monday, 17 September 2018

Thought for the Day

"To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time." 

~ Leonard Bernstein, American composer and conductor

Friday, 14 September 2018

Gamebook Friday: ACE Gamebooks Abroad

Four weeks from today I will be attending the Frankfurt Book Fair for the first time. I will be a guest of Mantikore-Verlag who are launching the German language edition of Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland at the event.

In fact, Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland is becoming a rather well-travelled book. Long time readers of this blog will remember that The Wicked Wizard of Oz is already on display in the All Things Oz Museum in the United States, but in July I was contacted by Vladimir Dorda, from the Russian Federation, asking if I would be willing to donate copies of some of my books to the department of the international literature at the library where he works. And yesterday he sent me this photograph.

Vladimir with copies of The Wicked Wizard of Oz and Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland in the Anton Chekhov Library in the Russian city of Taganrog.

In other gamebook news, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain: Goblin Scourge Edition is now available to buy from the Nintendo eShop, which means that you can now play a game I worked on on your Nintendo Switch console.

I also sent NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters! to the publisher this week, ready to be laid out, which means that I've been able to spend some time working on my next ACE Gamebook, Beowulf Beastslayer.

The Kickstarter to fund Beowulf Beastslayer will launch on Monday 1st October 2018. Join the Beowulf Beastslayer Facebook group to be kept up to date with developments.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Monday, 10 September 2018

Thought for the Day

"Okay, writing advice. Best piece of writing advice I ever had was "Use words." This saved me a lot of trouble. I'd tried to write a short story using some cucumber slices and the skeletised spine of a vole, but the pacing was off, the plot dull, and the characters smelled weird."

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Kaiju. Rising.

Last year, I was invited to contribute a short story to Outland Entertainment's Kickstarter-funded anthology Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters II. Almost a year later, the eBook edition has been sent to backers, meaning that the mass market paperback release isn't far away.

Now entitled Kaiju Rising II: Reign of Monsters, you will be able to get your hands on the anthology on 1st November 2018. Here's the cover blurb:

We are surrounded.

A wealthy man hunts the kaiju that killed his daughter on an island inhabited by mega-fauna.

They are everywhere.

By the light of a campfire a young girl shares the true story of the epic brawl that caused Hurricane Irene.

There is no escape.

Sabotage turns an international science competition into a monster and mecha massacre.

They Reign.

From deep ocean trenches and dense vibrant jungles to alien worlds and other dimensions, the kaiju have returned! This is a collection of sixteen stories by some of the hottest names in speculative fiction. These modern myths celebrate and explore the Japanese film genre popularized by films such as Godzilla, Gamera: The Giant Monster, King Kong, Cloverfield, and Pacific Rim.

My story is called The Ghost in the Machine* and I, for one, can't wait for the book's release!

* I think my story might have made the editor cry when she read it. ;-)

Read A Book Day 2018

Today is National Read A Book Day, but why read a book when you could play a book?

So far there are two ACE Gamebooks in print, with a third coming soon. Classics of children's literature re-imagined as more mature, darker gamebooks. And you can find them here.


Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Last Chance for Late Pledges

If you missed the Kickstarter for my latest ACE Gamebook NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters! you can still put in a Late Pledge*, but only until this Friday, 7th September 2018.

If you need any persuading, here's what the play-testers have been saying about the adventure:

"Be prepared for a rip roaring swashbuckling two-fisted pulp republic cliffhanger treat with NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters! The most fun parts of Hook, Jurassic Park and Raiders Of The Lost Ark, blended into one death defying package!"

"Those of you who haven't been able to sample this yet, I can say you're in for a real treat! There are some really fun rules and memorable encounters throughout, and I can safely say this is my favourite of the ACE Gamebooks so far (High praise indeed, for the first two are fab)."

"Absolutely loving it so far. Some nice mechanics thrown in there. Very atmospheric."

Here's what you need to do if you would like to make a Late Pledge to the Kickstarter:
  1. Look through the list of reward levels below and select the one you would like.
  2. Look through the list of add-ons and decide if you would like to add any of these to your pledge.
  3. Add the cost of any add-ons to the cost of the reward level you have selected, finally adding the correct postage for your country, to calculate the total amount you will need to pay.
  4. Email, making the title of your email 'NEVERLAND Late Pledge' and listing the reward and add-ons you have selected, along with the amount of money you will need to pay, including postage. I will then get back to you with details of how to make your payment via PayPal.

Please note - you can find out more about precisely what comes with each reward level by visiting the NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters! project page here.

 (No postage required)

 (No postage required)

 (No postage required)

 (Post and packing: UK £6 - European Union £16 - Rest of World £22)

  (Post and packing: UK £6 - European Union £16 - Rest of World £22)

   (Post and packing: UK £6 - European Union £17 - Rest of World £24)

   (Post and packing: Free in the UK or if included with another reward - European Union £6 - Rest of World £8)

    (Post and packing: Free in the UK or if included with another reward - European Union £6 - Rest of World £8)

    (Post and packing: Free in the UK or if included with another reward - European Union £6 - Rest of World £8)

    (Post and packing: Free in the UK or if included with another reward - European Union £6 - Rest of World £8)

Monday, 3 September 2018

Thought for the Day

"There are no "rules" for writing. There is only a series of ideas that may have worked for other writers, and that may work for you. If they don't, find another method that does."
~ Joanne Harris

Friday, 31 August 2018

Gamebook Friday: ACE Gamebooks End of Summer Sale!

I was sorting through my garage the other day and came across a box of half a dozen copies of the limited edition hardback of The Wicked Wizard of Oz, featuring designer's notes and artist's sketchbook. If anyone would like one of these, I am selling them for £20 each and will sign them for you as well.

I also have a number of hardbacks of YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 left and am also selling these off for £20 each, signed.

Post and packing incurs an additional charge, and I send everything tracked and signed for where possible.

If you are interested in buying either of these books from me, email me at and we'll take it from there.

Monday, 27 August 2018

Thought for the Day

"What makes for a great short story? For me, it’s that emotion experienced by the reader... A feeling of joy or anger or horror at what happens to the characters on our brief journey with them. That realisation when reading that you’ve been holding your breath for the last few paragraphs."

~ Phil Sloman, writer of dark fiction

Friday, 24 August 2018

Gamebook Friday: All Quiet on the Blogging Front

If you are a regular visitor to this blog, you will have noticed that things have been a little quiet over the last month or so. That's because it's been the school summer holidays and I've either been away, or I've had my head down trying to get NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters! finished.

Speaking of NEVERLAND, the play-testers and proofreaders will be sending me their feedback this week, which I will then use to produce the final final version of the text to send to the publisher. And artist Kev Crossley is busy preparing the images for the book. Here are a couple of up-to-date sketches that he's working up into full-blown pen and ink illustrations.

Since sending out the play-test copy of the adventure to all interested parties I haven't been idle. In fact I've already started work on my next gamebook project, which you can find out more about here.

Normal blog service will resume soon, once I've managed to clear the spiderwebs and the tumbleweed away... and once the kids are back at school!

Monday, 20 August 2018

Thought for the Day

"If you want to be a writer, get used to the idea you sacrifice something. If you're not prepared to, you'll never do it."

Monday, 13 August 2018

Thought for the Day

"Time to write is an under-acknowledged privilege that a lot of us take for granted... Life - sometimes the messier and more raucous the better - is groundwork for writing. Reading is essential groundwork for writing. Thinking is vital for writing. All of these take time... Time is probably the greatest thing in the writer’s toolbox, and shouldn’t be underestimated."

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Steampunk Thursday: Steampunk International

I returned from holiday this week to discover that the English and Portuguese editions of Steampunk International had arrived to join the Finnish edition that I had already received. So here are the three editions of Steampunk International, and the three different language versions of my Pax Britannia story Reckless Engineering.

The hardback and paperback UK editions of Steampunk International, the Portuguese edition, and the Finnish edition.





You can buy the English language edition of Steampunk International from NewCon Press, and the Finnish and Portuguese editions are also available to buy now!

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Warhammer Wednesday: War for Armageddon The Omnibus

A story I wrote some time ago for Black Library has been reprinted as part of the new War for Armageddon The Omnibus. Here's the blurb from the publisher's website:

In the 41st Millennium, Armageddon is a watchword for total war. Across two separate invasions, the ork warlord Ghaszghkull Thraka has brought ruin to the once-prosperous world, now a battlefield where the Imperium and its xenos foes struggle for supremacy. This omnibus contains a host of action-packed tales from these deadly conflicts.

My story is called The Relic, and you can read more about it here. If you would like to pick up a copy of the War for Armageddon The Omnibus you can do so here.

Monday, 30 July 2018

Thought for the Day

"If a story is good enough to sell once, it's good enough to sell twice."

~ Lavie Tidhar, World Fantasy Award-winning author

Monday, 23 July 2018

Thought for the Day

"Fate is like a strange, unpopular restaurant, filled with odd waiters who bring you things you never asked for and don't always like."
~ Lemony Snicket

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Steampunk Thursday: Alice's Nightmare in the Czech Republic and Steampunk International in Finnish

Pictured are two of the most recent foreign editions of my work.

The one on the left is the Czech edition of Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland, and the one on the right is the Finnish edition of Steampunk International which features my new Pax Britannia short story Reckless Engineering.

They join the German translations of my Pax Britannia novels. So what will be next?