Tuesday, 22 May 2018

International Sherlock Holmes Day

Today is International Sherlock Holmes Day, which is celebrated on 22nd May each year, because that was the date of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's birthday.

Despite being a big influence on many things I have written, most notably the Pax Britannia series, I have only actually had one Sherlock Holmes story published, and that was last year in the anthology Further Associates of Sherlock Holmes, edited by George Mann and published by Titan Books.

If you would like to find out what happens in Sherlock Holmes and the Beast of Bodmin, a story that is narrated by Sir Henry Baskerville, you can order your copy of the anthology here.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Steampunk International

Available to pre-order now is Steampunk International, an anthology of brand-new steampunk stories with a difference.

Steampunk International is published in the UK by Newcon Press and showcases the very best steampunk stories from three different countries released by three different publishers in three different languages.

The UK contributors are George Mann, who has penned a new Newbury and Hobbes tale, Derry O’Dowd, and Yours Truly, with a new Pax Britannia story.

The three contributors from Finland are Magdalena Hai, winner of the Atorox Award and the Finnish Literary Export Prize, multiple award-winning Anne Leinonen, and J.S. Meresmaa, whose work has been shortlisted for the Anni Polva, Kuvastaja, and Atorox Awards.

There are also three contributors from Portugal - Anton Stark, Diana Pinguicha, and Pedro Cipriano, winner of Fórum Fantástico's Choice of the Year Award.

I was delighted when publisher and editor Ian Whates approached me last July about writing a tale to the anthology and saw an opportunity to move the Pax Britannia timeline on again, for the first time since the publication of the eighth Ulysses Quicksilver novel Time's Arrow in 2012.

The anthology actually launches at this year's Eurocon, but you can pre-order your copy of Steampunk International by following this link. And check back here on Thursday for the lowdown on my story Reckless Engineering.

Thought for the Day

"Why is it that when one man builds a wall, the next man immediately needs to know what's on the other side?"
~ George R. R. Martin

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Tie-in Tuesday: Dinosaur Day

According to Twitter, today is Dinosaur Day. My working days are filled with dinosaurs at the moment, as I'm nearing the end of writing the first draft of NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters!

But of course it's not the first book I've written that features the terrible lizards. There's Terrible Lizards for one. There are also dinosaurs in the Fighting Fantasy gamebook Bloodbones, and the Pax Britannia novels Unnatural History and Leviathan Rising.

Like many 5 and 6 year-olds, I was obsessed by dinosaurs. I would spend hours tracing the dinosaurs in the colouring book I had, and I loved films like The Land That Time Forgot, Valley of the Gwangi, and One Million Years BC, shown on TV during the afternoon at weekends. When I was a little older, by father and I would make Airfix kits of dinosaurs together, and I have very fond memories of travelling up to London on the train with him, specifically to visit The Natural History Museum and its dinosaur collection. I even remember an English lesson, early on in Secondary School, in which we studied an extract from Ray Bradbury's A Sound of Thunder, focusing on the arrival of a T-Rex.

All of this clearly had an impact on my growing up, and I still have a passion and fascination for prehistoric life today. Last year family Green visited New York and I dragged everyone to the American Museum of Natural History, just so that I could see the dinosaur exhibits, which did not disappoint! And because it had an impact on me growing up, it has also impacted upon my writing.

But I have never explored dinosaur life in so much detail as I have in NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters! For a start, the book includes over 30 different dinosaurs, marine reptiles, flying reptiles and other prehistoric creatures. But one of the fun things about writing the book has been coming up with new names for dinosaurs, because most of the characters in the story wouldn't have known what the nascent fossil hunters had called these primeval beasts.

I'm keen for the book to be finished and out there in readers' hands for various reasons, but one of them is to see if people can work out which dinosaur is which. Maybe I'll reveal the answers next Dinosaur Day.

Friday, 11 May 2018

Gamebook Friday: Temple of the Spider God on SALE now!

Over the last few months, I have been writing an adventure set on a remote, tropical island. But a few years ago I wrote an entirely different adventure that reaches its climax on a remote, tropical island.

So, while you're waiting for NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters! to see print later this year, why not pick up a copy of Temple of the Spider God? And there really is no better time to do so than now, since it is one of the titles included in Tin Man Games' Humble Bundle Spring Sale.

To find out more, simply click this link. And watch out for the spiders!

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Warhammer Wednesday: War for Armageddon and the Iron Hands

It may be coming up to six years since my last Black Library book was published - the very hard to acquire Warhammer Path to Victory gamebook Shadows Over Sylvania - but its nice to see some of my old stories getting another airing.

The stories in question are my 40K short story The Relic, and my 40K novel Iron Hands. The former has been collected* as part of the new War for Armageddon: The Omnibus, which will be available from the Black Library in August.

The latter is Iron Hands, which, thanks to the wonders of ePublishing**, still garners a bit of interest. More recently, it was referenced in a post over on the Warhammer Community page.


So, if you fancy finding out what my Warhammer 40K fiction is like, you know what to do...

* For the umpteenth time.

** And the fact that it was the first novel to feature the 'Flesh is Weak' boys.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Thought for the Day

"Go hard or go home. If you’re not writing to the best of your abilities, you’re wasting your time. Every story you write should be better than the one before. Be ambitious. Dare to fail. Push yourself to the ragged edge of your abilities and see how far and how fast you can go."
~ Gareth L Powell, award-winning author

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Steampunk Thursday: An Homage to Georges Méliès

Today Google Doodles are celebrating trailblazing film director Georges Méliès with a the first Virtual Reality / 360° video. You can watch it here.

Of course, the Pax Britannia series featured its own homage to Georges Méliès on the cover to Pax Britannia: Dark Side, the sixth Ulysses Quicksilver adventure, published back in 2011, a cover that garnered the book a fair bit of interest.

And so popular and effective was that particular cover, that it was used again on the second Ulysses Quicksilver omnibus.


Monday, 30 April 2018

Thought for the Day

"Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside you."
~ Carlos Ruiz Zafón

"Except... you also see the landscape behind you in a different way."
~ Jan Siegel

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

The Publishing Innovation Conference

This is taking place tomorrow, Thursday 26th April 2018, and I will be on the panel discussing the topic “Beyond Print: Redefining Storytelling.”

You can find out more about the event, and my fellow speakers, using these handy flyers. Simply click on the images to enlarge them.

Maybe I'll see you there...

Monday, 23 April 2018

Happy Birthday, Mr William Shakespeare!

Today is possibly* William Shakespeare's birthday but it is most definitely his deathday.

As is traditional at this time of year, I like to remind people that you can read an alternative take on Shakespeare's life, work, and even death, in Shakespeare Vs Cthulhu, an anthology of stories inspired by the Bard and the literary endeavours of H. P. Lovecraft.

Featuring stories by the likes of Adrian Tchaikovsky, Graham McNeill, James Lovegrove, Jan Siegel, Andrew Lane, Jonathan Oliver, and John Reppion, if you've not already picked up a copy, do so today and treat yourself to what one reviewer called "a fun concept, that delivered on its premise."

And if you have read the book, a review on Amazon is always much appreciated.

* I say 'possibly' because we know when he was baptised, 26th April 1554, but not actually when he was born.

Thought for the Day

"I can officially report to younger writers: no, it does not EVER ever ever get easier!!! Writing = hard!!! and the best fun ever."
~ Brian Michael Bendis, comic book writer

Friday, 20 April 2018

Gamebook Friday: Spellbreaker's 25th Anniversary

This June marks 25 years since my first ever book was published, the Fighting Fantasy adventure gamebook Spellbreaker.

I have many strong memories of the preceding year, during which I wrote the adventure, saw the illustrations coming in, proofed the typeset pages, and the first time I was presented with a copy by commissioning editor Richard Scrivener at Penguin Books' offices in London. I also remember seeing it on the bookshelf in WHSmith in Leamington Spa, and the subsequent parking ticket I received because I got distracted reading my own book in the shop!

Of course, Spellbreaker marking its silver jubilee also means that it's a quarter of century since I became a published author, and I've been published every year since*. The book I am currently writing - NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters! - will be my 72nd published book**.

However, six weeks from today***, I will be at the UK Games Expo, selling copies of my ACE Gamebooks - Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland and The Wicked Wizard of Oz - as well as my history of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, YOU ARE THE HERO.

Anyone who buys a book from me at the event will be entered into a prize draw to mark 25 years since the publication of Spellbreaker. I'm not sure what the prize will be yet, but whatever it is, you've got to be in it to win it!

Maybe I'll see you at the UK Games Expo. :-)

* Even if, during a fallow period in the late Ninties to early Noughties, it was only in the form of magazine articles and short stories, written for Games Workshop, rather than actual books.

** Thank the Lord for Moshi Monsters!

*** And not six years, as I originally typed!

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

April Events

Fighting Fantasy signing at Forbidden Planet
Tuesday 17th April 2018

Although I am not officially signing at the event, I will nonetheless be attending the Fighting Fantasy signing at the Forbidden Planet Megastore in London this evening.

Steve Jackson, Ian Livingstone and Charlie Higson will all be there, signing their latest releases, and if you happen to have a copy of YOU ARE THE HERO with you, I will happily sign that for you too.

The Publishing Innovation Conference
Thursday 26th April 2018

I have been invited to speak at the 14th Annual Publishing Innovation event at the London College of Communication. This is an annual event that gathers together students and industry professionals to explore emerging issues in publishing across all sectors.

This year, the theme of the event is Redefining Storytelling, and I will be taking part in the second panel, entitled “Beyond Print: Redefining Storytelling.”

Monday, 16 April 2018

Thought for the Day

“A writer takes earnest measures to ensure his solitude and then finds endless ways to squander it.”

~ Don DeLillo, American novelist, playwright and essayist

Monday, 9 April 2018

Thought for the Day

"What your peers think about your work is of interest, but what your readers think of your work is of value."
~ Garen Ewing, writer and illustrator

Saturday, 7 April 2018

ACE Gamebooks at the UK Games Expo 2018

A week ago I was getting ready for the Chatham Dockyard Festival of Steam and Transport, but eight weeks from today I shall be in the thick of things at UK Games Expo 2018.

After last year's debacle*, you'll be pleased to hear that I will be transporting copies of The Wicked Wizard of Oz, as well as reprints of Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland, there myself. I will also have YOU ARE THE HERO Parts 1 and 2 for sale, and I'm even toying with the idea of printing up some chapbook editions of Scrooge and Man (Deceased): The Haunted Man to take with me.

Plans of the trading halls have now been made public and, as you can see, I will be in Hall 2, close to the entrance to Hall 1 and The Playtest Zone, and not too far from Guest of Honour Ian Livingstone's table either.

June 2018 also happens to mark 25 years since my very first book, Spellbreaker, was published. I would like to do something special to mark the occasion, possibly linked to the UK Games Expo, but I'm still trying to decide what.

Anyway, watch this space for further news on that, and maybe I'll see you at the Expo in June. :-)

* Which was entirely the fault of the delivery company TNT, who failed to deliver in any shape or form.

Friday, 6 April 2018

Gamebook Friday: #AprilTTRPGMaker

This month, @Kiranansi is encouraging Tabletop RPG designers to share information about themselves and their work using the hashtag #AprilTTRPGMaker, answering one question each day from this list:

I'm hoping that adventure gamebooks are included under the umbrella term 'Tabletop RPG' since I have joined in and you can read my tweets here, @jonathangreen.

Monday, 2 April 2018

Thought for the Day

"A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself."
~ Joseph Campbell

Friday, 30 March 2018

Gamebook Friday: All Things Oz

Back in February I was contacted by one Marc Baum, asking if I would send him a copy of The Wicked Wizard of Oz so that he could put it on display with the other exhibits at the All Things Oz Museum in Chittenango, New York.

It turns out that Marc is a very distant relative* of L. Frank Baum himself! I duly sent off a copy of the book, with a few bookmarks, and then promptly forgot all about it. Until this Tuesday last, that is, when I was tagged on Twitter in a tweet featuring this picture.

Talking of The Wicked Wizard of Oz, over the Easter weekend you will find me at the Chatham Dockyard Festival of Steam and Transport with copies of the book. I will be one of the guest authors in the Steampunk Village, along with m'colleague Mr Kit Cox.

So if you're looking for something different to do on Easter Sunday or Bank Holiday Monday, why not pop along? You can find out more about the event here.

* 7th cousin twice removed!

Monday, 26 March 2018

Thought for the Day

"The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek."
~ Joseph Campbell

Friday, 23 March 2018

Gamebook Friday: Forthcoming Events

If you missed me at Bath Comic-Con last weekend, you may be interested to learn that I am taking part in a number of other events over the next couple of months.

Festival of Steam and Transport
Sunday 1st - Monday 2nd April 2018

Over the Easter weekend you will find me at the Chatham Dockyard Festival of Steam and Transport. I will be one of the guest authors lurking within the Steampunk Village, along with m'colleague Mr Kit Cox.

So if you're looking for something different to do on Easter Sunday or Bank Holiday Monday, why not pop along? You can find out more about the event here.

The Publishing Innovation Conference
Thursday 26th April 2018

I have been invited to speak at the 14th Annual Publishing Innovation event at the London College of Communication. This is an annual event that gathers together students and industry professionals to explore emerging issues in publishing across all sectors.

This year, the theme of the event is Redefining Storytelling, and I will be taking part in the second panel, entitled “Beyond Print: Redefining Storytelling.”

UK Games Expo 2018
Friday 1st - Sunday 3rd June 2018

The UK Games Expo has become the biggest event in my con calendar of recent years*. Since it moved venues from central Birmingham to the NEC I have attended each year, for just two days to begin with, but now for the whole weekend.

It is a fantastic family event and this year I will be there with copies of my ACE Gamebooks to sell, specifically The Wicked Wizard of Oz**. But I will also have hardback copies of YOU ARE THE HERO Parts 1 and 2 with me, and seeing as Ian Livingstone is also attending the Expo, you'll even be able to get copies purchased at the event signed by the great man himself.

* Not including Fighting Fantasy Fest, which I organise myself and is not an annual event.

** Which was supposed to launch at the UK Games Expo last year.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Thought for the Day

"Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls."
~ Joseph Campbell

Friday, 16 March 2018

Gamebook Friday: Bath Comic-Con

I will be at Bath Comic-Con tomorrow, Saturday 17th March 2018*. The event is being held at the Bath Pavilion, and opens to Early Bird ticket holders at 10:00am, with general entry from 11:00am. Last entries are at 3:00pm and the event will finish at 5:00pm.

I will be bringing along copies of The Wicked Wizard of Oz, and YOU ARE THE HERO Parts 1 & 2 to sell, and will happily regale anyone who asks about my next ACE Gamebook, NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters!

This will be the first time that I have attended an event in Bath, which is strange when you consider that I attended school there for ten years back in the '80s. It will be great to be back in the Georgian city and hopefully I might meet some of my readers from the West Country.

If you are stopping by to have your photograph taken with Hannah Spearritt and the Raptor, do stop by and sell hello. Even better, stop by, say hello, and buy a book!

Maybe I'll see you there. :-)

* Apologies but in a previous post I said I would also be there on the Sunday, but it turns out the event is only running on the Saturday.