Monday 30 September 2013

Games Day 2013 - 19 and counting...

Yesterday I attended my 19th Games Day in a row. It was a strange beast, dramatically downsized from previous years with a complete absence of games altogether - and what's Games Day without the games?

To be honest I don't go for the games, but there wasn't much of anything else either. That said, I still didn't manage to see everything - including the new Dark Elves stuff (having written the colour text for the first Dark Elves Army book back in 1994) - because I spent the whole day hanging out with friends.

It was good to see the likes of Matt Sylvester, Toby Frost and Cavan Scott (both of whom were attending Games Day for the first time), and chat with the likes of Jes Bickham, Nick Kyme, Guy Haley, Chris Wraight, Graham McNeill, Neil Roberts, Andy Smilie, John French, Anthony Reynolds, Nik Vincent, William King (et al)*, and I also met up with Messrs Jackson and Livingstone who were attending Games Day together for the first time in a long time.

The Black Library stand had a pleasing number of PoD titles by Yours Truly for sale, including my two Path to Victory Gamebooks. I spent far too much money on event-exclusive titles and picked up a couple of audio dramas that helped pass the time in the traffic jam that took up most of the journey home. (Gav Thorpe, C Z Dunn and Andy Smilie are fast becoming masters of the audio format.)

So here's my haul from the day.

The most annoying thing is that I bought Dan Abnett's new Horus Heresy novel Unremembered Empire, later saw Dan Abnett, then said hello, and later goodbye, to Dan Abnett, and yet totally forgot to ask Dan Abnett to sign Dan Abnett's new book Unremembered Empire. Ho-hum, maybe next time.

You can find more of my photos from the day here.

* Many of whom asked me how YOU ARE THE HERO is coming along.

Thought for the Day

"An idea is a wonderful thing, but writers have them all the time... I’m always a little surprised to get a question about ideas, because, honestly, they’re not really the thing I worry about when it comes to writing. I worry about stamina. I worry about cadence and rhythm. I worry about my audience..."

Wednesday 25 September 2013

YOU ARE THE HERO - Putting out the call

I am so close to finishing the manuscript for YOU ARE THE HERO that you could say I'm at paragraph 395 (to use a gamebook analogy). I have interviewed a great many people about Fighting Fantasy and their experiences of it - and they've had some great stories to tell - but there are still a significant number of creators I have not been able to contact*, despite having trawled the Internet, and called in all manner of favours.

So, if anyone could help me in tracking down and contacting any of the following, I would greatly appreciate it. But time is, as they say, of the essence...

Emmanuel (original cover artist on The Citadel of Chaos)
Malcolm Barter (interior artists for The Forest of Doom)
Duncan Smith (illustrator of Scorpion Swamp)
Gary Ward & Edward Crosby (interior artists for Caverns of the Snow Witch)
Tim Sell (illustrator of House of Hell)
Steve Jackson US (of Steve Jackson Games and writer of Scorpion Swamp)**
Bob Harvey (artist)
Andrew Chapman (writer)
Geoffrey Senior (artist)
Kevin Bulmer (artist)
Bill Houston (artist)
Brian Bolland (artist)
Declan Considine (artist)
David Martin (artist)
Gary Mayes (artist)
Dave Carson (artist)
Martin Allen (writer)
Jim Bambra (writer)
Stephen Hand (writer)***
Keith P Phillips (writer)
Simon Dewey (cover artist on The Adventures of Goldhawk series)
Pete Tamlyn (co-writer of the Advanced Fighting Fantasy series)
Carl Sargent (writer)
Nik Williams (artist)
Chris Moore (cover illustrator for the Wizard Books edition of Starship Traveller)
Richard Corben and R Courtney (cover artists of some of the US editions of FF gamebooks)
Clarecraft (who made a range of Fighting Fantasy figurines)
Richard Scrivener (Puffin commissioning editor on the FF series towards the end of Puffin's tenure)

I know that seems like I lot, but I can assure you I have already interviewed a lot more for the book!

Feel free to pass this on to anyone who you think might be able to help.

* Or who have not returned my calls, if you know what I mean.

** Every time I contact Steve Jackson Games, they seem to think I'm trying to contact Steve Jackson UK (whom I know), despite me repeating repeatedly that this is not the case.

*** I'm really keen to talk to Stephen Hand.

Monday 23 September 2013

Thought for the Day

'“Supervillain" means never having to say you're sorry.'

Saturday 21 September 2013

Steampunk Saturday: Weekend at the Asylum 2013

So, this time last week I was in Lincoln once again for Weekend at the Asylum 2013*. This year I headed up at stupid o'clock Saturday morning but upon arrival was met by a host of familiar faces (many of whom appear in the slideshow below).

Lincoln By Night

Both Saturday and Sunday saw me hosting panels about Steampunk fiction, which were better attended than in previous years, with one of them taking over the main hall of the Lincoln Assembly Rooms. It was great to catch up with old friends, and make new ones, even if I did manage to avoid meeting The Men Who Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing, even though that stopped by the stall I was sharing with Mr Kit 'Major Jack Union' Cox and Miss Emily Ladybird.

Archimedes Lumière watching over the Pax Britannia stand, which included Dr Feelgood's Tonic Stout Fudge

Other highlights included being interviewed by Geek Syndicate, having a fan practically order me to write another Pax Britannia novel, and having one of my short stories not only appear in the annual Asylum short story collection - Ghosts of the Asylum, published by The Last Line - but also headline the collection!

Ghosts of the Asylum featuring the short story Signs & Portents, by Yours Truly

Once again, it was a wonderful weekend of mirth and merriment, and you can get just the smallest taster of what it was like by viewing the following magic lantern presentation...

Or Asylum V as it was also being referred to.

Thursday 19 September 2013

Arrrr! It's International Talk Like A Pirate Day!

So why not celebrate by digging out your copy of Bloodbones, my own pirate classic?

First ever Doctor Who scene filmed fifty years ago today

Exactly 50 years ago today, the first filming for Doctor Who took place. To find out more, follow this link.

Monday 16 September 2013

Thought for the Day

"Believe you can and you're halfway there."

~ Theodore Roosevelt

Sunday 15 September 2013

Weekend at the Asylum 2013 - Day 2

I'll be at Weekend at the Asylum today, promoting Pax Britannia and selling my Steampunk novels. I'll also be running my already legendary Steampunk Tombola and my soon-to-be legendary Book Lucky Dip.

So, if you're at the Asylum (or even just happen to be in Lincoln), why not stop by the Assembly Rooms in time to join in with the panel I'll be taking part in today?

Steampunk Fiction
Sunday 15 September, 11.00 a.m.(Assembly Rooms Main Room)
Authors talking about Steampunk in the written form on page and screen. Where is it now? Where do they see it to be going? With Toby Frost, Linzi Cooke, Raven Dane and Jonathan Green.

Maybe I'll see you there...

Saturday 14 September 2013

Weekend at the Asylum 2013 - Day 1

I'll be at Weekend at the Asylum today, promoting Pax Britannia and selling my Steampunk novels. I'll also be running my already legendary Steampunk Tombola and my soon-to-be legendary Book Lucky Dip.

So, if you're at the Asylum (or even just happen to be in Lincoln), why not stop by the Assembly Rooms in time to join in with the panel I'll be taking part in today?

Publishing, self, small or mainstream?

Saturday 14 September, 11.00 a.m. 
(Assembly Rooms Tennyson Suite)
Steampunk is a creative scene which attracts writers. How do you get published? Is self-publishing an option? What about setting up your own publishers? With Meg Kingston, Jim Snee, Sam Stone and Jonathan Green.

Doors open at 10.30 a.m. Maybe I'll see you there...

Thursday 12 September 2013

Steampunk Thursday: Unnatural History - a new review

It may be over six years old now, but Unnatural History is still wowing readers for the the first time. Here's the latest review of the book that started it all...

"Very good read of a boy's own type plot, intriguing till the end, the type of book that you don`t want to put down. In the end you feel you know the central character and liken him to James Bond and in the tradition of all good books a good lead in to further adventures."

You can pick up a copy of The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus, which includes Unnatural History (along with Leviathan Rising and Human Nature) here.

Steampunk Thursday: Weekend at the Asylum

This weekend, around 1,500 Steampunks will descend on the historic city of Lincoln (in the UK) to celebrate Weekend at the Asylum 5.

Pax Britannia has been a fixture there since the very beginning, and this will be my third visit to the premier Steampunk convention in Europe.

I shall be present in the Assembly Rooms, selling my wares and talking about all things related to Steampunk and literature. The specific timings of the panels I'm involved in are as follows:

Saturday 14 September, 11.00am 
(Assembly Rooms Tennyson Suite)
Publishing, self, small or mainstream? - Steampunk is a creative scene which attracts writers. How do you get published? Is self-publishing an option? What about setting up your own publishers. With Meg Kingston, Jim Snee, Sam Stone and Jonathan Green.

Sunday 15 September, 11.00am
(Assembly Rooms Main Room)
Steampunk Fiction - Authors talking about steampunk in the written form on page and screen. Where is it now? Where do they see it to be going? With Toby Frost, Linzi Cooke, Raven Dane and Jonathan Green.

The panels at the recent Nine Worlds Geekfest were a lot of fun, and my fellow panellists are great raconteurs, so the talks at the Asylum should be highly entertaining if nothing else.

Doors open on Saturday at 10.30am. Maybe I'll see you there...

Monday 9 September 2013

Thought for the Day

"One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple."
~ Jack Kerouac

Sunday 8 September 2013

Tales of the Vampire Counts: Shadows Over Sylvania

Shadows Over Sylvania was released seven months ago today.

In Shadows Over Sylvania you take on the role of a Vampire thrall of one of the bloodthirsty rulers of the accursed county of Sylvania. Your adventure takes place in the years following Count Vlad von Carstein’s failed attempt to become the first vampire Emperor. There are no Colleges of Magic, Konrad von Carstein is yet to seize control of the realm, and the legendary battles of Grim Moor and Hel Fenn are still in the future.

Throughout the adventure you will be forced to battle numerous enemies who would stand against you, both mortal and Undead. You will also come across weapons and other useful items that may help you progress in your adventure. And then there are the difficult decisions that you will be forced to make which could well have a direct impact on how events play out later in the story.

Here's what fans have had to say about the book so far:

"Jonathan has done a great job of bringing the Warhammer World to life in a new and totally unexpected way."

"The adventure kept my interest throughout the story and the narrative was engaging and interesting to the end."

"I just can't stop playing through this adventure, there are so 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."

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

"9/10 - A great game book with enough options and interesting story line to mean it is revisited many times."

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

You can pick up your copy of Shadows Over Sylvania from the Black Library website here.

Wednesday 4 September 2013

Should writers take a year off and give everyone a break?

"As the constant thrum of laptop keyboards in coffee shops across the nation testifies, nearly everyone, it seems, wants to be an author. And, according to the New York Times, 81% of Americans feel they have a book in them. New technology plays its part here. So too, perhaps, does writing’s attraction as a way of asserting one’s existence in a world where the traditional terrain for being acknowledged by others – the workplace, family or neighbourhood – is increasingly under strain."
~ Colin Robinson, co-founder of the New York-based independent publisher OR Books 

"Everybody does have a book in them, but in most cases that's where it should stay.”
~ Christopher Hitchens, English-born American author, journalist and literary critic

Monday 2 September 2013

Thought for the Day

"I’m a writer. I’m a storyteller. If the story is there to be told, and I’ve got the urge to tell it, there’s no hope for me. Other people doing other jobs don’t really get this aspect of what we do. They don’t seem to understand that we can’t help ourselves. We can’t just not do something. We can’t just put down a job or let someone take over, or pass something down the line, or give up. I feel rather sorry for other people. That urge to tell the story is why I keep coming back for more rejection, I suppose. I’m becoming a master at handling rejection. Most of the time, I’m so up to my neck in rejection that drowning in it really doesn’t seem like a very big deal."

~ Nicola Vincent-Abnett, on why writers write and how they handle rejection

Sunday 1 September 2013

In a change to your scheduled programme...

One of the New Year's Resolutions I made to myself in 2012, was to post something on this blog every day that year. I didn't announce this with a big fanfare, like some authors have done in the past. In fact, I didn't announce it at all. It was just a promise I made to myself.

Since then (unlike some other bloggers) I have managed to keep that promise, with often more than one post appearing on any one day. In the process I developed the themed day blogs, starting the week with a Thought for the Day on Monday, Tie-in (Fiction) Tuesday, Warhammer Wednesday, Steampunk Thursday (the alliteration gave up on me at this point), Gamebook Friday and Short Story Saturday. Sundays were reserved for any other news/amusing YouTube clips/extracts from the funny pages, that kind of thing.

Well now a change in circumstances means that it is no longer realistic, or even possible, for me to blog every day, so instead I will be blogging once a week (minimum). I may still use the themed day tags to hang posts on, but they won't be so prescriptive anymore. (Not that they were that prescriptive to begin with.)

So, there you go. Hopefully I'll manage to maintain a certain level of quality to my blog posts, if not the same quantity as in the past, but bear with me... There's still plenty of cool stuff to come from the laptop of Jonathan Green, Author. ;-)