Monday 31 October 2016

Haunting Reads for Hallowe'en

Seeing as it's Hallowe'en today, you might want to check out some of my more obviously horror-themed books.

If you're a fan of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, why not try the following?
Curse of the Mummy
Howl of the Werewolf
Night of the Necromancer

Other gamebooks I've written that have a nightmarish element to them are:
Temple of the Spider God
Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland

If you like short story anthologies, why not check out one of these titles?
Shakespeare Vs Cthulhu

If Steampunk is your thing, all of these books have horror overtones:
Human Nature
Evolution Expects
Blood Royal
Anno Frankenstein

For Doctor Who fans there are these two horror-themed titles:
The Horror of Howling Hill
Night of the Kraken

Readers who remember Warhammer should definitely check out:
The Dead and the Damned

Thought for the Day

"Writers write – authors finish – published authors submit."
~ Gav Thorpe, author

Sunday 30 October 2016


Just imagine for a minute, if you will, that there was to be a supplement to YOU ARE THE HERO published next year, to mark the 35th anniversary of the publication of the first Fighting Fantasy gamebook, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain.

If there was such a title, what would you like to see contained within its pages?

Saturday 29 October 2016

Sharkpunk Saturday: SHARKPUNK - a new review!

SHARKPUNK, my first anthology as editor, has recently received a new, and very thorough review that originally appeared in Black Static #51.

In the introduction, the reviewer, Peter Tennant, says:

"In the circumstances, an anthology of shark stories might seem like a further unnecessary libel on this species’ good name, but fortunately Green casts his net wider than the archetypal killer shark template and hauls in a rich and varied catch, and as ever the biggest and most deadly of predators is man himself."

You can read the review in its entirety, with each story getting its moment in the spotlight, here.

Monday 24 October 2016

Thought for the Day

Neil Gaiman on writers being asked where they get our ideas from:

"In the beginning, I used to tell people the not very funny answers, the flip ones: 'From the Idea-of-the-Month Club,' I'd say, or 'From a little ideas shop in Bognor Regis,' 'From a dusty old book full of ideas in my basement,' or even 'From Pete Atkins.' (The last is slightly esoteric, and may need a little explanation. Pete Atkins is a screenwriter and novelist friend of mine, and we decided a while ago that when asked, I would say that I got them from him, and he'd say he got them from me. It seemed to make sense at the time.)

Then I got tired of the not very funny answers, and these days I tell people the truth:

'I make them up,' I tell them. 'Out of my head.' 

People don't like this answer. I don't know why not. They look unhappy, as if I'm trying to slip a fast one past them. As if there's a huge secret, and, for reasons of my own, I'm not telling them how it's done."

Saturday 22 October 2016

Sharkpunk Saturday: Just when you thought it was safe to listen to an audiobook...


SHARKPUNK - Edited by Jonathan Green

The audiobook of the successful anthology, edited by Jonathan Green, of stories with a shark theme. Think Sharknado in written form! You'll be surprised how many twists on a theme you can find in one anthology.

Featuring stories from established authors such as Andrew Lane (Young Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Who, Torchwood) and Jonathan Oliver (The Call of Kerberos) this title has been a lot of fun to voice and will be a lot of fun to listen to!

This audio is in the final stages of post production and will release in early November in both CD and audio download formats. You can register interest in advance and we will let you know when it is available to order - just drop a comment on the post here.

Friday 21 October 2016

Gamebook Friday: Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland

Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland might not be as well know in the US as it is in the UK but it still has its fans. On all of the book's reviews are 5-star reviews. And here's an extract from the latest one:

"This book is awesome! I think the combat might be a little confusing for someone who has never played an adventure game. However, you can still have a lot of fun just reading and not playing. I have had a blast with this book. Every time I pick it up it is like reading a new story!... I highly recommend this book!"

You can picked up your copy of Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland from or

In other gamebook-related news, I am now past the 400 section mark in the writing of The Wicked Wizard of Oz.

And in other Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland news, illustrator Kev Crossley is even now working on brand new illustrations for a follow-up to the Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland Colouring Book.

Monday 17 October 2016

Thought for the Day

"The only advice I have - and it's rarely welcome because it involves a huge amount of hard work and guarantees no success - is that if you've never written before, you need to start. There are cases of people sitting down and writing a good book just like that, but there are also cases of people being born with two heads. It's overwhelmingly likely that you would need to write, solicit feedback, write more, write again, and keep doing it until you got good enough for people to demand your work rather than suffer it."

~ Mark Lawrence, author

Monday 10 October 2016

Thought for the Day

"Essentially it's a labour of love. If you don't love writing - just for its own end - then you're probably better off doing something you do love."

~ Mark Lawrence, author

Friday 7 October 2016

Gamebook Friday: The Wicked Wizard of Oz four days on...

Four days ago The Wicked Wizard of Oz finally funded on Kickstarter, but it was a close run thing at times.

So, what are my thoughts on my latest crowdfunding campaign, now that the dust has settled?

Well, despite having the best opening weekend of any of my projects, it was also the most stressful. There is a lot that is published on Kickstarter about being a good creator - communicating with your backers, abiding by the rules of good Internet etiquette and the like - but someone should publish some guidelines on how to be a good backer. (Like, not pulling out during the final few days of a Kickstarter's run, and not pledging for rewards you can't afford.)

So what worked and what didn't work?

Well, based on this particular project, paying for Kicktraq advertising is a waste of money. The Wicked Wizard of Oz campaign was also designed to tap into the adult colouring community, following on from the success of the Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland Colouring Book (particularly in the States) which is wholly failed to do.

Listing the project initially in Games didn't help it gain any traction and may also be the reason why it didn't become listed as one of the Kickstarter team's 'Projects We Love', which my other recent crowdfunding campaigns have. Having that tag also helps drive traffic to the project page which might have meant that The Wicked Wizard of Oz funded sooner rather than later, as it did (only actually reaching its funding goal a day before the end of its run).

However, trailing the project in advance really helped give it a strong opening and, given the right project, the right reward levels, and enough warning, I think it would be possible to plan a Kickstarter which funded within its first week. (I'm looking at you, YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2!)

And I have to say that I am loving writing The Wicked Wizard of Oz and subverting so many of L. Frank Baum's beloved characters. (My favourite so far probably has to be Princess Ozma.) Having reached the halfway point in my first draft a week before the end of the Kickstarter's run I stopped writing, fearing that the project might not actually fund and also so that I could dedicate myself wholly to the campaign*. However, now that it has funded (and most of the money pledged has actually been collected) I'm back into the flow of things again.

So, watch this space...

* There is an interesting piece here about why so many crowdfunding campaigns fail, but I draw it to your attention because of the point it makes about what the media doesn’t cover is how much work actually goes into running a successful campaign. Seriously, you should pay yourself a month's wage just to do that, but then if you did your funding goal would become even more unattainable!

Thursday 6 October 2016

National Poetry Day 2016

In honour of National Poetry Day...

Seamus Heaney: "I saw a frog." 
Ted Hughes: "I saw a frog and it was dead."
Edgar Allen Poe: "I saw a frog and she was dead." 
Sylvia Plath: "I saw a frog and I am dead." 
Samuel Beckett: "I saw a frog and it was God." 
Siegfried Sassoon: "I've seen Hell and it's a frog." 
Spike Milligan: "Nig nag nog, I saw a frog." 
William Shakespeare: "Verily I saw a frog." 
T.S. Eliot: "Do I dare to see a frog?" 
Samuel Taylor Coleridge: "I hallucinated a frog." 
Lord Byron: "I'm p****d as a newt!"

Wednesday 5 October 2016

Warhammer Wednesday: Genestealer Cults

I was in the central London Warhammer store at the weekend and I have to say, I love the look of the new Genestealer Cults codex. I love the look of the miniatures, and the variation between them. I many way, they remind me of the good old days of Necromunda, and the huge range of figures that came with that game, birthed from its fertile background. Which is appropriate, seeing as how my first novel for Black Library was originally going to be a Nathan Creed novel, the climax of which had the bounty hunter uncovering a Genestealer cult.

I've always had a soft spot for Genestealers. The first short story I wrote for Inferno! magazine (and my first published 40K short story), Salvation, featured Genestealers (and a Carnifex).

Six years later I wrote another Space Marines vs Genestealers story, Sanctuary, which was reprinted in The Amargeddon Omnibus in 2011. It would be nice if Black Library republished that one as part of a collection of Genestealer stories. (In the illustration, Chaplain Wolfram of the Black Templars Solemnus Crusade takes on the Genestealers, as drawn by Dave Allsop.)

And if the opportunity ever arose, I would love to write a gamebook featuring a Genestealer cult.

Meanwhile, the new/old White Dwarf continues to go from strength to strength, and this month comes with a free comic written by George Mann.

Tuesday 4 October 2016

World Animal Day

Today, 4th October, is World Animal Day, so it seems appropriate that I am writing a story about the Beast of Bodmin Moor whilst also plotting the Lion's next encounter in The Wicked Wizard of Oz.

Animals have featured to a greater or lesser extent in many of my books and stories but among the most notable must be...

Sonic the Hedgehog Adventure Gamebooks

And there are still more animal-themed stories to come...

Monday 3 October 2016

The Wicked Wizard of Oz Kickstarter ends today!

At 1.00pm GMT to be precise.

Up until then you can still pledge your support to receive rewards that are unique to the Kickstarter, such as character bookmarks, ARU game rolls, T-shirts, and dice and playing card sets.

So don't delay - pledge today!

Back The Wicked Wizard of Oz on Kickstarter.

Thought for the Day

"Any man who keeps working is not a failure."

~ Ray Bradbury

Sunday 2 October 2016

The Wicked Wizard of Oz has 24 hours to go!

There are just 24 hours remaining for The Wicked Wizard of Oz to achieve funding via Kickstarter. As of writing there are still £179 left to raise or the book won't happen, which would be annoying seeing as how I've already written half of it.

And with one day left to go, some more DOWN THE RABBIT-HOLE level rewards have been released (listed as DOWN THE RABBIT-HOLE AGAIN).

So why not check out the project and the rewards and pledge your support, before it's too late?

Saturday 1 October 2016

Happy OZtober! The Wicked Wizard of Oz has 48 hours left on Kickstarter!

There are just 48 hours to go for The Wicked Wizard of Oz on Kickstarter and the project has yet to fund. If you've been thinking about backing the project, then don't delay - check it out today!

If you enjoyed Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland you will definitely enjoy The Wicked Wizard of Oz! And even if you decide it's not for you, please tell all you friends.

Thank you.