Friday 31 March 2017

Gamebook Friday: YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 has 24 hours to go on Kickstarter!

YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 has only 24 hours to go on Kickstarter and is creeping ever closer to the stretch goal whereby all softbacks that people have pledged to receive automatically become hardbacks!

Backers who have pledged to receive physical copies of the book will already be getting two bonus art prints and an MP3 download of Fighting Fantasy-inspired music, but if the next stretch goal is reached they will also receive a full-colour print of Leo Hartas's map of Allansia.

A new art add-on has also been announced. Add £120 to any other pledge (or select the Golden Fleece reward by itself) and you could be the proud owner of a canvas art print of Chris Achilleos's cover art for YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2.

So if you've been holding out, hoping that  YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 would be published as a hardback, don't delay - back the Kickstarter today!

Thursday 30 March 2017

Steampunk Thursday: Through the Looking-Glass and the Horrors Alice Found There

So these arrived today...

I'm sure you'll agree that Kev Crossley and Snowbooks have done a fantastic job with the book. Here's one of the pictures to be coloured in the book...

And here's what makes this colouring book unlike any other - guidance from the artist himself with regards to how you should go about colouring the images.

You can purchase Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland Colouring Book Two: Through the Looking-Glass and the Horrors Alice Found There here, if you're in the UK, and here, if you're in the US.


YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 is into its final 48 hours on Kickstarter!

The YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 Kickstarter finishes at 1:00pm BST on Saturday 1st April 2017 - no joke!

If you enjoyed the original YOU ARE THE HERO then you will definitely enjoy this follow-up, which contains all new material - 12 chapters' worth!

As well as the usual signed book rewards and the like, everyone who backs to receive a physical copy of YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 will also receive a full-colour A4 art print of Chris Achilleos's brand-new cover art for the book and another of John Blanche's classic painting of Kharé - Cityport of Traps from Steve Jackson's Sorcery! series.

And if we hit £22,000 on the Kickstarter, everyone who backs at the £10 Golem reward level or above will also receive an MP3 download of music inspired by Fighting Fantasy, by the likes of Groan, Isle of Avalon, and Jaldaboath!

But the big one is the £25,000 stretch goal. If we achieve that, then all of the softbacks of YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 that people have pledged to receive will become hardbacks!

So what are you waiting for? If you haven't already, pledge your support today (after all, it's pay day tomorrow), and whether you're a new backer or not, keeping spreading the word.

Thank you for joining me on this journey and may your STAMINA never fail!

Monday 27 March 2017

Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks set to return and YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 will chronicle it all!

Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks are re-launching this summer with Scholastic, the largest children's publisher in the world, in time for the series' 35th anniversary!

In August 2017, Scholastic UK will publish The Port of Peril, the new gamebook by Ian Livingstone, along with five classic titles, including The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. A further tranche of titles will publish in spring 2018.

YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 will chronicle the story of the move to a new publisher and the development of Ian Livingstone's first new gamebook in five years, so make sure you don't miss out - back the Kickstarter today!

Thought for the Day

"Broadly speaking, the short words are the best, and the old words best of all."
~ Winston Churchill

Sunday 26 March 2017

The Steampunk Author Showcase at the Essex Book Festival

I had a great day at the Essex Book Festival on Saturday, spending the day in the company of fellow authors Toby Frost and Raven Dane, having been invited to be part of the event by Mr Paul Adams of The League of Essextraordinary Gentlemen.

Authors Jonathan Green, Raven Dane and Toby Frost.

We ended the day with a talk about our influences as authors before taking questions from the audience, and ended up offering advice to aspiring writers about their work.

Preparing for the Steampunk Author Showcase.

So thank you to everyone who came to the talk, that you to everyone who bought a book, and thank you to Paul, Jo and Rachel for organising the event. Here's to the next one!

Friday 24 March 2017

Gamebook Friday: YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 needs YOU!

YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 has just one week left to run on Kickstarter. Although it was funded within a day we are still striving to unlock various stretch goals, the last of which is to turn all of the softbacks people have pledged to receive into hardbacks.

If you've been thinking about backing the project please do so today and then share that fact with all your friends and encourage them to do the same. What we need, to unlock those remaining stretch goals, isn't necessarily for existing backers to pledge more money but for more backers to join us for this 35th anniversary celebration of the world's most popular gamebook series.

In other news, this week I sent the completed manuscript of The Wicked Wizard of Oz to the publisher to be laid out. All I'm waiting on now is for the people who backed that particular project to complete their surveys so I can include their names in the Acknowledgements.

I often find that when I am finishing one book ideas for the next start to form, and I've been capturing elements of the creative process that has set my synapses firing for my next project here.

Also, apparently. ten weeks today UK Games Expo 2017 kicks off. I shall be there launching The Wicked Wizard of Oz, so let's hope the backers get their names to me soon. ;-)

Not final artwork

Thursday 23 March 2017

Steampunk Thursday: Alice returns...

Alice is back in Wonderland and it's just as nightmarish as it was the first time around!

That's right, Kev Crossley has produced another 24 unique drawings, inspired by the Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland adventure gamebook, but this time he has drawn them to be coloured - by you!

Here's Kev's first rough for the cover...

... which then became this...

... before finally ending up like this!

Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland Colouring Book 2 - or as I like to call it, Through the Looking-Glass and the Horrors Alice Found There - is unlike any other colouring book you have ever tried because it even includes tips from the artist on how to colour the images inside the book!

So don't delay - order your copy of Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland Colouring Book 2 today!

Steampunk Thursday: Steampunk Author Showcase at the Essex Book Festival

Just a quick reminder that I shall be appearing at the Essex Book Festival in Chelmsford, on Saturday 25th March 2017, as part of the Steampunk Author Showcase, along with m'colleagues Toby Frost and Raven Dane.

If you're in the area, why not stop by? The event will be taking place from 2:30pm - 3:45pm but I shall also be selling my wares on the day, include my Pax Britannia books, as well as my steampunk-inspired Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland.

To find out more, and to book tickets, follow this link, down the rabbit-hole...

Tuesday 21 March 2017

Happy World Poetry Day!

There once was a girl, name of Dorothy,
Who challenged the Wizard’s authority.
Reunited at last
With three friends from her past,
She made besting Great Oz her priority.

The Wicked Wizard of Oz - pre-order your copy now!

Are you ready to return to Oz?

Monday 20 March 2017

Happy Happiness Day!

Today, Monday 20th March 2017, is the International Day of Happiness.

Apparently Norway is the happiest country in the world, but then if you've been there you'll know that they have a lot to be happy about - it's a beautiful place, without many people living there (comparatively) and with a very high standard of living.

Denmark is a close second, but then it would be, what with having Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales, LEGO and all that Danish bacon.

The United Kingdom is 19th on the list.

But do you know what would really make you happy? Backing YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 on Kickstarter. Not only would it leave you with a warm feeling inside, knowing that you've helped make something special to mark Fighting Fantasy's 35th anniversary year, but you could also receive a copy of the book and even the award-winning first volume if you so wish.

You'll find the Kickstarter here, with rewards starting from as little as £1.

And do you know what else would make you feel happy? Helping to spread the word about the project so that the book ends up being the very best it can be.

Be happy!

Thought for the Day

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”

~ Haruki Murakami

Sunday 19 March 2017

Shakespeare Sunday: Shakespeare Week

Next week is Shakespeare Week (running from Monday 20th March to Sunday 26th March) so what better time is there to pick up a copy of Shakespeare Vs Cthulhu and dip into the myriad short stories through the next seven days?

Friday 17 March 2017

Gamebook Friday: Kickstarter loves YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2!

I am delighted to report that last night Kickstarter selected YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 as one of their 'Projects we love', and indeed it is the most loved Publishing project in the UK at the moment, and #6 in the world!

I would just like to say, once again, thank you to all those people who have backed the project already and helped to spread the word, and you can rest assured that I am busy preparing some very special additional rewards.

This weekend I will announce further stretch goals for YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2, so keep an eye on your inbox, and if you haven't already backed the project, you know what to do.

Thursday 16 March 2017

Appetite of the Spider God

Apparently, 25 million metric tonnes of spiders exist on Earth and between them they consume 400-800 million tonnes of insects every year, which is equivalent to the amount of meat and fish that humans consume over the same period!

There are quite a lot of spiders in my Gamebook Adventure Temple of the Spider God, although not 25 million metric tonnes worth!

There is also a giant spider - albeit a rather unusual one - in the forthcoming The Wicked Wizard of Oz, as drawn here by Kev Crossley.

Tuesday 14 March 2017

Happy π Day!

That's right π , as in Pi the mathematical constant.

And why is today called Pi Day? Because according to the American dating system, the 3rd of March is 3.14, which is Pi to three significant figures.

On such occasions as this, I try to link the event to my books, and in the case of Pi Day, the most suitable candidate is Match Wits With the Kids.

However, since that particular book is out of print, I'm going to go with Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland instead, because Alice's creator, Lewis Carroll, was really Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a mathematics don at Oxford University. My gamebook even features a few mathematical teasers.

As regular readers of this blog will already know, Alice's Nightmare produced a spin-off colouring book, which went down a storm in the States, and so artist Kev Crossley has drawn a whole new set of pictures, specifically for colouring this time, so expect to see Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland Colouring Book 2 hitting virtual bookstore shelves very soon.

Monday 13 March 2017

Thought for the Day

"The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt."

~ Sylvia Plath (1932-63)

Sunday 12 March 2017

YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 - Kickstarter update!

I was going to post an update yesterday about the progress of YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 on Kickstarter, but then things went a bit crazy!

The project only went and funded in just over 21 hours!

So now we're working towards the first stretch goal, which is to have legendary fantasy artist Chris Achilleos paint the cover for the book. If the project raises £11,950 (or more) everyone who backs to receive a physical copy of the book will also receive an adorned art print, signed by the artist!

So if you've not backed the project already, what are you waiting for? Don't delay - back today!

Friday 10 March 2017

Gamebook Friday: YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 launches on Kickstarter tomorrow!

Just to let you know that the Kickstarter to fund YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 - the sequel to 2014's YOU ARE THE HERO - launches on Saturday 11th March 2017, at 1:00pm GMT*.

If you're only after the eBook, then the £10 Golem reward level is for you.

If you would like the A4 full colour softback then the £20 Gargoyle reward level is what you want.

However, if you would like to receive a hardback copy of the original YOU ARE THE HERO, as well as YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2, then you want the £60 Gark reward level.

Other rewards on offer include Fighting Fantasy gamebooks signed by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, having your name appear in the book, and even a special lunch with the co-creators of the FF phenomenon.

At the moment there is not a hardback version of YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2YOU ARE THE HERO only came out as a hardback because backers of the original Kickstarter raised so much money. So, in theory, if the Kickstarter raises enough money, then a hardback version of the sequel could become a reality. But for that to happen as many people as possible need to hear about the project and pledge their support.

So, fingers crossed then...

* Which is 8:00am in New York, 2:00pm in France, 9:00pm in Taiwan, 12:00am in Melbourne, and 2:00am on Sunday morning in New Zealand!

Gamebook Friday: Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland Gamebook Companion

Thanks to Mark Stoneham, with the Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland Gamebook Companion you can now play the first ACE Gamebook on the go.

Store your stats and equipment in the easy to use and convenient layout. There are dice, a handy Combat screen, and buttons to test all your abilities as you play. Navigation is easy using left and right swipes on each screen.

To find out more, and download the app yourself for only £1.99, simply follow this link.