Monday 31 December 2018

Review of the Year - 2018

For the last few years, towards the end of the year, I have posted a review... of my year. And this year is no different. What is different, however, is how few books and stories I've had published in 2018, despite being very busy on the writing front.

In 2015, I had nine books published. In 2016 it was four, plus a video game. In 2017, it was an astonishing fourteen!

This year, I haven't actually had a single book of my own published. Instead, I've had short stories appear in two different collections, I self-published another Scrooge and Marley (Deceased) e-short, Murder in the Cathedral, and the Audible edition of SHARKPUNK - the shark-themed short story anthology I edited - came out.

However, the German language edition of Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland - Alice im Düsterland - was released, to great acclaim, and 2018 also saw the publication of Charlie Higson's first Fighting Fantasy gamebook, The Gates of Death, which I also helped with.

2018 was also the year that marked the 25th anniversary of my first published book, Spellbreaker, and therefore that of my career as a published author.

A good six months of the year was spent writing NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters!, which is now the longest gamebook I have ever written*, but I also completed the first draft of Beowulf Beastslayer in a more acceptable four months.

I have a few more short stories due to come out next year, and I would like to continue the adventures of the occult detectives Scrooge and Marley, but by next Christmas I hope to have published another three books, and written another three.

I also spent a fair amount of time travelling to, and taking part in, events this year, including Bath Comic-Con in March, the Festival of Steam and Transport, and the Publishing Innovation Conference in April, the UK Games Expo in June, Alice's Day in Oxford in July, the Bath Children's Literature Festival in September, Frankfurt Book Fair in October, and Dragonmeet in December.

Of course next year will see me attending more of the same, but also Fighting Fantasy Fest 3, on Saturday 31st August 2019.

2018 has definitely been the Year of ACE Gamebooks. It would have been the Year of NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters!, if the book had actually been published this year as planned, but instead it is coming out in the spring. As well as writing Beowulf Beastslayer, I have also started work on the fifth title in the ACE Gamebooks series, 'TWAS - The Krampus Night Before Christmas.

The Kickstarter to fund production of the book launches on Tuesday 1st January 2019.

* And will probably hold that title for a long time to come!

Thought for the Day

"A good writer possesses not only his own spirit but also the spirit of his friends."
~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Friday 28 December 2018

Gamebook Friday: Gamebooks, New Year Sale, and the 'TWAS Kickstarter

Thanks to a few Kickstarter rewards arriving before Christmas, and presents received on Christmas Day itself, I have the following new gamebooks to read through in the New Year.

Talking of New Year, I have 10 hardback copies of YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 remaining, and am offering them for the same discounted price of £30 (including free post and packing within the UK) as I was before Christmas in my new New Year Sale. So if you didn't get the present you really wanted this year, drop me a line via

And last of all this Gamebook Friday, there are just four days remaining until 'TWAS - The Krampus Night Before Christmas launches on Kickstarter on Tuesday 1st January 2019.

Monday 24 December 2018

Thought for the Day

"People assume when you are a writer of books that you would secretly like to be doing other things like writing screenplays or directing Netflix shows, but I can tell you now that there is no job in the world as satisfying as being in total control of a story you have written."

~ Matt Haig, author

Friday 21 December 2018

Gamebook Friday: You'd Better Be Good...

The Kickstarter to fund production of 'Twas - The Krampus Night Before Christmas launches on 1st January 2019, and there are all sorts of rewards to tempt potential backers - everything from custom dice and themed decks of playing cards, to All Rolled Up game rolls and signed hardbacks.

However, the top reward, which is limited to only 100 backers, is the Stuffed Stocking. This reward comes with a signed, limited edition hardback, an additional paperback copy of the book, an exclusive bookmark, your name in the Acknowledgements, and a set of 10 'Twas Christmas Cards, as well as a deck of themed playing cards and a pair of custom dice.

Not only that, but the first 30 people who back at the Stuffed Stocking level will also receive an early play-test copy of the adventure, and be credited as official play-testers at the front of the book.

So check out the rewards on offer here, and please tell all your friends! Thank you for your support.

Wednesday 19 December 2018

Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol' is 175 years old today!

175 years ago today Charles Dickens, then aged 31, published his seasonal ghost story A Christmas Carol, and in the process more or less crystallised the Christmas festivities that we still know, and celebrate, today.

Last year, I published by own sequel to the story, entitled Scrooge and Marley (Deceased): The Haunted Man.

“I come this night to ask for your help, Ebenezer,” the ghost said.

A year on from the events of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge finds himself visited once again by the ghost of his late business partner, Jacob Marley, who brings with him a new proposition. Just as Marley helped Scrooge to avoid the cruel fate that the last of the Three Spirits foretold, Marley wants Scrooge to help him reduce his time in Purgatory.

And so begins an epic adventure that will see the former friends face off against all manner of phantasms, freaks and fiends, with only one thing at stake… Everything!

"An entertaining, well-written sequel to 'A Christmas Carol' with plenty of fun twists."
Fantasy Book Review


So why not mark the anniversary by reading Charles Dickens' original, followed by my own take on the characters and setting?

Monday 17 December 2018

Thought for the Day

"It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all - in which case, you fail by default."
~ J. K. Rowling

Friday 14 December 2018

Gamebook Friday: 'Twas - The Krampus Night Before Christmas

Over the years I have written a number of Christmas-themed books and stories, most notably the non-fiction title Christmas Explained: Robins, Kings and Brussel Sprouts (a.k.a. What is Myrrh Anyway? a.k.a. Christmas Miscellany).


In terms of fiction there's the Pax Britannia novella Christmas Past and the short story Claws.


I've also written two festive-themed Judge Dredd short stories, You'd Better Be Good, For Goodness' Sake and Miracle on 34th and Peltzer. And last year I self-published the novella Scrooge and Marley (Deceased): The Haunted Man.

My latest Christmas-themed endeavour is the fifth title in my ever-growing ACE Gamebooks series, and you can find out more about it by joining the new ACE Gamebooks Facebook Group now.

The Kickstarter to fund production of 'Twas - The Krampus Night Before Christmas launches on 1st January 2019.

Monday 10 December 2018

Thought for the Day

"Aren't bookshops strange, sitting there with quiet menace, as if they were just a shop and not an entry point to 30,000 different universes?"

Friday 7 December 2018

Gamebook Friday: NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters!

The cover art for my third ACE Gamebook, NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters!, is now complete. And, as you can see from the video below, it has involved hours of work by artist Kev Crossley.

NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters! will be published by Snowbooks in 2019.

Wednesday 5 December 2018

Warhammer Wednesday: Herald of Oblivion discount!

I can't quite believe it's three years since my Warhammer 40,000 gamebook Herald of Oblivion was released on Steam by Tin Man Games, but there you go.

If you've not yet tried it for yourself, now is the perfect time to pick up the game, as it is currently 50% off at the Steam store. So if you like the sound of a vast choice-based digital gamebook set within the Warhammer 40,000 universe where you are a Space Marine, then check it out now.

For Dorn!

Tuesday 4 December 2018

YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 - December Sale!

It turns out that following Dragonmeet last Saturday, I have one box of hardback copies of YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 left.

From now until Friday 14th December 2018, you can pick up a signed copy for just £30 including post and packing within the UK*.

If you would like a signed copy, drop me a line at

* Packages going abroad will need a little extra postage paying for.

Monday 3 December 2018

Thought for the Day

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere,"
~ Albert Einstein

Saturday 1 December 2018