Friday 30 June 2023

Gamebook Friday: Your Last Chance to Late Pledge!

If you would like to place a Late Pledge to the YOU ARE THE HERO 40th anniversary edition Kickstarter, or upgrade your pledge, today is your last chance to do so. Either visit the Late Pledge page here, or drop me a line at

In other news, MAGIC REALMS: The Art of Fighting Fantasy is now 85% funded through Unbound Books.

Thursday 29 June 2023

30 Years of Spellbreaker

As Spellbreaker's 30th anniversary month draws to a close, Julian Sparrow will be commencing a readthrough of the adventure on his Twitch channel. Proceedings kick off tonight at 9:30pm BST.

Saturday 24 June 2023

Enjoy Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland for free this Free RPG Day

Today is FREE RPG DAY, so why not download the PDF of Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland today for free?

To take up this offer, simply click on this link or the image below. Happy gaming!

Friday 23 June 2023

Gamebook Friday: Spellbreaker is 30 years old today!

Today, 23rd June, marks the 30th anniversary of the publication of my first book, the Fighting Fantasy adventure Spellbreaker.

At least, for some reason, 23rd June is stuck in my head as the date. It was on or around this date that I went into WHSmith in Leamington Spa and found the book on the shelf and then spent so long poring over it that I ended up getting a parking ticket. I was just blown away by the fact that I had written a book and that it had been published, and could be picked up in an actual bookshop by actual people. The fact that I had a copy of my own from when I had visited the offices of Puffin Books in London some weeks previously was irrelevant.

Sadly, I lent that very copy to someone a few years later and never saw it again. The copy I now have is the one I gave to my parents, complete with my personalised dedication to them and a very immature autograph. My signature these days resembles something you'd see on an ECG monitor.

It took three years to get to the point where I had my first book on sale, if you ignore all the years of 'practice' that had gone before that. In my final year of school, I wrote to Puffin asking if I could write gamebooks for them. Eventually, Marc Gascoigne, who was the Fighting Fantasy consultant editor at the time, wrote back to me kindly explaining what I need to submit to be considered for publication but warning me that my chances of publication were very slim.

I proceeded to start writing Outlaws of Kaan, and duly submitted the first 100 sections and a detailed synopsis of how the adventure would pan out. Marc considered my proposal and politely declined, so in the Christmas holidays, after my first term at university, I re-wrote and re-submitted by proposal. Unfortunately, it still wasn't up to scratch and Marc turned it down again. It was time to try something else.

I let things rest until the summer holidays and, in between working as a gardener, of all things, I worked on a proposal for a new adventure called Spellbreaker. This one was better received, but I was still asked to make some changes and resubmit. I did so and this time Marc thought it was good enough to show to Richard Scrivener, the Fighting Fantasy commissioning editor at Puffin Books. In my Easter holidays, after my proposal had been scrutinised by Richard, I was asked to make a few more tweaks and then, at the start of my summer holidays after my second year at university, I received a commissioning letter from Marc the last line of which I still remember was. "I'll let you go now and pass out with happiness."

From that point on I became one of FF's regular stable of writers, providing one book a year for the series until Puffin Book pulled the plug in 1996.

Fighting Fantasy opened all sorts of doors for me, including ones that lead to Games Workshop, Abaddon Books, and Doctor Who, and only last year I assisted Steve Jackson with writing Secrets of Salamonis, and Sir Ian Livingstone and I are currently working on a book together.

Looking back, it feels like quite some achievement. I have been published every year since Spellbreaker came out, in one form or another, and I now make my living as a jobbing writer. But you find me in a sombre mood today. The reason? My age.

My father died suddenly of a massive heart attack aged 70, whilst doing what he loved. I was diagnosed with high blood pressure four years ago and since last summer I have had a couple of health scares related to my heart. Therefore, in my mind, I only have 20 years of writing left, at most, which leaves me thinking, what do I want to spend my time writing, since my remaining writing time is precious?

I am a writer, it's what I do, and beyond being a husband and a father, in a large part it is how I define myself. I will write for as long as I can, but I also have to be sensible about what I write, because my family need the money I earn from writing. But on the other hand, I don't want to fritter away my time writing something I'm not wholly invested in. (You won't find me writing Moshi Monsters books these days.) But equally, some of my ideas for gamebooks are pretty niche, and adventure gamebooks are already a niche market.

I don't have any answers to these questions at present. In my immediate future I need to finish YOU ARE THE HERO - An Interactive History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks and The Box of Delights - The Roleplaying Game. I know I want to write another ACE Gamebook, ideally in time for the UK Games Expo 2024, but beyond that I don't know.

Nonetheless, I shall be raising a glass to Spellbreaker tonight and toasting the future. Just in case.

Monday 19 June 2023

Magic Realms: The Art of Fighting Fantasy

Coming in 2024 from Unbound is Magic Realms: The Art of Fighting Fantasy, written by myself and Sir Ian Livingstone. 

The book focuses on the work of 26 artists, who have contributed art to the Fighting Fantasy series over the past four decades, across 25 chapters. Each chapter starts with a brief biography of the artist, followed by pages and pages of full colour and/or black & white artwork, along with some previously unseen sketches and other tidbits. There are also insights into their work from the artists themselves.

The book is currently seeking funding here and rewards on offer include signed hardbacks, a clamshell box edition, and a new A2 colour map of Allansia by Leo Hartas.

To pledge your support, click on the link to the Unbound Magic Realms: The Art of Fighting Fantasy project page.

Friday 16 June 2023

Gamebook Friday: The Wicked Wizard of Oz - Brazilian edition cover reveal!

The Brazilian edition of The Wicked Wizard of Oz - or O Maligno Magico de Oz, as it is in Portuguese - will be launched this autumn at the Rio Biennial Book Fair, which is one of country's largest literary events.

The cover has been released by Brazilian gamebook publisher JambĂ´ Editora, and here it is...

Click on the images to enlarge them.

Saturday 10 June 2023

The UK Games Exp 2023

A week ago, I was in the thick of things at Day 2 of the UK Games Expo. It's an event that I look forward to all year and now that it's over for another year, I can't believe it's already been a week since I was at the NEC with my ACE Gamebooks.

ACE Gamebooks at the UK Games Expo.

Talking of which, the books were very well received. RONIN 47 proved popular, although some of my regular readers chose not to pick up a copy because it's science fiction rather than fantasy, and Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland did well, as it always does. On top of that, I sold out of NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters!Beowulf Beastslayer, and Dracula: Curse of the Vampire (again).

A shield-maiden showing off her 'Hwaet' tattoo.

One of the things I love about the UK Games Expo is the number of friends I catch up with from all over the country, and all areas of my life. A couple of my university friends still live nearby and stopped by my stand to say hello, as did Twitch streamers Ken Boyter and Julian Sparrow. 

Richard, one of my best friends from university and a huge fan of board games.

Ken Boyter (EdraTales) and Julian Sparrow (Babel_17).

And then there are the usual suspects, such as Rene Batsford, Ed Fortune, Kev Abbotts, PJ Montgomery, Neil Roberts, Jamie Fry, George Mann, James Wallis, Justin-Lee Morrison, Jonathan Hicks, and all the Kickstarter backers who stop by and say hello. I also talked business with Holmgard Press and Aconyte Books, which was nice.

Olly Mc, a.k.a. the Storymaster, of The Storymaster's Tales.

Hanging out with a Terminator Space Marine, as you do.

The Aconyte Books stand, promoting the Marvel Multiverse Missions gamebooks.

A very impressive piece of Necron cosplay.

PJ Montgomery with an original copy of Spellbreaker, my first book, published 30 years ago this month.

The Lone Wolf Miniatures Game at the Holmgard Press stand.

Dr Peter Wright and the gang from Edge Hill University, where my ACE Gamebooks are on the game design course reading list.

On the Saturday night I went to the live readthrough of Sir Ian Livingstone's City of Thieves, during which Olly Mc guided John Robertson through Port Blacksand until he met a grisly end at the hands of Zanbar Bone. Wearing bunny ears. Zanbar Bone, not John Robertson.

Olly Mc and John Roberson at the City of Thieves live readthrough.

The victorious Zanbar Bone, plus fluffy, rainbow bunny ears. 

Another highlight was the Heorot RPG photoshoot with the reenactors of The Vikings UK, as was the 'Write Like a Pro' workshop I did with Darren Pearce on the Sunday morning.

Vikings reading a Viking RPG. How very meta...

Darren Pearce and Jonathan Green, your hosts for the 'Write Like a Pro' workshop.

However, a huge thank you must go to Scott Lewis and Claire Byard, who helped out on my stand again this year and kept me entertained on Saturday night, drinking cocktails and playtesting card games.

Scott and Claire.

Playtesting a certain Christmas-themed card game at around midnight.

If you've never been, you should check out the UK Games Expo because there is something there for everyone, no matter their age. And I hope to be there again next year, but I'm going to need to pull my finger out if I want to have another ACE Gamebook for sale at the event.

ACE Gamebooks at the UK Games Expo 2023.

Friday 2 June 2023

Gamebook Friday: UK Games Expo

The UK Games Expo 2023 starts today at the NEC in Birmingham and I am attending with my ACE Gamebooks, specifically RONIN 47.

You will also be able to check out the new Heorot RPG. Not only that, but because June 2023 marks 30 years since my first Fighting Fantasy gamebook Spellbreaker was published, you will be able to use a special discount to get money off at ACE Gamebooks Roleplay on DriveThruRPG.

You will find me in Hall 2, at Stand 2-T21, alongside Sir Ian Livingstone, and sandwiched between Parable Games and Atlantis Miniatures.

Click to enlarge.

The expo opens on Friday 2nd June at 9:00am and closes at 4:00pm on Sunday 4th June.

This year I am helping Darren W. Pearce run the Write Like a Pro workshop on Sunday 4th June from 12:30-1:30pm.

Here's what the UKGE website has to say about it:

Join two professional writers Darren W. Pearce and Jonathan Green - both industry veterans of many years experience - to talk about modern adventure design and how to approach the art of adventure writing, as well as working with established IP holders.

The workshop is being held in The Boardroom, NEC Piazza 3. To find out more, click this link.