Monday, August 13, 2007

Howl of the Werewolf

My fifteenth book is due to be published next month, fifteen years after I received my first commission as a freelance writer. That first commission was ‘Spellbreaker’ an adventure gamebook in the Fighting Fantasy series (number fifty-three, in fact) published at the time by Puffin Books. These books are unusual being (as their name might suggest) as much game as they are story. The reader becomes the hero of the book, which is then related in the second person present tense.

A few years ago, the Fighting Fantasy series (created by legendary games gurus Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone) saw print again, now licensed to Wizard Books. Having re-published all of Steve and Ian’s titles, those by some of the original series other authors started to see print. I was fortunate enough to be one of those writers, as a result of the interest garnered in the intervening years by ‘Bloodbones’, due to be the sixtieth book in the original series but which never saw print at the time.

To cut a long story short, ‘Bloodbones’ saw print last September, two more of the books I wrote for Puffin for the FF series – ‘Curse of the Mummy’ and ‘Spellbreaker’ – were re-printed and I was approached to write a brand new adventure gamebook for the newly re-vitalised series. The result is ‘Howl of the Werewolf’, which is already available for pre-order from Amazon. To give you a bit more of an idea of what the book is about, here’s the blurb I wrote for the back of the new paperback edition.

Lupravia is a cursed land; a chill place of snow-capped mountains, brooding forests and mist-shrouded moors, haunted by the spirits of the restless dead. Peasants struggle daily with survival, living in constant fear of attacks from ravenous wild beasts. Only the foolhardy or insane would willingly pass beyond its borders and enter that benighted realm of predators. But enter you must, after a vicious wolf attack sets you on the path to murder and madness. Steadily succumbing to the call of the wild and the beast within, YOU must seek out a cure to your condition before the next full moon. But how long can you survive in a land where the powers of darkness hold sway and all live in fear of the Howl of the Werewolf?


Two dice, a pencil and an eraser are all you need to immerse yourself in a world of dark fantasy adventure. And, even if I do say so myself, I’m really pleased with how this one has turned out.

The finished book wouldn’t be what it is without the very fine work done by illustrator Martin McKenna. He has illustrated numerous Fighting Fantasy gamebooks and I was delighted to be collaborating with him again. We are obviously inspired by similar brooding gothic imagery and he really took my picture descriptions and ran with them.

Martin has produced thirty-six original black-and-white internal illustrations for the book and he was also the artistic genius behind the fabulous, and very moody, cover. You can see many more examples of his work over at his own website,
here.

'Howl of the Werewolf' is due out on 6 September.

5 Comments:

Blogger Mat Cooper said...

Hi Jon, my name is Mat Cooper, you will know me as MasterChief from the Fighting Fantasy forums...
Unfortunately, due to continued and needless harassment from the other members (see the topic "Any New TV Ads?" for details) I've had to leave those forums as I cannot stand it any longer. I asked them to let me be, twice, but they haven't so I've left. I was a moderator as well, what kind of world is this, eh? :(
Nevermind!

Anyway, posting to say that of course I Bought Howl of the Werewolf! Go it from Waterstones in Sheffield for £5.99 on Thursday. Had a scan through the illustrations (like I always do :D) which I think are fantastic for the most part, I see what you meant about Martin's "Scraperboard style"!

I played my first attempt last night...
First off, I love your vocabulary use in the Bad Moon Rising section at the start, it reads more intelligently and more 'adult' than most Fighting Fantasy books and really set me going... MY fave moment from there has to be "A howl cuts through the chill night air, a mournful sound that reezes the blood in your veins. You come to a halt: The animal cry came from somewhere close by. Your heart racing, your breathing shallow and fast, you spin round, scouring the oppresive forest for tell-tale signs that you know must be there. And then you see them, a dozen blazing-red eyes, smouldering like coals, watching you from the darkness."...
Wow, that really set me going. Love it.
Without giving spoilers away for other readers I won't say where I died except that it occured when something changed with my good friend Ulrich. Yes, I didn't get very far into my adventure! I was unlucky with the initial encounter, despite having a SKILL of 9 I lost both attack rounds to the Black Wolf and had to fight no less than FOUR of the ones that got into the cottage! I figure this is okay to post as it's right near the start...

I love the book so far, it's superbly written, atmoshperic, verbose and [i]fun[/i]. Can't wait to come up against some of those famous Jon Green 'set-piese' encounters. Yours were always the most original, and one of the parts of your FF books I always really look forward to....

Good luck for the future, hopefully I'll see you around the FF scene somewhere.

Regards,

Mat Cooper, aka MasterChief.

September 7, 2007 at 12:30 PM  
Blogger Mat Cooper said...

Argh.. So many typos in my post.. Feel free to edit them, and correct the HTML code.

I'm not unintelligent, really... Just tired I guess ;)

Later,
Mat.

September 7, 2007 at 12:33 PM  
Blogger Mat Cooper said...

Well, I've played it some more... STILL on my second run after three nights of reading at about and hour and a half each. This adventure is immense, and I've only explored one path so far.... Loved the bit where you meet with Van Richten, and without spoiling anything for other readers the 'side quest' that ensues from meeting him. What a brilliant series of events! Also, the surprise extra rules that are thrown in at various intervals are excellent, and make for some nice surprises. I like it when you do this, like the INFECTION score in Spellbreaker.

Again, all the best.... Mat.

September 10, 2007 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger Jon Green said...

Thank you for your kind comments, Mat. Have you managed to complete the adventure yet?

September 24, 2007 at 11:01 AM  
Blogger Mataeus said...

Not yet, but starting a new job has taken a little bit of time away from it I'm afraid. Still, I expect to get back on it in the next couple of days... The book is very ingenious, some great encounters...

October 5, 2007 at 10:19 PM  

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