Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Dalek Day: the Aftermath!

Yes, despite the fact that things have been a bit quiet around here since I went off to meet a Dalek last Saturday, I can now hopefully quash any rumours that I was exterminated and reveal that I survived my encounter with the alien death-machine!
To find out more about what went on, follow this link.

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Blank page syndrome

Hello, all.

Sorry for the radio silence, as it were, of the last few days. On Friday my broadband router gave up the ghost and I've been without Internet access since.

The withdrawal symptoms are as bad as you might imagine, but I'm feeling a lot better now, thank you.

Anyway, on with today's blog.

Many people ask me how, as a writer, I tackle the dreaded blank page; that virginal sheet of white paper or empty window on the computer screen which you then have to fill with words that make some sort of sense and hopefully even entertain.

Well, to be honest, partly because of how I plot and plan everything out meticulously before I start writing, I have never suffered from writer's block. (I now fully expect days of inactivity writing-wise having just jinxed myself!) However, others do, or find it hard to get started the day following a creative splurge.

Nick Kyme - Black Library editor and now author - has some suggestions of his own over at his blog. Serendipitously, he advocates a method that I myself have used for a long time; that of starting the next chapter, even if only in note form, when you've just finished one, before stopping work for the day.

Anyway, if you are at all interested in the mechanics, trials and tribulations of writing creatively, you should check out Nick's blog here.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

My name - on a pen!

Following in the footsteps of fellow writer-cum-blogger Alex Milway, who has had some badges made, I have had my own personalised biro made - or rather around about 1,000 of them!

They really couldn't be simpler - green, frosted pens, with my name and blog address printed on them - but I'm feeling quite proud at the moment nonetheless.

I'll be giving the pens away at events and book signings so, if you fancy one, why not pop along to Grays Library tomorrow?

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D-Day (Dalek-Day) is almost here

Tomorrow, Saturday 26 April, I shall be appearing alongside a Dalek as part of Borders Books' Dalek Day, taking place at Grays Library, close to the Thurrock Lakeside shopping centre.
I'll be there signing copies of my Doctor Who Decide Your Destiny adventure The Horror of Howling Hill and visitors will also be able to have their photograph taken with a genuine Dalek from the TV series.

The organisers of the event have designed a 'Draw your own Monster' competition sheet to tie in with my book, and there will also be opportunities to win prizes throughout the day.

So, if you're in the area, why not come along?

Maybe see you there.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Mousehunter

Fellow writer-cum-blogger Alex Milway is a busy chap. Not only is he the creator, author and illustrator of The Mousehunter series of books, he also maintains his own blog with a nigh-on religious fervour. To top it all, this Saturday 26 April, he's also opening a bookshop - the Flowerhouse in Shorn, Kent. He'll be there from around 2.00pm for about an hour.

Now, just over the Thames in Grays, I'll be taking part in Borders Books' Dalek Day which means that, if you're feeling energetic you could actually attend both events on the same day.

But whatever you plans for the weekend, why not drop by The Mousehunter Blog or, if you have any young children in your family with a thing for rodents, get hold of a copy of the first in The Mousehunter series by Alex.

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What's on your iPod?

Whilst looking for relevant pictures for a blog posting the other day I came across this, which I just had to share with a wider audience.

And then remaining with the Apple i-theme (in this case the iPhone), there was this on YouTube.

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Meet a Dalek... and me!

Next Saturday, 26 April 2008, I will be appearing at Grays Library (near Thurrock Lakeside shopping centre), taking part in a Dalek event arranged by Borders Books.

I will be appearing alongside (read: playing second fiddle to) a genuine Dalek from the Doctor Who TV series. Visitors will be able to see the alien war machine up close and get their photo taken with it.

Borders will be there too, selling Doctor Who books, toys, magazines and DVDs. And I'll be there, in my capacity as the author of the Decide Your Destiny adventure 'The Horror of Howling Hill'.

So, as well as meeting an inhuman, warmongering, megalomaniac killing machine, you'll also get the chance to meet a Dalek! Only kidding. You'll have the chance to meet me as well.

The fun starts at 10.00am and there's no need to book - just turn up on the day. I look forward to seeing some of you there.

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Pax Britannia Competition

When you read of Ulysses Quicksilver’s latest escapades, do you see yourself there alongside him, partaking in a bit of derring-do? When you read of the empire of Magna Britannia or its capital, Londinium Maximum, do you imagine yourself there, immersed within this retro-Victorian steampunk world? If so, then how would you feel about actually appearing in the next Pax Britannia adventure?
Well, here’s your chance. All you have to do is enter our Pax Britannia competition and, come this December, you could see your name in print, as one of the characters in the next Ulysses Quicksilver adventure Human Nature.

To enter, you simply need to find an interesting way to help promote the current Pax Britannia novel Leviathan Rising, published by Abaddon Books. It could be a review for a magazine or a website, it might be in the form of a photograph, something you manage to arrange at a local bookshop, or it could involve you making a model or even dressing up as a character from the book (if that’s your sort of thing).

Obviously, we can’t condone anything illegal or immoral but, as long as you stay within the bounds of the law (and common decency), pretty much anything goes. You can also enter this competition more than once; after all, we’re going for blanket coverage here!

The important thing is that whatever you do, you have to have evidence, and evidence that can be emailed. This might be in the form of a link, a digital photograph, a video clip, etc.

There are no age restrictions for this competition, but bear in mind that the final novel would probably receive at least a 15 rating at the cinema!

You need to send your competition entries, via the ether, to by Saturday 31 May 2008.

By submitting an entry – be it a video clip, a photograph or a text review, etc. – you thereby give permission for to it being used as we see fit on any blogs or publicity material, for free, and waive copyright to it. The copyright will then belong to Rebellion A/S.

The winner will have their name used as that of a minor character in Human Nature and will receive a signed copy of the book on publication.

There may also be some runner-up prizes in the form of signed books and a general lauding of their work on this blog.

So, what are you waiting for? Get your thinking caps on and come up with something original. We await your entries with eager anticipation.

Good luck!

Important note: Abaddon Books, the Pax Britannia setting, all text and artwork from the novels are © & ™ Rebellion A/S and reproduced here with kind permission.
We also reserve the right to change the rules of the competition should is become necessary and as we see fit.

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Enter the world of Pax Britannia

If you follow this link, you will find your way to the new Pax Britannia blog.

This has been set up to provide readers with all the latest news about the Pax Britannia series, including background on the existing books and short stories as well as news about upcoming stories.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Jonathan Green, author

As hinted at earlier today on this blog, I have set up a brand-new, shiny blog at to help enhance my web presence as a writer. You can find the new blog here.

But don't worry, I'm not going to be abandonning Unnatural History any time soon. This will still be the site where I make most of my online musings. The new blog is specifically for me to promote myself as an author, with information about book signings, news of upcoming publications, and the like.

Best idea is to bookmark the lot and check them all out from time to time.

Out with the old...

Compared to the calculated risk I was preparing to take this time last year, all in all things are looking rather rosy right about now. As I result, I have been reviewing how I portray myself online, and have decided it's time to make a few changes.

First up, my blog biog. Although there's nothing specifically wrong about the one I've had up on this site for the last eight or nine months, it still comes across as if I'm still getting paid for my hobby. Writing is so much more than that now; it's my living, and so I need to present myself as an out and out professional.

So, it's out with the old...

I have been making up stories for as long as I can remember but didn't start getting paid for enjoying my hobby until 1992. Since then I have written gamebooks, short stories, comic strips, magazine articles and novels. To date, I have had seventeen books published, and have recently started work on my nineteenth, which is to be published in time for Christmas 2008.

And in with the new...

I have worked as a teacher for the last fourteen years, four of those as a deputy head. In that time I have also written numerous popular books for children – everything from Sonic the Hedgehog to Doctor Who – and science fiction and fantasy novels for adults. My twentieth book will be published this December, in time for Christmas 2008.

I have more plans for pepping up my web presence, so watch this space... as it could involve you!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Leviathan Rising reviewed in SFX magazine

It was with equal amounts excitement and trepidation that I opened the latest issue of SFX magazine. I had been informed/warned by my editor at Abaddon Books that 'Leviathan Rising' was featured and had been given a 'reasonable review'.

So, I dutifully went straight to the book review section to find 'Leviathan Rising' on the second page, with a full column length piece about it, rather than one of those 'Also out this month'-style asides. And it got three stars, which I think is very respectable considering that the grand masters of science fiction and fantasy are also reviewed within the magazine's hallowed pages.

I'm also pretty happy with what the reviewer - Stephen Jewell - has to say about the book, apart from most of his comments in the final paragraph. But then I'm allowed to be critical; this is my blog and I'm talking about a review of my book, after all. And surely if anyone can take a little criticism, a critic can; can't they?

Stephen quite fairly remarks that I wear my influences on my sleeve. And I agree that I tip my hat to Waterworld (although only in the title of one of the chapters). However, I would like to point out that I can't have intentionally done the same with regard to Doctor Who's 'Voyage of the Damned' as I finished writing the novel a good six weeks before that show even aired. (In fact I even pre-empted just such a comment in my Christmas Day post last year.) If Stephen had realised that, perhaps he wouldn't have quite so damning in his last comment, which could itself be the subject of a whole other post (and perhaps will be one day).

Anyway, you can read the review for yourself in the May issue of SFX and (even better) you can now read 'Leviathan Rising' for yourself. Why not compare the two and then have your say by commenting on this post?

Until next time...

Leviathan Rising author copies

A large box was delivered to my house this morning, courtesy of a well-known courier service, and I opened it to discover that it was brimming to over-flowing with steampunk goodness. Yes, my author copies of 'Leviathan Rising' arrived today - which was nice.

So thanks to the good folks at Abaddon, and here's to 'Human Nature', due for release this December!

Friday, April 4, 2008

And another...

Yes, as promised, I have now set up a companion blog for the book I am currently working on, called 'What is Myrrh Anyway?'

As with the blog for 'Match Wits with the Kids' it will be a dedicated resource to accompany this particular publication and will include unique content that doesn't make the final edit. I will also be posting links to other items of interest, and commenting on things that have caught my attention - or made me laugh - while I have been researching the book.

So why not follow this link and check it out for yourself?

New Blog

Regular visitors to this site may have noticed that I have already listed 'Match Wits with the Kids' on my book list even though it's not been published yet; it's out in June. However, if you click on this link you will actually be taken to a shiny new blog created especially for that title.

The idea is to have a dedicated resource, as it were, for that book on the Internet, where I hope to partake in scintillating conversation with readers as well as taking the opportunity to publish some unique content linked to 'Match Wits'.

This is something I plan to do for other future publications of mine and the Pax Britannia series as a whole, so keep popping back, keep 'em peeled, and until then...

Leviathan Rising at Forbidden Planet

Having taken part in the Independent Alliance's Author Web Day I popped into London's Forbidden Planet Megastore on my way home.

I was very pleased to see 'Leviathan Rising' amongst the other new titles being promoted (with a purchase-inducing £1 off), as well as being shelved alongside 'Unnatural History' in the steadily growing Pax Britannia section.

If you can't get down to Forbidden Planet yourself, you can buy 'Leviathan Rising' here.


Thursday, April 3, 2008


I'm now well into my latest writing project, with more on the horizon (either already commissioned or at the pitch stage) and I felt it was time to take stock and see where I was up to.

In March I saw two of my recent projects come to fruition with the publication of 'The Horror of Howling Hill' and 'Leviathan Rising', the latter of which includes the short story 'Vanishing Point'.

I've recently put the finishing touches to 'Match Wits With the Kids', which is a revision guide for parents who've forgotten what they once learnt at school themselves (and out this June/July).

My current project is the ever so festive 'What is Myrrh Anyway?' (out in October), a book which answers all those questions about Christmas that you were too afraid - or embarrassed to ask.

Next up after that is my next Pax Britannia novel 'Human Nature' (due to be published this December).

On top of that lot I'm hoping to write another novel for a publisher I've worked for in the past (but as nothing is signed as yet, don't want to say anymore than that for the moment), I have two more novel pitches to complete and there's another couple of potential projects which are even less definite than that (at this stage).

So, all in all, I'm pretty busy. Better get back to work!

Until next time...

When Authors Blog

Today I am enjoying what is actually a rather unusual experience for a jobbing writer. I am spending time in the company of others, and other authors at that.

It's all as a result of an event organised by the Independent Alliance, which all sounds a bit politically reactionary but is in fact a group of like-minded independent publishers. And the event? It's the Author Web Day.

Basically, it's a day of seminars and practical sessions teaching those of us used to communicating on the printed page how to promote ourselves most effectively on the Interweb.

It's strange; as writers communication is our stock in trade. However (and perhaps here I am speaking for myself alone), when it comes to communicating more directly about what I do, I come over all British. Blowing your own trumpet is just something you don't do!

But if you are to connect with today's 'connected generation', blowing your own trumpet is precisely what you have to learn to do. So, today is a day of initiation, getting over the embarrassment of telling people that you are a writer and that you have written something other people should read, and probably increasing my Facebook friends profile.

It's been a very useful experience and the fruits of everyone's labours will be available here as a series of links. So check them out and help increase the size of my fellow creators' Internet footprints.

So, until the next bout of shameless self-promotion...