Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Night of the Necromancer is coming...
Meanwhile, I've been doing a little bit to hype the release of the book on my own blog too. To help me explain, here's an exclusive excerpt from the Background section of the book:
Ulysses Quicksilver - Hero of the Empire
I don't know what it is about the last couple of months, but a fair few authors have been struggling to produce the goods of late.
David Bishop has this to say on the subject. Nick Kyme's struggles are catalogued here. Chris Wraight's been feeling the pressure too, as has Si Spurrier. Even the mighty Dan Abnett has had his own creative demons to battle of late.
And I'll add my own name to that list. I thought my tenth novel was hard going but as it turns out, that one was a walk in the park compared to number eleven. Soul-destroying is how I'd describe the situation right now.
Writing's hard! :-(
How to write an adventure gamebook - Part 2
Next up is new monsters. These a vital in FF adventures. This paragraph usually takes the form of a simple list. With FF adventures I will also point out monsters that I'm using from Out of the Pit that haven't seen print in any of the official books yet.
Now I finally get to the plot synopsis itself. Because of the very nature of gamebooks, as well as describing what happens if you follow the correct path through the book, I also outline what happens on side quests and wild goose chases. I break the synopsis into clearly defined areas. For example in Night of the Necromancer [WARNING - SPOILERS AHEAD!] the first part of the adventure takes place out in the wilds, it then transfers to a castle and various places within the castle. Each of these major areas (or even set-piece scenes) was a new paragraph in the original plot synopsis. And of course, at the end I reveal the climactic twist or dramatic encounter that ends the adventure.
It is whilst writing the proposal that I often finalise certain areas of the adventure within my own mind but that's not to say that everything is set in stone at this point - far from it.
However, for the time being, what has to happen next is for me to forward the proposal to my editor and wait for them to give me the go ahead to write the book. And that's the topic I'll be dealing with next time...
Friday, March 26, 2010
Crisis on Coruscant - another good review
Another mysterious letter...
Monday, March 22, 2010
Match Wits with the Kids
If, as parents, you sometimes find yourselves climbing the collective walls of turmoil in search of something to entertain and calm the kids – especially during those elongated weekends that are filled with rain, tedium and nothing particularly groovy on telly – then this could well be the perfect book for you.
Match Wit with the Kids is, as it says on the front cover: ‘’a little learning for all the family.’’ Indeed, it’s one of those books that immediately grabs the attention of even the most innocent and innocuous by bystanders. It’s akin to a pub quiz, only more geared towards that which we all learnt at school...
Jonathan Green has compiled a more than compelling and magnetic wealth of interesting facts, figures and knowledge.
As such, Match Wits with the Kids is a book that’s as engaging as it is fun as it is imperative throughout those aforementioned weekends and really long, giddy car journeys.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Alex Milway's Mythical 9th Division
* It was Alex who got me into creating badges linked to my own work too.
Friday, March 19, 2010
The Eleventh Doctor in action
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Night of the Necromancer and Bloodbones redux
There are the same number of books in each pile, but Night of the Necromancer is substantially longer than Bloodbones
Those kind people at Fighting Fantasy Towers (a.k.a. Icon Books' Wizard imprint) sent them to me. Night of the Necromancer is the newest of the new Fighting Fantasy gamebooks and is released on 1 April, alongside the brand-spanking-and-really-quite-shiny-new FF format edition of Bloodbones (first published four years ago - can you believe it?).
In case you're not salivating at the prospect enough already, here are two teaser trailers I put together for the books.
Not long to wait now...
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Howl of the Werewolf
I am already aware of one, which will be quite easy to fix, but this is where you come in. Are there any errors that you are aware of and think I might have missed? If you do know of any, please reply to this post and I shall be eternally grateful.
Happy St Patrick's Day!
St Paddy's Day was once purely a Christian holiday and it didn't become an official feast day until the early 1600s. However, it is now much more of a secular celebration of Ireland's culture, and the Guinness brand in particular.
Did you know...?
2009 was the 250th anniversary of Guinness and by 2001, almost 2 billion pints a year were sold worldwide - that's over 10 million glasses every day. Unsurprisingly it is Ireland's best-selling drink, but in 2006, more Guinness was sold in Canada than in Ireland. Guinness is brewed in more than 150 countries worldwide, including Nigeria and Indonesia, and 40% of all Guinness sales are in Africa. Over the years, much slang has come about when ordering a pint of Guinness and here are just a few examples: 'Arthur G'; 'Pint of black stuff'; 'Arthur Scargill'; 'Pint of plain'. The 'Guinness is Good For You' slogan is still used in many places worldwide, and some research has apparently shown that Guinness has heart health benefits. However, Guinness now officially states that they make no such health claims.
Little is known of the early life of St Patrick, although it is known that he was born in Roman Britain in the fifth century, into a wealthy Romano-British family. His father was a deacon in the Church, like his father before him, but at the age of sixteen, Patrick was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken to Ireland as a slave. It is believed he was held somewhere on the west coast of Ireland, possibly Mayo, but the exact location is unknown. He was told by God in a dream to flee from captivity and escape to the coast, where a ship would return him to Britain. Upon returning, he quickly joined the Church and studied to be a priest.
In 432, now a bishop, he found himself called back to Ireland, to save the native populace. He was successful in this task, focusing on converting royalty and aristocracy as well as the poor. Irish folklore tells that one of his teaching methods included using the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) to the Irish people.
After nearly thirty years of teaching and spreading God's word, Patrick died on 17 March 461. He was buried at Downpatrick, or so tradition says. Although there were other more successful missions to Ireland from Rome, Patrick endured as the principal champion of Irish Christianity and is held in esteem in the Irish Church.
Legend has it that Patrick banished all the snakes fro
m Ireland. When people first discov
ered the fossils of ammonites, they took them to be the snakes, curled up and turned to stone. The truth is that post-glacial Ireland probably never had any snakes in the first place. However, the legend may have come about that because of Patrick's missionary work, when, in professing the Christian faith he came up against the local Druids with their serpent symbolism.
The colour originally associated with Saint Patrick was blue. However, over the years the colour green and its association with Saint Patrick's day has grown. Green ribbons and shamrocks were worn in celebration of St Patrick's Day as early as the 17th century. During the 1798 Irish Rebellion, wanting to make a political statement, Irish soldiers wore full green uniform
s on 17 March in hopes of attracting attention with their unusual fashion gimmick. The phrase 'the wearing of the green', refers to the wearing of a shamrock on one's clothing and derives from the song of the same name.
Did you know...? The Chicago River is dyed green each year for the St. Patrick's Day celebration.
Whatever you're doing today, have a Happy St Patrick's Day!
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Sexy, Sexy Steampunk
'Pornokitsch are also running a Sexy Steampunk Competition - comment there and nominate your favourite sexy steampunk characters to be entered into a prize draw. I notice that nobody has nominated our very own Mr. Ulysses Quicksilver, yet! Nor any one of his many lovely female companions from the Pax Britannia series. It's an outrage, say I, an outrage!'
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Howl of the Werewolf
It's a piece entitled 'Howl of the Werewolf' and is by the obviously very talented Paul Mudie. I just find myself wondering whether it was inspired by my fifth Fighting Fantasy adventure Howl of the Werewolf which is being re-released later this year.
If you know, or if you're Paul, please drop me a line by replying to this post.
A mysterious letter
Life's rich tapestry
Monday, March 1, 2010
Night of the Necromancer - one month to go!
There's only one month (thirty-one days, 744 hours, 44,640 minutes, 2,678,400 seconds...) to go now until the release of the newest Fighting Fantasy gamebook and you should keep an eye on the FF discussion forums, Facebook page and official website for some more sneaky peeks between now and then.
But in the mean time, just to whet your appetite even more, I've prepared this little treat for you...