Thursday, 28 April 2016

New Book Day! Doctor Who: Choose the Future: Night of the Kraken

In the same week that the Doctor's new companion was announced, a previously untold Twelfth Doctor story is unleashed upon the space-time continuum...

When one choice can lead to triumph or failure, life or death, glory or destruction . . . which will you choose? With Choose the Future, YOU decide how, when, where and with whom the Doctor will fight to save the world!

In this brand new adventure, Night of the Kraken, the Twelfth Doctor meets a roguish time-smuggler and faces a terrifying creature from the deep with a plan to destroy the Earth.

The fate of the Doctor and the universe he protects are in your hands...

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Forthcoming Events 2016

I am appearing at a number of different events up and down the country* over the next couple of months.

The Hooded Man II
Saturday 31st April - Sunday 1st May 2016
First of all, next weekend you'll find me attending the Robin of Sherwood fan convention in Chepstow. If you're there, feel free to ask me how my novelisation of Robin of Sherwood: The Knights of the Apocalypse is coming along. ;-)

The UK Games Expo 2016
Saturday 4th - Sunday 5th June 2016
I will be at the UK Games Expo again this year, at the Birmingham NEC. This time with Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland in tow. The book also just happens to be up for the Best RPG Award at this year's UKGE Awards.

The Tiverton Literary Festival
Saturday 11th - Sunday 12th June 2016
I am delighted to be able to say that I shall be one of the authors attending the Tiverton Literary Festival (the weekend after the UK Games Expo). This will be my first visit to TivLitFest which this year boasts such literary success stories as Katie Fforde, Michael Jecks and Jenny Kane. I shall be selling my books - mainly Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland - at a stall on the Saturday, and giving a talk, followed by a Q&A and signing, at the Mayoral Rooms in the Town Hall at 11.30 on the Sunday.

Simply click the blue titles above to find out more about the event in question, and if you'd like me to attend your event, why do drop a line via

* Well, Wales, the Midlands and Devon.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Tie-in Tuesday: Doctor Who: Choose the Future: Night of the Kraken

There are only two days to go until my latest Doctor Who book is released.

First there was 2010's Night of the Humans...

Then there the 2013 minisode The Night of the Doctor...

And now there is the first in a brand new series of Doctor Who adventure gamebooks, Choose the Future: Night of the Kraken.

It's about time...

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Shakespeare Saturday: Happy Deathday, Mr Shakespeare

Today, Saturday 23rd April 2016, marks the 400th anniversary of the death of the English language's greatest ever playwright, William Shakespeare.

Google's Doodle of the day to mark the occasion
Google's Doodle of the day to mark the occasion
His impact on the English language, and indeed on our very culture (never mind tourism and the economy), is incalculable. For example, did you know that the Bard has been credited with introducing some 3,000 words into the English language? Or that at 27 letters 'honorificabilitudinitatibus' is the longest word in any of Shakespeare's works and is the longest word in the English language with alternating consonants and vowels? (It appears in Love's Labours Lost and means 'the state of being able to achieve honours'.)

And did you know that Hamlet (Shakespeare’s longest play which, uncut, would take between 4 and 5 hours to perform, with the death-obsessed Prince of Denmark himself having the most lines of any character in Shakespeare, with 1530 in total) is the most widely performed play in the world? It is estimated that it is being performed somewhere every single minute of every day.

From a very personal point of view, Shakespeare has had been a massive influence on my own work - and that was before I came up with the concept of Shakespeare Vs Cthulhu.
Like many people, I first encountered Shakespeare whilst at school, reading Lamb's Tales From Shakespeare before studying plays such as MacbethThe Tempest and Hamlet for GCSE and A-level. Later I went to university in Shakespeare's own county of Warwickshire.
My very first published book, the Fighting Fantasy adventure Spellbreaker, was heavily influenced by Macbeth, making, as it does, witches the main focus of the story. (The Bedlam Hags in particular are my take on Macbeth's Weird Sisters.)
My second book, Knights of Doom, used the driven war-hero-who-would-be-king, his fiend-like queen, and their castle home. There's even a very unsubtle reference to Banquo's ghost, in the form of Sir Connor of Achenbury.
Bloodbones (which is now available as an app from Tin Man Games, with its own soundtrack and everything!) was inspired, in part, by The Tempest, and features encounters with a monster called Balinac as well as a wizard's cell on a secluded, semi-magical island.
Night of the Necromancer drew heavily on both Hamlet and Macbeth for inspiration, the castle you explore during the adventure being name Valsinore, and includes an encounter with your own ghostly father.
So tonight I'll be raising a glass to the Bard of Stratford whilst also battling with the running order of Shakespeare Vs Cthulhu.

“Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?”  ― Terry Pratchett, Going Postal
“Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?” ― Terry Pratchett, Going Postal

Friday, 22 April 2016

Gamebook Friday: Lloyd of Gamebooks April A to Z

Unless you're a hardcore gamebook fan, you may not be aware of the Lloyd of Gamebooks blog. At the moment, Stuart Lloyd (the proprietor) is interviewing gamebook developers and posting interviews within them during April.

My interview appeared a couple of weeks ago under 'G is for Jon Green'. If you would like to read my interview - in which I talk about Fighting Fantasy, Pax Britannia, Doctor Who and Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland - then simply click this link.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Steampunk Thursday: Long to reign over us...

Today marks another milestone achieved by our beloved monarch Queen Elizabeth II. Not only is she the longest-reigning monarch of the United Kingdom ever, she is also 90 years-old today.

Of course, in the world of Pax Britannia, in 1998 (which is as far as we've got so far in that alternate reality) Queen Victoria is still on the throne. If you've not caught up on all the adventures in print so far, you could do a lot worse than pick up the two ominbuses currently in print.

I sometimes wonder if anyone famous has read any of my books, someone in the royal family, perhaps, who enjoys my alternate steampunk universe. So, just in case someone does...

Happy Birthday, your Majesty!

God save the Queen!