Sunday, 31 December 2017

Review of the Year - 2017

It's that time of year again when I like to look back over the achievements of the last twelve months, before looking forward to what the next year has in store writing-wise.

I only had four books come out in 2016*, but I made up for that this year, with a grand total of fourteen titles that I was associated with in some way being released throughout 2017. (And that doesn't include the three German Edition Pax Britannia eBooks released in May**.)


They include one re-issue, three short story anthologies that I have short stories in, Hacking the Curriculum, to which I contributed a chapter about using interactive fiction in the classroom, two colouring books based on my ACE Gamebooks, one new gamebook, the second volume in my history of Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, a Doctor Who tie-in title, a Minecraft tie-in title, a graphic novel that compiles the four-part comic mini-series I edited, and two titles I have self-published.

At the start of the year I launched the SHARKPUNK 2 Kickstarter, which unfortunately gained no traction at all. However, the next two Kickstarters - YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 and NEVERLAND - did fund, fortunately! YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 funded on 1st April and the finished book was delivered to me on 1st September, just in time for Fighting Fantasy Fest 2!

As well as organising Fighting Fantasy Fest 2, and the world's first Fighting Fantasy pub quiz, I attended far more events than last year, including the Steampunk Author Showcase at the Essex Book Festival, the Freeway Fighter signing at Forbidden Planet, the UK Games Expo 2017, the Steampunk Essextraordianaire III, Dragondaze, GamesFest, ArmadaCon, and Dragonmeet. (I also received a very warm welcome when I visited the Barnes and Noble store in New York back in April, but that's another story!)

There are a number of projects I've worked on this year that won't see print until 2018. One of those jobs was working on a brand-new Fighting Fantasy gamebook with Charlie Higson, of all people, which was nice.

Another highlight of the year was meeting Iain McCaig at FFF2, who greeted me like an old friend, even thought it was the first time we had even spoken!



As one year comes to an end, I already have plenty of work lined up for 2018, including a couple of short stories, NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters!, and hopefully some more Scrooge and Marley (Deceased).


But of all the amazing memories I have from this year, what will I remember most from 2017? 2013 was the Year of Moshi Monsters, 2014 was the Year of YOU ARE THE HERO, 2015 was the Year of Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland, and 2016 was the Year of  Robin of Sherwood. However, I think I will always remember 2017 as the Year of The Wicked Wizard of Oz.


Thank you for reading my books and supporting my Kickstarters in 2017, and here's to 2018. And talking of 2018, German gamebook fans have this to look forward to...


* And one of them was a re-issue.

** Or the new edition of YOU ARE THE HERO Part 1 that was released to accompany the YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 Kickstarter, or the Print on Demand reprint of Status: Deadzone available now from Black Library.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Short Story Saturday: 2017 Anthologies

Since 2015, I have compiled and edited three short story anthologies - SHARKPUNK, GAME OVER and Shakespeare Vs Cthulhu. I was also supposed to edit another one, SHARKPUNK 2, in 2017 but unfortunately the Kickstarter campaign I ran to fund the project didn't gain any traction. However, I did contribute to three other anthologies as an author, this year.


The first of these came out in June, and was Clockwork Cairo, an anthology of steampunk stories that all had some connection to Egypt. My own contribution was a brand-new Ulysses Quicksilver story called Worthless Remains.

Next up was Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago: Tales of the Lost Isles, which came out in October to support the release of Osprey Games' tabletop wargame of the same name. My story is entitled A Nice Little Nest Egg and writing it felt a bit like writing another Badenov's Band adventure.

Following close on the heels of Tales of the Lost Isles was Further Associates of Sherlock Holmes, which features my first published Sherlock Holmes short story, Sherlock Holmes and the Beast of Bodmin.


I've enjoyed getting back into writing short fiction (as opposed to coffee table pop culture histories or choose your path adventure gamebooks) and have also completed another short story this year that will see print in 2018. (I have two more commissions to complete over the coming months too.)

On top of that, I've finally got around to writing the first in what I hope will become an ongoing series of short stories that go by the umbrella name of Scrooge and Marley (Deceased)Scrooge and Marley (Deceased): The Haunted Man is available now as an eBook from Green Man Books and is the perfect chilling Christmas read.


Friday, 22 December 2017

Scrooge and Marley (Deceased): The Haunted Man

Now available from Green Man Books is my new novella, Scrooge and Marley (Deceased): The Haunted Man, which is a traditional Christmas ghost story.


“I come this night to ask for your help, Ebenezer,” the ghost said.

A year on from the events of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge finds himself visited once again by the ghost of his late business partner, Jacob Marley, who brings with him a new proposition. Just as Marley helped Scrooge to avoid the cruel fate that the last of the Three Spirits foretold, Marley wants Scrooge to help him reduce his time in Purgatory.

And so begins an epic adventure that will see the former friends face off against all manner of phantasms, freaks and fiends, with only one thing at stake… Everything!


"Can do dark very well." ~ award-winning editor Jonathan Oliver

"Jonathan Green's books have a wonderful way of making you smile; like the Cheshire Cat that got the cream." ~ Kit Cox, creator of Major Jack Union and author of How To Bag A Jabberwock

      

I have a list of artists and illustrators I hope to work with one day and Scrooge and Marley (Deceased) provided me with the perfect opportunity to work with Garen Ewing, creator of The Rainbow Orchid. I thought his ligne claire style would really suit the characters and the setting, and I was delighted when he agreed to work on the project, happening to have a free slot in his very busy schedule.

And I was just as delighted when he sent through first his pencil sketches, then the inks, and finally the fully coloured cover image, which you can enjoy in all its glory here. (Simply click on the images below to enlarge them.)

Garen's finished pencils.

 The completed inks.

The fully coloured image for Scrooge and Marley (Deceased)
copyright (c) 2017 Garen Ewing

Gamebook Friday: Tin Man Games Sale on Now!

Tin Man Games have a sale on at the moment, with many of their gamebook apps reduced by 50% or 60%!

So, if you've yet to pick up Bloodbones, Legacy of Dorn: Herald of Oblivion, Temple of the Spider God, or even The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (which I also worked on) now would seem to be the perfect time!





Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Scrooge and Marley (Deceased)

I only discovered today that Charles Dickens' perennial favourite A Christmas Carol was published on this day* in 1843! And it just so happens that my latest novella, which was inspired by the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and the Three Spirits, is almost ready to be unleashed upon the world.


It is an idea that I've wanted to work on for a long time and I was starting to make more concrete plans back in 2013. However, other work commitments meant that it kept getting pushed back, or when I thought of working on it again there simply wasn't enough time to get it done in time for Christmas on the year in questions. The BBC's historical mystery drama Dickensian, which ran over the Christmas period in 2015, also put the kibosh on the project, for a while at least, as I didn't want people thinking I'd nicked the idea from there**.

But this autumn I made a commitment to myself to have the first Scrooge and Marley (Deceased) story ready in time for Christmas, and it very nearly is. To whet your appetite, here's the introductory blurb:

A year on from the events of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge finds himself visited once again by the ghost of his late business partner, Jacob Marley, who brings with him a new proposition. Just as Marley helped Scrooge to avoid the cruel fate that the last of the Three Spirits foretold, Marley wants Scrooge to help him reduce his time in Purgatory.

And so begins an epic adventure that will see the former friends face off against all manner of phantasms, freaks and fiends, with only one thing at stake… Everything!


It's not the first time I've supplanted characters from other classic Dickens' novels and put them into A Christmas Carol. I did it back in 2001, when I turned the novella into a play that was performed at the school where I was working at the time. I wonder if that's when the seed for Scrooge and Marley (Deceased) was first planted.


Scrooge and Marley (Deceased): The Haunted Man will be released imminently, but in the mean time, check out and 'Like' the Scrooge and Marley (Deceased) Facebook page here.



* Which just so happens to be my wedding anniversary!

** I still haven't watched the series, for fear of being unduly influenced by it.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Thought for the Day

"Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape."

~ from Hogfather, by Terry Pratchett


Friday, 15 December 2017

Gamebook Friday: Bloodbones washes up in Brazil

Thanks to a Brazilian fan, I discovered this week that last month Jambô Editora published a new Portuguese translation of my most pirate-themed gamebook to date*. Now entitled Ossos Sangrentos (which translates as 'Bloody Bones') it has a rather splendid new cover.


For any Brazilian fans out there, here's the cover blurb:

O temido lorde pirata Cinnabar — ou “Ossos Sangrentos” para aqueles que o temiam — foi o flagelo dos doze mares. Agora de volta da morte, e munido com os poderes sombrios do vodu, ele busca vingança.
Mas você tem sua própria vingança em mente — quando você era criança, Cinnabar assassinou sua família. Só você pode evitar um novo reinado de terror ao destruir o capitão pirata e sua tripulação de assassinos. Atravessando o inferno ou singrando as marés, Ossos Sangrentos deve ser parado!

One of the fun things about the book is that my original map has also been 'dubbed' into Portuguese!


You can pick up a copy of Ossos Sangrentos here, the English version of Bloodbones here, or the app adaptation by Tin Man Games here.



* NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters! doesn't come out until next year. Talking of which, I wonder if Jambô Editora would be interested in published Portuguese language versions of my ACE Gamebooks...

Monday, 11 December 2017

Thought for the Day

"I never ask a man what his business is, for it never interest me . What I ask him about are his thoughts and dreams."
~ H P Lovecraft


Thursday, 7 December 2017

Steampunk Thursday: Clockwork Cairo

I recently received my author copy of Clockwork Cairo, the anthology of Egyptian-themed steampunk short stories that features my Pax Britannia story Worthless Remains, and a hefty beast it is too!


You can pick up your copy of Clockwork Cairo here. And once you've read it, why not post a review on Amazon?

Monday, 4 December 2017

Thought for the Day

"We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect."
~ Anaïs Nin


Sunday, 3 December 2017

Dragonmeet 2017

On Saturday I was at Dragonmeet 2017 in London. Dragonmeet is one of those fixtures in my con calendar that I always look forward to* partly because it's such a sociable convention.

It was great to catch up with a number of people I had seen in a while, including James Wallis - who was launching Alas Vegas at Dragonmeet - John Dodd, Pookie, Brian Edwards, Richard Williams (and his wife Fiona), Matt Zitron, Jonny Nexus and Magnus Anderson, as well as those who I see more regularly, such as Colin Oaten, Steven Dean and Gary Loveridge. And then there were those people who I met for the first (or second) time, including Kickstarter backers Rene Batsford, Simon Smith, and Steve Britton, who presented me with an exquisite miniature he had made to thank me for writing the YOU ARE THE HERO books!


The level of detail in Steve's miniature is astonishing!

My stand was sandwiched between Ian Livingstone's - who gave a talk and did a signing with Steve Jackson - and Fox Yason Audio, producers of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain audio drama.

Fox Yason Audio

Ian Livingstone at Dragonmeet 2017

Steve Jackson signing at Dragonmeet 2017

My best-seller of the day was my ACE Gamebook The Wicked Wizard of Oz. I was kept busy all day, which is much better than being bored, but I did manage to have a quick scooch round and pick up a few choice items myself, including a bit of Christmas shopping.

Dragonmeet 2017 stash

And look what was waiting for me when I got home...



* Along with the UK Games Expo.

NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters! - Late Pledges

If you missed the Kickstarter for my latest ACE Gamebook NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters!, or couldn't afford to back the project during its run, have no fear - you can still put in a Late Pledge*.

Here's what you need to do if you would like to make a Late Pledge to the Kickstarter:

  1. Look through the list of reward levels below and select the one you would like.
  2. Look through the list of add-ons and decide if you would like to add any of these to your pledge.
  3. Add the cost of any add-ons to the cost of the reward level you have selected, finally adding the correct postage for your country, to calculate the total amount you will need to pay.
  4. Email info@jonathangreenauthor.com, making the title of your email 'NEVERLAND Late Pledge' and listing the reward and add-ons you have selected, along with the amount of money you will need to pay, including postage. I will then get back to you with details of how to make your payment via PayPal.

Please note - you can find out more about precisely what comes with each reward level by visiting the NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters! project page here.


 (No postage required)

 (No postage required)

 (No postage required)

 (Post and packing: UK £6 - European Union £16 - Rest of World £22)

  (Post and packing: UK £6 - European Union £16 - Rest of World £22)

   (Post and packing: UK £6 - European Union £17 - Rest of World £24)



   (Post and packing: Free in the UK or if included with another reward - European Union £6 - Rest of World £8)

    (Post and packing: Free in the UK or if included with another reward - European Union £6 - Rest of World £8)

    (Post and packing: Free in the UK or if included with another reward - European Union £6 - Rest of World £8)

    (Post and packing: Free in the UK or if included with another reward - European Union £6 - Rest of World £8)


* Probably until the end of January. I will inform everyone when Late Pledges are closing.