Well, this is my first blog post. It occurs to me that I might easily be the only person to read it (Hi me! Don’t forget to take the bins out!) but I’ll assume an audience just in case.
The question I’ve been asked most (ie. once) since I started this site is “Why would you write a pastiche of a Fighting Fantasy book?”
The simple answer would be ‘because it’s there.’ Then again, it would also be a stupid answer. Clearly, it wasn’t there until I wrote it. So why did I write it?
Well, I love gamebooks. When the eight-year-old me was first given a copy of ‘The Warlock of Firetop Mountain’ to keep him quiet on a car journey, a beautiful friendship began. I was shaking my fist to roll dice long before adolescent boys usually find that motion pleasurable. The language and illustrations of those books are sunk deep into the strata of my subconscious.
Some people will say that computer games have superseded gamebooks, and I’m sure it’s true for the people who say it. But not for me. I enjoy both, in the same way that I like both films and books. There are pleasures in the written word which can’t be replicated by other mediums.
Since embarking on my task I’ve found that a lot of other people feel the same way. Developing ‘The Tower of Clavius Boon’ on writers’ sites, I had an excellent response from fans of the original books. I’ve also discovered that there is a very active and dedicated community of gamebook fans online, many of whom put me to shame with their knowledge of the format and skill in employing it (check out the Links section for details of some of these).
So, that’s why I’ve written ‘The Tower of Clavius Boon’. It’s the sort of gamebook that the present-day me wanted to read, something that pokes gentle fun at the conventions of the genre but is still a classic adventure at heart. The prologue I’ve posted here is self-contained, a rather linear mini-adventure, but the full book branches out into a far greater number of divergent paths with an inventory and a number of tricksy logic puzzles.
Anyway, I’ve had a blast writing it and hopefully others will enjoy it too. I’m always looking to improve so if YOU stumble across it on your journeys through cyberspace then please drop me a line to let me know what you think, which bits worked for you and which didn’t. I will be almost embarassingly grateful!