Published Gamebooks I've worked on:

Some writing communities I'm involved with:

Express Yourself and Be the Star You Are!

Nice view huh?

(Here’s a random picture I took a while back, cos I like blog posts better with pictures)

Yes, it’s been a while… In fact it’s been almost exactly two years since my own blog post here.

It’s certainly not by intention, it’s just “stuff” comes up and directs my attention elsewhere (as it does for us all). And the longer I leave it to post back here, the less-pressing the urge becomes… But barring death haha, I’ll always be back here at some point to tell you about creative projects I’m working on, which I’ll always be doing too... Creating stuff is just what I’ve always done and always will.

And yes, occasionally I’ll even get around to publishing something from the shelves and drawers filling my room too ;)

So my plan now I’m back here is to share some of the things I’ve been doing and working on over the coming weeks and months, to finish some of the blog serials I’ve started here, and to share some other things of news and interest. (It sounds all great in theory!)

You may be wondering at the title of this post, since I haven’t actually addressed that yet… Sure it’s a great statement, and certainly something I believe in and (try to) demonstrate at all times, but the reason for such a title is that I wanted to share two radio interviews I’ve just recently done with the Voice America talk radio network, on their Express Yourself! Teen radio show, and their Be the Star You Are! show.

From the links below you can hear almost an hour of me talking about my writing, about Tin Man Games and gamebooks, about The Dark Horde, and even about Halloween. There’s a few too many ums and ahs haha, but hopefully it’s interesting for you nonetheless. I had a lot of fun doing the interviews, and the hosts, Cynthia Brian, Asya Gonzalez and Brigitte Jia were fantastic!

INTERVIEW ONE WITH EXPRESS YOURSELF! TEEN RADIO

(My interview starts about 30:45 in, and runs to the end of the episode)

INTERVIEW TWO WITH STAR STYLE BE THE STAR YOU ARE! RADIO

(My interview starts about 38:35 in, and runs to the end of the episode)

 

 

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Announcing the winners of the Coffin Hop 2013 giveaway!

Coffin Hop 2013

Well Coffin Hop is over for another year, where once again I teamed up with a collection of stellar horror artists from around the world to celebrate all things horror and host some great giveaways in the week leading up to Halloween… An event which also raised money for the non-profit charity organisation LitWorld that promotes the important cause of child literacy!

 

Looking back over my post from this time last year, I still made reference to how busy I was, and although I should probably stop mentioning that, I think it’s fair to say I was even busier this around (a major deadline was met just yesterday / this morning for my day job, struggling to meet publisher’s deadlines – and not succeeding, a writer’s conference, a packed social (and family) schedule I couldn’t really decline, the launch of the promo video for my The Calling project and the pipe-dream of managing to enter the Windhammer 2013 short gamebook competition, or at least being able to review all the entries and vote – neither of which I achieved).

But that’s the price of productivity hey? (What productivity Brewin!? you ask, you haven’t realised anything this year!) So I guess I better shut up and get used to it… I can’t see my schedule slowing down any time soon (2016 looks quite open at the moment though haha).

 

So part of the onus I felt in mentioning the above, was to express remorse (and a little guilt) that I didn’t manage to visit many, er most, of the other authors’ sites taking part in this year’s Coffin Hop. So I’m in their debt I guess that they made time to view my posts (and even comment) when I hardly returned the favour. Furthermore, over the course of Coffin Hop 2013 I had 178 visits (circa 1000 hits) from 98 unique visitors, of which about half were new visitors to the Land of the Brewin, so I thank you all for coming and hope you enjoyed your stay! –This is roughly about the same activity as I generated for last year’s Coffin Hop, but considering I essentially was offering a smaller amount of the same prizes then as I was this year (minus the awesome Coffin Hop Anthology), I have to be pretty pleased about that. I’ll try to ensure I actually have something new to giveaway next year!

 

So aaanyway, I think I’ve rambled on enough. It’s time to announce…

BREWIN’S 2013 COFFIN HOP GIVEAWAY WINNERS!

GRAND PRIZE: Signed paperback copy of The Dark Horde, ebook copy of Death by Drive-in: the Coffin Hop anthology, and (if you want it) my last t-shirt on hand for The Dark Horde (size L) – goes to Anita Stewart!

RUNNER-UP PRIZES: PDF copies of The Dark Horde – go to Amy Marshall and Ash Krafton!

 

 

Thanks to all those who participated and hope you had a great Halloween!

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Coffin Hop 2013 is here!

Coffin Hop 2013
Coffin Hop: Death by Drive-In Anthology

 

It’s that time of year again… The time of COFFIN HOP when the veil between here and the other side wanes and those sinister forces that dwell there make their presence felt. The time when horror authors and artists from around this frail globe we call Earth come together to venerate all that is dark and horrifying. The time to revel in the darkness and to partake in the celebrations, revelations and cooperations. And the time to “blog hop” between the many many sites taking part and be in the chance to win stacks of awesome prizes!

So once again, dear visitors, I have a special giveaway for you. For just a few mouse clicks you can win either one of three pdf copies of my horror novel The Dark Horde, or if you win the grand prize, I’ll mail you a signed copy of the paperback version completely free. (And if it happens that you already have a copy, don’t despair! I’ll send you a copy of my other published novel Evermore: An Introduction instead). Not only this, but if you win the grand prize, you’ll also get a free t-shirt of The Dark Horde (if you want it!) bearing in mind that I’ve only got a single L size one left to give away…

Want more? Well how about this, the grand prize winner will also win an ebook copy of the Coffin Hop Anthology DEATH BY DRIVE-IN featuring some of the best work of several of the Coffin Hop authors, released especially for this very event! (This competition ends when midnight strikes on Halloween - EST time in the US)

*** Click here to enter Brewin’s 2013 Coffin Hop Giveaway ***

 

The COFFIN HOP: DEATH BY DRIVE-IN anthology is available for sale here and the best part about this is that all profits will be donated to LitWorld.org to help encourage children’s literacy throughout the world. The COFFIN HOP store is also selling a range of COFFIN HOP merchandise and the proceeds of these sales too, are being donated to charity J

 

To coincide with this special event, I have also released a promo video for my forthcoming project The Calling, which is a musical prequel to The Dark Horde. You can view the video on You Tube here and also know that The Dark Horde ebook version is currently on sale on Amazon for only $0.99 and if you’re lucky enough to live in the UK, you can get the UK paperback version delivered free for only £2.99 !

Lastly, in closing, here’s the full list of all the other awesome horror maestros taking part. Happy Hopping!

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iAuthor – A New Global Advertising Platform for Self-Published Authors

Author Categories on iAuthor
Book Service Categories on iAuthor
The Dark Horde - iAuthor

Sometime mid-2011, I sought the advice of Barbara Brabec on publishing, an expert who could refer me to someone who was trustworthy, honest and diligent in partnering with me to produce my self-published novels. The person she referred me to was Adam Kolczynski in the UK, who had founded his own publisher Polybius Books and related imprint Ignis.

In Barbara’s own words, it was a “match made in heaven” as he not only shared my passion for long emails (okay maybe that’s not a good thing haha) but went out of his way to be clear and consultative at every step of the way, to answer my queries promptly and in detail, and was able to manage the process of turning a book from manuscript to complete work ready for sale in both paperback and ebook format.

I was to publish through the Ignis Imprint early 2012 and since then, he has been hard at work putting together and testing a new promotional platform, iAuthor, which is designed to not only help self-published authors reach their audience, but readers, editors, publishers, developers… Basically anyone involved in the “writing universe” really…

Because I am so grateful to have worked with Adam over the last two years or so now, and because he has done such a sterling job in all aspects (and beyond my expectations), I certainly want to support his cause, which no doubt will help that of many others (including my own!)

 

So what do you get with the iAuthor site?

  •  FREE registration and profile creation.
  • FREE advertisement for authors (including app authors) for an unlimited number of advertisements.
  • Book service providers can choose between “Silver” (large) and “Gold” (extra-large) advertising slots, paying a fixed monthly fee in their chosen currency to advertise.
  • Advertisements can be made in one of 40+ author categories (e.g. Fantasy, Horror, General Non-fiction and Book apps for adults) and 25+ book service categories (e.g. editors, printers, designers and marketers), thus enabling targeted ads.
  • Adverts are fully customisable, updatable, visible within a single click of the home page and linked with dashboard analytics showing total and unique clicks for each ad, in addition to breakdowns by date and country.

For instance, my ad page for my horror novel, The Dark Horde, features the cover and blurb, my bio and photo, book extracts, additional images, links to various sites (such as here), the book trailer, news and awards, social media links, links to purchase across numerous different outlets (e.g. Amazon, Barnes and Noble), and social media plugins that enable viewers to interact by clicking “like” or posting comments.

 

So here's a few screen shots, showing the author categories, the book service categories and my ad page for The Dark Horde, to give you more of an idea:

 

 

 

 

 

The iAuthor site in addition allows for the creation of “Themes”, allowing for books to be grouped in ways other than simply by category. For instance here are some of the themes currently on offer: “Indie books looking for reviewers”, “Books by trade-published authors who have turned indie” and “Apps that redefine the reading experience”. –Themes can be easily followed to keep an eye on a particular area of interest and new themes can be created easily by anyone who wishes to!

So hopefully I’ve done enough to demonstrate just how useful this new platform is…

AUTHORS REMEMBER THAT YOU CAN USE THE AMAZING THINGS THAT iAUTHOR HAS TO OFFER FOR FREE!!

I’ll close now with some of Adam’s own words, exemplifying just why he’s founded this site for the benefit of all of us:

“For emerging authors, the digital revolution is a mixed blessing. The Web may have democratised the act of publishing, but it hasn’t democratised the outcome. Authors of equal talent do not have equal access to readers, and the gap between talent and opportunity is widening. iAuthor empowers authors and book service-providers to forge their own brand in a saturated market.”

 

Thank you for reading and hope to see you over on the iAuthor site! J

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My Next Big Thing(s)...

The Dark Horde - The Calling
Grail Quest by J.H.Brennan
My Grail Quest collection!
(Some of) my Fighting Fantasy collection!
Sagas of the Demonspawn by J.H.Brennan
Illustration by Joshua Wright





“The Next Big Thing” is a chain-blogging event where authors and artists write about their “next big thing” before tagging another five people to do the same thing the following week or so.

My exceptionally talented writer friend Anita Bell (author of numerous best-selling and award-winning books) tagged me (and four others) and wrote up her blog HERE, so now it’s my turn!

There’s been a few things happening in “the land of Brewin” lately, and although I’m not in the habit of talking about things I’m doing (or even have done!) yet, I’ll try to give you a taste of what’s to come… Oh and whilst this is meant to be done in question and answer format (five questions I think it is), I’ve kinda just done this my own way…

         

 Photography by Jake Lowe, Dodgy MS Paint mock-up cover by Brewin’ …And yes, these are actually Manna Gums.

 

To know the future, is to know the horror to come

To know what stalks us, calling from the darkness inside…

 

“The Calling”, otherwise known as “The Dark Horde album”, is an album-length musical that tells of the events leading up to the beginning of my associated horror novel The Dark Horde. The story is told through both narration and sung lyrics, and is set to atmospheric music. The idea is that you can sit back and listen to the whole album and absorb the story: regardless of whether you have read the book or not. Making the album possible are a number of expert vocalists and musicians, including Liam “Wagener” who did the music and video for The Dark Horde book trailer, and Hanny Mohamed who did the music for the Infinite Universe gamebook. “The Calling” is a project that’s been around at least 13 years, and like the The Dark Horde novel, has already gone through many iterations, but has yet to be released. I’ll refrain from showing you old versions for now, but you’ll get to hear some of the new stuff (i.e. the stuff we are aiming to release) soon enough… In the meantime just imagine it’s something like Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds musical, but more horror-based and with an atmospheric “metal” soundtrack.

“The Calling” is just one of the many things I’ll be doing in 2013 though… In fact I’m involved in a lot bigger goings at Tin Man Games, and some of this work I can say a little about, starting with the biggest ever news to rock the land of the Brewin:

                                                    

 Grail Quest is without a doubt, my favourite gamebook series of all time…

 As you probably know by now, gamebooks were a HUGE part of my childhood and along with role-playing games (particularly Dungeons and Dragons and Call of Cthulhu) have influenced my life ever since… Fighting Fantasy may have been the most well-known of “dice-based gamebooks”, but as soon as I discovered Grail Quest in what year was it? 1985 perhaps? they quickly became my all-time favourites… I proudly own the whole series to this day, and from the looks of the Imprint details, I have the original UK printings too:

                                       

Neil tells me that these are worth quite a bit now… Not that that matters since I’ll never be selling them ;)

I remember I used to spend quite a lot of time reading these in grade six (1986 was the year), including in class. My grade six teacher became quite intrigued by these gamebooks that I was reading, so much so that he began to use them to set class exercises. He’d take pictures from them (mostly the first two as I recall) and have a whole class write stories using one of the pictures as a prompt.

Anyway so where I’m going with this, is that Tin Man Games (that I’ve worked with since just after their first gamebook by S.P. Osbourne, An Assassin in Orlandes, was released) is now bringing the series to a digital platform, and Neil Rennison, director of Tin Man Games, knowing my love for the Grail Quest series, and my background in statistics, editing and game design, has put me in charge of figuring out the conversion: i.e. suggesting how it can be implemented (it remains to be seen how much of the actual implementation I do owing to my own time constraints). To be in such a position now, working on the conversion of a series and author I idolised, along with the works of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone’s Fighting Fantasy series from the same era, is surreal to say the least! You can read all about the announcement, including some special words from the author, J.H. “Herbie” Brennan, himself HERE.

                                                      

A few of my friends take pride in their rare vinyls from the eighties… But I have gamebooks which are way cooler!

Yes I still have the first versions of the Fighting Fantasy books too, with their original covers before the green spines came in (which I must admit, I’ve never really been a fan of though they did certainly reinforce “the brand” which I guess was the point). –By 1987 I’d collected over a hundred gamebooks, before stupidly selling off most of my collection save for the Fighting Fantasies, Grail Quests and Lone Wolfs, plus a handful of others like Duel Master and Falcon. (Choose-your-own Adventure, Endless Quest and Tunnels and Trolls were just some of those that got sold off: but the ones I miss the most are my Interplanetary Spy gamebooks – I had the whole series dammit!)

But back to Tin Man Games again, they certainly seem to have established themselves as the “go to place for gamebooks” in the current era, and have been announcing an incredible line-up of gamebook releases HERE, concluding with the “grand daddy” of them all: Fighting Fantasy. It was a strange twist of circumstance (you could even say “fate”) that I became involved with Tin Man Games in the first place, and having now edited, rebalanced (and to a significant degree rewritten) the first four titles, plus written one of my own, Infinite Universe, I take some credit in the success that Gamebook Adventures have had, and for what they’ve done to “bring gamebooks back” J

But that’s not all I’m working on… In fact far from it:

                                                 

I was lazy and just grabbed this from Tin Man Games blog post on the same topic…

Among other things, Tin Man Games have also announced that they’ll be bringing Herbie Brennan's other classic gamebook series, Sagas of the Demonspawn, to digital format. Like the Grail Quest series, these were exceptionally well-written epic fantasy stories that were targeted towards the “older reader” owing to their adult content at times (which was quite unusual for the era). One thing that (IMHO) they didn’t succeed with so much was the combat system used. I notice I’m not alone in the opinion that not only was the system unnecessarily convoluted but the combats are nigh impossible at times. And having compiled my own gamebook simulator which you can download HERE, I have the stats to back these perceptions up (note that the simulator I’ve made available for download only includes the Fighting Fantasy and Gamebook Adventures systems at this point).

So like Grail Quest, I’ll be working on the conversion of Sagas of the Demonspawn to a digital format, and I’m almost as excited about this as I am about Grail Quest. In many ways I imagine that this conversion will make Sagas of the Demonspawn better than it ever was: You keep the fantastic world and story, but streamline the system and ensure it is properly balanced, to end up with one of the greatest gamebook experiences you can have! Everyone wins! J (And to be honest, it doesn’t actually take many tweaks to achieve this: but you’ll see that for yourself soon enough!) Anyway, Neil of Tin Man Games talks more about this release HERE.

                                                                                     

Amin al Joddah, “the jewel of the desert”, capital of the United Emirates of Akbir

Those Tin Men have certainly been keeping me busy lately, as I’ve also been working on the editing/implementation of another two Gamebook Adventures titles: Sultans of Rema (an illustration from which can be seen above by Joshua Wright) and Shadow over Rema.

Sultans of Rema (which Neil announced HERE) is written by Gaetano Abbondanza, and is the sequel to his first Gamebook Adventures title Slaves of Rema. This title, together with Ashton Saylor’s Shadow over Rema, will form the “Rema trilogy” if you will. Sultans of Rema is an "Arabian Nights" style of adventure, whereas Shadow over Rema has more of a dark fantasy flavour... I guess I was best placed to take on the implementation of these since I not only created (most of) the map and history for the Reman continent (with Neil’s direction of course: being the world he created for his Dungeons and Dragons campaign from childhood), but I wrote much of the content in Slaves of Rema too, in order to fill it out with world details etc. Anyway Sultans of Rema isn’t far from release, with Shadow over Rema to follow sometime later… Sultans also contains a handful of references to things in Shadow over Rema, but you’ll probably only be able to spot those once both are out ;)

I also get asked about sequels to my other works: Infinite Universe, The Dark Hordeand Evermore: An Introduction. The short answer is yes there will be sequels at some point, but no I cannot say when. I work a “day job” as an analyst/programmer for the market research company Nielsen as well (my hours varying from one to five days a week depending on demand) and somewhere around that try to maintain a semblance of a social life too… Time is ever the enemy! Hmm I’d like to do a movie-adaption of The Dark Horde too, but such things are well beyond my current focus.

Then there’s the other things I’d like to do (given time, I’m not making any promises yet): An expanded version of Trial of the Battle God, something for the Adventurer solo roleplaying system, and other collaborative works such as Operation: Time Bomb. But the biggest (and greatest I think) of all these by a long way is a game system known to many of my friends as Creator. Creator fills over four drawers in my room, comprises many thousands of pages, close to thirty years of work and the collected input of about a hundred playtesters over the years… I haven’t come back to this for a while (Trial of the Battle God includes some elements though), but is certainly something I aim to get to sooner or later: It’s my “life work” if you will, and still to this day, there’s nothing out there like it (at least to my knowledge). Time will tell when I can start to talk about that more as it becomes a more concrete release reality.

Okay so enough about me, it’s time to pass the baton to those up next. (And apologies if I’ve made it seem like a hard act to follow: I had a lot to cover haha).

I’ve tagged the following eclectic bunch of individuals from around the globe, whose exceptional talents range across vastly different creative disciplines:

 

                                        David Walters - Book/Gamebook Author and Eastern expert, hailing from Scotland.

                                        Kevin Powe - Villainous voice over artist and gamer, hailing from Australia.

                                        Kimberly Kinrade - Novelist and Publicity/Marketing guru, hailing from the US.

                                        Joshua Wright - Illustrator and Designer, hailing from Australia.

                                        Stuart Lloyd - Gamebook guru and Designer, hailing from England.

 

 

And finally, given the day it is now (I meant to have posted this earlier but oh well):

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

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Brewin
Here's some of the follow-ups to the above post, by those I tagged: Kevin Powe - http://kevinpowe.voiceoverartist.com.au/2013/my-n... Read More
Sunday, 13 January 2013 05:56
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Kickstart My Heart!

Kickstarter - Arcana Agency: The Thief of Memories
Goblin's Bounty: A Gamebook with Collectable Cards


I must admit I've never been a big fan of "glam metal" (I was more a fan of "thrash metal" growing up in the 80's and 90's) but I did like this song. I used to play Kickstart my Heart by Motley Crue (with the "metal-dots" that is) before going to school...

Not that any of that has anything to do with this blog post! No, this is meant to be a post on some of the great Kickstarter campaigns around at the moment, and why you should back them if you're into gamebooks or role-playing games. Like anything creative I guess, the success of these things depends on publicity more than anything else, so here's my effort to help others out there... Not that I can say I'm very good at publicity: I think I've won more awards and nominations for my novels in the last month or two than I've actually sold haha, but hey let's stay on topic for the moment:

 

Arcana Agency: The Thief of Memories

This is the Kickstarter campaign that comes to mind most at the moment, as not only does it look awesome, but it's currently short of its target with only a couple of days left to find funding. So here's why you should fund it:

  • It's to be a two hundred page gamebook printed in hardback in full colour!
  • Story features a team of paranormal investigators in New York in the 1930's! The same setting as featured in classic "Lovecraftian / Cthulhu Mythos" fiction if you like (I certainly do!) in the dark times of The Depression and under brooding clouds leading up to the second World War. 
  • The way the narrative is structured, you actually play the whole investigative team, actively solving a mystery and making decisions with repercussions for the rest of the story. 
  • It's written by Paul Gresty, who also wrote Ookle of the Broken Finger, which was IMHO the best written entry in the recent Windhammer Prize for short Gamebook Fiction.
  • I've read the free demo, and it's awesome. I can definitely see how fully fleshed out, this would be an intriguing detective adventure where you actually come to know and love the characters you play. You can get the demo as a free PDF file (some 13.7 MB due to the abundance of pictures!) HERE
  • It's being produced by Megara Entertainment who've previously produced iOS adaptions of the classic Fabled Lands gamebooks among other great things.
  • If it doesn't get enough money pledged in the next two or so days, it won't happen, so it needs your help to succeed!

 

 Goblin's Bounty: Gamebook / Collectable Card Game

 

A gamebook crossed with a CCG game. Brilliant! Here's another project that's short of its target and with only a few more days to go. Here's why you should back it:

  • It's a collectable card game: a genre made famous with the Magic: The Gathering card game, mixed with the story and decision-making of a gamebook. Being a big fan of Magic: The Gathering (I still have stacks of the cards, and though I haven't played for a while, I've been collecting those cards since the week they arrived in Australia) and quest-based PC adaptions of CCG games such as the PC version of MTG Duels of the Planeswalkers from 1997 and the 2003 PC game Etherlords II which was a more recent adaption (and better so I thought), Goblin's Bounty has to be good!
  • It's being written by Stuart Lloyd with assistance by Ashton Saylor, both well-known active gamebook writers and bloggers, not to mention great blokes, and who are also both writing forthcoming gamebook titles for Gamebook Adventures (and in fact I'm working with Ashton on his title).
  • You play as a goblin. Fighting for goblin glory against those "do-good" humans with their knights, mages and castles. (I do like atypical stories where you play the underdog!)
  • Strategic elements of card collecting, deck building and card playing, plus choices you make in the narrative itself, make for a highly playable (and replayable) awesome adventure!
  • It'll be all digital as an Android release, so you play it for a few minutes here and there on public transport or wherever and whenever you have time. (I look forward to the iOS version!)
  • It's being put together and released by Attic Squad Games who previously released Warlock's Bounty (which was a similar gamebook/CCG hybrid written by legendary Fighting Fantasy author Jonathan Green).
  • It too needs your help to make it happen in the next few days!

 

 YOU ARE THE HERO

If you know anything about gamebooks, you'll what Fighting Fantasy is. Fighting Fantasy catalysed the gamebook genre more than any other, and filled many a childhood throughout the eighties including mine. Without Fighting Fantasy you may not have had most other gamebooks, you wouldn't have had Games Workshop (therefore the Warhammer games including Blood Bowl that I still play), and even role-playing games themselves (such as Dungeons and Dragons) wouldn't have been successful: in the UK, Europe and Australia at least where gamebooks were often "the gateway drug" to role-playing games.

So I basically this Kickstarter is for a "coffee table" thirty year anniversary book of Fighting Fantasy, written by the Legendary Jonathan Green who's not only written a number of Fighting Fantasy titles but a Gamebook Adventures title and at least another 30 books as well (and many of these award-winning). It too needs your support if it's to happen!

There's been some other great Kickstarter projects lately, some of which have been successful, such as the epic gamebook Maelorum, and others such as Turn to 400 - The Fighting Fantasy Documentary and Cthulhu World Combat by the iconic Sandy Petersen, which haven't. Sadly dreams can only be realised with time, money and publicity (and I personally don't have much of any of those!)

I'd like to fund my own dreams through something like Kickstarter one day too, but I consider I need a much better publicity platform than I have now for that to succeed (I'm getting there, but have a long way to go!) -But there's one more campaign I'd like to draw your attention to, that doesn't even need funding to make it happen, cos it already has:

 

 THE DARK HORDE

 

I need to flog this some more for a few reasons. Aside from it being my own self-financed work, and it just having received an Honorable Mention in the Genre Fiction category for the Writer's Digest Annual Self Published Awards, I currently have about 1000 paperback copies sitting in a UK warehouse that'll get pulped soon if I don't start selling them. So if you're in the UK you can pick a copy, mailed to you FREE for only £2.99 which is about as cheap as I can sell them for and pretty much for less than it cost me to even produce them. (And if you're in Europe, you can probably order cheap paperback copies through your nearest Amazon store for about the same cost).

Sometimes I indulge myself in the fantasy of one day being able to make a living from writing, and of even being able to make a movie based on The Dark Horde (there's at least an album in the works) but for now, I just have to sell these bloody books... Who knows? Maybe this limited edition print-run will be worth something one day as a collector's item haha

Aside from this, there's been many other exciting things happening in the Land of Brewin, but I'll have to tell you some more about that another day :)

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Brewin
Thanks to both of you for being awesome and promoting the "gamebook cause". Here's hoping both of you get the green light to proce... Read More
Wednesday, 12 December 2012 06:04
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Announcing the winners of the Coffin Hop giveaway!

Well the month of October has passed us now, and I have a (somewhat brief!) moment to reflect...

The first three weeks of October I was involved with the Fiction Frolic for All Hallow's Read promotion, together with nine other authors, which raised a total of 328 books for the charity Books for America, and gave away a number of free books and cash prizes to the lucky winners (who've been contacted already). -You can read details about how the event went here.

This last week in the lead up to Halloween itself, I've been involved in the Coffin Hop promotion, together with over a hundred other horror artists, where we've each written articles (on our own sites and others) and had giveaways, competitions and general craziness.

(These events have been in addition to the other things I'm doing at the same time, like the "day job", upcoming projects and having some semblance of a social life haha)

But all in all, I have to say both the Fiction Frolic and Coffin Hop events have been a great success for me, and I certainly intend to do more of them! In the month of October, I've gained around 250 new followers on Twitter and Facebook, had around 1000 visits to my website, and generally had a lot of fun! But really, I'm all too aware of how difficult the battle for publicity / awareness actually is, and know that for everything I do manage to do, there's at least three, and probably at least ten times as many other things I should be doing as well... But I'm getting there ;)

-Not that I'm sure where "there" is as yet, but at least it's somewhere different from where I've been :)

So anyway, onto the winners of my giveaway (whom have by now been notified by email):

The following three people are each receiving a signed paperback copy and t-shirt for The Dark Horde in their chosen size:

Jennifer Ricketts, Julie Saffold, Lauren MacKay.

And the following thirteen people have each been emailed a free pdf copy of The Dark Horde:

Adele Symonds, Aniko Carmean, Georgina Morales, Jeanette Jackson, Jennifer Mathis, Jessica McHugh, Kim Koning Author, Mary, Neil McGrory, Paul Smith, Rob Smales, Scott Hilton, Shane Garvey

Congratulations to you all!

-I did have to draw more people than the initial sixteen, due to (a) some people being drawn twice (apparently Rafflecopter doesn't account for this) and (b) three people who won pdf copies but already had one (whereupon I've organised alternatives with them, and re-drawn).

For all those that missed out, fear not, you can always grab an e-copy for $3 on Amazon HERE ;)


I hope you all had a great Halloween (although sadly if you're in NE America and copped Sandy and its aftermath you probably didn't)...  I'll be back with some more news / stuff I hope is interesting soon!

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Announcing Coffin Hop 2012 and a MAD giveaway

Coffin Hop 2012
Brewin's Coffin Hop Prizes!

Coffin Hop is an annual event in the week leading up to Halloween where a hundred or more authors, artists, publishers and more host giveaways, prizes and even games on their blogs to celebrate horror fiction in all its forms. Every visitor to any of the blogs taking part can "blog hop" between one blog and the next: discovering new things, having fun and having the chance to win the stacks and stacks of prizes on offer from those taking part.

* HERE IS THE LIST OF ALL THE AWESOME PEOPLE TAKING PART *

 

This year is the first I'm taking part, and I'm joining in the fun with a MAD giveaway of my own stuff: I'm doing a few guest posts around, but most of all I'm giving away a bunch of e-books and three signed paperback copies and t-shirts for The Dark Horde, mailed to you FREE (at a cost of quite a bit I must say) and all for a few crazy clicks!

       

It might be a crazy idea really, but sometimes I think you've just gotta do something crazy to see what happens. Put another way if I throw enough mud, I mean free stuff, at the universe, I figure something cool has to happen... And that could be YOU! So below is the prizes I'm offering and the link to enter:

* 3 MAD bundles with a signed paperback copy and t-shirt in your choice of M, L or XL size; and 13 e-book copies! *

My giveaway ends when midnight strikes on Halloween (EST time), so you don't have long! But stick around the Land of the Brewin a bit first, I think you'll discover something you like :)

 

Enter Brewin's MAD Rafflecopter giveaway!!

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James
Thanks for the opportunity to win some of your cool stuff. Glad you're taking part this year. Sadly, I am well behind in my visits... Read More
Saturday, 27 October 2012 16:30
Brewin
Thanks everyone for your comments: much appreciated! Good luck with your entries, hope you enjoy, and of course have a great Hallo... Read More
Wednesday, 31 October 2012 05:56
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My favourite work of "dark" literature

The world of dark fantasy, the supernatural and the occult have always held a strong attraction for me. To explore the worlds “beyond the veil” and revel in the supernatural mysteries beyond “mundane reality”. I have always been a lover of fantasy, science-fiction and horror, but it is the horror genre that I tend to come back to most.

I’m not really sure why it is, but I’m proud to say that the first story I ever wrote when I was six, was a horror story called The Dangerous World where all my family members, myself included, died as a result of various disasters. Nor can I really explain why most of the stories I wrote throughout my childhood were horror stories filled with demons, undead and gore, and usually ended with the death of the protagonist at the hands of some nefarious entity.

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The Book That Ignited my Love of Reading and Writing


There is a book that I credit as being the one, more than any other, that makes me the writer I am today, that opened my eyes to a whole world of fantasy, and what was at the time an entirely new genre. A book whose authors were my childhood idols, a book I must have read over twenty times. A book whose influence was so profound, that my first novel’s last third pays homage to its genre, and is actually featured in a chapter of my second novel (including extracts). A genre that I now work in to produce titles of my own and those of others, and where I have the amazing privilege and honour to be working for one of the original authors himself: a dream that my childhood self would simply have been unable to believe...

 

***

 

To read the rest of this post, and find out how you can enter to win up to $200 in Amazon GCs, 10 signed books, swag bags and more, check out Fiction Frolic, where 10 authors strive to raise 1,000 books for charity in 3 weeks, all in celebration of All Hallow's Read!

 

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Fiction Frolic for All Hallow's Read



It is a great pleasure to be involved with this initiative that aims to raise 1000 books for charity and in support of All Hallow's Read that Neil Gaiman created a few years ago to promote giving a book or scary story away for Halloween. Ten authors, including myself, have come together with book giveaways, cash prizes and cool stuff like this:

 

...Below is the official word from the blog tour organisers:

 

Help Raise 1,000 books for charity and enter to win $200, signed books and swag!

We are excited to share about an ambitious blog tour—Fiction Frolic for All Hallow's Read—where ten authors from several genres are working hard to raise 1,000 books in three weeks for Books for America.

From October 1st to 19th, donate a new book (or books!) and earn extra bonus points in a huge giveaway that these authors are hosting.

 

Two winners will each receive the following PRIZES!

$100 Amazon G.C.

5 signed books from the authors hosting the event

A swag bag

Plus—in honor of All Hallow's read, gift a signed copy of one of our books to a friend!

 

With a total of $200, 12 signed books (including the gifted books) and major swag, what better way is there to raise books for charity and celebrate All Hallow's Read?

Each author participating is also donating signed copies of their books to Books for America, an awesome charity that is officially sponsoring their event and excited to be involved with All Hallow's Read. In 2011, Books for America donated more than $800,000 worth of books and materials to DC area schools, shelters and dozens of other educational programs and organizations.

 

The authors are blogging throughout the event at The Fiction Frolic Blog.

·        10/1-5 Read about how books shaped their love for reading and writing.

·        10/8-12 Read their scariest, funniest or craziest Halloween experiences, or learn about their favorite Halloween themed book or movie, or favorite work of "dark" literature.

·        10/15-19 Enjoy some flash fiction, short stories and novel excerpts.

 

So donate, share, and look for daily ways to enter to win. Donate to charity for bonus points!.

 

This event is sponsored by:

Eleanor T Beaty, author of the YA paranormal Veiled Mist

Brewin' author of the supernatural horror, The Dark Horde

Andy Gavin, author of the fantasy horror, The Darkening Dream

Laxmi Hariharan, author of the YA fantasy, The Destiny of Shaitan

Kimberly Kinrade, author of the YA paranormal thriller/romances, Forbidden Mind & Forbidden Fire

Richard Long, author of the supernatural thriller/horror, The Book of Paul

M.C. Mars, author of the mind-bending novel, Burner

Melissa McPhail, author of epic fantasy Cephrael's Hand

Sheryl Steines, author of She Wulf & Days of First Sun

Pavarti K Tyler., author of the Lit Fic Shadow on the Wall and the erotic horror Consumed by Love

 

 Joooin ussss!

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News from the Land of the Brewin'

Yep... I can relate to this ;)

…I think one of my issues to address is that I don’t talk enough about what I’ve done, I am doing now or will be doing soon… I’m too busy actually doing it rather than talking about it.

                       

So dear reader, I shall endeavour to tell you more about what’s been happening in the “Land of the Brewin”, which is quite-a-bloody-lot haha:

  • Gamebook Adventures 8: Infinite Universe gets Freeplay 2012 Nomination for Best Writing in a Game:
    This is news is actually a week old now, but it’s the biggest news of the moment for me. “Freeplay is Australia’s longest running independent games festival exploring the intersection of indie development, culture, arts and education.” (That’s the description from the Freeplay site). And each year they give awards to what is judged the best game in a variety of categories. Only three entrants are short-listed in each category, so out of 115 entries for the Freeplay awards (more than triple the previous year), it is a special honour to have my Infinite Universe gamebook nominated as one of them… (I think I’d be a shoe-in to win the award if it was “Most Writing in a Game” haha but unfortunately “Best” and “Most” are two quite different things).
  • The Dark Horde October promotion for Fiction Frolic / All Hallow’s Read:
    In order to boost the profile on my horror novel, The Dark Horde, I’m doing a lot of things over October, including the above promotion and many of which I am (somewhat frantically) organising now. In conjunction with hundreds of other blogs, there’ll be book giveaways, t-shirts, a book trailer, and hopefully a few blog articles about The Dark Horde, and some of the amazing reviews thus far. But before then there’s a few things to still get finalised, including distribution channels and newsletters, so stay tuned on that one.

Book Sale!!

Ignis Book Covers

If you’ve yet to get a copy of either of my books THE DARK HORDE or EVERMORE: AN INTRODUCTION, now is your chance as they just been reduced in price by 50% to 65% !

Available through Amazon in paperback and Kindle, this offer won’t be around long, so grab yourself a bargain!

The Dark Horde (Paperback) for £2.99

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Post-mortem of a Book Launch

The latest covers for my three published works

On Saturday the 28th of April 2012, I held my “triple book launch” at the Royal Hotel in Clifton Hill. The video of my speech (which included me reading an extract of The Dark Horde that contains swearing and graphic content) can be seen here:


Attendance and sales for the day was broadly comparable to the “book launch gigs” I held (for the then-released versions of my Evermore novel) in 2001 and 2003. Well when I say broadly comparable, it was actually less. Here’s a reasonably accurate breakdown and comparison of my three book launches:

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Brewin
Thank you for your contribution Nevermore. I think I get what you are trying to say, but I have to correct you on your perception ... Read More
Wednesday, 02 May 2012 16:43
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WELCOME TO THE BLOG OF THE BREWIN!


Camping at a friend’s property on the banks of the Murray River (and wearing a silly hat).

 

Do you like my blog so far? Nah seriously it’s hard to know where to begin. It’s a great pleasure to welcome you all to my blog…

How many clichés can I start my first ever blog post with? Haha.

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