A little under thirty years ago an event happened that was to change my life forever afterwards... As a seven or eight-year old I walked into my local bookstore and there was this book (actually there were three of them in the series by this point if I recall correctly) called Warlock of Firetop Mountain.
It wasn't just any book though. It was a book in which I got to be the hero. I was the one making the choices and battling enemies. It was still a couple of years before I got my head around Dungeons and Dragons, but it was Fighting Fantasy that was my "gateway drug" to the world of role playing games... Over the next few years I collected over a hundred gamebooks, although stupidly I sold off most of them when I started high school, but I kept my favourites: Grailquest, Lone Wolf, Duelmaster, Falcon and the one that started them all really (even if Tunnels and Trolls came out first): Fighting Fantasy.
Before I was able to be a Dungeon Master for D&D, I was "Dungeon Master" for Fighting Fantasy: reading out Warlock of Firetop Mountain to my friends and having them make the choices... Here is a photo of my battered copy, a book which I must have read at least twenty times:
Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone became my idols and inspired me to write and want to be like them one day. And all these years later, it is a special and unbelievable privilege that I am able to be doing just that. :D
And yesterday was the 30 year anniversary of the day that the first Fighting Fantasy book, Warlock of Firetop Mountain, went on sale. Thank you Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson for enriching my childhood and life ever since with your magic.
To commemorate the anniversary, Ian Livingstone has blessed us with a new Fighting Fantasy book: Blood of the Zombies. You can read about it and lots more here.