Sunday, April 1, 2012

April A to Z - B is for Blogs part 3 - an Interview with Lee Williams


Yes, that's him in the picture and yes,
he's wearing a 'hatbrella'.
We hav blogs that write about gamebooks - we also have blogs that are gamebooks.  William Lee's blog The Tower of Clavius Boon which hosts the eponymous (I like that word) gamebook.  The gamebook is regularly being updated with more paragraphs to keep you coming back for more great humour filled adventures. 

Lee's writing is generally very witty.  His bio on his short story blog reads:

Lee Williams is a writer from the Isle of Wight in England. He has had a number of short stories published online and in print and has received hundreds of encouragingly polite rejections from all over the world!

Don’t be fooled by his use of the third-person – he is actually writing this.

So after you have had a good go at Lee's gamebook and read his short stories, have a look at his interview:

What was the first gamebook you read (that wasn't your own)?

'The Warlock of Firetop Mountain', to keep me quiet on a long car journey to Devon. The magic of google tells me I must have been seven years old at the time. Once I got over the nightmares about skeletal boat-builders, I was hooked for life!

What is your favourite gamebook?

Of the Fighting Fantasy books, I still have a special fondness for 'City of Thieves' (very atmospheric) and 'Appointment with F.E.A.R.' (great fun). I also love the 'Sorcery!' series, 'Avenger!', the 'Duelmaster' books and many more...

What gamebooks/interactive fiction would you recommend to a newcomer to the genre?

The first of J H Brennan's 'Grailquest' books, as I recall, has a very nice way of introducing the reader to the format.

Summarise what a gamebook is to a newcomer in 100 characters or fewer.

A gamebook is a story in which the reader makes choices which affect the outcome.

Why are gamebooks great compared to games or books?

I think that although these three categories overlap, there are pleasures which are special to each. Anyone who loves to read will know that games and films have never superseded books, and anyone who loves to play will know that sometimes a book can benefit from a little interactivity.

Where did you come up with your ideas for Clavius Boon?

A couple of years ago, I recovered from a bout of illness by rereading all my old gamebooks. Out of my delirium, 'The Tower of Clavius Boon' was born!


When it comes to writing a gamebook, what's the most important thing that you do?
Milton Keynes (before the apocalypse,
I assure you).

I originally intended Clavius Boon to be no more than a short writing exercise but as it expanded I regretted not working to a clear structure. Now, I plan everything carefully in esoteric-looking diagrams beforehand, which has the advantage of making my writing area look as if it is occupied by some sort of nuclear scientist.

What have you got coming up in terms of your gamebook projects?

I have already started work on two other gamebooks - a space opera and a story set in post-apocalyptic Milton Keynes.

Do you have any other sites besides  http://claviusboon.wordpress.com/ ?

Yes, I also have a blog at http://williamslee.blogspot.com/, devoted mostly to my short story writing. Why I write under two different names is a mystery even to me. It must have seemed like a good idea at some time!

So there we go - Check out both os Lee's blogs at http://claviusboon.wordpress.com/  and http://williamslee.blogspot.com/.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks Stuart! It's great to have a mention here in such excellent company. I will be following this A to Z like a HAWK.

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    Replies
    1. Many thanks for your interview! I hope you enjoy the rest of the posts. I look forward to reading more of your books :).

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