Thursday, April 4, 2013

April A to Z - D is for Densley. Wayne Densley.

Wayne Densley is the creative genius behind the Chronicles of Arborell and the mastermind behind the Windhammer Competition for short gamebook fiction.  I interviewed Wayne about Windhammer last year and both the competition and the website have gone from strength to strength.

So without any ado, here is Wayne to tell us about his last year...

Gamebooks have been a part of my life for more than twenty-five years.  I remember the excitement that CYOA books and the first gamebook series created in the eighties and when I found my own children enjoying them in the nineties it made me look closer at what they were, and the storytelling possibilities they might provide to a writer like myself.  It was in 1993 that I started drafting my first gamebook, Windhammer, and from that beginning has come a further twenty-six titles so far, encompassing gamebooks, novels, novellas, fantasy languages, maps, mythologies, journals, micro-gamebooks, table-top wargames and other RPG supplements.  My name is Wayne Densley and I am the author of the Chronicles of Arborell interactive gamebook series and organiser of the Windhammer Prize for Short Gamebook Fiction.  I can say that my year since Stuart's last April A to Z has been a busy one and I am pleased to have the opportunity to give an account of all that has happened since.
For both the Chronicles of Arborell and the Windhammer Prize the past twelve months have been very busy.  The Chronicles of Arborell has seen a number of additions to the title catalogue and an ongoing progression of upgrades and revisions to existing titles.  Of most note was the release of the Well of Shadows gamebook and the publication of six micro-gamebook adventures including The Watchtower, Alwen's Run, Assault on Nem'haleen, The Gaelwch, The Ghosts of Allan'duril and the Secret of Clavette's Keep.
In regards to the upgrading of existing titles three should be mentioned here.  The first being the review and re-release of the Song of the Dromannion.  The second the updating and reformatting of Blood and Iron as a PDF download and thirdly, the updating and re-publication of the Mythology of the Oera'dim, both in its compilation form and its individual myths and legends.
For the Windhammer Prize 2012 was an outstanding success.  With 22 entrants and a wide-ranging selection of original gamebooks last year's competition was certainly the largest and hardest fought.  Congratulations must go to everyone who participated.
When looking to the future I can say that 2013 will be just as busy.  At this time I am continuing development of the second Jotun of the West gamebook, A Murder of Crows, and are looking at releasing at least four additional micro-gamebook adventures this year.   The Windhammer Prize continues in 2013 with an increased cash prize pool, the continuation of commercial publication of winning entries by Tin Man Games and a new tier of Commendation Awards for entrants.  I have the sense that it is going to be another great competition this year.
For gamebooks in general I believe the future is looking very healthy indeed.  Both paper and digital gamebooks are finding publishers willing to put them out there and readers are rediscovering interactive adventures in a widening range of formats and genres.  There have been a number of successful Kickstarter projects as well that have shown an increasing level of commitment to the genre and a willingness to try new ways to present interactive stories.  Of course there has also been the expansion in the internet presence of gamebooks especially in blogs, forums and other gamebook-related websites.  It is great to see the amount of discourse being created by these sites which ultimately leads to an increase in the awareness of gamebooks in general.  I have been writing gamebooks for a long time and I don't think I have ever seen the level of interest that is now being generated.  Kudos must go out to everyone who has been willing to put their time and money into giving the gamebook genre the energy and the exposure it deserves. 

Visit the Chronicles of Arborell website here.

For the 2013 Windhammer guidelines, go here.

For the Chronicles of Arborell Yahoo group, go here.

To go to the Facebook group, click here.


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