Risingshadow has had the honour of interviewing Jonathan Green.
Jonathan Green is a writer of speculative fiction, with more than sixty books to his name. He has written everything from Fighting Fantasy gamebooks to Doctor Who novels, by way of Sonic the Hedgehog, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Judge Dredd. He is the creator of the Pax Britannia steampunk series for Abaddon Books, and the author of the award-winning, and critically-acclaimed, YOU ARE THE HERO – A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks.
Click here to visit his official website.
Click here to visit his Twitter page.
AN INTERVIEW WITH JONATHAN GREEN
- Could you tell us something about yourself in your words?
I am a writer of speculative fiction, with more than sixty books to my name. I have written everything from Fighting Fantasy gamebooks to Doctor Who novels, by way of Sonic the Hedgehog, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Judge Dredd. I am the creator of the Pax Britannia steampunk series for Abaddon Books, and the author of the award-winning, and critically-acclaimed, YOU ARE THE HERO – A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks. To find out more about my current projects visit www.JonathanGreenAuthor.com and follow me on Twitter @jonathangreen.
- How did you become an author?
I've always wanted to be an author, ever since I understood what one was. I wrote short stories and my own adventure gamebooks while I was at school, and then after finishing A-levels I wrote to Puffin Books asking if I could write gamebooks for them. I was sent the writer's guidelines for the Fighting Fantasy range, was warned my chances of publication were very slim, and then after two years, two completely different ideas and about five re-writes I received my first commission - to write Spellbreaker. I've been published every year since.
- You've written several Pax Britannia novels. What kind of a series is it? Is there anything that readers should know about it?
Ostensibly it's an SF steampunk series, but there are action-adventure stories, horror stories, and everything in between. Readers should know that first and foremost, the series is great fun!
The Pax Britannia stories take place towards the end of an alternate 20th century in a world where the sun never set on the British Empire. Queen Victoria is still on the throne, kept alive by steam-power and clockwork, there are dinosaurs in London Zoo, robot Bobbies help police the crowded streets of the metropolis, people live under the sea as well as on the moon, Mars is trying to break away from the empire of Magna Britannia, while ne’er-do-wells plot the downfall of the status quo from within. My main protagonist is Ulysses Quicksilver, dandy, adventurer, and agent of the crown.
- What inspired you to write Pax Britannia novels?
Something in the zeitgeist I think. I recently discovered some notes from the 1990s where I had outlined a 2000AD Past Imperfect story which was basically the plot of the first Pax Britannia novel Unnatural History, but with a different protagonist. I was also looking to expand my writing experience and Abaddon Books' request for ideas for series arrived at just the right time.
More widely, everything from Doctor Who, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the novels of H G Wells and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle all played their part in influencing he series and setting, along with actual historical events from the Victorian era, of course.
- What has been the most rewarding part of writing Pax Britannia novels?
Developing a brand new world from scratch, developing a story arc that plays out over multiple books, and writing about dinosaurs stampeding through central London and a steampunk King Kong. :-)
- Can any of the Pax Britannia novels be read as standalone novels or are they connected to each other?
Both! They are all standalone stories but there is an ongoing story arc as well, which will mean that readers who've followed the series from the start will get the most from the series.
- The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus: Volume 2 will be published in December 2015. Could you tells us something about this omnibus edition?
It brings together Ulysses Quicksilver's fourth, fifth and sixth published adventures, along with various short stories and novellas and a brand new introduction, written especially for the omnibus.
The omnibus begins with Evolution Expects, in which the new Prime Minister, Devlin Valentine, tries to eliminate the smog that hangs over the city by use of the Jupiter Station weather machine. Meanwhile, Dr Feelgood’s Tonic Stout is going down a storm with the public, while a monster from Jewish myth is terrorizing Limehouse.
In Blood Royal, the 19th century’s most notorious serial killer appears to be back, stalking the streets of Londinium Maximum, while huge parts of the city are not no go areas, following the Jupiter Incident. This time, Ulysses’ investigations leads him to the werewolf-haunted heartlands of Europe where one man seeks to free Russia from the hold of Magna Britannia.
Dark Side takes us to the Moon, Pax Britannia style. There’s industrial espionage, giant robots, aliens, and war criminals, and if that wasn’t enough, Ulysses is being stalked by a mysterious, eye-patched individual.
- How would you advertise this omnibus edition to readers?
A steampunk Batman, a monster from Jewish myth, the Ripper's legacy, vampires, werewolves, giant robots, alien insects, and oodles of derring-do. What's not to love? ;-)
- Will you write more Pax Britannia novels or stories in the near future?
I would like to, but only time will tell...
- Is there anything you'd like to add?
My latest steampunk-inspired book is out now from Snowbooks. Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland is a choose your path adventure gamebook, in which you guide Alice through a nightmarish version of Wonderland, deciding which route to take, which perils to face, and which of the dream-world's strange inhabitants to fight. Are you ready to go back down the rabbit-hole?