GAMERS’ CHALLENGE

Gamers’ Challenge is the action-packed sequel to Gamers’ Quest by George Ivanoff.

Zyra and Tark are shocked to learn that they are not the only Zyra and Tark in the game…and in fact, Zyra has a daughter, Hope.

Now that Zyra and Tark have broken the rules, they can no longer play the game, but how will they find their way out of it? Now they have a new mission, to find The Ultimate Gamer who just might have the key to solving their problems.

For Tark and Zyra, life was literally just a game, controlled by the all-powerful Designers. But then they broke the rules and life got a whole lot more complicated…and deadly.

Pursued by a powerful computer virus they must locate the Ultimate Gamer with the help of some unexpected allies, and face their greatest challenge – finding a way out of the game.

And with the VIs hot on their trail it’s going to take all their stealth and ingenuity to escape. According to Professor Palimpsest, the VIs are some sort of virus and they’re not going to be easy to defeat.

Gamers’ Challenge has everything – dragons and knights (the sort of players you’d expect to find in a quest), and even zombies and unicorns.

Zyra and Hope whirled back to the doorway. As the row of zombies stumbled along, one of them stepped out of line towards Zyra. It held a dismembered human in its hand, blood still dripping from the end. And it was looking straight at her.

It soon becomes clear to Zyra and Hope that the zombies and other creatures in the game can see them, even though they’re not playing anymore – and this makes their attempted escape a lot more dangerous.

Gamers’ Challenge offers another thrilling ride for readers. It’s fast and fun and full of the same complex detail, and twists and turns that kids enjoy in a computer game.

There are all sorts of quirky challenges for the characters to face like the game of Sudden Death Pinball where you get hit by the ball and you die,

And once they find the Ultimate Gamer he’s not what they expected – and he has no interest in leaving the game because he says it offers him all the freedom he wants.

“The freedom to play. The freedom to win. The freedom to be whoever I want to be.”

But he’s not going to let them out of the game either unless they fight him and win. And what will that really mean for the victor?

Readers who enjoyed Gamers’ Quest will love Gamers’ Challenge and the new action-packed adventures of Tark and Zyra.

Gamers’ Challenge is to be released by Ford Street publishing on 1st September, and there’s an official Gamers’ Quest website at: www.gamersquestbook.com

Gamers’ Challenge is written by my fellow Boomerang Books’ blogger, George Ivanoff who blogs at Literary Clutter.

 

The shameless self-promotion post

At the end of my last post I said that I would next be blogging about what my family and I had been reading. Well, I will… but not today. For today I’m slipping in an extra post — a post in which I shall shamelessly promote my book signing this coming Saturday.

As you may or may not know, I’m an author. In October last year, my teen novel, Gamers’ Quest, was published by Ford Street Publishing (to find out more about Ford Street check out the latest post on Kids’ Book Capers). Since then I’ve been promoting my little heart out. I’m exhausted but I’m still at it. Frankly, the whole promotion thing is way more difficult than the actual writing! But it’s a necessary part of the process, especially when you’re an unknown author (George? George who?) with a small publisher.

Click to see full-size image.

Gamers’ Quest – that’s my book in case you’d forgotten – is a science fiction, action/adventure with a healthy dose of fantasy thrown in. I wrote it with young teens in mind but it’s suitable for ages 10+. It’s the sort of book that I, as a Space Invaders obsessed teen, would have loved reading! I’m hoping that the current crop of computer game-playing kids will like it as it’s set within the multiple worlds of a sophisticated virtual reality computer game.

Gamers’ Quest has got it all — dragons, mages, lasers, drones, starfighters, a giant robotic spider, lethal shrubbery and even a bit of toad-flinging. Doesn’t that just make you want to rush out and buy a copy this very instant? Come on, you know you want to! Perhaps it’s time for me to shut up and just give you the signing details…

BOOK SIGNING — GAMERS’ QUEST
Come and meet George Ivanoff — author of the Chronos Award-winning science fiction novel for kids and teens, Gamers’ Quest.

Location: Angus & Robertson Ringwood bookstore (Shop L026a) in Eastland Shopping Centre, Victoria

Date: Saturday 8 May 2010

Time: 11.30am-12.30pm

To find out more about Gamers’ Quest, check out the website. And take a look at the trailer:

So come along and meet me. You can tell me in person how much you love reading my blog! Or you can get my autograph — it’s bound to be worth at least a couple of cents some time in the next 20 years. Or you could come along simply to heckle… “Hey George, is that a tumble-weed I just saw rolling past?”

Anyway… thank you, dear readers, for indulging my little lapse into self-promotion. I promise not to do it too often.  🙂  And sincere thanks to Boomerang Books.

Tune in next time when Literary Clutter will return to its regular programming.

Catch ya later,  George

Clutter, clutter and more clutter

My little blog bio proudly proclaims: “Bookish bloggings from the cluttered mind and bookshelf of Melbourne author, George Ivanoff.” I feel the need to explain.

My mind, my bookshelf (actually, that should be bookshelves, plural) and, indeed, my life, are cluttered. I work in a clutter. I share an office with my wife (a graphic artist). The office is divided down the middle by desks and shelving. Her side is neat and organised, as indeed, is her mind and approach to work. My side is … well … cluttered. (Am I overusing the ‘c’ word?) My shelves are piled with random collections of books, magazines, papers, DVDs, video tapes (Eeek! Old technology!) toys, cinema cups and unclassifiable paraphernalia. Every inch of my desk is taken up with something … anything. I submit, for your appraisal, Exhibit A:

My mind and my approach to writing approximate the look and feel of my workspace. My mind is rarely devoted to just one thing at any given moment. For instance — what am I reading? I am currently part way through the following:

  • John Christopher’s Tripods trilogy
    I’ve finished the first two books, The White Mountains and The City of Gold and Lead. Just the final book, The Pool of Fire, to go. Oh, and I’ll then read the prequel as well — When the Tripods Came.
  • One Step Ahead: Raising 3–12 Year Olds by Michael Grose
    I’m Dad to a 1-year-old and an almost-7-year-old, so I need to occasionally dip in to these sort of books in order to maintain my sanity. Or, at least, attempt to maintain my sanity. (Somewhere down the track I’ll have to do a post about finding the time to write while looking after kids.)
  • Issue 42 of Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine
    I’m not a regular reader of this magazine. I got this issue because there’s a full-colour ad for Gamers’ Quest on the back cover. But, so far, I’m really enjoying the mag and even contemplating a subscription. Highly recommended if you’re into science fiction and fantasy, short stories.
  • The February issue of Oz Kids in Print
    This mag is published by the Australian Children’s Literary Board. Again, I’m not a regular reader. I’ve got this issue because it contains one of my articles.
  • The April issue of Victorian Writer
    This is one of my regular reads, as I’m a member of the Victorian Writers’ Centre.

Okay, that takes care of reading. What about writing? Here’s a round up of what I’m currently working on.

  • I’m just finishing up the second book in a series of kids’ reference books about nutrition. This book is about fibre but I’m not allowed to use the word ‘poo’, even though the book is aimed at second grade level. What do I use? Faeces? Digested waste material excreted from the bowels? Number twos? Doo-doo? My mind is spinning with euphemisms.
  • Tornado Riders
    This is a teen novel that I’m working on. At the moment it’s still very much in the planning stages as I scribble ideas, character outlines and scene snippets in my notebook. Whether it is ever completed, and then whether it is ever published, remains to be seen. After all, I have a draw full of unpublished (probably unpublishable) stuff that I feel to urge to add to occasionally.
  • Answers to two sets of interview questions for two different websites about the writing of Gamers’ Quest. One day I’ll write a post about what it’s like promoting a book.
  • And then, of course, there’s this little blog, which I’m planning as a twice-weekly endeavour.

So there you have it — a little insight into the workings of my cluttered little mind. But what about all of you out there in the blogosphere? Are you cluttered? Are you uncluttered? Have you ever de-cluttered? Leave a comment and share your experiences.

Now, as a final note (and simply because I feel the need to use that word one more time), may I say — embrace your CLUTTER!

Tune in next time, when you’ll hear me say: “Enough about me! Time to talk about a book!” And that book shall be The Star by Felicity Marshal.

Catch ya later,  George

EXCLUSIVE: George Ivanoff Guest Blog

Let me start by saying that computer games are not the downfall of society, as we know it. Our world will continue to turn, society will continue to function, we will still play sports, kids will still go to school and learn, human beings will still interact with one another and people will still read books. Just like television did not result in the extinction of literature, computer games will continue to co-exist with the written story.

In fact, the two can go together quite nicely.

There are many book fans who like to play computer games. As a kid, I was obsessed with Space Invaders and Galaga (primitive by today’s standards) and these days I’m certainly not immune to the allure of the Wii (Snow Ride on Rayman Raving Rabbids is awesome). And I’m sure that there are many computer game enthusiasts who also like to read. At least I hope so … ’cause my new book, Gamers’ Quest, is set in a computer game world and I think it’s the sort of book that will appeal to teens who are into gaming.

When writing science fiction or fantasy, an author is often challenged with the task of creating an entire world. With Gamers’ Quest, I was not only writing science fiction (with a healthy dose of fantasy elements as well), I was also trying to tap into the world of computer gaming. The thing is… how do you capture the feel of a computer game within the pages of a novel?

Step One was to create a world with the pace and excitement of a game — a world in which danger lurked around every corner; a world with a variety of fantastical challenges and opponents, from powerful mages and fierce dragons to machinegun-toting guards and sophisticated security systems with trip lasers and automated drones; a world in which players embarked on a perilous quest.

This world then needed protagonists who readers could identify with … the sort of players they would want to be if they were playing the game.  Enter Tark and Zyra, two teenage thieves — good-looking, fast, clever, determined and skillful in a fight.

The book also needed to have a sense of fun — of not taking itself too seriously. So while Gamers’ Quest is not a humourous novel, it does have an element of tongue-in-cheek unseriousness (yes, I know there’s no such word … but I like it).

There are lots of little things I added to try and capture the computer game flavour. There are references to different classes and levels of player (knight second class; level 13 mage).

The first part of the novel is set within the computer-game world. It is non-stop action, and there is no sense of night and day. The characters simply progress from one challenge to the next, without sleeping or eating, with no real sense of time, until they reach their goal. Once the characters have crossed over into an ordinary suburban environment, I felt okay about slowing things down a little, allowing them to eat and sleep, and having a sense of days passing.

So, were my endeavors successful? Does Gamers’ Quest capture the feel of a computer game? Will gamers flock to bookstores, clamoring for a copy? Well, dear reader/gamer, that is up to you. The CG ball is now in your virtual court.

William’s note: As a gamer and reader myself, I have to say, that George really did capture the sensation of being inside a video game. There isn’t an air of “older person writing for young people” about the whole thing, which is great, because us young’uns, especially us cynical gamer young’uns, can smell a fake a mile off. Gamers’ Quest passed my test with flying colours, and it’d make a great companion for the new Mario game under the tree this Christmas. 🙂