Saturday, 29 December 2007

Leader of the Pack - Progress report

My third Choices short story, "Leader of the Pack," is nearing completion. There is a chance that it will be finished next month (Jan 2008). At this stage, I can reveal that:

- It is over 50 sections in length. (The longest of the Choices stories so far)
- It will require the use of a die as part of the gamebook. (The first Choices story to do this)

Friday, 28 December 2007

Maps! & My new Work-In-Progress (The King's Scrolls)

Those of you who are familiar with the Lord of the Rings may be aware that the maps of Middle-Earth are quite famous. An interesting map can add that extra something to a written story, particularly, if the reader is drawn to keep referring to the map regularly enough while reading.

I have a fantasy series that I am writing for teens and hope to release one day. Here is a hand-drawn map of the land where the series will be set. There's not much to show at the moment, but it is a start.

The northern part of the map will be the kingdom of Thare (ruled by King Beran and his son, Prince Adlai). The southern part of the map is the kingdom of Sadeh, (pronounced Sar-day) which is ruled by Tanas, the enemy of the King and the Prince.

Thare is divided into twelve provinces (eleven on the mainland and the twelth being the island to the northeast of the mainland).

I have a title for this gamebook series: "The King's Scrolls." I have started writing the first story in this series a few times but have not been entirely happy with it so far. I have kept all the material though, as it will still be of use in the future (particularly when dealing with names of characters, landmarks, cities etc.).

Allegory will be strong in this series, as will the visible presence of demons and angels. (but not always visible, though!)

I am close to being pleased with how this series will go and will be ready to start the first story soon. (I hope).

Here is a picture of the map, in any case.


Monday, 17 December 2007

Places where "Invitation to a Feast" may be bought & call for reviews

I've compiled a list of websites that I know sell "Invitation to a Feast". They are linked to the appropriate purchase pages. Here they are:

Ark House Press (my publisher) Australia & New Zealand
Ark House Press (my publisher) U.S. & International
Word Australia

P.S. Koorong also have a section where you can write a review on the story. If you have already read it and enjoyed it, I would love it if you could write a review (even a really short one) at the Koorong link!

Monday, 3 December 2007

Invitation to a feast - Writing competition closed

Just a note for you all that my writing competition has now closed and the winner of the competition will be announced on Dec 22, 2007. As mentioned in previous posts, the winner will receive the first signed copy of "Invitation to a Feast".

Thank you to those who entered.


Monday, 5 November 2007

"Invitation to a Feast" released!

It is with great pleasure that I announce the official release of "Invitation to a Feast"; my first full-length, children's (8-12 y.o) adventure gamebook.

In Feast, the reader follows the journey of Jumpster Hopper, a young rabbit, who has been invited for the first time to the annual celebration feast of the Noble Ranger, the caretaker of Woodland Forest.

It is revealed at the beginning, however, that Jumpster's journey from his home, Hopper's Burrow, to the lands of the Noble Ranger is actually a test; one which Jumpster must pass in order to be admitted to the feast, once he arrives.

The journey will not be easy, however, for Jumpster and the other animals invited. The enemy of the Noble Ranger, The Dark Panther, along with his followers, will be doing whatever they can to prevent all feast invitees from attending, including Jumpster.

In this story, YOU, the reader, will be making all of Jumpster's decisions as he travels to his destination. Whether he succeeds or not will depend entirely on YOU!

2 dice, a pencil and an eraser are all you need to set out on this adventure.


Invitation to a Feast is the first story in the Woodland Forest Chronicles gamebook series.

For more information, and to buy the book, visit my website at


Friday, 2 November 2007

Just under 2 weeks to go (I hope) and more on the writing competition

At this stage, I am predicting (and hoping) that "Invitation to a Feast" is finally out in a fraction under two weeks from today. (I have personally targeted November 14 as a potential date for the book to be out but again, we'll see how things go).

Due to this, my writing competition will be extended again (I hope for the last time) to November 30. If you just missed out on getting your entry in by October 31, you have another repreive (and another month to write)!

Thanks to those who have entered so far.

Click here for information about the competition.

J P Barnett.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Invitation to a Feast - See the cover!!!

The cover for "Invitation to a Feast" is complete!

You can go to my website at to see a copy of the front and back covers, as well as a gallery of other illustrations that are part of "Invitation to a Feast".

At this stage, it seems as if the book will be released next month (November) all going well.

Monday, 15 October 2007

New updated website!!!

I have changed the entire layout of my official website today. Have a look at it and see what you think.

The title of the next "Choices" mini-gamebook has been decided. It is to be called, "Leader of the Pack". At this stage, it is about half-finished and there are going to be a couple of noticable differences with the layout/gamebook workings of this story compared to the previous two.

Once it is complete, I will place a copy of it on my blogsite and website. At this stage, I can say that it will NOT look like the cover that currently sits on my website.


Monday, 3 September 2007

Adventure Gamebook writing contest - Deadline extended


Due to "Invitation to a Feast" not being released yet, I am again extending the deadline of my writing competition (where the winner is awarded the first signed copy of "Invitation to a Feast"), this time until October 31 (another two months approx.)

For anybody who did not get their submissions complete in time you have another two months to prepare one.

For more information regarding the contest, please click here


Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Choices - Book 2 - "The Lost Diary" is released! and more info regarding the front cover for "Invitation to a Feast"

I am pleased to announce that my second mini-gamebook adventure, "The Lost Diary", is now complete and available for readers to download from my website

I hope you all enjoy it!!!

P.S. The front cover for "Invitation to a Feast" has gone through various alterations and at this stage, is not yet finalised. There is a front cover picture advertising my book on my publishers website, and an alternative picture on my website at but it is unlikely, at this stage, that either of these will end up being the chosen cover.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Front Cover of "Invitation to a Feast" soon to be revealed

Hi folks,

The front cover of "Invitation to a Feast" will be revealed soon. Once it is, I will place it on this site and also on my website

I expect it to be available within the next few days/week. Stay tuned!

Friday, 27 July 2007

I'm still here!


Just letting you know that I'm still about. I've been on holiday for a week and then was sick for another week. I'm only just better today. An update on what's happening:

- Invitation to a Feast won't be released in July (we'll see how August pans out). Again, I'm sorry for the delay. As a result, I am once again extending the deadline of my writing competition until the end of August.

- I'm currently working on my website ( I want to improve the look of it before 'Feast' is released. This is actually the first time I've ever created a website at all, so I concede that I am a novice in this department.

- There is a reasonable chance that my second mini-adventure gamebook, "The Lost Diary", will be released in August. We'll see how things go.

Thanks for your patience,

Friday, 13 July 2007

Barnett's basket - Item 1 - Starting a book

Hello again,

After responding to a general question on another site concerning a writing issue, today I've decided to start a series where I will present some of my own tips that have helped me in my writing career. Today's first item concerns how to start a book, or more precisely, how to get an idea or theme for a book.

I usually start with a single word (or phrase) and go from there. For example, when writing my most recent e-book (The Wounded Falcon) I started by picking up a book that had the word 'hawk' as part of the title. I made a decision to write a story about a hawk. From there I thought about different stories that would be feasible with the hawk as the focus. I came up with the idea that people can train hawks for their own use. I then researched this on the internet and discovered that a falcon is a popular bird to use for hunting. In the end, this is what the story is about.

So in summary, start with a word, and then try to break it down to something more specific.

E.g. Hawk ---> It hunts ---> People can train it to hunt for their own use ---> Falcons are popular for this purpose.

Feel free to add your own opinions on this topic in the comments area if you wish to contribute.

Thanks to Bandido at Shoutlife for his original question that gave me the idea to start this series up.


Saturday, 30 June 2007

"The Wounded Falcon" now available on

I have sumitted "The Wounded falcon" to This is a site where books can be submitted by authors for the general public to download. I have made mine a free book (the majority of books there must be paid for).

The URL for the book is listed below:

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Review "The Wounded Falcon" on my website

If you have read my mini-gamebook, "The Wounded Falcon" and enjoyed it, you can now write a review for it on my website at

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Title of Choices: Mini-gamebook No 2 released

For those of you who enjoyed reading my mini-gamebook, "The Wounded Falcon" (TWF), I am pleased to announce the title of my second mini-gamebook. It is called "The Lost Diary" and is currently being written. It will be of similar length to TWF.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Rate "The Wounded Falcon" on my website.

Things are getting rather busy here now. I'm finding that writing a website is a lot of fun. (I'd never done it before now).

For those of you who have already downloaded and read my mini-gamebook, "The Wounded Falcon", released the other day, my website now has a poll where you can give the story a rating.

If you haven't downloaded the book yet, I'd encourage you to do so. I'm providing it for free for anybody who wants it.

The poll (and the book) is available at It's on the home page (at the bottom).

Monday, 18 June 2007

A mini-gamebook adventure - "The Wounded Falcon"

I'm quite excited about today's post. I have been thinking about this idea for the past week in my own mind. I liked it, acted on it and have completed it today to share with you all on "Woodland Forest Chronicles".

I have decided to write some mini-gamebook adventures to freely distribute to all those who are interested in reading them. This will help all of you to get an idea of my style of writing and give you something reasonably significant (and complete) of mine to actually read while you await the release of "Invitation to a Feast".

My first mini-gamebook is titled "The Wounded Falcon". It is a short story, only 28 pages in length but is a complete adventure (Invitation to a Feast, when released, will be 200 pages). I welcome all to download it, have a read, and make any comments (good or bad, I don't mind). I will enjoy receiving feedback, particularly of the sort that suggests improvements. I am always learning new things in the writing industry and would appreciate any comments that will help make me a better writer so I can write more enjoyable stories for you.

The story can be downloaded at my website:

P.S. This website is only being used to store my mini-gamebooks at this stage.

Thanks again. I hope you enjoy this first story!

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Update - Writing competition and book release date

When I first set up this blog, I estimated that "Invitation to a Feast" would be released in June/July (approx.). At this stage, I can confirm that the book will not be released in June. I still don't have an official release date from my publisher but hopefully it won't be too long. I apologise to those who are keen to see the book and will have to wait a little longer. I will keep you all updated, though, on the book's progress and will be quick to post an update here once I have an official date.

In light of the above, I am extending the due date for my writing contest (mentioned in my previous entry) to the end of July (not June, as I originally stated).

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

"Invitation to a Feast" Adventure Gamebook writing contest has commenced

Hello again!

Today I am pleased to announce details concerning a writing contest that will be running in conjunction with the upcoming release of my first adventure gamebook, "Invitation to a Feast". Contestants will be required to write their own short story version of an adventure gamebook. For those of you who are not particularly familiar with the genre, the most basic version of an adventure gamebook is the Choose Your Own Adventure series.

The rules of this contest are as follows:

1) No more than 10 individual pages (or sections)

2) No more than 1,500 words in total (Average 150 words per page)

3) The content must suitable for young children (i.e. be age appropriate to the 8-12 y.o. group)

4) There are no restrictions, per se, concerning genre but be aware of point 3).

5) The story must have at least one successful ending (you can have multiple good and bad endings if you wish).

6) If you wish to write a more advanced gamebook (e.g. One that uses dice) and, therefore, need to include a set of gamebook instructions with your submission you can do so. (I will not include the instructions as part of the word count).

7) Submissions are accepted by EMAIL ONLY to

8) There will be one winner, who will be notified by email. The short story that is chosen as the winner will be placed on in full (probably in stages). If the winner so desires, a link(s) can be placed to the author's website/blogsite as well.

9) The prize for the winner is the first signed copy of my debut book "Invitation to a Feast" that will be shipped out via mail once the book is released (and I have the copy to send across). (To the winner, I will eventually require postal details from you so I can ship the book to you).

10) At this stage, the contest will run until the end of June 30 (midnight) - Australian Eastern Standard Time (i.e. I must receive your submission by this date/time) but I may extend it further depending on how things go. The winner will be announced within three weeks after the contest closes.

If anybody has any further questions concerning the contest, feel free to email me or leave a comment on the blogsite.

Thanks and happy writing!

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Invitation to a Feast - Book extract now available

To all readers I am pleased to announce that today is the day that I am releasing an extract of the upcoming book, "Invitation to a Feast" for public viewing and feedback. It is reproduced below:

Page 9

Eventually, the morning of the feast arrived. Jumpster’s family gathered outside to farewell him from Hopper’s burrow. Mr Hopper was beaming with pride for Jumpster. Mrs Hopper, while also proud, softly shed a few tears, as she knew there would be dangers along the way for her son. Jumpster and his family exchanged many hugs and kisses.
Mrs Hopper had packed Jumpster’s rucksack with some fresh carrots from her garden for him to eat on his journey.
Record the carrots under the list of equipment on Jumpster’s character scroll.
Jumpster had tied his invitation to his belt firmly. He did not dare risk losing it.
“Be sure to stay away from any wolves or foxes Jumpster!” advised his parents.
“I will Mum and Dad!” promised Jumpster. He waved goodbye and set off south towards the Cobblestone Road.

Turn to page 10.

Feel free to make any comments. I hope you enjoy it.

Stay tuned as on my next post, I will be announcing details of an upcoming competition where the winner will receive the first signed copy (by me) of "Invitation to a Feast".

Thursday, 24 May 2007

How do I re-use Jumpster's Character Scroll?

I said that my next post would be an extract from the book, but something has come up in the meantime that I thought I would make an entry about. I recently had a good question come in from The Penning Princess on this site:

"Is it possible to include more than on(e) scroll in each book because when you have three kids each one will choose a different path. Or can it be photocopied for additional children.(?)"

The answer to the above will actually be contained within the book's instructions when released. The below is actually quoted from within the book:

"You are advised either to record the score on Jumpster’s Character Scroll in pencil or to make photocopies of the scroll for use in future adventures."

Photocopying is no problem. It is a common practice for readers who read adventure gamebooks. Thanks to the Penning Princess for your question!

I still plan for the next regular post to be the book extract as promised.


Tuesday, 22 May 2007

The workings of energy

Hello again,

It's been over a week since I last posted and I am pleased to say that interest in ITAF (Invitation to a Feast) is steadily growing. Following on from my article last week (about Jumpster's Character Scroll), today I am going to give interested readers a sneak preview concerning how the main game attribute in ITAF, "Energy" will work. Below is an extract from the gamebook instructions (printed at the beginning of the book when it is published) that explains a little how Energy will work:

Roll two dice. Add 8 to the number rolled and enter the total in the ENERGY box on Jumpster’s Character Scroll...

Jumpster’s ENERGY score will change regularly during his adventure. It will drop as a result of fleeing from wild animals, by falling foul of hazards or after performing any particularly arduous task.

Jumpster’s ENERGY score represents how fatigued he is. The lower the score, the more exhausted Jumpster is. This becomes crucial when Jumpster has to flee from any wild animals during his adventure.

Stay tuned as my next posting will include, for the first time, a short extract from the book itself!!!

Monday, 14 May 2007

Jumpster's character scroll

The adventure gamebook genre is notably different from an ordinary book in that the reader will often be asked to make a choice from two or more options at regular intervals. This will take the story down a different path.

Furthermore, the reader is given a 'scroll' (printed inside the book) where they can record various character attributes and story events that will be referred to as the tale unfolds. For example, it is important for the reader to write down items of equipment collected by the main character during the story. Questions will eventually be asked of the reader as to whether the main character has collected a particular item along the way. This may have significant repercussions as to how the story concludes depending on whether 'item x' has or has not been been collected during the adventure.

Above is a view of the scroll that is to be used for 'Invitation to a Feast'.

Monday, 7 May 2007

Invitation to a Feast - One more illustration

Here is another illustration from "Invitation to a Feast" from a scene that can occur quite early in the story.
Coming up next in future blog postings:
- How the adventure gamebook genre works (in particular for those who are not familiar with it).
- An extract from the book itself.

Thursday, 3 May 2007

Illustrations for "Invitation to a Feast"

I have included a couple of "fill-in" illustrations from Invitation to a Feast on the site today. The illustrations were done by my father, Peter Barnett, of whom I am very grateful for his contribution to the book. The objects illustrated (a rucksack and some carrots) are part of the story.

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

My photo

Today, I've added a photo of myself to the blog. In the coming days, I will post a couple of illustrations from "Invitation to a Feast" to the blog for you to look at.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

"Invitation to a Feast" - Book blurb now posted

I am pleased to announce the first release of the book blurb for "Invitation to a Feast" on the Woodland Forest Chronicles blog site. This will be the blurb that will be seen on the back cover of the book.

The young rabbit, Jumpster Hopper has received his first ever invitation to the annual feast of the Noble Ranger, the caretaker of Woodland Forest. He soon discovers, however, that it will take more than just turning up in order to be gained entry. His invitation is actually a test, which he must pass before he will be permitted to enjoy the delights of the day.

"If you really want to be at my feast, keep the following commands as you travel to my home:

- Stay on the Cobblestone Road.
- Make straight paths for your feet.
- Hold on to this invitation at all times."

Will Jumpster hold firm and succeed or will the followers of the Noble Ranger’s treacherous foe, the Dark Panther, effectively thwart Jumpster from reaching his destination?

Unlike regular books, Invitation to a Feast is part story and part game. This means that the success of Jumpster will depend on YOU. Two dice, a pencil and an eraser are all that you need to follow the progress of the main character in this adventure. All the decisions that need to be made throughout the story are in YOUR hands.

Are you up to the challenge?

Monday, 30 April 2007

Welcome - Woodland Forest Chronicles blog is launched!

Hello and welcome to Woodland Forest Chronicles. This blog is for all people who are interested in following all things concerning the Woodland Forest Chronicles adventure gamebook series, written by myself, J.P.Barnett (a.k.a Jasan). The site is named after the main character (Jumpster Hopper) in my first book, "Invitation to a Feast" (ITAF).

Speaking of my first book, at this stage, it is due for publication at some stage this year (2007, approx June/July). If this changes, I will let you know through this site. The publisher is Ark House Press, based in Sydney, Australia ( Once released, you will be able to purchase the book through this site (which will be of particular benefit to international readers). My book does not yet appear on the Ark House site under the "coming soon" banner but it shouldn't be too long before it does.

Of the story itself, at this stage, I can tell you that it is a story with anthropomorphic characters (i.e. talking animals) and only one human character. The story is targeted towards the 8-12 y.o. age bracket. I will provide more details concerning the first story shortly.

I plan to use this site to keep interested readers abreast on developments concerning my first book (and future books, if the Lord wills it) as well as sharing information about the characters of Woodland Forest and writing in general (particularly adventure gamebooks/interactive fiction, of which I have been writing since about the age of 9).

Once ITAF is released (and even before), I welcome all readers to make comments concerning the book and the site. (What do you like, dislike, what would you like to see in future books etc).

Thanks for taking the time to read!