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WELCOME ADVENTURERS' TO THE INTERVIEWS AREA

Greetings lowly ones! to our Fighting Fantasy interviews area. If you ever wanted to know more about the artists, writers and editors of the Fighting Fantasy series, then this area is for you. City of Thieves The interviews page is an area of the site where we go behind the scenes of the series and interview many of those who contributed to its success. We have got many interviews waiting for you over the coming months.

As you can image we get quite a lot of mail here at Wizard Books from Fighting Fantasy the world over. Whether it’s in the post or through email quite a large proportion of these are questions about particular writers and artists, their early work and current projects. Within this area we will try to do our best and present exclusive interviews for your pleasure from some of the very best Fighting Fantasy writers and artists. If you are sitting at home with particular questions you would like to see asked send them to us at our usual address: mail@fightingfantasy.com.

Below is the transcript from a interview with Simon Flynn that took place in February 2005. I would like to personally thank him for taking the time out with us.

Simon Flynn

FFG: Can we ask Simon, what is your role within Wizard? The Icon website makes us aware that you are responsible for developing Icon's children's imprint, Wizard Books and that you are a co-author?

Simon: I'm the Publishing Director of Wizard Books and am essentially in charge of what we publish. I co-wrote a guide to internet the called The Internet from A to Z but that was a few years ago now and is nothing really to do with Wizard.

FFG: You look after Icon's distributors around the world, outside of North America. Does this involve a lot of travelling?

It involves one big trip a year to the Far East and Australia but most things can be done by e-mail nowadays.

FFG: Onto Fighting Fantasy now. How did you get involved with Fighting Fantasy?

As a nine-year-old, I bought The Warlock of Firetop Mountain when it first came out. That hooked me for the next couple of years and I never really forgot the series. When we were thinking of starting a children's imprint (Wizard Books) I kept thinking about Fighting Fantasy and visited a few bookshops to ask if they were still available. It didn't seem they were. So I did some investigating on the website and managed to get a contact e-mail for Steve Jackson. Thus began the conversation to bring Fighting Fantasy back.

FFG: Have you always been interested in Fighting Fantasy?

See answer to the previous question.

FFG: Are you responsible for the development of Fighting Fantasy?

Yes in relation to the books and in partnership with Steve and Ian.


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Sorcery!

FFG: How is the partnership between partnership between Ian, Steve and yourselves?

Very fruitful. I think this is best demonstrated by the fact that Ian, despite his many pressures, decided to write another Fighting Fantasy book - Eye of the Dragon.

FFG: Why the new cover designs?

As with anything that's being sold, whether it's a book or chocolate bar, it needs to be kept looking fresh. The old covers, for all their merits, just weren't acceptable for today's kids (who don't know the books originally came out 20 years ago). In some cases the original artwork was probably good enough but the series needed a 'look' and we felt it better to start from scratch. I have to say that I think most of the covers we've produced are fantastic.

FFG: Why did you choose to launch a TV advertising campaign?

We felt an advert on satellite TV was the most efficient way of telling today's kids about Fighting Fantasy.

FFG: Can you please explain to me after countless emails why book 14 Armies of Death was not produced as a special edition. Many fans can only get issue 14 as a non-special edition and are requesting a special edition to complete the series?

When we did the first TV campaign in 2003, we reprinted 300,000 books in Australia so that we'd have enough stock in the UK. The first printing of Armies of Death was included in this and it wasn't possible to produce a special-edition within this printing. I'm very sorry about this but there wasn't a sensible way round this. It's possible we may do a special edition when we reprint in the future but I don't want to make that promise and then break it.

FFG: How are the sales of the books doing?

Very well although the TV campaigns obviously cost a fair bit of money. The bulk of the sales are coming in the UK but Singapore and Malaysia are also strong markets. Unfortunately, the series hasn't quite caught on in Australia like we would've hoped.

FFG: What can we look forward to in 2005?

Eye of the Dragon is out in April and is certainly one of the best Fighting Fantasy books I've read. Martin McKenna has done an amazing job on the illustrations too. Starship Traveller is out in June and Freeway Fighter is published in September.

FFG: Are we ever going to see the FF Novels, Out of the Pit, Titan: the FF World republished?

Probably not.

FFG: How about Bloodbones?

Maybe.

FFG: What about a new Gamebook by Steve?

Possibly.

FFG: Thank you Simon.

 

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