Tenacity isn’t just a +2 dagger with Deep Wound

Posted by M J Ward on 13 December 2016

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I truly know how Red Leader felt as he hurtled along that Death Star trench, his targeting computer ticking down those vital seconds as that all important exhaust port grew bigger and bigger. ‘Almost there,’ he assured himself, ‘almost there’. Sweat was running down his face, heart beating faster and faster, his goal was suddenly there – right there for the taking. He could be the hero.

Alas, we all know how it ends. Red Leader just didn’t have the Force on his side, and his missiles failed to hit the mark. A few minutes later and our poor Red Leader was biting the dust, plummeting into the Death Star in a vivid explosion of complete and utter failure. Inside the Death Star, the /dance emote was on spam overload.

Book Four of DestinyQuest has had more question marks hovering over it than Tie Fighters around a Star Destroyer. And as such, things have been very quiet on the news front. While that has certainly been the experience of anyone browsing these news pages, the truth is that behind the scenes I have still been furiously working to see that Book Four happens. I’ve not been able to talk openly about a lot of the ill-fated deals, but there have been a few – and like Red Leader, I was almost at that moment, finger poised on the trigger, to let people know the good news… only to have that glory whipped away, for whatever reason. I’ll admit, I was starting to lose my faith in the Force.

But one thing I do have is tenacity. Which is why I bestowed that name-sake to a certain hard-to-obtain dagger in Legion of Shadow. It was tenacity that got me through writing that first book, then self-publishing it when others told me I was crazy. It was tenacity that saw that book become a success, to then get a three book deal with Gollancz. I’ve learnt that good things never come your way unless you work hard for them. And don’t give up.

Inside the Death Star, the /dance emote was on spam overload."

However, even I was starting to embrace defeat on this one. Perhaps the universe was telling me that it was time to move on, to try and push aside all the crazy and exciting ideas I had for the future of the books, and focus on something else. But the truth is, I’m not good at letting go of things. Thankfully, fate – destiny perhaps – works in mysterious ways.

A chance meeting in August of this year, while I was attending Manticon (organized by my German publisher), was to change all that. I met a great guy named Dave Poppel who asked me what my plans were for Book Four. I gave him my practised world weary look… the one that would communicate the pain and hardship that such questions typically arose in me. Undaunted, he cheerily explained that he was a part of a publishing house I might have heard of… Megara Entertainment. And they were mightily keen to see DestinyQuest continue.

It’s safe to say, I may have almost fallen off my seat (or perhaps that was more to do with all the German beer I'd consumed). Megara Entertainment are undoubtedly, one of the market leaders at the moment in Gamebook publishing – probably best known for their beautifully produced special editions  of the Way of the Tiger series (which I loved back in the day) and a number of French translations of beloved classics.

Did someone say loot cards? Hell, yeah – I’ll take that for a gold crown."

Further talks followed and positivity for the project has only grown. Once again, I’m hurtling down that Death Star trench. If all goes to plan (and this time, I’m probably the only one who can scupper things…) then I’ll be starting the writing of DQ 4 in July of next year, with the aim of completing the book around Christmas-time. Megara Entertainment are keen to publish (and let’s face it, they’ll do a beautiful job) and even more exciting, are planning on running a kickstarter campaign near to the completion date, with rewards, stretch goals and all kinds of geek goodness. Did someone say loot cards? Hell, yeah – I’ll take that for a gold crown.

But like I said, I’ve been here before – and once again that goal is in sight. Hopefully, this time the Force is with me on this one. It’s been a long time in coming, but I promise the wait will be worth it. I’d like to think that Legion of Shadow was innovative for its time in gamebook writing, and I’m certainly aiming to do the same again with Book Four.

So don’t give up yet, DQers. Have a great Christmas and New Year – and hopefully there will be lots more to share soon. Keep fighting the fight!

And happy adventuring!


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