12 December 2018
I've published a new 48-page PDF sampler of my novel Earworm, which you can download now. The sampler includes the first five chapters of the book, giving you a chance to meet the key characters. They include struggling musicians Thing and Fred, who have an opportunity to perform their music on TV, but only if Fred can ace a pop quiz. Dove and Creak have just come off stage in Berlin, and find that unresolved tensions create conflict backstage. Meanwhile, Jonathan is infiltrating Bigg Records, with a mysterious plan to save the music business. He'll have to blag his way into the building, and convince the marketing team that he's one of them.
The book has received rave reviews from the music press, including from Metal Hammer who called it: "A fun novel about the problems faced by musicians in making their mark on a music industry that's falling apart. A bitter satire that works its way up to a memorable finale."
Earworm is available in print and on Kindle at Amazon. It makes a great gift for a musician or music fan, or a fun holiday read if you want to treat yourself.
05 December 2018
Christmas is coming, so my Scratch advent calendar is once again open, sharing a new project or Scratch resource each day. Visit the calendar here!
The advent calendar includes projects and resources taken from my books:
- Scratch Programming in Easy Steps, a comprehensive project-based guide to the popular Scratch programming language, widely used in schools and colleges
- Cool Scratch Project in Easy Steps, which showcases awesome coding projects in Scratch and includes 3D glasses for making 3D games
- Coder Academy, a book for 7 to 10 year olds that includes lots of on-the-page activities as well as on-the-screen fun
- Raspberry Pi For Dummies, a guide to the popular single board computer that will get you started and show you lots of cool things you can do with it
These all make great gifts for those who enjoy or would like to learn to program in Scratch. Follow the links above for more information on the books including free PDF samplers to give you a taste of the content. Be aware that there is a new version of Scratch launching in January, but the previous versions will continue to be available for download, and most projects should work seamlessly on the new platform.
While we're in the festive spirit, let me tell you about a few other seasonal features on my site. I wrote a Secret Santa program for the Microbit, which you can see in my archive blog post here. You can play my Christmas version of Hangman, Snowman, here and play my Christmas Pairs game here. And Virtual Sean has his Santa suit on! Ho Ho Ho! Happy Christmas, everyone!
If you're reading this, you probably know that my latest book is called Mission Python and it shows you how to build a space adventure game. I've added two new bonus resources to the website recently to help you to get the most from the book.
First, there's an empty map template (PDF) which you can use to help you design your own game layout. I've also written an article with tips on customising the game code for your new map. There is a built-in maze generator on the page to inspire your designs too! Get tips and tools for customising the Escape game from Mission Python here.
Secondly, in the spirit of all the truly great mags of the 1980s, there is a map of the space station (PDF) that you can use to find your way around, whether you're playing the game or customising it. When I was writing the book, I was mindful of spoiling the surprises by showing you all the cool images and room layouts we have created before you got to experience them in the game. So there are some room layouts shown in the map that haven't been previously published, even in the book screenshots. If you don't like spoilers, maybe play the game a bit before you check the map. For best results, download the PDF map and then zoom in to see each room more clearly. Find out more about the Mission Python space station map here.
Mission Python is available now, and makes an ideal Christmas gift for readers aged 11+ who are interested in coding and want to really get under the skin of how a computer game works.
Not sure whether it's for you? Check out the Mission Python free sampler here.