Rhianna Pratchett Thrilled To Continue Father’s Legacy As Fantasy Fiction Author

The game designer has always had a passion for writing and is finally publishing her own novel to follow in her father’s footsteps.

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Rhianna Pratchett grew up watching her father create a mythical world that fans fell in love with through his iconic Discworld comic book series. Now, five years after Terry Pratchett’s death, Rhianna decided to try her hand at fantasy fiction writing, and while she wishes her father was here to see it, the one silver lining to the fact that he won’t be able to read it is that “he would have lots of opinions about what [she] was doing right and wrong.” 

Next week, Pratchett is officially releasing Crystal of Storms, the latest installment in the rebooted Fighting Fantasy books, which were popular in the 80s and 90s. These books take on the “choose your own adventure style,” which allows the reader to play the hero and battle various monsters and overcome a multitude of fantastical obstacles on their quest. Readers throughout the story are prompted to use their wit, imagination – and a pen and dice – to choose what they want to do and where they want to go. 

Rhianna is dedicating the book to both of her parents, and recently reflected on how her father’s opinions still stick with her when she writes. She’s always had the passion for writing growing up but her career initially took her in a different direction, however, she claims that her dad would be more than proud to see what she’s accomplishing now through the continuation of his legacy. 

“I always joke about having the Ghost Dad in my head, he would have a lot of thoughts about this but I know he would be smiling seeing his daughters name on the front of a book.”

Rhianna was initially asked to write a Fighting Fantasy story by the series original co-founder Ian Livingston. Livingston and Rhianna have known each other for a few years through the gaming industry. Initially, Rhianna studied journalism in school and soon after began a career in games journalism before being hired as a script editor for Beyond Diversity; a popular role-playing game. 

Livingstone is a gaming industry legend after launching the original Tomb Raider game in 1996. In 2013 he hired Rhianna to help him write the reboot for the game and their relationship blossomed from there. She’s also worked on Heavenly Sword and BioShock Infinite, so she has a lot of experience dealing with writing fantastical stories, just not in a novel format. 

She claims that as a kid, she never was really interested in what her father did until she heard him on BBC Radio 4 one day, and realized how much of a following his stories actually had. At that point she began reading his stories more and her love for writing was born. Her dad was a local journalist himself while also working as an author. While she’s just beginning her own writing career, she remembers her dad always being supportive of what she did and how his voice still sticks with her every day. 

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“I sometimes gravitate towards games because Ghost Dad likes them. I know that sounds slightly strange but when you lose someone, they become a part of you, a voice in your head.”

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Pratchett revealed that her story is set on the floating islands of Pangaria, where a deadly explosion has sent the island of Nimbus into the sea. As the reader, you play the sole survivor of the Sky Watch team; a group of guardians meant to maintain the peace on the archipelago. Throughout the novel, the reader has one goal, raise Nimbus from the depths of the sea and survive the many battles along the way. 

The whole basis of a Fighting Fantasy “choose your own adventure” book is that there’s a multitude of options that the reader may choose from that can change the outcome of the story in a matter of moments. This type of reading is extremely entertaining, but also difficult to write for the untrained author. However, Rhianna claims her work on fantasy video games perfectly trained her for the task and is the main reason she was so excited to take on the challenge of writing the novel. 

“I wrote it in a kind of linear way, and then branched out at different points and followed each branch and then came back to the main trunk of the story. And that probably felt much more familiar to me than it may for someone who’s very experienced in novel writing, but maybe not as experienced in game design.”

When it comes to the future of her writing career Rhianna is unsure if she’s going to fully follow in her father’s footsteps and create a whole series of novels for a new generation of readers to enjoy. However, she claims to be “very open to the possibilities,” as she fell in love with the process of creating a novel much like her father did.