Click Your Poison books

Hi all! IF author James Schannep here.

I received an email this morning from one of your members suggesting that I add my Click Your Poison books to the IFDB page and post here introducing my series. My mystery/thriller is now up here.

I was inspired by the Choose Your Own Adventure books that I read in the 80s/90s, and I wanted to read something similar for grown-up readers. But I couldn’t really find anything, so I started my own series. Darker, longer, and with more complex decisions, Click Your Poison books are now on Amazon Kindle and available as paperback books.

If you have any questions, shoot. Maybe say “welcome.” Check out my books. Or don’t. There’s your first choice :wink:

My books on Amazon

[i]Will You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse? /i
Could You Solve a Murder? (MURDERED)
What if You Had Superpowers? (SUPERPOWERED)

I was initially surprised and intrigued to see this sort of thing on Amazon. You say there’s three unique storylines: do they branch off right at the start, or is it staggered or interwoven?

Thanks! The device is different in each book. For INFECTED, the storylines split off later in the book. For SUPERPOWERED, the choice is almost right away (you choose from three different superpowers). In MURDERED, the different storylines are interwoven and there are junction points where you can move back and forth from one storyline to another, adding layers to the mystery depending on what you’ve personally discovered.


They’re numbered; are they meant to be read in order?

Looks like you launched two of them on Amazon in 2013 and then another one in 2015. Did you write INFECTED and MURDERED at the same time? When did you start the writing process?

Thank you! You’ll find references from one book to another, but each is a standalone title, so feel free to start with whichever premise interests you most. They’re only numbered because that’s an Amazon requirement to lists books in the same series.

As for the years/publishing, INFECTED actually released in 2012, but the year was updated for whatever reason when I released MURDERED in late 2013. I started in 2011, and it’s taken about a year for each book (they’re somewhat long at ~120k words and hundreds of chapter/choices each). I’m working on book #4 right now with a spring 2016 release in mind.

Hey - saw your page on IFDB and was curious how you implemented the choices in what seems to be a physical book (since I see a price for paperback as well), how close is it to the CYOA books of yore, where you flip to page xxx if you choose something and page yyy if you choose something else?

Thanks for checking it out. It’s the first one I built, but I’ll put pages up for the other two books in the near future.

The paperback works exactly like an old CYOA just as in your example, but in an ebook the choices are hyperlinked (hence the series title, Click Your Poison). So you just tap the choice you want and it automatically takes you to the next chapter, which makes for a more streamlined reading experience, IMO.

Is there a system you use to create these? I know Inklewriter can be used to output simple hyper fiction.

I just use some custom macros in Word, then I have a guy who formats it for me in the Kindle. For plotting, I’ve found the Gamebooks Authoring Tool to be extremely helpful.