(EDIT: looks like WordPress messes with the proportions of pictures; please click on each to get the correct appearance!)

“How are things going, Ian?”

It’s not as bad as all that. Been a busy and tough year though. I don’t need to tell you that, do I. As I write this, I’m self-isolating for the second time this month, thanks to a probably erroneous ping on the app last Thursday. But the pandemic has absolutely hit all of us hard, even if we didn’t catch it (I didn’t, so far, thankfully). For me and mine, that’s involved learning how to do my job remotely; home-schooling my stepkid; helping my partner through their Covid sickness and then their subsequent Long Covid (more than a year later, they’re still under the weather, but finally have a referral to a specialist clinic).

Mostly I deal with SKG’s writers, not our artists, but I can say that on the Cursed King project, we’ve had one writer loose a lot of time due to Covid, and another two had to drop out of the project entirely. Fortunately the main author, Jonathan Hicks, has been hale and hearty so far as I know, and has finished his 2nd draft of the main adventure. I have the editing process almost complete to turn it into a final draft (two minor tweaks still to make). I brought in two writers (excluding the two who weren’t able to continue) to add a few more personalities and adventure hooks, rounding the book out so it includes some more general source material for Thuland. One of them has finished his 2nd draft, and I’m largely happy with it without need for further edits. The other is still working, but I should have his work in and edited within the next few weeks.

Chris Catterall, our new Art Director, has kindly given me a couple of teaser pieces of his art so far for the book. He’s ALSO self-isolating right now so these are phone pics; hence the imperfect focusing as compared to a scanner. I love his style though!

What does all this mean for a release date? Let’s say August to finish editing and art, and start layout. September to finish layout. Hopefully September release.

As for Brymstone? I have the first draft of the manuscript and am loving it so far. I’ll be sending some detailed feedback out to Robert right after I finish editing Cursed King, so next month hopefully. Assuming no catastrophes, I think we might still get this one released in 2021 too… but early 2022 is more likely.

I hope you and yours are well, and happy. I’ll be back with more news next month.