Well, another year done, and another year started. 2018 wasn’t my best year ever, but it was still a GOOD year. Spent most of the year working on books 5 and 6 of The Demon’s Apprentice series, which was good, but I’ve done more, faster. I also spent the year getting used to having a day job again, which was a bit of an adjustment.
On the plus side, I moved into a nice little place out in the country and got a new van. Definite pluses there. All in all, nothing to complain about, but as always, I’m still wanting to do more. So, on New Year’s Day, I was reminded of a lyric from Toto’s song “Africa,” /Gonna take some time to do the things we never had/ as I tried to decide what I wanted to do with the year ahead. Because there are so many things that I need to do, so many stories I want to write.
But there is always that one that you never let go of.
Not to worry, there will be another Demon’s Apprentice book out this year, tentatively titled “Reign of Angels.” I’m also looking at a spinoff series featuring Lucas, which I’ve been dropping tidbits about in the past couple of entries in the series. Meanwhile, I have a manuscript being submitted to my agent that I’m hoping to hear some good news about at some point. I’m still working on a portal fantasy and someday, Damenjaeger will be ready for public consumption.
But always...the New Essex Knights have always been there. So, on New Year’s Day, I went to my best friend’s house, the guy who was there with me back in the day when I first started chasing contrails in 1991. I’ve mentioned Roanen before, and he’s been with me on this journey every step of the way. We’ve gamed together, told stories as GM and player on both sides of the table, and together, we’ve taken a fictional city and watched it evolve from a setting to a character unto itself.
New Essex was originally a setting for a comic book we wanted to do back in 1991. Back when we were just getting started, back before I had ever finished a single book. Over the years, we’ve told stories through games set in New Essex, but we were never able to get things to come together for a graphic novel or even a webcomic.
Then, we started running another game in New Essex, after a long hiatus. And we remembered how much we loved her. We remembered how alive the city felt to us, how we could see it in our heads, and how we felt like we were actually there. How dark and beautiful she is.
How demanding she is.
I approached Roanen with the idea. Let’s write the story of the New Essex Knights. Let’s get the Check Mate arc down. I wish I could say “just like that…” but I can’t. This isn’t going to be easy. And it won’t be fast. I may be talking about putting this to bed next January. But we are determined to get it done.
This is a labor of love for us, and the culmination of a lifelong dream to see this particular work in print. Plus...we’re not sure we want to see what will happen if we let New Essex down. She’s a tough town.
So, this is our public commitment to the New Essex Knights story. You’ll be hearing more about this as we get it into a more solid form, as we outline it, start writing it and start getting the foundations done, all the way to the point where we get her in print. This is where we hold ourselves accountable, and make our promise to you. We mean to see this story told, and told well.
So, Happy New Year! And in the immortal words of the late, Great Stan Lee… Excelsior!