Everyone else is weighing in on this, so I might as well dust off the blog and do the same.
In case you didn't know, Ragnarok Publications is taking a step back and resetting. You can read about it here. I received the news via an email earlier yesterday morning that was sent to all of Ragnarok's authors from Jeremy Mohler.
First thing, I want to clarify that I'm not angry with anyone. I'm still good friends with everyone associated with Ragnarok, top to bottom, including all the authors who left the company before the new management came along. I wish them nothing but the best of luck, and I'll continue to support them in whatever they do.
At the same time, I understand there are some hurt feelings and some squabbles developing that will likely go on for the next few weeks before people finally move on. I'm here if anyone wants to talk, but I'm not going to engage in any conversations that tear down Joe or Jeremy or any of Ragnarok's fine list of authors, past or present.
I went to high school with Joe. He's one of the most creative people I know. We have a lot of memories of goofing off in AP English class. We weren't best friends, but we forged a solid relationship that started over 30 years ago. Joe was the one who got me back into publishing in 2010. He contributed to my development and, through his mistakes and accomplishments, taught me a lot about the publishing business. These are lessons I hold very dear to my heart, and I will carry this experience forward as I trudge ahead through the mysterious and often difficult world of publishing.
In this case, I can separate the person from their business mistakes, but I don't expect everyone else to feel the same way. I understand if others don't agree with my sentiments.
The thing is... Life is way too fucking short to hold grudges.
My work with the new management of Ragnarok, Jeremy and Alan, started this past summer with talk of a new edition of Gnomesaga and also a Gnomesaga graphic novel.
I had doubts at the time. I was deep into the Galefire Series, and I knew that re-opening Gnomesaga for revisions was going to be a lot of work. I had no guarantees, given Ragnarok's situation at the time, that a new edition of Gnomesaga would actually come to fruition. After all, I'd suffered the same issues with Joe as the other authors. Being friends with Ragnarok's owner afforded me no special favors, and I never expected any.
Jeremy was nothing but kind and professional to me, reassuring me that Gnomesaga would get the editing it deserved, and he even set up a little bit of an advance to get me to prioritize writing Gnomesaga #4 and #5.
I'd always wanted to revisit Gnomesaga anyway, and this was my opportunity to do it. I dusted off the old files and got started. I wrote all of Gnomesaga #4 and half of #5. I wrote an entire 88 page graphic novel! I had even started revising Gnomesaga #1 to be turned in on January 1 for editing. I was really enjoying a fresh outlook on the old world, getting to know the characters again, and seeing things about them I hadn't seen before, and I found myself getting pretty hyped for the new release.
That brings us to the email that came yesterday.
Was I surprised? A little.
What does this change for me? Not a lot. The rights to Gnomesaga will revert to me, and I will continue working on it as I am now and publish the series myself. With several years of marketing and storytelling experience behind me, I know I can make this a viable series, and I'm not interested in partnering with anyone at this point. I think Gnomesaga fans will be delighted with the reboot and the level of quality and service I want to provide to my readers.
The new owners of Ragnarok, Jeremy and Alan, have been nothing but kind and professional in their correspondence to me. I feel they really wanted to make this work, but as they said in their announcement, the hole they'd inherited was just too deep. I bear no ill will toward them and would gladly consider working with them on other projects in the future.
A bonus to all of this is that I will have a draft of a book I'd written last year-to have been published under a pen name with Ragnarok-returned to me so I can self-publish it.
The details still need to be worked out. I have no idea when Gnomesaga will be available to me to re-publish, but I feel like Jeremy and Alan will want to clear things up as soon as possible so they can move on with their rebuilding efforts.
If anything, this is a lesson in the dangers of stretching a company too thin and of trying to run without your legs under you. That creativity without the right processes to support it is doomed to failure.
I really hope everyone can find it within themselves to be patient, gracious, and forgiving during these tough times. Find love, peace, and happiness where you can. I wish you all nothing but the best of luck, and I wish it for myself, too.