Howard Tayler To Illustrate a Tracy Hickman Book
Submitted by Howard Tayler on March 31, 2009 - 10:09
Long story short (itâ€™s more exciting that way): I met Tracy Hickman (co-creator of Castle Ravenloft and DragonLance) at LTUE in February, and Tracy told me about a new book he was writing with his son, The Amazing Curtis. The book is geared at making a good RPG game-master into a great one, and making a great game-master into a small god. It teaches the reader everything from applying the Campbellian Monomyth to contact juggling.
The working title? XDM: Xtreme Dungeon Mastery. â€œGod doesnâ€™t play dice with the universe. We do.â€
When Tracy explained that his usual publishing contacts were reluctant to take this project, I told him he should self-publish, and I showed him the Schlock books as an example of what was possible.
Hereâ€™s the disconnect: I handed him books saying â€œThis is what is possible for self-publishing, here are price-points, you can do this, I can show you how.â€
He accepted the books and apparently heard â€œHere is something that Howard and Sandra know how to do, and Howardâ€™s illustration style is perfect for the book.â€
Before the end of the convention Tracy and Laura had pulled Sandra and I into a business meeting and pitched the project to us. Two weeks ago (about a month later) we accepted the project. Saturday we signed the contract. That funny-looking Wizard up there? That was what I sent Tracy as an example of the cartoony RPG-related artwork that heâ€™d be getting from me. Itâ€™s not my favorite piece, and certainly not my favorite from the XDM project now that Iâ€™ve started, but that wizard holds a soft spot in my heart because he got me the job.
That was the short version of the story. The extremely short version is this: Sandra and I are publishing and illustrating a Tracy Hickman book, and we have to send files to our printer by April 30th in order to have product in time for Gen Con Indy in August. Weâ€™re both going to be extremely busy for the next four weeks. This, by the way, is why my buffer is so incredibly important.