Here’s a message going out to my newsletter and via my publishing company’s site today. It involves the next volume of the Histories of Drakmoor, The Fall of Skullkeep.
Hello and good day to you,
This is one of the “special announcement” emails I mentioned in the onboarding sequence when you first signed up for my newsletter. Additionally, you’re receiving this because you signed up for my newsletter in the back of one of my books (Histories of Drakmoor, et al), the publishing company site (knightsfall.press or knightsfallpress.com), or my personal site (robertmkerns.com). You are welcome to unsubscribe at any time, but I’ll be sorry to see you go.
I’m writing to discuss the two projects that I have right now: The Fall of Skullkeep and Consular Times.
In my previous newsletter, I mentioned that I spent the last half of July and some of August unable to do such simple things as sit in a chair, due to a chronic issue with my back.
I appreciate all the kind words, well wishes, and thoughtful treatments that flashed into my mailbox in short order, and thank you for them.
Unfortunately, between my own challenges and helping family with their own challenges, I am sufficiently behind on these two projects that it is unlikely I can complete both of them by September 28th.
You don’t know how much I regret that, but I can’t honestly apologize for it, because… well… my family will always be first in my mind. They are why I am the person I am, and it seems poor repayment not to help them when they’ve helped me as much as they have.
For this reason, I will be canceling the pre-order of The Fall of Skullkeep on Friday the 17th of September. I’m waiting that long, mainly to give this message the chance to reach as many people as possible.
But fear not!
“Skullkeep” is not disappearing into oblivion. As soon as I finish Consular Times, I will double-down on The Fall of Skullkeep and publish it as soon as humanly possible. I want to say October, but don’t quote me on that. I don’t see a reason why I couldn’t publish it in October, but Life is what happens while we’re busy making plans.
I thank you for enjoying my stories as much as I do, and I wish you and yours all the best.
Stay safe out there.
Hi I was wondering if you had an update to when The Fall of Skullkeep will be released. I know is delayed but I was wondering if you had an idea?
My goal right now is to finish principal composition by the end of October, which means that we’re probably looking at mid-November for eBook publication.
This is just a wild guess. If everything evolves as I expect at this moment in time, it’s a fairly credible guess, but Life in general is always subject to Murphy.
Apologies if you get asked this too much, but is there any estimate on when Fall of Skullkeep will be up for grabs?
Re-reading all your works in the meanwhile and looking forward to your next creations
No apologies necessary! I take it as a professional compliment that people ask about when The Fall of Skullkeep will be available.
So… the honest but short answer is that it will be available when it’s finished. I’m not trying to be facetious; that’s just the simplest answer. Here’s a shorthand version of my workflow:
1. Composition — wherein I write the story
2. First-Pass Editing — wherein my amazing editor reads through the story, looking for antecedent problems, misspellings, and any holes in the story you could drive a Mack semi through.
3. First-Pass Revision — wherein I work through my editor’s comments, either agreeing or disagreeing with them (I usually agree)
4. Second-Pass Editing — wherein my editor goes back through my replies to her comments and my changes to make sure I didn’t break anything during the revision process
5. Second-Pass Revision — wherein I fix anything I broke in the first pass (usually not very much)
6. Proofreading — one final pass to remove as many typos as possible (those things are worse than tribbles; there’s always some)
7. Formatting — wherein I ‘wash’ the finalized manuscript through Vellum to produce eBook & print files
8. eBook Publication — wherein the team publishes the eBook far and wide across as many retailers as possible (or within reason as some are just too antiquated to work with)
9. Print Cover Development — difficult to do without a finalized manuscript to calculate paperback spine width
10. Print Edition Publication — wherein the team uploads the formatted PDF and wrap-around covers to the Print-On-Demand (POD) distributors
11. Audiobook Production
I’m still in the ‘Composition’ stage. I discovered a stack of papers right around the first of November that contained a couple pages of notes on some ideas I wanted to include in The Fall of Skullkeep, beyond the main story. Upon re-reading the notes, I sat back and muttered something to the effect of, “Holy cow…those are a good ideas! How could I forget them?”
And promptly went back and started re-writing from Chapter 3 to incorporate the ideas. I will be able to re-use substantial portions of what I already wrote after some tweaking to account for the inclusion of the forgotten ideas.
So, while I regret the delay, I think the story overall will be better for the ideas I found.
Happy Holidays to you and yours, and I hope the days treat you well.
Many thanks for the (holy cwap) detailed answer. To be completely honest, I truly did not expect so much detail into your working process and the approach you have.
I thank you very much for the feedback and for what you wrote above. My question was not meant to rush you in any way or to complain that the book is not out yet – hope it didn’t cone across as such.
I ( and I am sure many others) will patiently wait for your next work to be published and available so that we can toss our coin to you (slight witcher pun here). Take all the time you need and enjoy the holidays in peaceband sureounded by your loved one.
May your days be filled with sunshine and your pen/keyboard with inspiration. Thank you for taking up writing 🙂
You’re very welcome for the insight into how I do what I do.
Thank you for the support and kind words. And the Witcher trilogy is one of my favorite game series. I still need to finish playing my way through #3, because if I let myself get drawn into a game such as the Witcher or Cyberpunk 2077… well… weeks will pass with little to show for them beyond progress in the game.
It absolutely did not come across as jiggling my elbow about the book. It came across as curious and… honestly… I applied my feelings toward the writers I follow to your comment. I myself am eagerly awaiting the next installment of Jerry Boyd’s Bob and Nikki series. The stories are not “standard format” at all (he doesn’t even use chapters), but I love them and read each new one as soon as I’m aware it’s available. I’ve taken to checking Amazon at least once a week to see if the next one has appeared.
And you don’t need to worry about me running out of ideas any time soon. I have at least a concept sentence for something like one hundred fifty books across fifteen to nineteen series, and I keep thinking of new ideas. Having lots of story ideas is a bit of a double-edged sword for me. I love them all (even Cole & Srexx), and I want to write them all… at the same time. I’m still working out how I’ll handle this particular unexpected development, but when I reach a workable solution, I’ll share it.
I hope the days treat you and yours well, and best wishes for the new year!
Hi Rob, any news on the Fall of Skullkeep? I sped through the other books in the series and I can’t find any other books I want to read. Thanks for all the hard work, Happy holidays!!!
Please see my reply to Bogdan’s question. Happy Holidays to you and yours as well!
Hope the days treat you and yours well.
I know that you have seen this question a lot, but any time frame on the release of “The Fall of SkullKeep”?
Thanks for taking the time to contact me. Please, see my rather verbose reply to Bogdan in this thread.
I am still at Step 1 — Composition, mainly because Life decided I needed to do other things in December than write. I’ve made progress, but I still have a ways to go before I have something I’m willing to claim in public.
I will keep everyone up-to-date as the status changes.
Are we still in the composition stage? Really looking forward to this book.
Just wondering if you have a release date for the fall of skullkeep?
Please see my latest update for the status of The Fall of Skullkeep.