Announcements: The Next Project & Shawn Speakman Returns to Annwn Cycle

Announcements: The Next Project & Shawn Speakman Returns to Annwn Cycle

Hi Grim Oakers,

Two big announcements today!


Becky and I are pleased to announce the special edition of Lost Worlds & Mythological Kingdoms edited by John Joseph Adams will be offered on the website for pre-ordering on March 1, 2023 at 11AM PT. The book is limited to 250 copies signed by all contributors (no lettered edition for this one), it will have a slipcase included in the $250 price, and it will not have a dust jacket but instead beautiful endpapers of Allen Morris's original cover art. The book is wrapped and has already been sent to the printer. Mark your calendars!


Onto the other big piece of news. I am excited to share that I am returning to the Annwn Cycle universe that began with my debut novel, The Dark Thorn! It has been 10 years since that book published—in other words, a long time—and readers have been patiently awaiting the sequel, The Everwinter Wraith. The big news? My new novel, The King-Killing Queen, is a prequel to The Dark Thorn and is perfect for any of my readers who enjoyed that book and the numerous short stories I've written in that series. It's also a great place to start reading my work if you haven't before.

The King-Killing Queen? It began as a novella and originally published in The King Must Fall anthology from Grimdark Magazine. When Skybound Entertainment (The Walking Dead) and I began talking about partnering, the novella became a key piece in a new publishing model. I expanded the novella into a novel and, as I was writing, it became clear the story was a prequel to The Dark Thorn and would play an integral part for the Annwn Cycle's conclusion. It will launch as a Kickstarter on March 14th and features cover art by the amazing Magali Villeneuve and B&W interior art by Donato Giancola. The Kickstarter will have five different editions for you to choose from.

Skybound also felt strongly that an original graphic novel made sense for this project too. They have taken a short story I've written set after King Arthur's fall and adapted it into a 98-page graphic novel featuring 30 pages of full-color art, bonus content, and the original short story. The Kickstarter is the only way to get this. It is being adapted by Dark Wraith of Shannara scribe Robert Napton and illustrated by Nate Taylor. I've seen finished pages of The Briar-Sword Monk and they are gorgeous! More information coming soon about this.

How to get that information? It's easy. Sign up at Like FREE stuff? Sign up and back one of the Kickstarter's physical tiers on March 14th to get a FREE Old World Tales pin included in your pledge!

Meanwhile, I am working on professional edits for a new edition of The Dark Thorn. When done, I will re-read what I've written in The Everwinter Wraith, make any necessary changes to bring it into line with its previous book, and then complete The Everwinter Wraith's last few chapters! There could be two Annwn Cycle books this year. Woo!

A busy year. But all fun! If you have any questions about all of this, feel free to reach out to me. I'm always around.

With Magic,

Shawn Speakman
Publisher & Creative Director

PS: I received the cover sketch for Jim Butcher's Fool Moon this morning and Chris McGrath's art is going to be beautiful! Just thought I'd share that since I'm really excited about it!

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