I was chatting with some friends the other day about Raging Swan Press and how happy I was with the way things are going at the moment.
I realised, though, I’d never posted why I started Raging Swan Press in the first place. While this post doesn’t contain any earth-shattering revelations or business advice I thought you might enjoy it nevertheless.
In 2004 my first son was born. At the time, both my wife and I were in full-time employment. She was (and still is) a medical doctor while I was a Regional Account Manager for a large wine and spirit company (doesn’t that sound exciting and important). My sales area comprised a decent chunk of the south of the UK while my wife had a relatively punishing work schedule involving frequent nights and weekends. I lasted a whole year in full-time employment until the schedule juggling and so on became too much.
With the conclusion of Living Greyhawk—in which I was heavily involved as first a triad member and then a member of the Circle of Six—I looked around for a new challenge and ended up doing quite a lot of freelance work for WoTC. (It was during this period I won a silver Ennie for Madness at Gardmore Abbey of which I’m jolly proud).
I kept freelancing for a couple of years for WoTC and other companies, but I was growing increasingly dissatisfied with writing what other people wanted me to write. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the pay checks, but I had stories and adventures inside me I had to get out! Also, it didn’t look like work would ever be as plentiful as I’d need it to be to make a career out of freelance writing.
As luck would have it, as this feeling was growing I had an adventure pitch rejected by a relatively well-known publisher. My contact was kind enough to provide some great feedback on my pitch, though—feedback I would never have given myself—but they weren’t interesting in publishing themselves.
Thus, I decided to publish the adventure myself. (The adventure was Retribution—which is one of our best selling products to date released in March 2010). I quickly realized Retribution needed a mini-campaign setting (what would become The Lonely Coast) and a nearby settlement (Swallowfeld) and so Raging Swan Press was born!