Too many cooks spoil the broth, as you know, but it can be just as much a problem when you've got too few, and that's what happened with The Walls of Spyte. Originally Oliver Johnson and I were going to write the Blood Sword gamebooks between us. In hindsight that was probably never a realistic plan, seeing as how in our earlier series (Golden Dragon Gamebooks and the Dragon Warriors RPG) I'd written two books for every one that Oliver finished.
In the event, before the ink was even dry on the contract Oliver got a full-time office job so he was only able to write about a quarter of The Battlepits of Krarth and none at all of books 2 through 4. We were approaching the deadline for the final book and I had lots of other work on, so Oliver said he'd take a holiday and do the whole thing. That way he'd end up having written a quarter of the series rather than half, and we could amend the royalty payments accordingly.
You know what Rabbie Burns said about foresight. Oliver couldn't get as much time off as he thought -- or maybe his wife insisted that part of the holiday should be spent, you known, holidaying. And I'd already booked up to work on something else. Oops. Luckily Jamie Thomson had a few weeks to spare and he jumped in to take up the slack.
Jamie wouldn't have had time to read the other Blood Sword books, though. Cranking out half a book in a couple of weeks must have been hard enough. So I expect Oliver put a pin in the flowchart, said, "Can you give me a generic 200-section dungeon that I can fit in from here to here," and Jamie came through. But by then Oliver must have thought somebody else was going to do the editing, because there were a lot of things intended to be filled in later (such as numbers on a segmented rod, which got left as "XX" in the printed copy) which meant the book was unplayable.
That's why, when I revised the Blood Sword books for republication a few years back, I pretty much threw up my hands when it came to The Walls of Spyte. That one was obviously going to take more work than the other four books combined. You'd already entered a realm of dreams, faced heroes on the mythic plane, and gone down to the land of Sheol to have it out with the Angel of Death. Did you really want to cap all that with a knockabout dungeon and silly jokes?
It turns out a lot of people did. As I was explaining for the umpteenth time why I couldn't muster any enthusiasm for getting Spyte into a publishable state, it suddenly occurred to me it would eat up less time if I just got on and did it. Hence this Kickstarter.
The Kickstarter is for a limited edition full-colour hardcover. That's going to be a genuine collector's edition, as it will only be available to backers of the Kickstarter. The paperback will go on sale as soon as all the hardcover copies have gone out to backers. So if you just want a paperback copy of The Walls of Spyte, you don't need to back the Kickstarter, you just need to wait a few months.
The Kickstarter for The Walls of Spyte collector's edition will run until March 16th.