Q&A Time! What’s Next From Winged Hussar Publishing?

August 1, 2017 by brennon

We stopped in with Vincent Rospond of Winged Hussar Publishing to find out more about what they’ve been up to and what’s coming in the future as they collaborate with loads of other companies.

Q: First off, could you tell us a little bit about Winged Hussar Publishing?

Winged Hussar Publishing started about four years ago after I had left The Black Library and it was set up to cover two things: Provide history that was accessible, for gamers and people interested in not the usual background, and SF&F that was focused on action and adventure. Early on I decided to use print as our main medium, but all of the fiction and much of the histories are also available as ebooks.

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We branched out from there, a somewhat natural progression. We also represent the great military artist Giuseppe Rava with a selection of original paintings and posters. Recently we started carrying Trent Miniatures, a Polish range in the US and we just started to print some rules.

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We have our own website where we sell all our products, but books and ebooks are available around the world through your preferred retailer. We sell some products directly to distributors too. I have printers available in major country hubs which allow us to reduce the cost on orders.

Q: You’ve been doing some great work set within the world of Wild West Exodus already. Could you tell us a bit about the stories you’ve published so far and what lies ahead for those who enjoy this world?

We worked with the old owners of Wild West Exodus to bring depth to the world he created. That was early on in our career as a publisher. We wanted to make sure it was  developed under a separate printing company so we created “Zmok Books” which is a take off on the Polish word for dragon.

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We published a three book story arch, the Jesse James Chronicles; A book on the Wayward Eight; and Bastion, which set out the watchers. There is also a transition book titled, Family Blood, and an anthology of short stories. The short stories helped cover a variety of topics and we published several stories by a fan who submitted them too.

We are working with the new owners of Wild West Exodus to transform his vision of the world into a living universe. There is a publishing plan in place and the first book has been commissioned. There is also Family Blood II, which is being re-edited along with the first book that we hope to release soon that will add more depth to the series.

Q: Some of your new projects focus around Beyond The Gates of Antares from Warlord Games. Could you tell us a bit about the projects set in this universe?

We approached the folks at Warlord about a year ago with the idea of developing more background on the world of Antares. This time we decided to lead with an anthology in order to provide a story on the spectrum of armies featured in the rules. For that book, we turned to a group of veteran writers and let them pick from a list of storylines Warlord approved ahead of time.

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We also opened up submissions to fans and received a good group of stories – so much so that we commissioned a second anthology. The first book – Open Signal – released in May and it is soon to be followed by the second anthology – Dimensional Gates. From there we will be publishing a series of stand-alone novels.

The first of these is a book by veteran SF&F writer and all around good guy, Mike Lee entitled, Ghosts of Antares for September. We’ve already planned out three more novels and on other anthology.

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I’ve known the guys at Warlord for a long time. They produce great miniatures, fun rules and are really going all out to flesh out this world.

Q: We also hear you’re working on growing the world of All Quiet on the Martian Front. What can folks read right now, and what’s around the corner?

At the moment two books are out in the Great Martian War: Invasion and Breakthrough series. Counter-strike should be available in late September/early October. All three books in this series are by Scott Washburn – a very talented author who is working with us to plot out the series over the next few volumes.

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In December we shift the focus to the Texas Front. Those books will be by Jonathan Cresswell-Jones and Scott Washburn. The next trilogy by Scott will focus on what is happening in the rest of the world.

We’ve teamed up now with the guys from Ironclad Games to coordinate what we are doing with their releases. They picked up the ball about a year ago and we’ve found them to be a great group of guys really trying to bring this game back. We’ve been working back and forth to develop plot points.

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The Great Martian War books are available in print, e-book and as audio books. The audio books are available from Audible.

Q: Mantic Games are also working with you on some new projects too. Do these cross into the worlds of both Warpath and Kings of War?

Yes, we just agreed to a deal with the Mantic folks and we’re in the process of fleshing out a publishing schedule. We are going to lead with a Kings of War Anthology. We’re calling it a “cooperative anthology” in that it will take place during a single event, but have multiple points of view coming from different factions. After that, we’ll have a bunch of stand alone novels that cover their collection.

Q: With all of these new projects on the go, do you get a lot of feedback from the companies involved to keep the background and lore together or do the authors have a lot of space to develop their own ideas?

When we approach these projects we start with the established lore. We have tried to organise it into writer’s briefs that our writers can use for guidelines. There is a great deal of information that we have to fill in for readers, however. The aim is not just to write a book attached to a game, but a great story that uses a particular setting as the background.

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To do that we often have to go back and forth with the IP holder to make sure what we are proposing doesn’t violate any present or planned canon. All the companies we deal with are very good at getting back to use. We realise we need to get the background right for the gamers, but also for people who know nothing about these worlds so that we can entice them in to it.

Q: We also hear you’re delving into some wargaming too. Could you tell us a bit about Heroic and the new game, Little Battles?

I think the DNA of Wargaming runs deep in these veins. I started out in the 1960’s with Marx, Airfix and real sized GI Joes. We had the opportunity recently to put some rules out in the marketplace. Heroic, is a skirmish game played across the pre-blackpowder era by veteran wargamer and rules writer, Tim Kulinski.

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Tim did a set of rules years ago for Warhammer Historical called, Legends of the High Seas, about pirates before there were pirates everywhere. We are about to publish a set of fast-play rules for multiple eras titles, Little Battles, by Ron Emmrick. They are fun, beer and pretzel type games, that we are happy to make available. There are more on the drawing board as well.

Q: Are there any other tasty things on the horizon folks should know about from Winged Hussar?

First, we are in the process of upgrading our website. We have quickly outpaced the original functionality of our website, and we want to make sure fans can more easily find new and old books. We have an agreement in place with George Nafziger to acquire The Nafziger Collection, which we are re-editing and publishing as trade publications. This should allow historians and gamers to get better access to these great sources.

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Over the next few months, I have six books in various stages for editing which include a great book on Case White, The Polish Campaign of 1809, A short book on the Polish expedition against the Ottomans and Samurais. We also are about to get some upgrades in our distribution arm which should make our printed books more available around the world.

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In the next year expect two to four original novels each set in the worlds of Antares, Kings of War, Wild West Exodus, Warpath and perhaps Dead Zone.

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We have been working closely with Joe Krone at Watchful-I Studios and he is developing a set of skirmish rules for the far east called, Dynasty Wars: Skirmish Wargaming in the Ancient Orient, that will be out in 2018. We have been talking to Battle Valor Fantasy about doing some things with them and we will soon have Polish and Russian 15mm late 18th figures from Uprising Miniatures available on our website.

Thanks all, and we’re always available to answer questions at hetman@wingedhussarpublishing.com.

Thanks for the time and we can’t wait to see where things go with the work by Winged Hussar!

"We worked with the old owners of Wild West Exodus to bring depth to the world he created..."

"I’ve known the guys at Warlord for a long time. They produce great miniatures, fun rules and are really going all out to flesh out this world..."