Steven D. Russell lost his life in a car accident; one of those events that no one can see coming, that takes away our opportunity to say goodbye to a friend. The small corner of the gaming industry that knew Steve is in shock, and many heartfelt comments and stories are being shared across social media — it’s bitter-sweet.
Some of these people were close to Steve, personally invested in his life and company. I was not one of Steve’s friends. We talked business a few times over the years, I kept up-to-date with his company, but we were not really “friends.” I don’t even know if he particularly liked me, BUT I own 47 Rite Publishing books. That’s not a lot out of the 400+ books the company published, but those are 47 books I’ve read and used personally. As an artist and a publisher, we are influenced by what we consume and in the end, those made my own company's books better.
See, even though Steve and I were only acquaintances, he was a pillar in my small industry. He was a shrewd and honest businessman willing to offer advice and suggestions to the many starting out as a publisher, and he was a creative force that dared to release bold and imaginative products. Contrary to what some will tell you, being business savvy and imaginative are not often bedfellows, but if you ever followed Steve on social media or were lucky to sit and have a few drinks with him, you’ll understand he was blessed with equal parts of both. And if you read the many heartfelt stories being shared right now, you’ll see how much he blessed others.
Steven D. Russell and I were not friends, he was merely a business acquaintance I respected in a very small industry. He was a peer that, maybe unbeknownst to him, shaped a lot of what my company (and many others) have produced. He was someone who had a lot more to give to us all, but like many, was taken too soon. He will be missed and he was loved.
Whatever the universe has in-store for us after this life, I hope he knows how much his family, friends, and fans will miss him. And from me to you, thanks for the books Steven. Each of them has your voice and because of them, you will always be around.
If you have the means, consider supporting his family at their GoFundMe site here.