The 1st book in a series of fantasy novels for ages 9+ about a young angel, a young devil, and what happens when they join forces.
Rayjak and the Devil’s Halo takes juvenile fantasy in a whole new direction: the swashbuckling realm of angels versus devils. The Aetherworld versus the Netherworld. Good versus evil.
And a young hero caught in the middle.
Rayjak is a young angel who crosses paths with Ash, a runaway devil. Ash stole something he calls a "halo," and he thinks—and hopes—it can turn him into an angel. Bored, lonely, and more than a little curious, Rayjak agrees to help. But his innocent life quickly unravels when deadly enemies come chasing after them. Before long the two boys decide to do what no other angel and devil have ever done: join forces.
The book is the first in a series that takes readers on a journey that explores themes of friendship, identity, and the surprising power of redemption. If you love Harry Potter or Redwall, I think you’ll like Rayjak, too.
What's the big picture?
I want to create a whole new fantasy world of characters, places, powers, creatures, and cultures—a world of angels versus devils. (There’s nothing religious about it—it’s strictly a fantasy adventure, like elves versus orcs or Jedi versus Sith.) I hope to build a tribe of readers eager to read the stories and interact with me as I write new ones. Perhaps our collective enthusiasm will attract a publishing house willing to give Rayjak a chance at wider distribution.
What's your goal?
The funds I raise through Kickstarter will help get the series going by paying for the printing costs of the first print edition, a better website, and some promotion. More funds equal a higher quality print edition and greater distribution (and an audiobook if we exceed the goal).
Where are you at right now?
The first book is finished (76,000 words—the same as Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone). I've also completed all the chapter illustrations (see a few samples below) and page layouts, so the book is virtually ready for publication. I’m nearly halfway through writing the second book (Rayjak and the Ring of Hammers), which will be finished by the end of the year. Having the second book ready shortly after the release of the first one is a key strategy for getting momentum for the series. All the sales for the first book will go toward funding the publication of the second book.
If you love fantasy and adventure as much as I do, I hope you’ll join me on this special journey. Your generous support will give Rayjak some wings to get off the ground. And be sure to read the first chapter on my website: www.rayjak.com.
Here's a look at the rewards I created especially for this project. The T-shirt designs will be printed on the backs of the shirts, with a small version on the front pocket area. The marble packs will include a cloth bag with at least 25 hand-picked premium marbles with a story-based "Marbulos" tag attached.
If the Kickstarter project is completely funded, the first book will be officially released in the fall of 2011, hopefully as early as October. It will be for sale on Amazon and other online vendors, available as an e-book and a print edition.
Rayjak fits the "juvenile fiction" category, meaning it's for ages 9 and up, including adults. Anyone who can read and enjoy Harry Potter can read this book.
No. It's fantasy, pure and simple. No theology whatsoever. It's a story for story's sake, and I hope anyone can enjoy reading it, no matter what your background or beliefs may be.
In addition to offering your tremendous support as a backer, the best thing you can do is to share this project with your friends. Share the link and encourage your network to check it out. This project won't get funded without full support, so the more the better.
I like to think so! Most of my career has revolved around writing. I've written or co-written 14 non-fiction books, which have sold a total of more than 100,000 copies. I've worked at publishers for 14 years as a writer, designer, and creative director. I've spent well over 10,000 hours writing (post-college).
I've got two kinds of influences: the creative kind and the kick-my-butt kind. The creative types who inspire me most are Madeleine L'Engle, Hayao Miyazaki, Philip Pullman, Douglas Adams, Neil Gaiman, J.K. Rowling, Brian Jacques, Terry Pratchett, J.R.R. Tolkein, George Lucas, and many others. The types who inspire me to get things done (and do them well) include geniuses like Seth Godin (my guru/hero), Chris Guillebeau, Stefan Sagmeister, Walt Disney, and a long list of supportive friends and co-workers.
I'd love to! The challenge for new novelists to attract the attention of publishers is extremely difficult. Not impossible, but difficult. The publishing industry has changed dramatically the last few years, and authors now have new opportunities to reach readers. It's still a challenge to find and keep readers' attention, but you have to start somewhere--and Kickstarter is a great place to do it. My hope is to build my own "tribe" (thank you, Seth Godin), as well as find a partnership with an established publisher. My role will always be to keep writing and stay in touch with my readers as much as possible.
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SHADOW PACK: Get a pre-release PDF version of the book and my eternal thanks!Estimated delivery:
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FIRE PACK: The above PLUS a signed paperback copy of the first edition of the book (including black & white chapter illustrations).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $33 or moreYou selected
MARBULOS PACK: All of the above PLUS a custom, hand-picked bag of "marbulos" (devil marbles from the story).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $55 or moreYou selected
WINGS PACK: All of the above PLUS a special edition Rayjak angel-wing OR devil-wing T-shirt (S, M, L or XL) AND your name listed in the acknowledgements of the first paperback edition.Estimated delivery:
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DOUBLE WINGS PACK: Everything in the WINGS pack, except you get BOTH special edition Rayjak angel-wing AND devil-wing T-shirts (S, M, L or XL).Estimated delivery:
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12 backers Limited (99 left of 111)
AETHERWORLD PACK: All of the above PLUS a limited edition, signed/personalized/numbered hardcover copy of the book with 22 full-color illustrations.Estimated delivery:
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TEACHER PACK: 26 copies of the paperback book, 26 bookmarks, 26 premium marbles, plus a discussion/activity guide for the teacher, plus one T-shirt for the teacher. The guide explores the book in a fun, interactive way and covers topics like friendship and self-identity.Estimated delivery:
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2 backers All gone!
HANDMADE PACK: Everything in the Wings Pack PLUS one original deluxe hard-bound version of Rayjak and the Devil's Halo, complete with hand-drawn ink illustrations and written in my own hand. (I have excellent handwriting!) It'll be a top-notch, well-crafted and RARE edition.Estimated delivery:
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HALLOWEEN LAUNCH PARTY: If this reward gets sponsored, we'll throw a book launch party on October 30, 2011 in Loveland, Colorado. Tons of goodies, games, costumes, books, prizes and more. You, the backer, and 11 of your guests will EACH receive a Rayjak party pack, including a signed copy of the paperback, a bag of marbles, and 2 T-shirts.Estimated delivery:
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1 backer All gone!
MAC PACK: All of the above, PLUS my vintage Mac PowerBook 5300, on which I wrote my first draft of the book 11 years ago (which is very different than the final version). And, yes, the Mac still works!Estimated delivery:
- (33 days)