Queer teens' lives are full-bellied, finger-snapping, hip-popping, knee-smacking. Except in most mainstream fiction.
I have yet to read a novel uninhibitedly rife with the imaginings of queer adolescents. My novel—this Kickstarter project—is what I wanted so desperately to read as a young gay person coming out in a religiously conservative biological family, in a religiously conservative small town.
Your donations bring this novel to life by granting me the freedom to work under my own deadlines and to self-publish.* Self-publishing avoids the editing of mainstream publishers** who, in so many cases, strive to "straight-wash" creative writing about queer adolescents so it's palatable (read: bland) enough for a mainstream American public that moves too slowly toward full acceptance of the full-bodied experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, asexual, intersex, queer and questioning Americans.
This novel pivots on the power of youth to hold adults accountable for their life-threatening blind spots. Each chapter is written from the point of view of a different young character in a core group of four. The plot unfolds as their new friendships do, climaxing in their pursuit of social justice at the local public high school where their experiences and needs as LGBTQIA youth are marginalized on a daily basis.
With your support the powerful story I have to tell will reach LGBTQIA youth the world over--granting sanctuary from the trauma of hetero-normative socialization, inspiring courage in the face of fear, true compassion in the face of “faith”-based hate.
What right do I have to tell such a story? I write with a keen personal awareness of what it is like to be young and queer in America. I write as an ally to people of color, people of every economic class, people of varying abilities in bodymindspirit. I write as an ally to people of all body types, to people of all sexes and genders.
Be sure to check out the above video for more background on the novel—including an excerpt of the first chapter (note: contains adult material). You can also find my biography and creative Backers' Rewards in the sidebar to the right!
I can’t thank you enough for the time you’ve taken to look through this profile, and for any donations you might choose to make. Many blessings to you!
*I have taken a class in Independent Self-Publishing and read numerous books on the topic; $5,500 is a relatively modest sum to ask for in pursuit of publishing hard cover, soft cover and an e-book (while also budgeting for Kickstarter and Amazon.com processing fees).
**My creative work will be edited by colleagues who sport strong backgrounds in editing from years of work in academia and/or publishing. These individuals have demonstrated respect for the LGBTQIA content of my novel, while still offering keen eyes for grammar, syntax, plot structure and character-building.
PS: If we get enough donations here are some of the roll-over rewards that will benefit the project-at-large...
WHEN we break $6,000--because you post a crazy-supportive-giddy-passionate daily Tweet about how much you love the project, along with a link to it... the author will be able to utilize his background in music (piano and voice) to record original songs written and performed by one of the characters, Maryssa. These songs will be inserted into the eBook via hyperlink to uniquely extend and flesh out the plot around Maryssa's gender transformation--and will also be available for free download to anyone who purchases a hard copy of the novel from the author's website.
WHEN we break $6,500--because you post a daily Facebook status featuring a link to the project plus your favorite quote-of-the-day pulled from the Chapter One excerpt in my video pitch... the author will be able to complete a companion volume to the novel including excerpts from Uri's journal, from Eason's sketchbook, from Maryssa's songbook, and from Lex's poetry blog--all from the year after the novel's events take place, showing how the characters have grown and changed.
WHEN we break $8,000--because you send an e-mail to your wide net of friends, family, and colleagues, linking them to the project and articulating why you support LGBTQIA youth via this project that will help tell the full stories of such courageous beings... the author will be able to complete a companion novella about the life of a key lesbian elder, a secondary character who becomes close to Uri in the original novel.
WHEN we break $10,000--because you call/text three friends or family members each week to share your passionate support of the project & to kindly-but-directly asking your loved one to donate... each and every Patron--who donated at any level--will find his or her name on the dedication page of the author's website (link printed on dedication page of novel's final copy), and will receive a free audiobook of the novel including Maryssa's songs.
Yes. We understand that some donors simply want to make sure that the story of the women who served their country during World War II is told. To give anonymously, click on "Back this Project." Then create a new Kickstarter account as "anonymous" or use a pseudonym. Amazon will ask for your personal financial information during the transaction, but that information will not be shared with either Kickstarter users or the creators of this project.
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Pledge $10 or moreYou selected
You will receive (by e-mail) a general video of thanks from Patrick, naming your support for LGBTQ Youth and LGBTQ Self-Publishing. You are invited to post this on your preferred social networking site in commemoration of your offering--and to draw in your friends as fellow backers of this fabulous project!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
15 backers Limited (85 left of 100)
Receive the $10 reward and a rainbow bumper sticker featuring the slogan, "I Support LGBTQIA Youth" or "Patron of the HeART." Custom-designed by Patrick.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
11 backers Limited (39 left of 50)
Receive a rainbow coffee cozy custom-designed and knit by Patrick, with a "I Support LGBTQIA Youth," label sewn on. Cozy is designed to fit average paper coffee cup (or ceramic cup without handle). Save a tree and cut down on using those paper cupholders!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
3 backers Limited (22 left of 25)
Receive a t-shirt designed by Patrick's amazing visual artist friends featuring one of these slogans: "Patron of the HeART" (next to a rainbow heart) or "Yes Homo!" (with funky subversive queer-positive design elements--referencing the opening character's observation regarding the derogatory colloquialism: "How 'no' can your 'homo' be when you're punching another guy in the crotch as you say it?").Estimated delivery:
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
4 backers Limited (16 left of 20)
Receive a shout-out in the novel's dedication--clearly naming your commitment to LGBTQIA youth, to this novel, and to self-publishing. A fancy & frame-able draft of your personal dedication will be sent to you by the below date, via e-mail attachment (PDF). You'll also receive a video file of Patrick reading your personalized dedication. You're welcome to post this video on your preferred social networking profile in commemoration of your support for LGBTQIA Self-Publishing. Note: feel free to ask that the dedication be in the name of a loved one! What better birthday/anniversary/everyday gift than a donation to a fledgling project such as this?!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)
Patrick will name one of the characters in the novel after you (first name only + one of your identifying physical or personality characteristics--your choice). Note: Patrick cannot guarantee your name will land on a main character, but he will guarantee the character carrying your name will converse with the main characters at some point. Details to be worked out via e-mail, with a character sketch sent to you by the below date.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)
Receive the $250 reward, as well as this: a one-on-one Q&A with the author via phone or video-chat. Patrick will answer any of your questions about the novel, about his writing process, and about his take on creative work in general. Q&A will end with Patrick reading you a brief excerpt of the novel that no one else has heard before. Also receive a free e-book version of the novel once it is finished.Estimated delivery:
- (31 days)