Meet Henry Beauregard, a man on the verge of death, seeking salvation on an odd pilgrimage in this Southern historical fiction.
What Are You Doing?!
I have my mind set on sharing a novel with you. A story involving the South, its secrets and deep-rooted religion. Last year, I set out to complete a novel. With Kickstarter, my dream can finally become a reality. As Victor Hugo said, "Each man should frame life so that at some future hour fact and his dreaming meet. "
About the Book
The Vanity of Life is an ethereal and fateful story of infatuation and societal suffocation set in early 20th-century Charleston, South Carolina. The story entwines two wealthy and prominent families: The Beauregard family and the Strange family.
As young men in the same social circles, Henry Beauregard and Ethan Strange develop a curious attraction to one another, eventually forming a love affair unbeknownst to anyone. While Ethan is a charming, gregarious man with an attraction to both sexes, Henry is much more conservative and devoted to Ethan. The relationship takes a dark turn when Henry’s emotions boil over and he kills Ethan in a blind rage. Morphine-addicted Amelia, Ethan’s wife, is wrongfully convicted of the murder and hanged. Ethan and Amelia Strange’s deaths leave behind their six-year-old daughter, Ellie, and the orphaned child is sent to live with her religious paternal grandparents who raise her as if she were their own.
The story picks up several years after the murder with Ellie having grown into a strong-willed, quiet young woman who longs for freedom. By this time the women’s suffrage movement has begun, but the South remains staunchly conservative and women are still considered property of their husbands. Ellie fears she will soon be forced to marry and in turn become mentally suffocated.
Concurrently, a middle-aged Henry discovers he has a fatal brain tumor. Facing death, Henry begins to believe he must go on a pilgrimage seeking forgiveness for his murderous past and lifetime of depravity. His biggest fear is what he may face in the afterlife.
In panic and guilt, Henry resolves to seek out Ellie; the one person he feels able to provide him eternal peace through his confession and her forgiveness. Henry plans to give up his fortune to her, as he believes that is his greatest act of self-sacrifice.
During this mission for absolution, Henry stumbles upon a defunct nickelodeon theater and becomes increasingly obsessed with each visit. He realizes the silent films projected in the theater begin to portray private moments in his dead love’s life. Henry, a strong believer in Spiritualism, believes the films are a sign he shall soon be reunited with Ethan in an afterlife free from boundaries or guilt.
Henry’s downfall and crisis ends up catapulting Ellie into her own unforeseen personal journey of enlightenment and the end of innocence.
My Stance on This Project
Although this book is fiction, I plan on being as historically accurate as possible. This book isn’t meant to preach to anyone or is founded on any particular religion or viewpoint, but rather seeks to express the South’s unique history in its pious and woefully dark tradition. I’m proud to be from the South with all of its stereotypes, violent history and romantically set pasts. Regardless of its flaws, it’s where I’m from and what I deeply know and feel. The South’s history of blindness to its tribulations, and its cacophony of well-intended actions have always intrigued me. I am a true believer that if we look hard enough, there is something to be captured in even the most ugly and fearful events.
Where is Your Money Going?
The majority of this money goes towards editing, designing, typesetting and publishing the book. The remainder will go toward allowing me the free time to do extensive research and complete the novel. I’ve tried to keep my budget as low as possible because my priority is completing a novel I’m proud to share with you. If by some chance I am funded past 100%, that money will go towards creating the best product possible. If you have any questions about where this money is going, feel free to email me at kathrynhefner at gmail dot com or contact me through Kickstarter. There is no way I could ever produce a novel without your help. Thanks again for your interest and involvement.
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pledged of $3,412 goal
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Mar 19, 2012 - Apr 18, 2012 (30 days)
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You get a mental high-five and my endless gratitude.Estimated delivery: Apr 2012
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A self-designed thank you postcard mailed to you with a link to the e-book for sale. If you live within 10 miles of myself, you get a real high-five and I hug you while swinging you around. (Weight limit of 150 pounds, please)Estimated delivery: Jan 2013
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Hand written thank you note & a digital copy of the e-book and/or pdf version.Estimated delivery: Jan 2013
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Published hard copy of the book mailed to you.Estimated delivery: Feb 2013
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Published hard copy mailed to you, and acknowledged in the book.Estimated delivery: Feb 2013
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Perhaps my first-born child, but more likely you’ll get a singed copy of an ultra-sleek hardcover edition of the book and your name acknowledged in it. I’ll even overnight a box of VooDoo Donuts to you. (http://voodoodoughnut.com/about.php)Estimated delivery: Feb 2013
Pledge $1,000 or more
What? That's a crazy amount to donate. You’d get a signed copy of the ultra-sleek book within a fancy gift basket. That gift would include an 8x10 photo of the utter look of shock on my face. Also, VooDoo donuts (http://voodoodoughnut.com/about.php) and Stumptown coffee (http://stumptowncoffee.com/category/news/) will be overnighted to you. What a deal!Estimated delivery: Feb 2013