Welcome back to the Creature Court!
This is Aufleur, a city inspired by Ancient Roman festivals, Victorian theatres and the Roaring Twenties. A city of garlands and flappers, of bean-cakes and circuses.
Every night, a secret war is fought against the sky by the Creature Court, a hot mess of shape-changers and monsters. It's their job to save a city that doesn't even know they exist... and Velody, a dressmaker of the Daylight world, is destined to be their King.
They fight. They love. They tear each other to pieces.
THE CREATURE COURT:
- Book 1 Power and Majesty
- Book 2 The Shattered City
- Book 3 Reign of Beasts
This award-winning fantasy trilogy by Tansy Rayner Roberts is returning to print, along with a brand-new novella set in the world of the Creature Court.
Featuring the glorious Art Deco inspired silhouette artwork of celebrated artist Kathleen Jennings, the Creature Court trilogy will be relaunched by the author with new covers, and a choice of e-book or Kickstarter-exclusive hardback editions.
Tansy is also releasing Cabaret of Monsters, a brand-new prequel novella set in the world of the Creature Court.
Cabaret of Monsters follows Evie Inglirra, a newspaper writer investigating Aufleur's bohemian theatre community. After Evie discovers that the Vittorina Royale's new star performer is a wolf in flapper's clothing, she digs deeper into the city's secrets, and discovers more than the Creature Court ever wanted her to learn.
This new novella will feature a matching illustrated cover, and be available in e-book and paperback editions.
Kathleen Jennings has won many Ditmar Awards, and has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award three times. Her recent works include illustrations for Kij Johnson's The River Bank (Small Beer Press), the 10th anniversary edition of Cassandra Clare's City of Bones, and the limited edition of Angela Slatter's The Tallow-Wife. Her work is extraordinary and distinctive, and will bring great charm and style to the new editions of the Creature Court books.
Kathleen Jennings has also designed a beautiful Creature Court enamel pin for our backers, featuring Sentinel swords and Rhian's roses in a swooping, Art Deco style. Colour variants have been UNLOCKED with our first stretch goal, so backers can choose from black, green or teal. All reward levels above $99 will include 1 of each pin.
A pack of 4 postcards will be printed featuring the new Creature Court covers. More designs may be added later to this as stretch goals.
The Digital Bundle which is included in many levels features 9 of Tansy's other SFF novels and novellas: Musketeer Space, The Mocklore Omnibus, Ink Black Magic, Glass Slipper Scandal, Dance Princes Dance, Fake Geek Girl, Unmagical Boy Story, and the two BONUS STRETCH GOAL books. Cranky Ladies of History, and A Trifle Dead. The Digital Bundle will be available in .mobi, .epub and .pdf versions.
Tansy, an experienced crafter and quilter as well as a writer, will hand-sew a number of special one-of-a-kind textile rewards including a limited run of crazy quilted book bags and bookmarks, not to mention the adorable "Velody" fabric mice you will have seen scampering around the social media of this campaign.
For one special backer, we have Flappers Gonna Flap, featuring a beautiful one-of-a-kind "Flapper Velody" rag doll made by Isabel Dallas, a friend of the author. This doll is approx 30 cm tall. [THIS LEVEL HAS BEEN CLAIMED]
At the Secret History of the Creature Court level ($500), Tansy is pledging personalised short stories in the world of Aufleur. Pick up to 3 characters from the Creature Court trilogy & Tansy will write a short story about them on one of the following themes of your choice: Secret History, Modern AU, or Wild Card. You will receive this story by email and have exclusive reading access for at least 3 months, after which the author can make it more widely available. Tansy will retain ownership and copyright of the story.
In addition to reward production, processing fees, postage and printing costs for the Kickstarter itself, this campaign is intended to cover the set up costs of bringing these four books into print, including:
- Artwork for four book covers by Kathleen Jennings
- Enamel pin and promotional banner design by Kathleen Jennings
- Typography & cover layout for four books by Catherine Larson
- Proofing, editorial expenses for four books.
- Admin costs, Backerkit subscription fees & taxes.
The prequel novella Cabaret of Monsters and enamel pins will be released to backers by July 2018. The Creature Court trilogy will be released to backers by December 2018. All rewards will be delivered between July-December 2018, except where stated otherwise (some stretch goals have 2019 release dates)
We have a series of exciting stretch goals should the project raise more than its intended financial goal. New stretch goals will be unlocked regularly throughout the campaign.
- $16,000 - two colour variants of the enamel pin, UNLOCKED! All backers can now choose between 3 colours, and all backers at $99+ get 3 pins.
- $17,000 - Tansy will send 2 Creature Court flash/micro fictions to Kickstarter backers before the end of the campaign! UNLOCKED!
- $17,500 - 2 new ebooks added to the TansyRR digital bundle! Cranky Ladies of History, and A Trifle Dead. UNLOCKED!
- $18,000 - Cabaret of Monsters (the prequel novella) will be released as a free podcast serial, read by Tansy, and a digital audiobook released earlier to all backers. Estimated Delivery: late 2018 UNLOCKED!!!
- $19,000 - Tansy will write a genuine "years later" sequel novelette to the Creature Court trilogy, letting you know how things turned out for at least some of the main characters! Yes, she's ALWAYS known what happened next...
- $20,000 - the sequel story becomes a novella! More banter, angst, scorching encounters and sword-fighting. Be your own Seer. Gaze into the future of the Creature Court.
Praise for Power and Majesty, Book 1 of the Creature Court:
"Clever, witty, and utterly heart-wrenching, this book sparkles even as it explores real darkness and the terrible consequences of seeking - or refusing - power."
Stephanie Burgis, author of Masks and Shadows and Snowspelled
"I defy anyone to read the first chapter of this book and not be compelled to read on. A fantasy novel unlike anything I’d read before, Tansy Rayner Roberts’ Power and Majesty blew me away with its innovative world-building and memorable characters seven years ago, when I read it for the first time. I’ve just re-read it, and it remains fresh, immersive and staggeringly good."
Glenda Larke, author of The Last Stormlord and The Lascar's Dagger.
Risks and challenges
The main risks and concerns with a publishing project like this are: a) deadline slippage due to unforseen work/life commitments from all participants and b) budget crisis due to unexpected price rises/extra costs (including printing, reward production and postage).
I've chosen some great people to work with, which means their schedules are just as busy as mine, but we've put a timeline together that works for all of us, and there's flexibility built into it. From my layout designer to my enamel printer, my team is made up of reliable people I have worked with before.
I'm also in the solid position where much of the work needed to bring The Creature Court project to fruition has already been done: I have revised, and proofed and designed layout for the original trilogy. The novella is still a work in progress, but I have allowed plenty of time for the revising, editing and book production side of this shorter work, which is well within my capabilities over the next few months.
The cover art for Cabaret of Monsters will be delivered by Kathleen and go to layout over the next month or so, while the cover art for the trilogy is due in September 2018. Staggering the work like this was the best way to get this epic project wrapped up in such a short publishing time frame. This is why, though December 2018 is cited as the delivery date of most rewards, I plan for the novella and several of the other rewards to come out much sooner.
The design of the Creature Court enamel pin is already complete, allowing me to order these from an experienced Australian producer well in advance of distribution times.
Budget slippage & potential price rises is one of the reasons I want to get this project wrapped up within this calendar year, as much as possible. Postage prices and printing in Australia are regularly rising. The risk is mitigated by releasing rewards in a shorter time frame after crowdfunding.
I'm confident I can face any challenges, and I will keep my backers informed of any changes that may affect projected reward delivery.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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