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Contemporary social satire through the private eye of a wizard from Victorian England
Contemporary social satire through the private eye of a wizard from Victorian England
13 backers pledged $1,009 to help bring this project to life.

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Bring to the world Thaddeus Barlow, a would-be detective claiming birth in 1831 and lore stretching back to 200,000 years ago. He has deep insight into our culture today as well as deeply ingrained Victorian attitudes. “Conflicted” is an understatement. “Schizophrenic” is a misnomer. “Multiple Personality Disorder” is out of date and off the mark. Let’s just call him complex and fun, shall we? They Call Me Merlin Sherlock is his complaint and the title of the first in a series of books Thaddeus will write to persuade his fellow wizards to take him seriously even as the publicity arising from the series earns him more mockery. Oh, did I forget to mention that he’s a wizard? It was implied by the “lore stretching back to 200,000 years ago”, but I guess you would have to read the book to understand that. For you to do that, of course, I, Thaddeus or somebody will have to write the book and make it available for you to read. The mystery I have called you all together to solve is, “How is Thaddeus Barlow to be?” We’re talking some serious fiction here, fantasy for philosophers, contemporary social satire through the private eye of a wizard from Victorian England who understands the 21st century with the ancient knowledge modern anthropology is only now re-discovering . . . if only he could keep his Victorian upbringing at bay. But he can’t, of course. That is just one of the conflicts that makes it such a good story, rife with humor and irony, plot twists and engaging characters. Thaddeus and Melda could solve the mysteries of crime and all of civilization if only. If only what, you ask? Well, we have to get the books written to find out, don’t we? And who is this Melda who cropped up a few sentences back. A love interest? An assistant? A foil? Someone who believes in Thaddeus the wizard detective or someone who thinks he’s just another loon on the loose. Well, yes, to all of the above, but we have to get the books written to find out how and why, don’t we? In fifty years they could be talking about the launch of the Merlin Sherlock stories the way today they are celebrating the fifty years of Dr. Who. Thaddeus and Melda could be the Sherlock and Watson of the 21st century: Alfrodshire the Midsomer County; Thaddeus Barlow the Father Brown, a 21st century philosopher detective with roots in the 19th century and 20,000 other centuries as well stretching back to when the first wizard homo sapiens walked the savannah. They could be, but we have to get the books written to find out, don’t we? Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to help bring Thaddeus and Melda to the world, get the first book written and the first 100 copies printed. Thaddeus and I are well on target to bring the first book out by the end of January, 2013, but he is a sensitive wizardly lad who needs reassurance that you want him to live, Live, LIVE. To do that, please make a donation on kickstarter.com and tell three friends that they also have a chance to help make literary history. We’ll take care of the rest. Thank you. P.S. You will notice there are thirteen levels of donation. I hope someday Thaddeus will get to tell you how much he loves the number thirteen.

Risks and challenges

The biggest challenge is getting it written. Thad and I (this being Carl ) have They Call Me Merlin Sherlock more than half done and have many ideas about the future of the series. I have published three books through CreateSpace so I have a handle on my own creative productivity and the logistics after the writing is done. The main hurdles are paying for a first run of paperbacks to distribute to reviewers and customers (and donors) and reassuring Thaddeus that you really want to see him in the world . . . or, at least, on the page.

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    A business card signed by Thaddeus Barlow.

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    The above plus a PDF of the complete They Call Me Merlin Sherlock.

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    The above plus a PDF of any one of the three books previously published by Carl Stevens.

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    The above plus a PDF of another one of the three books previously published by Carl Stevens.

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    The above plus a PDF of your third of the three books previously published by Carl Stevens.

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    The above plus a signed paperback copy of They Call Me Merlin Sherlock.

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    The above plus a signed paperback copy of any one book previously published by Carl Stevens..

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    The above plus a signed paperback copy of another book previously published by Carl Stevens.

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    The above plus your name in print on an Acknowledgements page within They Call Me Merlin Sherlock.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    The above plus a one hour phone conversation about books with yourself, your class or book club, Carl Stevens (and if he is available) Thaddeus Barlow.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    The above plus you get to name a recurring character in the Thaddeus and Melda mystery series. All other characteristics are up to Thad and Carl and we (especially Thad) also reserve the right to reject any vulgar or silly names . . .unless you can convince us they would really work in the story.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    The above plus Carl will meet in person with you, your class, or your book club. I will try to talk Thaddeus into joining us, but he really doesn't travel well.

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Funding period

- (28 days)