Funding raised through Kickstarter will allow us to publish the ebook, the first print edition, and the limited founder's edition, as well as promote the novel to a larger audience.
My young daughter, Emma Mary Hart, loves the genre of fantasy and has dreamed of becoming an author since she was eight. When she came home one day frustrated with school and the lack of creative challenges, we talked about what she could do at home to work on her own story. I talked about some areas of research and preparation she could work on. In my mind I figured that was probably the end of it.
A couple months later she came in and plopped a massive stack of papers on my desk.
"What's this?" I asked.
"This is my research," she replied.
We started going through hundreds of pages of notes, diagrams, characters, genealogies, kingdoms, politics, races, relations, plots and themes. She had enough material for several volumes of a series. When I saw her underlying themes of friendship, trust, betrayal, and sacrifice, I became a believer. I said, "What do you need from me to make this come to life?"
Together, with additional help from Emma's older sister Angela, along with her mom and brother, we have been writing, illustrating and creating this wonderful new world. Emma created the original concept for Dragonstone Chronicles at the age of nine. After three years of intense work, we are now close to having a finished manuscript for Volume One, The Journey to Death's Gate.
You have a chance to launch the career of a promising young prodigy and her amazing new series. Your support will allow us to publish the first volume and begin working on volume two. Specifically, the money raised here on Kickstarter will be used to edit, publish and distribute the e-book, the first edition of the printed book, as well as the limited "founder's edition" of the book to be bound in leather or leather-like material with illustrations. We will also print postcards and posters for the rewards and for additional promotional events.
John Hart is overseeing this project. He is a professional illustrator, writer, and marketing consultant. Emma, the creator and founder, is chief in charge of story development and assisting with the writing and editing. Our process is quite unique. We are working as a family team. It is a fun and creative process that will come across in the freshness, originality and character development of the final work. We meet together daily to work out plot lines, settings, and details. The manuscript is currently 450 pages or about 150,000 words in length. The final novel will be a wonderful product of imagination and wonder from our creative family to yours.
This will be the first volume of an imaginative new series from the mind of a brilliant young creator. Dragonstone Chronicles, The Journey to Death's Gate is an epic story about a world falling into war as old forces clash and new powers arise to unbalance the Divine Winds. Amidst this setting, a group of young people will learn to overcome fear and prejudice to create powerful friendships, learn to trust each other, deal with betrayal, and ultimately find a way to face death.
Dragons rule over this world with the respect and awe of other races. The dragons are deeply sentient and immensely intelligent creatures that will develop as moving and important characters. The dragons are hatched from egg shaped stones composed of three key elements of precious metals and gemstones that affect their powers and character traits as they grow. These are the fabled Dragonstones.
This is also a world where the race of elves has split into two rival civilizations, the faeries have fled southward into the jungles, and the humans and wolves are rising in influence, power, and dominance. Though the dragons proclaim to maintain the balance of life, they make choices that will affect their own existence and the lives of others races as well.
Volume One Synopsis: With war threatening their families, their homes, and their
futures, a small band of youth hold onto the only thing they have left, each other.
Brought together by fate, or as the believers would say, “the Nine Winds”, a group of valiant youth join with mystical dragons on the journey of a lifetime, the journey to Death’s Gate. Along the way they visit magical places, meet
incredible creatures, fight for their lives, and build lasting friendships. Yet
in the end, one must choose to face death itself, to save them all.
Cast: Emerald - Emerald has dark, long hair which she wears in a long braid. She has vivid green eyes, like her name. She is thin and wiry and prefers to dress like a boy and be in the middle of the action. Emerald is very strong willed, intelligent, and suspicious of authority. She can be hard to teach, but even though she resists being corrected, she recognizes reason and will adopt new ideas she agrees with. She is slow to trust others and very wary of the dragons.
Jade - Jade is younger than his twin sister by ten minutes, a point she always seems to emphasize. He also has green eyes, though paler like his own name. Jade has a very curious nature and deep energy and self confidence. Sometimes though, when alone with his sister he will admit his deep fears and self doubt, but he keeps a strong face for everyone else. This is because at age sixteen, he was made a leader of others. Jade has an innate trust of others and is anxious to prove himself to his superiors.
Snowphire - Snowphire is a white dragon with sapphire, diamond, and platinum scales who is sent by the Dragon King, Algor, to assist those who embark in the journey to Death’s Gate. She is almost 1000 years old, which for dragons makes her young. Snowphire is very thoughtful and does not rush to judgment or action without weighing multiple viewpoints. She is a superb healer and can fly faster than any other known dragon.
Rasper - Rasper is a red dragon with jasper, ruby and iridium in his scales. He is only 150 years old which makes him a juvenile. Dragons are worshipped and treated like demigods by the free people of Doron. The dragons have the right to choose a human dragon rider. This is very rare and a supreme honor. Rasper has a very firey temper and an adventurous spirit. Rasper loves to surprise others and play pranks. He is also fiercely loyal to his friends and to a cause he believes is right and just.
Oraless the Wolf Prophet - Oraless is the leader of the forest wolffolk. Wolffolk are sentient wolves who have built a civilization working in a symbiotic relation with a human highland tribe known as the “Hands.” The hands do all of the handiwork while the wolves provide security, protection, and wisdom. Oraless can speak several languages. He is a grey wolf with gold eyes. He can read the scent stories carried on the nine winds and rules the deep forest from the Elder Throne. Oraless is very old, wise and fierce in battle. He recruits Jade to lead the journey to Death’s Gate.
Merel - Merel is the Hand of Oraless whom she regards as the Prophet and Seer of the Nine Winds and ruler of the Forest Clans. She inherited this position of honor from her mother, who died in battle. Merel is part of the tribe of Hands that live in the wolffolk forest cities. She is quiet and sarcastic. She has the deep red hair common in the highland tribes and a freckled complexion. She is loyal to Oraless and to the requirements of her position.
Amber Pardoness - Amber is the beautiful young daughter of King Pardoness of Doronica. She has grown up in the royal palace and is crown princess to the throne. Amber longs for freedom from the oppressive obligations of her birthright and takes drastic action to change her fate. She has a naturally haughty and bossy way with others. She is an expert manipulator. Deep down she has a fierce love of her father, the King, as well as her Kingdom. Her royal bloodline carries a rare element sought by Mag Ma.
Mag Ma - Mag Ma is an enigmatic and charismatic leader who ultimately seeks to usurp the power of the dragons and rule the great city of Pri Mordia. He wishes to kill Algor and seize the power of the dragonstones and gain control over the nine winds. With help from Aa Tul, a huge black dragon, he has used the power of death’s gate to create dark creatures called the K’hu hu from rock and metal. Mag Ma wants to permanently open Death’s Gate so he can raise an innumerable army. If Jade and his rag-tag team cannot find a way to close the Gate, Mag Ma may soon gain the power to enact his lustful ambitions.
Aa Tul Obsidius - Aa Tul is a massive dragon composed of bloodstone, osmium, and obsidian. He drips molten rock and metal from his mouth and nose. He is prideful of his immense size and power yet he prefers to operate behind the scenes. He seems to be under the will of Mag Ma. It is rumored he has recruited other dragons and human agents to help fulfill Mag Ma’s plans, and the extent of his poisonous plotting is unclear.
Algor Palladium - Algor is the Dragon King and the sire of Snowphire. He is made of palladium, gold, and diamond. He is 5795 years into his reign. He is keeper of the Dragonstone Chronicles, the guardian of the Nine Winds, and the Oracle of Pri. Pri is the power of the dragons. It acts as the balance of life in the world. Algor rules in the great dragon city of Pri Mordia and oversees the great mines of Pri Maeval. These deep mines are the source of dragonstones, pri gems, and the riches of Doron. They are mined with patience and balance in a zen-like manner.
Karra - Karra is a Garlacan gypsy teenager who travels in a trading caravan with her family. Karra is a mousy and quiet girl who collects exotic pets in her vast travels with her family and uses her healing skills to rehabilitate injured animals. Karra has an uncanny knowledge of dragon lore and pristology, which is the study of Pri, the power of the dragons. She is good friends with Amber and gets drawn into Amber’s concocted plans.
Vlake - Vlake is an elven girl who joins the quest of Jade and Emerald. Her background is suspect and she is viewed with suspicion, especially by Jade. She is bound by oath to take proactive action in the light of any injustice. She often leaves for stretches of time without warning or explanation. She is an expert fighter. She makes no trace on the land and can dissapear in an instant. She is always watching the others and taking things in from a distance.
The manuscript for this book is 95% completed. We have 450 pages completed along with many illustrations and supplementary materials. The risk of not completing the writing of the book is now very low. We are working on the final chapters right now.
The challenge we face after successful funding will be editing the final work and publishing. We would like to secure an established publisher to assist with the production of the books. If this does not occur, we will self-publish the books and illustrations to meet our promised rewards to backers.
Here is a detailed project budget for self publishing:
$4,850 Independent Editor
$1,250 Copy Editor
$10,000 1st Edition Printing/mailing
$7,500 Limited Founders Edition Printing/mailing
$1,500 Poster Printing/mailing
$450 Post Card Printing/mailing
$4,500 Marketing and PR
This is a vote of support for the project. You are not expecting anything in return other than the satisfaction of seeing a new creative venture from the mind of a prodigy with help from her family come into being. Thank you. We appreciate your support in this wonderful project. Please Remember to spread the word to others.
Receive a signed poster with art from the world of Dragonstone. The poster will be approximately 12 in. by 18 in.or larger. We hope your excitement of this new world will mirror our own and we can see it come to life.
Receive an illustrated leather-bound (or leather-like material), founder's edition of Dragonstone Chronicles, Volume I, The Journey to Death's Gate. This edition will be a true work of art with prints of illustrations, maps and concept sketches. You will also be credited in a "Special Thanks" section of the first edition, if desired.
Receive the leather bound edition above plus have a character or a place named in your honor in the world of the Dragonstone Chronicles. Become a part of the story and support the dreams and future of an amazing prodigy and her imaginative world.
Have the Dragonstone Chronicles authors come to your city to talk about the story, the characters, and their unique, family-oriented process of creating a world of fantasy. We will bring copies of the book to sign and distribute in your town as well as posters and other souvenirs from the world of Dragonstone Chronicles.