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A young adult Steampunk Fantasy told in images and words, with Interactive bonus features.
A young adult Steampunk Fantasy told in images and words, with Interactive bonus features.
35 backers pledged $1,878 to help bring this project to life.

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Phantom Hearts: Parts 1, 2 3 & 4 project video thumbnail
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$1,878

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**Update**

NEW image from the book. The Electric Lounge. Not done yet, but getting close!

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Thank you so much everybody! We are so close to reaching our goal and we just wanted to let everyone know how appreciative we are.

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We've got the website started. Here's a sneak preview at the splash page!

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Vlog: What are Mixed-Media Stories?

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NEW image from the book! We see the Captain's steampunk private office where Hannah is held captive.

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Vlog: Phantom Hearts, the world of Anadell

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The cover of Phantom Hearts, Part 1: Bound

Hannah upon finding her lover's coffin
Hannah upon finding her lover's coffin

> Tell Me More About Phantom Hearts:

It's an epic steampunk fantasy filled with clockwork machines, necromancers, mighty airships and wild majick.

* * *

"Jason?" Her legs gave way.

There was no denying it any more. No telling herself someone else had been shot down.

"Jason, you promised." Her voice cracked. "You said forever."

Hannah, slave girl and Taker of the Dead, refuses to accept her secret lover, Jason, is gone. Now, she risks everything by trusting Travis, a stranger with dark secrets, who promises he can help her find the necromancers that will bring Jason back from the grave. Framed as an Ilsan terrorist and on the run, Hannah is hunted by a rogue spy who will stop at nothing to kill her.

As Hannah races to find the outlawed majick to bring Jason back, she discovers who she is and faces a decision that will change her life and all of Ilsa, forever.

* * *

This young adult novel will be told in collage-images and words where the images enhance the story, not just illustrate the text. The story is written by Chris Michaels and the images are created by Reema Farra.

Read a sample of Chapter 1.

> How Did You Guys Come Up With This Idea?

Michael and Reema, owners of Darke Media Group, met at a writers group, and the rest is history... Ha ha!

Within a couple of months the two became good friends and shortly after decided to collaborate on their first novel. One idea led to another and they soon realized one novel could not contain them all. Michael brought Danny on board. Together, they were inspired by fresh story telling and that spawned Darke Media Group, a studio dedicated to literary and artistic collaboration.

> Ok, So I'm Thinking Of Investing. How Are You Going To Put My Money To Good Use?

If you're going to invest your hard earned cash, you've got every right to know where your money is going. So here it is:

-Purchasing the necessary Adobe software to bring Phantom Hearts to life

-Purchasing an eReader to test out our project

-Paying for a website

-Promotions & Advertising

> How Far Along Is This Project? What Kind Of Timeline Should I Expect?

Wonderful news. We've got the story already written, and we're stoked about that! We don't have all the collage images done, but we've already started them. We've broken Phantom Hearts into four parts, each about 80 pages long.

So, we plan to release Part 1: Bound by late November. The subsequent parts will follow through the beginning of 2013. When the whole story is told, we'll publish a Special Edition of the entire book with extra bonus features and credits to our backers as outlined in the Pledge column (right).

> That's Great! But Tell Me About Your Experience And Qualifications. Do You Think You Have What It Takes To Really Pull This Off?

Michael is a founding member of Darke Media Group. He is currently finishing his masters at the University of Houston and working toward a PhD in Multimodal composition (Storytelling). His greatest dream is to use storytelling to help people: to teach, to heal, and to transform lives.

Reema, another founding member, is a working Interior Designer who is passionate about art, design and the environment. She's been drawing and sketching since she was five. Using her skills + education from The Art Institute, she creates beautiful presentations and graphics. She loves stories and sharing her imagination.

Danny, the third founding member, is a musician and business man. He's helped set up and start several non-profit organizations. He is about to graduate with a double major in Managment of Information Systems and Managment Leadership with a certificate in Entrepreneurship from the Bauer School of Business. His creativity, dedication and cool logic provide the right balance to help us stay grounded and focused on productive ideas.

Together, they have more than 20 years experience creating art, writing and directing plays, authoring novels, composing music and collaborating with artists.

> What Else Might I Look Forward To From Darke Media Group?

Depending on the success of Phantom Hearts, we have two more novels to complete the Hearts Trilogy.

We also have several projects 'In the Lab'. One is a 1960's Noir novel, The Flawed Dance, which will be accompanied by a custom music soundtrack. Another exciting project is a young adult, alternate-history novel about a 13 year-old journalist living in Louisiana who is determined to prove paranormal beings absolutely DO NOT exist, which will be told in several mediums.

We have so many more stories we want to weave using all avenues of media that would take up too much time to talk about here. So check out our website or email us if you want more information. www.DarkeMediaGroup.com 

> Samples of Reema Farra's art:

Día de los Muertos. Colored pencil on paper
Día de los Muertos. Colored pencil on paper
Fantasy Girl. Colored pencil on paper
Fantasy Girl. Colored pencil on paper
Fantasy Bone Dragon Battle. Graphite on paper
Fantasy Bone Dragon Battle. Graphite on paper

> I Like It! What Do I have To Do?

We can't do this without you! Well, we could, but it would take a really long time and we don't want to deprive you of the opportunity to enjoy Phantom Hearts right away. With your Pledge (whatever you feel is right, $3-275) we can reach our goal and get Part 1: Bound to you by the end of November, with the subsequent parts to follow.

If you love steampunk, if you love our concept, and if you want to see it come to life, support us! Tell your family and friends, and connect with us on Facebook, Twiter, or YouTube.

www.Facebook.com/DarkeMediaGroup

www.Twitter.com/DarkeMedia

www.YouTube.com/DarkeMediaGroup

www.DarkeMediaGroup.com

> I Have More Questions:

We love answering questions. If you have any for us, please ask in the comments, and we'll do our best to give you an answer quickly.

Not sure how Kickstarter works? Chek out their FAQ page

And yes, we will be Kicking It Forward

Risks and challenges

This project is very near and dear to us because it is our 1st, but it certainly won't be our last. Chris Michaels and Reema Farra have poured out their heart in soul into creating telling this story in this unique format. While some mainstream stories are now being told using mixed media (Chopsticks, Hugo Cabaret) this is a completely new territory of storytelling with many unexpected and unknown challenges waiting around every corner. Some such challenges are: Will people like the mixed media and interactivity? Will they understand the transition from text to image and back? Will people like the story at all? How can we make it work on older eReaders and new ones? Will the format work on every ePublishing site? if not how do we fix it so we have constancy from device to device?

There are many ways we can fail, there are also many ways we can succeed. There is also a fine line between too much and too little in terms of images and interactivity. We have to juggle not only how much we should put into the story, but how much we need to leave out to make all the pieces of the puzzle fit flawlessly. All while working on a deadline to get Part 1 out by November, and continue to go to work or go to school full-time. We really wish there was a How To book to help us, but unfortunately (and fortunately) we are learning as we go, which takes longer, but has been an enriching experience.

So how will we manage it all? And what if we fail?

Reema has lots of experience in project management to keep everyone on track and make sure everything comes together on time to release Part 1 by late November. And to make sure we releas the subsequent parts through early next year.

As for failure: Well it's not an option. If Part 1 flops we'll conduct research to find out why it flopped and tweak and edit it and re-release if necessary. If Phantom Hearts totally sucks, well Lesson Learned and we'll move on to another project we have in the works, The Flawed Dance.

There's a lot of little things that have already come up that have tried to hinder us, but we are determined and really believe in mixed-media/ interactive story telling and feel that others do too. If we miss a deadline, or have a hiccup, we'll fix it and keep moving. We will not fail.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $3 or more About $3

    APPRENTICE MAGE: Recieve an advanced copy of Part 1 in an e-book format of your choice emailed directly to you

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $6 or more About $6

    JUNIOR MECHINICER: Recieve an advanced copy of Parts 1 AND 2 in an e-book format of your choice emailed directly to you

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $14 or more About $14

    GADGETEER: Recieve an advanced copy of Parts 1, 2 & 3 with a personal "Thanks" inside the e-book format of your choice emailed to you AND a "Thank You" on our website

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    CLOCKWORK SPY: Recieve an advanced copy of Parts 1, 2, 3 & 4 with a personal "Thanks" inside the e-book format of your choice emailed directly to you, a "Thank You" on our website, AND a custom designed Phantom Hearts desktop background

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    14 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    PRIME GADGETEER: Recieve All CLOCKWORK SPY + 2 Signed Phantom Hearts desktop backgrounds for use on your computer, tablet or phone

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    GRAND ARTIFICIER: Recieve All PRIME GADGETEER with everything on a custom usb AND surprise bonus material on the usb

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    4 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $95 or more About $95

    ILSAN GENERAL: Recieve All GRAND ARTIFICEIR but with 4 custom designed Phantom Hearts backgrounds AND a secret exclusive chapter on the usb

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    TREATUS MAGE: Recieve All ILSAN GENERAL + we'll create you a character giving you a short cameo in the book AND credit you in the opening sequence of the Special Edition

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    4 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $275 or more About $275

    FIRELIGHT OPPERATIVE: Recieve All TREATUS MAGE + we'll write you an exclusive short story about your character (between 2,000-3,000 words)

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    0 backers
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Funding period

- (11 days)