An unusual protagonist and an unusual project emerge from a veteran author’s love of comic book heroes.
Okay, I’ve Seen The Video, Tell Me More
Don’t freak out.
Tim Cruz, I mean, not you. Tim is gradually turning into something he never would have imagined possible, something stupid and horrifying and, frankly, kind of disgusting. That’s why he keeps telling himself: Don’t freak out.
Tim is the protagonist of my new book, a young adult adventure novel I call I Am The Salamander. I’m more passionate about this book than any other I’ve ever written, and I’ve written my share -- seventy, in fact, the vast majority of them for major publishers like Simon & Schuster, Harper Collins, and Random House.
Why am I so in love with this book? Because I was raised on superheroes, and this book is about a most unusual one. As I note in the video, comic book characters have sometimes been inspired by yucky things, spiders and bats for instance. But a salamander? One of those slimy little lizards? Really?
I Am The Salamander is a project that’s been percolating in my brain for so long I can’t remember when it first occurred to me. I feel like I know Tim Cruz as well as I know myself, and I can’t wait to see him inspire kids the way superheroes inspired me when I was young.
Especially kids who are fighting for their lives, and are more in need of inspiration than the rest of us. Because part of what makes Tim unusual is that he’s a cancer survivor.
I know nobody likes to talk about cancer, but I’m taking that chance here. When you read I Am The Salamander, you’ll see why it makes perfect sense for Tim Cruz to have beaten that disease, and why he’s in a position to offer hope to real teens trying to beat cancer themselves.
Because, let’s face it -- hope is what superheroes do best.
But I wouldn’t ask you to support the I Am The Salamander campaign just because it’s a worthwhile thing to do. I’m asking because it’s also the best thing I’ve ever written, and because I want to get it out to readers the most direct way possible.
In the years since I became a writer, the publishing landscape has changed. It’s harder than ever to get publishers to take a chance on a story, especially a quirky one like I Am The Salamander. And when they do, the book’s shelf life is shorter than that of a jar of pickles.
I want I Am The Salamander to be around for a good long time. That means I have to get it in the hands of readers on my own, and I have to keep it available. And that takes resources.
Mind you, I don’t like asking people for help. I much prefer getting things done on my own, which is one of the reasons I became a writer in the first place. But to make the I Am The Salamander campaign take off, I need your support.
Doing good deeds should be fun as well as gratifying, which is why I’ve lined up some special goodies for you. The novel I Am The Salamander is one of them, and you can get it in e-book form or as a limited-edition, numbered and signed trade paperback. The first thing you’ll notice when it arrives is the unforgettable cover image, which was lovingly and masterfully rendered by up-and-coming Brazilian artist (and all-around nice guy) Caio Cacau.
Soon you’ll see Caio’s name all over the place, on comics as well as books, and you’ll wish you had a limited-edition, signed piece of his artwork. You know, the kind of thing you love so much you won’t even sell it on the Internet. Well, now’s your chance to get such a piece.
Among the rewards Caio is contributing to the campaign are limited-edition signed prints of the I Am The Salamander cover sketch and the finished cover itself, as well as original sketches of the title character. And if you’re feeling particularly generous, you can walk away with a one-of-a-kind alternate cover of the book rendered according to your personal specs. In other words, you tell Caio what you’d like to see and he draws it for you (yikes!).
Maybe you’re more the literary type. Well, as you know, books have acknowledgements, and you have the opportunity here and now to get your name in the acknowledgements to I Am The Salamander. Maybe you’ve always wanted a character named after you so you can be part of a fictional world, or maybe you want to give someone close to you the gift of that feeling. This is the kind of present you can’t get at Macy’s, folks. But you can get it here, in the I Am The Salamander campaign.
And every time we make a stretch goal, every contributor gets an I Am The Salamander freebie. Every one.
So what are you waiting for? Pick a level within your means and make a contribution. Then reach over your shoulder and give yourself a pat on the back because you did a good thing today.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
I don’t know. I guess I could hit by a truck. Outside of that, I think I’ll finish I Am The Salamander the same way I finished my seventy other books and almost two hundred comic book scripts. And since I’m self-publishing here the same way I self-published two of my other novels, I’m not at the mercy of corporate scheduling changes.
Caio? He’s finished the cover already, as you can see. All he still has to tackle are the original sketches and variant covers we’re offering as rewards, and he’ll have plenty of time to get those done. So, really, not a lot of risk.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.