The Dragon Within
Hi, Everyone. My name's Casey Caracciolo, and seven years ago, I had a vision. A vision of a book series that would crossover the genres of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Dragons, robots, wizards, and vampires all in the same book. That vision became a reality two years ago with the release of The Shadow of the Gauntlet, the first book in the Scargen series. That vision continues with The Dragon Within, and now we need your help to get the second book in the Scargen series published and out there to readers.
With the help of you guys and Kickstarter we were able to raise over 7,000 dollars and publish and market The Shadow of the Gauntlet. Here's the funded project page here, and to check out more on the books, my blog, or the upcoming shows we will be at check out scargen.com.
I would first like to say thank you to all the Backers that made The Shadow of the Gauntlet possible. You have no idea how overwhelming this experience has and continues to be for me on a daily basis, and i hope we have your support on the second one.
After finishing the first book, we went on tour, hitting the Comic Con circuit.
We took The Shadow of the Gauntlet to the masses doing 20 Comic Cons over the span of two years . . .
We’ve been to Boston, Connecticut, Baltimore, New York, DC, Virginia Beach, Rhode Island, Asbury Park and of course Philadelphia.
"Caracciolo's sprawling, cleanly written adventure builds a rollicking tale of longing and self-discovery. Caracciolo's nonstop imaginative display is riveting. His tale zips among feverishly concocted set pieces and lovingly rendered characters. The final showdown, crafted with aplomb, whets appetites for what should be a doubly epic second volume. An impressive magical beginning for the legend of Scargen and his motley crew." -Kirkus Reviews
"A mix of fantasy, anime, Harry Potter and comic books that put a whole new spin on genres that we all thought we knew like the back of our hand. Even the most jaded of geeks would find it impossible to not find something to love between it’s covers." -Geekadelphia
Between the mythology, future gadgets and new friends you'll meet while reading The Shadow of the Gauntlet, you'll probably never want to leave the world that Caracciolo has created."-Compulsion Reads
"It’s a difficult feat to cover a well-trodden path and do it in such a way that it seems as though you’re navigating uncharted territory, but the author does it and does it well. When you think the story is going left, Caracciolo goes right. When you think you’ve got it all figured out, the author throws you a curve ball." -Slade Grayson, bookgasm.com
"A book that reminds you of that joy you had watching Saturday morning cartoons where the heroes would always save the day in the coolest ways possible . . . trust me on this, you're going to be happy once that geeky adventurous feeling flows through your veins again." -Allgeektome.net
Check out more reviews from readers:
As you can see we’ve also received a lot of great feedback from readers and reviewers alike for The Shadow of the Gauntlet.
We are averaging a 5 out of 5 STARs on amazon reviews
And a 4.39 out of 5 on goodreads ones
Not too many authors can say that. And I have you guys to thank. I believe in our vision, and a lot of other people agree.
We learned a lot on our first book. We learned that to do the comic con circuit right, you need a decent amount of funding. We also learned that there’s nothing like meeting a new reader face to face, and these shows give me the chance to talk to fans and future fans in person. The feeling I get when a reader comes back to me eagerly awaiting the next book is amazing. It is what drives us to get the second book done as quickly as we have. ￼
Not bad for a book that was born on Kickstarter, funded by people like you, and promoted through a grass roots campaign that continues today. The second book promises more of the same.
Dragons, robots, wizards, and vampires . . .
That quickly became our marketing strategy, but The Shadow of the Gauntlet is much more than that. It’s pages are filled with teleport dragons, flying cars, gremlins, imps, Necromancers, massive Mage battles, robots, spirits, wrist communicators, and my favorite, a whiskey swilling Shakespeare quoting werewolf. I’ll say it again:
A whiskey swilling Shakespeare quoting werewolf
And his twin brother . . . he’s a vampire. I’ll give you a second to let that settle in.
We’ve been compared to Star Wars, Harry Potter, Dragon Ball Z, Avatar the last Airbender, and Guardians of the Galaxy—to name a few.
I love the comparisons, but they don’t completely illustrate what exactly is in these books. There is definitely a feeling of anime, comic books, Fantasy and Science Fiction—a magic meets tech sort of feel to the novels.
The world we’ve created is unique and different from the Dystopian norm we’ve been seeing in the last few years, and it’s what sets us apart from a lot of the YA books that are out there on the market.
But at the center of our books are the characters. It is the most important thing to me.
Good characters sell series, and The Shadow of the Gauntlet is no exception.
This focus on character continues into The Dragon Within.
This book promises a new type of adventure for Thomas Scargen and his cohorts.
Can Thomas locate the next Gauntlet stone before being consumed by The Dragon Within?
Thomas Scargen hastily returns to Sirati to learn the startling truth of his father’s past archeological expeditions. This revelation sets him on a whirlwind odyssey that will take him from the aeroways of New Amsterdam to the waterways of Atlantis, all in an effort to find the next Gauntlet stone. For this mission to succeed, Thomas and his motley companions will have to pilot massive sportifs in a robotic football game, master the elements of fire and water, and discover the lost secrets of the Ancient Mages, all while battling a host of new enemies—from a horde of bone demons to the White Wolves of Ontinok. However, the dreaded Necromancer and the Grimm Legion have other plans for Scargen . . . Thomas must embrace his destiny as Bearer and rely on the strength and courage of his companions, old and new, to help face this evolving darkness. But even they might not be able to save him from . . . The Dragon Within.
Pretty narsh, right? Check out a sample chapter here.
That’s just for starters. Thomas and the gang are going places in The Dragon Within we’ve never seen.
- New Amsterdam—the city that rose from the flooded streets of New York
- Sky Field—a floating robotic football stadium that hovers above the city of Dallas
- Scargen Tower—The Headquarters of the famed Scargen Robotics ￼
- Atlantis-the lost underwater city and its diverse inhabitants
- Syn-The dragon city
- Huacas-former home to the Council of Mages that is maintained by the Eldre and his disciples
- Prognosticating, water manipulating sea turtles
- Werewolve bounty hunters
- A particularly astute, deducing weretiger
- New types of demons
- More artifs (robots to the uninitiated) wartifs, sportifs, sentry drones, copbots
- And more dragons
New Ancient weapons, new Gauntlet stones, and new powers for Thomas to master. And lets not forget more tech.
But at the heart of The Dragon Within is the same great things that made The Shadow of the Gauntlet so great. Character, story, fun, adventure, and a unique sense of wonder.
The sequel is written. The Dragon Within is done and in the process of being finalized, and this can be expensive, but it’s what must be done to not have to bow down to the publishing overlords. You know my motto: who are they to tell us what we can read and write. I’d rather leave that option up to you guys.
We have paid the cost up front to get the book out ASAP, but I’m not going to sugarcoat it: we need your help. And we are going to try something different this time around.
We are going to set the bar lower so we can just cover the basics. But this amount only covers the bare minimum—layout and the copyedit. This will get the book published, but that’s it. We are doing tiers of funding, stretch goals to show you guys exactly where the money is going, and to hopefully unlock some amazing stuff. Let’s take a look.
So for the 3,000 dollars we can do the basics—we can get the book published and pay for the rewards for you guys, but we want to push past that.
An average show once you factor in everything from hotel cost to paying for the table or booth will cost us about 1000.00 dollars. To put it simply, every $1000 we can go over the basic goal we set is another show we can do. Every new show we can do, get’s us new readers. New readers become new fans. The more fans we can attract, the more books we sell. The more books we sell, the faster I can get the next book out.
I still work as a bartender full-time at Triumph Brewing Company in New Hope, PA. To do these shows, I have to take time off. And seeing that we don’t make money at these shows as of yet, you can see the dilemma. Comic cons are work too, don’t get me wrong, but its the kind of work I love.
We are also still trying to catch up on what we spent out of pocket to fund our original run. Then factor in merchandising and buying the books themselves for the shows and you can see where the costs start to add up, but that’s where you can help. And we need your help.
We can get to two more shows and everyone will get a bonus sticker
Would go along way to secure our summer con tour, and this is the goal we truly need to hit, and if we do, I will send a signed print out to anyone who has already opted for any reward level with a print.
This goal excites me. I’ve always wanted to dabble in voice over work, and if we can hit this tier, I will be recording The Shadow of the Gauntlet for an audio book. Anyone that has gotten any of the book rewards or higher will receive the finished audio file.
If we hit this mark we will add 3 more shows to our tour this summer and we will put it to a vote so you guys can determine where we go (within reason obviously)
I’m back in the studio recording again, but this time it’s book 2 we’re doing. The Dragon Within, and again, anyone that has funded a book level will get the audio file
We will return to NYCC. We did NYCC the first year and basically gained a lot of experience, but it was expensive—really expensive, but I do miss the biggest show on the East Coast, and if we can get to this tier, we will go back.
And after that, well we’ll cross that bridge as they say . . . And just so everything is transparent, you guys should also know that amazon takes 5% of the final funds and so does Kickstarter, so 10% is gone as soon as we get funded. So for every 1000 they take 100. A small price to pay mind you, but in the interest of fully grasping the financial situation of these types of projects I just wanted to let you guys know.
We are also going to simplify the reward system.
Level 1-Imp servant:
Pledge $1:If you give us a buck, ill tell you a joke. Just drop me your twitter handle and ill drop you a laugh. You also have our sincere thanks for helping out.
What did the fish say when he swam in to the wall?
Level 2-Gremlin Engineer
Pledge $5: We're gonna send you an official Scargen Backer Sticker for your pledge, and this also comes with a sincere thank you.
Level 3-Sentry Drone
Pledge $20: For the people inclined to read without a book. I can't get you a signature in the traditional sense anyway, but for this tier, we'll give you the e-book version of "The Dragon Within" in Kindle or Nook and of course our thank you and one of those fancy backer stickers.
Level 4-Cadet Mage
Pledge $35: This is where things get real, literally . . . A signed first edition copy of The Dragon Within is yours at this level. I will personalize the signature if you are so inclined. Also comes with the backer sticker and a thank you.
Level 5-Spirit Ghost Warrior
Pledge $40: Nook or Kindle version of both books. This is for the people late to the game, but don't have the space for cumbersome books. Or you just want to share some Shadowy love with a geeky friend of yours. You get The Shadow of the Gauntlet and The Dragon Within in Kindle or nook format emailed to you or a friend. We'll send you a backer sticker and you have our thanks as well. ￼
Level 6-Spirit Summoner
Pledge $55-This is for the people that are new to the world of Scargen, but enjoy physically holding paper and ink. At this tier level you get The Shadow of the Gauntlet and The Dragon Within, both personally signed by me. You can get both books for yourself or take a chance and give book 1 to a stranger wearing a comic book shirt. I swear they'll love it.
Level 7-Warrior Mage
Pledge $75- Here's a great chance to score the sequel, The Dragon Within as well as a nice exclusive art print based on characters from the world of Scargen. Choose from Chris Campana, Kevin Spencer, or myself. Check out our three distinctly different art styles and their work while you're at it. These are talented artists and pretty great guys to boot. You will also get the sticker and our thanks. The prints will be presented once the Kickstarter is complete. I will give drawing updates during the Kickstarter. Until then, check out their work.
Campana is a very talented comic book artist. He is the creator, artist, and writer for The First World. Chris is going to be doing a print of a dragon for us. I can't say anymore than that. Check out more of his stuff here.
Kevin's passion is horror art, working on everything from magazines to doing illustrations. He has already done one print for us, and I can't wait to see what more twisted creature from the world of Scargen he picks. Check out his work here.
Examples of my work are featured throughout this Kickstarter and scargen.com.
Level 8-Teleport Dragon
Pledge $100-Get The Dragon Within and a T-shirt to match. These will be a Kickstarter exclusive. This will be the only place you can currently get one of these. What self-respecting geek doesn't want a T-shirt from one of his favorite books, designed by the author himself? Plus the sticker and our thanks.
Level 9-Aringi Rider
Pledge $135-Combo deal: Book, T-shirt, and 1 print of your choice. This one is self explanatory. You get the shirt, a print of your choosing, and the sequel, plus the sticker, and our complete thanks.
Level 10-Mage Knight
Pledge $200-Ultimate Combo deal: Book, all 3 prints, T-shirt, plus the sticker and our complete and utter thankfulness
Pledge $250-This tier is a steal. The book, a T-shirt, the three new prints, and three prints from the first book that I personally designed, the sticker and our complete, utter, undeniable, thanks.
Level 12-High Mancer
Pledge $400-Everything from the Mancer LEVEL and an animated commission of any comic, cartoon, or literary character of your choice (within reason) 11x 17 full color, signed by me as well as an original sketch of the character before finalization.
Level 13-Gauntlet Bearer
Pledge $750-Everything from the Mancer LEVEL and you get to name a character and help me form a back story for the character to appear in book 3: The Broken Demon. Also you will receive a full color animated style drawing of your character done by me and signed. This will also come with your name and contribution in the acknowledgements of Book 3. Your way to immortality.
PRETTY NARSH STUFF!!!
If you have any questions feel free to contact me through here or through the social media of your choosing. Links to those are listed here along with links to our website, and the first Kickstarter project, which you might want to look at to get a better grasp of the concept if you are new to the Scargen series.
And if you’d like to see some more reviews of the first book, click on the applicable links.
What Can I Do? I'm Poor . . .
If you can’t donate, then share, and please if you’ve read the first book and liked it share your opinion with others either on amazon or goodreads—word of mouth is still the best advertising. And if you know any famous geeks, give them the heads up as well . . .
So there you have it. I believe The dragon within is poised to be one of those rare cases where the sequel is better than its predecessor, all we need is a little help from you to make this dream a reality. Thanks again. Now spread the word.
Risks and challenges
The risks are limited because I am far along on the project, and I have done this before. That being said, anything can happen, but just know that I will do whatever it takes to get you your reward.
One of the challenges we face is getting the word out there. This book has great potential, but without readers, none of that matters.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)