So... off to the races. Here we go.
I've had a story in my head for several years now. Initially titled "Teenie's Blues" and renamed "Zobop Bebop," it's a cross between Superfly and Divine Horsemen. It's about hard men, bad women, bad choices and dirty dealings, and it's always nagged at my brain.
He'd followed the old forms, hoping to find her in a nostalgic mood. New suit with a flash of cotton-candy pink silk in the pocket. Shaved with rosewater. Candy and flowers in the chair next to him. Softer than a pimp, by far. He looked like a mark, like a lovesick deacon throwing the building fund at some sweet young thing with eyes like a shark and thighs made of coiled steel.
She strode to the table with a presence that threatened to burn through the body of the half-starved girl she'd chosen to wear. She looked down at Desamous coldly.
“Swiv mwen, nonm chassés,” Erzuli je Rouj said, holding out her hand. Follow me, hunted man.
He followed, feeling the bass line of the music repeated in her pulse.
Last year, I decided to quit saying I had a story to tell and just tell it. So I did, writing for three hours a night for two months until the thing was done.
Once I finished the book, I gave it a month to sit and then reread it, looking to see if I could still stomach the thing. I thoroughly enjoyed it and set it to a few, trusted readers to see their thoughts. They supported the thing, as did a few potentially hostile readers to whom I blind-posted it. (Sample chapters are here- http://pitchaweek.wordpress.com/2011/05/16/follow-up-sample-chapters-from-zobop-bebop/?preview=true&preview_id=178&preview_nonce=99fa31f399).
After trying the traditional publishing methods to no avail, I decided to try to put the thing out on my own. That's where you come in.
I figure that, if I want to do this the right way, I'm not going to go by half-measures. I'm going to get it professionally edited, professionally marketed and distributed both electronically and as a print piece. I'm going big, because that's the only way to really make this work.
“It's open territory, man.” She smiled again, letters bending on her cheek. “No one touches it. I got fifty names in my book, I got clients from uptown want a taste of the dark. I could use someone with some history, give this thing some legs. Make it real sweet for you, Cool Breeze.”
The female strode past her mistress, eyes rolled back. Possessed, Desamours thought to himself. Bred for it. She put a cold hand on his chest, scraped long nails up his neck, purred low in her throat.
“I got you, baby,” Sheba said. “I can cut you a pass with those who'd see you low. Get you a chain all your own. Good life.”
Should I make my funding limit, I'll contract through Lulu.com to deal with my editing, design and distribution; depending on my options, I may go elsewhere for editing and marketing services. I'll set up a website for the book and I'll dedicate myself to moving the book forward and moving myself forward as an author.
This story's worth telling. It's worth reading. It's worth your help.
Thanks for your time.
Desamours felt a hand around his ankle, heard a low, wet giggle.
“Like I say, focus on the future,” Kalfu said. “You're back, you're in the game. You need anything at all, let me know.”
Desamours woke up suddenly, a hand over his eyes. He smelled rum and rancid fat, heard Kalfu's gunpowder hiss as the hand receded.
Because, the way it's looking now, baby,” Kalfu said, fading into the shadows of the room, “you could use some friends.”
It all started with the girl.
Sixteen-year-old Valentine Belno, sworn from birth to serve as cheval to Erzuli, was raped and murdered in a back alley in the warehouse district, leaving a late-night party. Her escort for the evening was a low-level drug dealer with a street corner to his name. He was jointed and left on the street to die in pieces with an intricately painted handkerchief covering his face.
The case was open and shut, especially given the presence of the handkerchief. It was a “zobop flag,” similar to those used more than two decades ago by known racketeer Narcisse Desamours.
In his prime Narcisse Desamours ran the East Side rackets with an iron fist and a coco macaque. Frère Narcisse and his zobop army fought a bloody three-way street war, slinging curses and bullets in the shadows of the city.
Desamours’ reign lasted three years before bad luck and bad lawyers found him doing 20 years for racketeering. Desamours returned to find his street soldiers locked up, dead or cursed and the streets themselves mystically and materially unfriendly. He went as straight as he could, working odd jobs and running quick scams to get by. Thus, getting dragged out of bed at three in the morning and interrogated was a surprise, as was the revelation that someone was putting his tools to use on a person known to be protected by higher powers.
After his release from holding, Desamours begins to investigate the matter, ignoring warnings from Mafia consigliere and Enochian sorcerer Paulie Five-Angels and Erzuli herself. The bokkor learns that this murder is the beginning of a much deeper, older game than he’d imagined, one that calls on him to take up his old trade and bloody his hands to win.
This is a two-pronged process. I'm looking at using this Kickstart campaign to build a base of readers, to get some pre-orders in place and, at the end of the day, to add some momentum to the book.
I did try it before, and it was a failcess. I didn't quite reach the levels I'd hoped, but I'd aimed high. My current goal will hopefully hit the mark, pay for my e-book production costs and let me build my base.
I'll certainly try. I tend toward the uncanny, but I'll stretch as much as necessary. A story about Barbies? Why not. Yaoi set in 1950s Long Island? Why not.
If a publisher makes an offer too good to ignore, I'll make sure to honor all of my pledges as quickly as possible. You will get a copy of the book. You will get dinner. You will accost Forest Whitaker. These things will happen.
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