"Mister Mushy" - written in limerick form and illustrated by ridiculously skilled Yngvill Hopen - is the medieval-set story about the world's ugliest dog. At least in most people's eyes. Though in the eyes of his little owner, Mister Mushy is the prettiest and dearest dog ever. So naturally, she signs him up for a dog show. Where he's mocked, laughed at and even disqualified from the competition. But shortly after, the town is attacked by a dragon! With jaws wide open, it aims for the princess in the tower. Who-oh-who can save her from becoming dragon dinner?
Be sure to check out the 10-minute animated short film above for the full story. (You can find the Norwegian version of the film on Mister Mushy's facebook page.)
The story is about anti-bullying, true friendship and self-worth. Pillars on which a happy childhood - and adulthood - rests. All of them easier said than understood, done and maintained - perhaps especially for our kids, growing up in this strange place. When they see schoolyard bullies become presidents, where do we as adults start explaining the rights and wrongs? How do we make them choose hugs over elbows? Read them a story about a scruffy dog who becomes hero of the day, then send them out there? Wish it was so easy. But if Mushy can help spark just a little thought, reflection or conversation, then me and him are both very much satisfied.
And who am I?
My name is Aleksander L. Nordaas, and I'm a Norwegian film writer and director - and children's books author. Born, raised and living in Mosjøen, a small but creative-potent town up north in Norway. I find myself drawn to slightly weird, offbeat creatures (family included), so my stories often tend to center around someone or something not yet seen before. And as this campaign is about one of them and not about me, I think I'll leave myself with that. If you do want to know more about me and my projects, please visit my page.
"Mister Mushy" - my first children's story
Back in 2010, I gave birth to a drooling beast. I didn't really plan for it, but one day, Mister Mushy just appeared. So what to do when something unexpected - or expected for that matter - pops out? Well, you try caring for it as best as possible.
And long story short, Mister Mushy became my first children's short film screened by NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation), and later also my first published children's book - which happily sold out here in Norway in 2013. But as the publisher eventually excluded children's books from their stock, there was never a second print. So Mushy curled up in a drawer, sighed and went to sleep - dreaming about one day being back on the shelves.
...and now, time has come!
Beause when my second children's book, "The StrollTroll", did alright in my first crowdfunding campaign here at Kickstarter in August, I decided to one day try the same thing with "Mister Mushy". And now the day has come, so let's jump to it!
Rewards and books
The rewards are pretty self-explanatory; The top six are "Mister Mushy" only, and the bottom two lets you pair him with "The StrollTroll". So when you've decided on which of them you want, and then language and quantity, you're pretty much good to go!
Both books are printed as A4 hardbacks, with debossed title. "Mister Mushy" with 38 color illustrations, and "The Strolltroll" with 29. As with "The StrollTroll", my aim for "Mister Mushy" is a quality-over-quantity print. I want my books to be the ones displayed front-out at home and in bookstores, and I want young and old to go "oooh!" when they run their fingers (or nose) across the title. Self-publishing is a whole lot more fun and rewarding going all in!
The pictures show the Norwegian first print of "Mister Mushy". The new print will be upgraded with debossed title and a thorough polish concerning paper, color and layout.
What do I need?
Funds for ink, paper and a smoking print - that's basically it. You don't pay for anything else but what you receive.
Why do I publish myself?
For those of you backing my first campaign, this is going to be a little repetitive reading, but the main, fun and rewarding reason is still because I like doing things myself. Including everything from layout design to speaking directly with my readers. With a publisher, you're less hands-on, and for a control freak who physically aches if a piece of text isn't perfectly centered when it's supposed to be - well, you get the idea :) I don't want to publish my stuff unless it's 100%, and I'm really the only one who cares enough about my stuff to make 100% sure it is.
The second, boring and market-realistic reason has to do with, well, market. Unless you're a bestselling author - which most of us aren't - you can of course 1) try jumping onboard with that reputable publisher and hopefully not find your book, and yourself, tumbling off the railing, slowly disappearing in the wake of their bestseller-cruiseship. Or 2) try setting course with that newly started or mid-level publisher, who might take you both through today's stormy bookmarket seas - successfully even - but if swallowed, or eventually rammed and sunk by those cruiseships, you and your title goes down with them. Or 3) you can try pushing your own, little vessel into the blues and set your own course - close to land in a gentle breeze. Safer, less loud and a whole lot more enjoyable. And if you keep at it - even though it may take a while - you'll hopefully anchor at that desired docks or beach, gather and load new supplies - then set out for another voyage.
Now, why do you care about this? Well, first and foremost, you get the final product exactly how it was intended to be. Not revised or edited to be as commerial, onbeat and unrisky as possible. Second, what you pay feeds and fuels the lone captain and his/hers vessel, and not a major cruiseship crew. In other words, your money goes directly to the creator, not split amongst a bunch of people who have nothing to do with the creative aspects. Means I'm left with more. Means I can write more. Means you can get more books from me in times to come :)
So that's about it
If you have any questions regarding the book or the campaign, please give me a shout here at Kickstarter or at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you'd like to share this campaign with your friends, I'd be very grateful. Like, really!
Thank you for your time :)
Risks and challenges
As everything's already finished and ready for print, the only "risk" concerning this project is shipping delay. This might happen if the print isn't satisfactory, or if the books are damaged on their way from the print house. This is the only step that's out of my hands, but rest assure that if this occurs, you'll be informed immediately.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)