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About this project

Tarnish is a fantasy novel ten years in the making and ready for production. It’s the story of a young hero setting out on a perilous quest to find himself and save his people. Sound familiar? Maybe on the surface. Tarnish strives to be different from all of the repetitive, copy-cat epics of the fantasy genre. It isn’t the entire world that hangs in the balance but one small town, the characters we come to love who live there, and the identity and destiny of one young adventurer. 

 

The quest of sixteen-springs-old Wil Thunderstrike will see him become a storyteller, adventurer, and thief; discover romance, danger, and betrayal; and return home both a hero and a villain. A mysterious figure cloaked in moss and shadow has arisen from the bogs of the Blood Marsh and is using the undying tribes of the swamp to raid the village of Redfield. Though the town is home to heroes of legend, their days of glory have long passed. It’s up to Billy Cole, the son of the renown folk hero Ian the Black, to venture north in search of help. But it’ll take more than a sword and the inspiring (and exaggerated) tales of the Colors Three to be successful in the harsh outside world.  Fortunately Billy is gifted with not only his father’s size but also his stubborn pride. Despite all adversity, he becomes Wil Thunderstrike, talespinner and traveling hero, setting out not only to rescue his hometown but to begin his own heroic legacy. Along the way he’ll meet a band of young thieves, battle corrupt constables, and join the entourage of a renown silver-skinned warrior.  But will these actions ultimately save Redfield or set Wil on a course to become less than the hero he dreams?

The story is primarily told from two relatable perspectives: that of a small town adolescent venturing out into the greater world, and of the heroes whose glory days are long over, left behind to protect the home front and wait for his return. There are no princes, kings, or queens; no elves, dwarves, or hobbits; and no fire-casting wizards or unstoppable swordsmen. Well... there’s a nearly unstoppable swordsman, and there is a dragon’s tale in there somewhere, but not one you’ve heard before. The characters are all intuitive and realistic, be they thieves, beggars, or warriors, and their roles and attitudes are continuously evolving throughout the course of the novel. Every chapter brings new developments, new challenges, and more action. 

My sketch of the mysterious master of Blood Marsh
My sketch of the mysterious master of Blood Marsh

Chapter One

You can read the first chapter by clicking this link to my website, Fugitives of Purgatory.  Come see what fate awaits brave Billy Cole as he sets out on his quest!

What's the Money For?

As I’ve said, this book spent seven or eight years growing in my brain and the last few in developing drafts. It’s written and ready to come to life. The next step is hiring a professional editor who can look not only for misspelled words but whose feedback might improve on the novel as a whole. A good fantasy novel also needs fantastic painted cover art, something that portrays the heroes and villains and shows the would-be reader that there is action, romance, and wonder within these pages. There’s also the expenses of ISBNs (electronic, paperback, and hardcover editions will all need a different one), and the printing and shipping of books and rewards. Any funding beyond those base expenses will go into marketing so that the book can reach as many readers as possible.

The city of Fellwater
The city of Fellwater


Stretch Goals

If you’ve got the spirit and the coin to push this project into the stratosphere, I’m all for it!  More contributions means more rewards:

-- If we reach $3600, everyone from the Talespinner ($5) level and up will receive a 5x7 print of the final painted cover art.  In addition, Talespinner ($5) thru Colors Three ($35) will also get the 5x7 print of the promo art (everyone above that already gets that one).

-- Achieving the $4200 benchmark awards all contributors from Humble Trio ($10) and up a signed paperback copy of The Prince of Luster and Decay (a novella prequel to Tarnish -- visit www.jdbrinkfugitive.com to see more about that book.)

-- At $4800 I will commission a translator to make a second language version (probably Spanish) of the book and anyone from the Humble Trio ($10) level and up can request a free ebook version of that.  All of these lucky patrons ($10 and up) will also receive a Fugitive Fiction refridgerator magnet with which to hold up all their A+ spelling tests! 

-- If we reach $6000 I’ll come up with something else fantastic at that time, maybe even a new story or collection of stories to offer up.  (I'll let  you know via updates.) 

-- The next benchmark would be $7200. At that point I'll parachute naked off the Empire State Building... Okay, no I won't. But if we get there it'll be ice cream and cake for everyone, or something fun and great and actually feasible.

-- $10,000???

-- $15,000?????

When will this all be ready?

I’m currently combing the manuscript one last time to make it as clean as possible before sending it off for editing—no sense in paying someone to catch poor wording and inconsistencies that I can catch myself.  The longest processes will be the editing itself, followed by my rewrites based on that feedback.  Hopefully the cover art will get finished while that’s all in process.  After that, I figure the formatting, printing, signing and shipping will take another couples months.  I’m setting the goal to have everything published, printed, and ready to ship by my birthday, which is in November, but hopefully I can get it all finished and sent out before then.   

Why no video?

I tried, folks, honest I did.  But after making a series of really bad videos and hours of wrestling with two different uncooperative video editing programs...  Well, let's just say, there ain't no video.  Sorry.  I'll make it up to you by producing a high-quality novel chocked full of characters you'll truly care about, okay?  

Thanks to James Arnold for the great promo image!
Thanks to James Arnold for the great promo image!

Risks and challenges

What risks are inherent in this project? There’s always unpredictable oopsies that can happen along the way--like printing issues or delays in getting art or editing back on time--but really, there’s very little that can go wrong with this. The book is already done (with two more in the series waiting to be written) and that’s the hardest part. I am a proven writer who has been published in magazines and online. I’m also already familiar with the self-publishing side of this evolving, modern-day writing industry and I know how to execute this project. I have been trained as writer (BFA in Creative Writing) and have the military discipline to get the job done (eight years in the Navy and counting). Tarnish will happen one way or another, but with your generous support the finished product will be of higher quality and have greater distribution.

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    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Redfielder: Every dollar helps! Contribute even a buck and you'll at least get an email from me thanking you.

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    Talespinner: Your generosity will be recorded for the ages -- your name will be listed as a Patron in the “Special Thanks” section of the book and you'll get an email of thanks.

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    Humble Trio: Your name as a Patron, mailed thank-you letter, and 3 bookmarks featuring the characters from the promo art image.

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    Adventurer: Everything in Humble Trio, plus the EBOOK version of Tarnish in any format!

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    Folk Hero: Patron status, 3 book marks, ebook, and a PAPERBACK copy of Tarnish SIGNED by the author!

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Sword and Shield: Your name as a Patron, 3 book marks, the signed Tarnish paperback, and TWO ebooks—Tarnish and The Prince of Luster and Decay (a Tarnish wartime prequel).

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Colors Three: Patron status, 3 book marks, the signed Tarnish paperback, and THREE ebooks—Tarnish, The Prince of Luster and Decay (a Tarnish wartime prequel), and A Long Walk Down a Dark Alley (fantasy-noir triple feature for grown-ups).

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Hall of Honor: Your elevated status listed in the special “Hall of Honor” acknowledgments of the book, all the items in Colors Three (book marks, ebooks, paperback), plus a special 5x7 thank-you card print of the promo art.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Hall of Heroes: Your name in the reserved “Hall of Heroes” section of the book, 3 bookmarks, all 3 ebooks, the thank-you card print, and a limited-edition, collector’s HARDBOUND (with dust jacket) of Tarnish. Only 21-30 of this limited print run will ever exist (to be determined if/when this Kickstarter succeeds), and all will be signed and numbered by the author!

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Hall of Champions: Everything in Hall of Heroes, including a signed and numbered hardcover, your name in the hallowed “Hall of Champions” section of the acknowledgements, and YOUR NAME (tweaked as the author sees fit) appears somewhere in the story. The tales of the Colors Three are many and varied and YOU can be in one of them!

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Champion of the Ages: Everything in Hall of Champions plus THE very first hardcover – that’s book #1 of the limited printing, signed and numbered as such! You’ll be the envy of all your friends! (And of me, cuz that’s supposed to be my book...)

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Fugitive of Purgatory: You get everything Tarnish-related as listed in the Hall of Heroes reward with your name listed as a one of "Purgatory's Most Wanted" -- you are now a Fugitive! You'll receive a personalized, laminated "Get Out of Jail Free Card," which acts as a nifty little certificate granting you LIFETIME benefits as a Fugitive of Purgatory! Anytime Fugitive Fiction (basically, me) publishes anything, you get a free ebook or paperback automatically, FOR LIFE. This is also retroactive for my current library of work. (Realize that my day job is active duty military (i.e. my life is not my own), so the books won't be flying out every other month or anything, but do I have 20+ I plan to write before I leave this world, so...) (Postage fees may vary from absolute zero to whatever, depending on country and decade.)

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Funding period

- (30 days)