Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
An outcast rogue must break a curse on his fate, or die by his next birthday. A tale of magic, mischief, and the triumph of tricksters.
177 backers pledged $9,260 to help bring this project to life.
Last updated

About

The Jack of Souls: An Epic Fantasy Novel & Trilogy project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

$9,260

177

********************************************************************************************

- PROJECT UPDATE /GOALS MET - 

Book 1, The Jack of Souls, is funded!  --Thank you! 

Book 2, The Knave of Souls, is funded!  --THANK you!

Book 3, The Prince of Souls, is funded! -- THANK YOU!!!

Audiobook 1, for The Jack of Souls, has funding! -- THANK YOU!!!

Audiobook 2, for The Knave of Souls, has funding!  - - THANK YOU !!!

Audiobook 3, for The Prince of Souls, has funding!  -- THANK YOU !!!

 * * *

BACKERS FROM 17 COUNTRIES!  *South Africa * Mexico * Slovakia* *Australia, * Brazil * Germany * Canada * Luxembourg * England* *Scotland * Sweden * The Netherlands * Thailand * Norway * India * and *Singapore! * 

********************************************************************************************

LUKE SHEA'S ANIMATED TRAILER - UNLOCKED! 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APXtk_i4lyc

********************************************************************************************

Free Sample Chapters of Book 1, The Jack of Souls

The Jack of Souls won two awards for fantasy, in professionally judged competitions this summer: the first was the Pacific Northwest Writers Association's annual literary competition; the second was the Southwest Writers annual competition (where I submitted chapter one as a short story titled, "Outside the Game"). 

But don’t take their word for it, check it out yourself! Click here to go to my blog at http://stephenmerlino.com/?p=787 , password, "kickstart."

********************************************************************************************

What's The Jack of Souls About?

Harric, a trickster rogue, must break a curse put on his fate, or die by his nineteenth birthday. 

To survive, he’ll need help. A lot of it. But on the kingdom’s lawless frontier, his only allies are outcasts. 

One is Caris, a mysterious runaway with ambitions to be the Queen’s first female knight; the other is Sir Willard, ex-immortal, ex-champion, now banished from the court. 

Both companions harbor deadly secrets of their own, including news of The Old Ones returning from exile, and Willard's quest to stop them. The Old Ones are an order of brutal and insane immortal knights, intent upon reclaiming the throne and re-enslaving the land.

Together, Harric, Caris, and Willard must overcome murderous sorcerers, ruthless knights, and powerful supernatural foes.

Alone, Harric must face the temptation  of a forbidden magic that could break his curse, but damn them all.

 The Trilogy 

The Jack of Souls is the first book of The Unseen Moon Trilogy. I intend to publish The Jack of Souls on Amazon at the end of December; books two and three—Knave of Souls and Prince of Souls—are complete in first draft, and will be published in 2015. 

 Why This Campaign? 

By selling collectibles and pre-orders of The Jack of Souls in this campaign, I can pay for the finishing work required for a truly professional-quality novel. 

With the prize money from the PNWA and SWA contests I purchased the professional cover art you see here in the videos, but that only took it part way there: the book still requires professional copy editing, proofreading, ISBN and copyright registration, interior illustrations (including a map, an absolute requirement for epic fantasies!), ebook formatting, typesetting, etc. 

So, What Do You Get Out of It? 

  • Adventure! Trickery! Strong female characters! An original fantasy world!
  • Limited first edition ebook, paper and hardback, with special edition plates!
  • Desktop cover art, collectible tarot-poker cards, your name on the acknowledgement and/or backer page, and more! 
  • All rewards will ship on Dec 14 for delivery by Dec 23!
  • If requested, will gift-wrap rewards and send them to an address of your choice! 

In addition, receive email updates on the campaign’s progress and notification of new rewards. 

Also, help the careers of three of my talented former students! 

The tarot-poker cards below were designed by Amanda Castoe; the gorgeous voice-over and animated primer of Harric's world—to be unlocked in the final week of the campaign!—are the work of Luke Shea; and Grant Gilkeson, of Future Human Productions, handled the video captured by my horrible camera. (Grant's short film, The Forests of Cumbria, actually funded in a Kickstart earlier this year, and hits the festivals in 2015!) 

SO......

Where Does the Money Go? 

The prize money I received from the PNWA and SWA paid for: 

  • Gorgeous cover art by Jakub Rozalski _____ $700
  • Tarot-poker art by Amanda Castoe________ $400  

 Your support will help bring the rest to life, including: 

  • Copy editing by Arran Nicols _____  $400
  • Proof reading by Mai Editing  _____ $450
  • Map illustration _________________$100
  • eBook format by Paul Salvette ____ $100 
  • ISBNs & Copyright  _____________ $370
  • Paperback Rewards & Shipping____$400
  • Hardback Rewards & Shipping_____$400
  • Amazon’s & Kickstarter’s % _______$300 

New to Kickstarter?  Here's how it works:

  • Pick a reward level and follow the directions to your Amazon account. 
  • If you have no Amazon account, consider asking family or a friend to do it for you. 
  • Pledges won’t process till the pledge period ends--Dec 12--and only if we make our goal. If we don't make our goal, the project does not fund. You will be notified one way or the other.  
  • Amazon will not process pledges until Dec 12

********************************************************************************************

Want to help more? Share the link!

Signal boosting is love! Share this with anyone on your social networks who might like to read or gift The Jack of Souls over the holidays!  

*******************************************************************************************

 Stretch Goals: Trilogy! 

1) Fund cover for Knave of Souls, Book 2 *********Achieved! Thank youu!

2) Fund edit, format, typeset, etc. Book 2 ********* Achieved! Thank you!

3) Fund cover for Prince of Souls, Book 3 ********* Achieved! Thank you!

4) Fund editor & proofreader for Book 3   ********* Achieved! Thank you!

5) Fund formatting & typset for Book 3  ******** Achieved! Thank you!

6) Audiobook for Book 1: The Jack of Souls **** Achieved! Thank you!

7) Audiobook for Book 2: The Knave of Souls ** Achieved! Thank you!

8) Audiobook for The Prince of Souls <<<<<<<<  LIVE & CURRENT !

*******************************************************************************************

A thousand thanks for your interest and support!

- Stephen Merlino 

*******************************************************************************************

The Maid of Blades. Tarot-poker card by Amanda Castoe.
The Maid of Blades. Tarot-poker card by Amanda Castoe.

Risks and challenges

Risks are very low for this. Book One, THE JACK OF SOULS, is ready for the printer, and book two and three are complete in first draft.

If, in the next month, I am hit by a bus or struck by lightning, my family and friends are certain to see this through. They have lived the past several years with it and are well and truly sick of it; to fall short this close to closure would haunt them till their own graves, where my shade would meet them and ask them to read a draft revised in the afterlife.

They know this, and I assure you, they can conceive of no worse fate.

After Book One, THE JACK OF SOULS, goes out, it will take some time before books two and three are ready for the printer. THE KNAVE OF SOULS and THE PRINCE OF SOULS are complete, but in rough draft. That means they need revision, and revision takes time.

However, the heavy lifting for these is already done—the trilogy is complete. All that remains is hammering out the kinks and polishing the story. As soon as it is ready, those who choose a reward level including books two and three will have them. I project them both to be done before the end of 2015.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $2 or more About $2

    SCABLANDS PIONEER - (Tier 1). Every bit counts! That's why it's called crowdsourcing! Receive my deep gratitude and all backer updates! PLUS, see your name on the list of backers on my author website.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $6 or more About $6

    HEDGE KNIGHT - (Tier 2). Receive all of Tier 1's rewards, PLUS receive cover art files as digital wallpaper for your computer or device! (Includes both Jakub Rozalski's cover, and Amanda Castoe's YA cover.)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $8 or more About $8

    THE JACK - (Tier 3). Receive Tiers 1 & 2 PLUS a hand-written thank you card containing an original limited-edition Jack of Souls collectible tarot-poker playing card of The Jack, featuring the art of Jakub Rozalski and Amanda Castoe!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $8 or more About $8

    SPECIAL - EBOOK ONLY
    If all you want is an eBook copy of The Jack of Souls, this is your level! Receive an eBook copy in DRM-free pdf, .epub, Kindle-ready and .mobi, AND see your name on a special backers page on my website!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    11 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    THE MAID OF BLADES - (Tier 4) - Receive Tiers 1-3, PLUS an original limited-edition Maid of Blades collectible tarot-poker playing card, featuring the art of Amanda Castoe!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    3 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $12 or more About $12

    GALLOWS FERRY LOCAL - (Tier 5). Receive all the above tiers, PLUS an e-book copy of The Jack of Souls, in DRM-free pdf, .epub, Kindle-ready and .mobi.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    YOAB HUNTER - (Special Single Reward). For those who only want a paperback copy and none of the other swag, this is for you. With my profuse thanks, receive a limited-edition paperback copy of The Jack of Souls, signed or pristine per your preference.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    20 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $16 or more About $16

    SPITFIRE KNIGHT - (Tier 6). Receive Tiers 1-5, PLUS a high-resolution digital image of both Jakub Rozalski's cover art, and Amanda Castoe's YA cover art, for printing!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    IBERG WITCH - (Tier 7). Receive all previous Tiers, PLUS an ebook copy of an original Harric short story, in DRM-free pdf, .epub, Kindle-ready and .mobi!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    NEW REWARD LEVEL! Receive all THREE eBOOKs, no other frills! Why didn't I think of this before?!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    8 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    BLACK MOON FOUNDERS CIRCLE - (Tier 8). For being part of the core support team, you receive all previous Tiers, PLUS your name on a special Backers Page on my website, with my profuse thanks, AND ebook copies of Books 2 & 3 when they are released in 2015 in DRM-free pdf, .epub, Kindle-ready and .mobi!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    5 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    SPIRIT WALKER - (Tier 9). Along with my deep gratitude, receive all previous Tiers, PLUS a limited edition paperback copy of The Jack of Souls, signed with my personal thanks (on the inside cover or on a card, as you prefer)!
    Add $20 for international shipping.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    18 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $34 or more About $34

    NEW REWARD LEVEL! - A stand-alone, limited edition HARDBACK of BOOK ONE, The Jack of Souls. No other frills, just the book, signed or pristine per your preference. Shipped upon completion of this campaign.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    8 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    PEASANT LIBERATOR - (Tier 10). In addition to ebook copies of all three books in the series (Books Two and Three to be released in 2015), receive a limited-edition HARD COVER copy of Book One, The Jack of Souls, signed or pristine per your preference!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    12 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    NEW REWARD LEVEL! - Three stand-alone, limited edition paperbacks of the entire trilogy, plus the rewards of Tiers 1-8! (Book signed or pristine per your preference.) First book shipped on completion of this campaign; delivery time of second book targeted for summer, the third in winter of 2015.)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    7 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    REQUESTED AWARD LEVEL - With my gratitude, receive HARDBACK and EBOOK copies of Books 1 & 2! No other frills.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  17. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    MAGUS OF THE UNSEEN - (Tier 13). With my deep gratitude, receive Tiers 1-8, 10-12 rewards, PLUS copies of all original concept sketches or storyboards for art by Jakub Rozalski, Amanda Castoe, and Luke Shea; PLUS receive an electronic copy of an early draft of The Jack of Souls (shudder!), so you can see how it evolved over time!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    3 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  18. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    QUEEN'S CHAMPION - (Tier 16). Receive all Tier 1-8 and 10-13 rewards, PLUS a rough draft copy of book 2, The Knave of Souls, while there is still time to beg for the life of your favorite character, or the death of your most hated character, or other ideas you may have for shaping the story.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    6 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  19. Select this reward

    Pledge $115 or more About $115

    NEW REWARD LEVEL! - With my deep gratitude, receive three stand-alone, limited edition hardbacks of the entire trilogy (signed or pristine per your preference), plus all three eBooks in DRM-free pdf, .epub, Kindle-ready and .mobi. No other frills.

    First book ships on completion of this campaign; delivery time of second book targeted for summer, the third in winter of 2015.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    8 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  20. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    MASTER OF COURTISTES - (Tier 17). With my most profound gratitude, receive all above rewards, PLUS rough drafts of all three books (shudder!) so you can see how far they've come in revision.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  21. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    MASTER OF COURTISTES - (Tier 18). With my most profound gratitude, receive all above rewards, PLUS an annotated copy of The Jack of Souls, with notes about things no one else would know about, like, "In an earlier draft, Harric hid under the bed instead of climbing out the window..." etc. If the Kickstarter funds more than one book of the trilogy, you’ll get annotated copies of those when they are released in 2015!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  22. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    MASTER OF THE UNSEEN - (Tier 19). In one fell swoop this would fund the art for the second or third book's cover. With my eternal gratitude, receive all previous rewards, PLUS a signed copy of the best print version of every book I ever write, for the rest of my career.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  23. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $8 or more About $8

    SPECIAL - EBOOK ONLY
    If all you want is an eBook copy of The Jack of Souls, this is your level! Receive an eBook copy in DRM-free pdf, .epub, Kindle-ready and .mobi, AND see your name on a backers page in the book!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 4 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  24. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $12 or more About $12

    GALLOWS FERRY LOCAL - (Tier 5). Receive all the above rewards, PLUS an e-book copy of The Jack of Souls, in DRM-free pdf, .epub, Kindle-ready and .mobi, AND see your name on a backers page in the book!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 3 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  25. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    BLACK MOON FOUNDERS CIRCLE - (Tier 8). For being part of the core support team, you receive all previous Tiers, PLUS your name in the back of the book with my profuse thanks, AND ebook copies of Books 2 & 3 when they are released in 2015 in DRM-free pdf, .epub, Kindle-ready and .mobi!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 14 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  26. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    KWENDI AMBASSADOR - (Tier 11). In addition to ebook copies of all three books in the series (Books Two and Three to be released in 2015), receive a limited-edition HARD COVER copy of Book One, The Jack of Souls, signed or pristine per your preference!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 13 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  27. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    NEW REWARD LEVEL! - Three stand-alone, limited edition paperbacks of the entire trilogy, plus the rewards of Tiers 1-10! (Book signed or pristine per your preference.) First book shipped on completion of this campaign; delivery time of second book targeted for summer, the third in winter of 2015.)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 7 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  28. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    KWENDI WARRIOR - (Tier 14). Receive all Tier 1-8 and10-13 rewards, PLUS a rough draft copy of book 2, The Knave of Souls, while to beg for your favorite character's life / your most hated character's death, or other ideas you may have. Ships anywhere in the world!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 7 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (21 days)