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A book of fairy tales to trouble and soothe the grown-up mind.  Beautiful stories combine with breathtaking art.
A book of fairy tales to trouble and soothe the grown-up mind. Beautiful stories combine with breathtaking art.
240 backers pledged $20,300 to help bring this project to life.

About

Lamenting Avalon: and other Fairy Tales for adults project video thumbnail
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Lamenting Avalon is a collection of Fairy Tales for Adults. Because there are wonders and terrors in the world that children cannot imagine. And while they are very real, we can only point at them through stories. Their images can only be captured by beauty.

This project pairs those unique stories with custom work from phenomenal artists to create a book that is as much a feast for the senses as it is the imagination.

I’m the author of the short story collection “A Guide to Bars and Nightlife in the Sacred City,” which the San Francisco Examiner called “A collection of provocative, brain-teasing and magical short stories,” “sassy, brainy, soul-searching, sexy, longing, yearning — and risk-taking.”

SF Weekly has called me a “Fiction Badass,” and the Midwest Book Review said “Benjamin Wachs reveals a distinctive and highly personal flair for storytelling that will engage the reader’s total and rapt attention throughout.”

My fantasy novel “The Deeds of Pounce” is scheduled to be published this spring by Beating Windward Press.

This collection, however, is special to me - a personal passion project that I’ve been working on, in one form or another, for 20 years. Until now I’ve always sent my work through traditional publishers and media, but this project: this is the one for me to try crowdfunding for the first time.

Put together Lamenting Avalon is over 85,000 words of exquisitely constructed original Fairy Tales with breathtaking art commissioned from three extraordinary artists: William Brown (who made the cover art above), Corviid, and Laurelle Hafen.

(You can see samples of some of the work they've already done for the book in the project video above.  A very rough demo page, put together using some of Corviid's custom artwork for this project, is below.  My art director will make it look even better once I can pay her.  In addition to these black and white elements, there will be a number of full color paintings.)

Lamenting Avalon (very) rough demo page (Art by Corviid, story by Benjamin Wachs)
Lamenting Avalon (very) rough demo page (Art by Corviid, story by Benjamin Wachs)

Their art comes together to form a book that is as beautiful to look at as it is to read, and combines to be more than the sum of its parts.  I am incredibly proud to be able to work with them, and offer the fruits of our labor to you.

If you like to read, this is the Kickstarter you’ve been waiting for: Lamenting Avalon’s eBook version (all of the text, but only a bit of the art) is available at the $15 level, and the full printed edition comes in at the $50 level - hard-cover and large size - but there’s so much more.

Each contribution level offers something more to read or listen to. An audio book (at the $25 level), two additional eBooks (at the $30 and $60 level) of previously un (or under)-published work, plus digital art from the project itself.

You want more to read? Keep going. I’ve got it.

Beginning at the $70 level I’ll start sending you printed copies of original short fables that I gave out as part of a Burning Man art project - you can get up to three from this Kickstarter, and they’re not available anywhere else (at any price) unless you bump into me in just the right place, at just the right time, and receive a magical gift.

There are also bonus fairy tales, each with their own unique piece of art, that you can get by contributing. All at affordable levels.

Higher level contributors will get original stories written just for them and publicly dedicated to them. Those stories will all be collected and sent to contributors as well, so that if enough people contribute in the upper ranges, a whole new original book of stories (or two?) will be created out of this project.

By contributing to this project, you get to read something amazing, see some incredible art - and have me write something new, and dedicate it to you. I hope you’ll join me.

The budget for this project is high, but that's because talent at this level needs to get paid.  Here’s the rough breakdown:

  • About half of the money goes directly to the artists (amounts and scope of work has largely already been negotiated).
  • Another third, roughly, goes to the layout, printing, distribution, and Kickstarter’s share.
  • The remaining 20-odd percent is for unexpected expenses, and anything left over I keep (I did write the book).

Let’s make some art together. Let’s make something amazing. I have an incredible team, waiting. All we need is you.

Risks and challenges

There are very few risks with the project itself: the stories are written and the artists have agreed to do the work. There are always going to be some hiccups, but with your help it’s going to happen.

The exact size and format of the printed editions may change as the commissioned art pieces come in. Whatever the art director says makes it look best, once she has all the pieces in hand, is what we do.

The larger risk comes with the higher level premiums, the ones where I’m writing original work for you - if enough people do that, it will probably exhaust me and delay their arrival. Should that happen, my promise is to keep in contact with you so that you know where any original or custom work stands at all times. But isn’t that exciting? To see if I can actually pull it off? (Hint: I can.) But yes - the more original work I’m called upon to produce, the longer it will take to produce it all.

If anyone wants to go for the big prize, having me dedicate a future novel to them, then you understand that’s a long-term investment: I’ll have to write it and get it published. It could take years. But you’ll get engage with the process every step of the way. Have you ever wanted to have a personal novelist?

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Huginn and Muninn - get project updates, sneak peaks, sketches, thoughts about the place of fairy tales in the modern world, and maybe even a bonus short-short story or two delivered to your inbox, as if by magic ravens.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A Brother Grimm - get a shout out and a thank you on the Lamenting Avalon webpage, along with the newsletter.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Lamenting Avalon eBook - the eBook version of Lamenting Avalon will be sent to you, containing the full text of the stories and a limited supply of the extraordinary art. It will open cynical and awesome worlds of beauty and wonder. Plus get your thank you shout out on the website, and newsletter updates.

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    25 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    The Infinite Library - Some stories are gems that sadly sit on the shelf unused. Let's find them! Patrons at this level will receive an eBook collection of some of my short stories originally published on Fiction365.com. Together we'll unearth of my best early work, and make it easy for you to access and read.

    Plus all premiums below this level.

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    15 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Mirror on the Wall - The artwork being commissioned for Lamenting Avalon is gorgeous. You've seen the video. Backers at this level will receive a hi-res digital copy of a standalone piece commissioned for this book, an indelible image you'll never forget, plus premiums at all previous levels.

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    7 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Mirror Mirror on the Wall - Lamenting Avalon has two primary artists, the amazing Will Brown and the phenomenal Corviid. Backers at this level will get a second digital piece of art commissioned for this book, so that they have work from each artist. Plus their eBook copy of Lamenting Avalon, plus all prior benefits.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Lamenting Avalon - It's yours. The gorgeously printed hard cover edition, complete will all commissioned art. A book that will transform the way you think about fairy tales.

    Plus all earlier premiums.

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    81 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    The Halls of Valhalla - When I wrote "A Guide to Bars and Nightlife in the Sacred City," a number of tough choices had to be made about what stories to keep, and what to cut purely for reasons of space.

    Backers at this level will get a special edition ebook containing many of the stories we wanted to keep but couldn't quite.

    When you throw in all the other premiums before this, backers at this level will be getting two ebooks, plus an audio book, plus Lamenting Avalon, all for their pledge of $60. An incredible value guaranteed to keep you reading and on the edge of your seat for a long time to come.

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    8 backers
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    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    Swan Sisters - Get a bonus fairy tale! This piece, part of the extended Lamenting Avalon family of stories, will be available only to project backers at this level and above. It will include specially commissioned art, and deepen your experience of the Lamenting Avalon universe.
    All prior premium levels are included.

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    6 backers
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    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    The Coronation - Lamenting Avalon will have a small, backers only, pre-release party at the Unicorn Estate (if you know, you know) near San Francisco. If you're in the area, backers at this level or higher will be given an complimentary ticket to this event, where I will read from Lamenting Avalon and offer a few special surprises.

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    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    Merlin - After eight years of experimenting with literary forms at the Burning Man event, under my alias of "Caveat Magister," I finally created an art project worthy of the playa: a series of 100 short fables that I gave away under circumstances that one recipient recently called "The most diabolical thing that anyone has ever done to me."

    These stories are only available as gifts, in person, from me to you - except at this moment, right now. For supporting my art at this level, I will send you a signed printing of one of these stories along with your hard copy of Lamenting Avalon, and all other prior premiums. (Shipping cost is included as part of your receiving the book itself.)

    Right now these fables cannot be found anywhere else, at any price. Only on this Kickstarter, or meeting me at the right place and time.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    The Sword in the Stone - You will be thanked in Lamenting Avalon itself, print and ebook versions, as a Patron of Fairy Tales. Your name will be included among the legends.

    Plus all earlier premiums.

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    22 backers
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    Pledge $110 or more About $110

    The Gemini Twins- Get another bonus fairy tale, with special original artwork!

    When you add everything together, that's two bonus Fairy Tales and artwork, plus two ebooks, plus a special fable from the Caveat Magister personal collection, and an audio book - along with Lamenting Avalon itself. (Oh yeah, and an album.)

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    4 backers
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    Pledge $120 or more About $120

    Apollo and Artemis - Get a second specially printed fable from the Caveat Magister collection that debuted at Burning Man, and is otherwise unavailable except as a gift should we ever meet in person, under the right circumstances.

    Shipping is already included with your copy of Lamenting Avalon. And of course you receive all lower level premiums.

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    Pledge $135 or more About $135

    The Three Norns - A third and final printed fable from the Caveat Magister project "Choose your Words Carefully." That's three fables in all - more than anyone else has ever had a chance to read. Plus all prior levels.

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    Pledge $140 or more About $140

    Rumpelstiltskin - I'll turn straw into gold for you, writing an original short story on a topic or prompt of your choice, and dedicate it to you. Then I'll send it to you.

    Plus earlier levels.

    PLUS, I'll send you all the dedicated short stories of everyone who contributes at this level. So if a few other people join you, you'll get a whole new original eBook to read - specially made, just for you.

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    Limited 5 backers
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    Pledge $185 or more About $185

    The Two Temples - Like Rumpelstiltskin, only twice the literary glory. You'll get a second original story, on a topic of your choice, and I'll dedicate them to you. Plus you'll get to see every dedicated story written at this level and below, all all the perks. Plus earlier levels.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    The Rainbow Bridge - A new original long-form Fairy Tale in the style of Lamenting Avalon will be written for you, given an original illustration, and dedicated to you. It will be shared with you and all the other contributors at this level. If enough people contribute at this level, you could get a second book of Fairy Tales for Adults. Plus all earlier levels.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    The Ancient Codex - A copy of Lamenting Avalon signed by Benjamin, Corviid, and Will, along with an individual note or sketch from each. PLUS a signed copy of "A Guide to Bars and Nightlife in the Sacred City," AND a special signed print of an amazing piece of art Will Brown created for that book, but which (criminally) was only used in the publicity video.

    Copies of all the original stories you'll have commissioned from me will also be included in hard copy form.

    And all earlier levels.

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

    The High King - I will dedicate a future novel or other large scale work to you, individually. You will be a major figure in my literary accomplishments.

    Plus all earlier levels.

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    Reward no longer available 3 backers
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Funding period

- (28 days)