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.)
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?Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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