Funded! This project was successfully funded on July 27, 2012.


Survive murder and deception in the Village by the Sea.

I like writing about beautiful, horrible things. The Village by the Sea is a beautiful, horrible place. And I want to take you there.

The Guide covers neighborhoods, families and coverups and over a hundred years of history, for a town that exists outside of time and place. This could be the town you stopped in as a child on your way to see family. It might be your hometown. This could even be the town just down the road from yours.

The Village by the Sea was founded on the coast in 1850. Its founding families still exert force on the course of Village history, its borders have crept over devoured nearby settlements, and its piers are washed in blood. The monuments to dead sailors cast shadows in the park. There are always new missing posters outside the market.

There is never a year without a candlelit vigil for the dead.

I’ve got the village in my blood. I may not be nice all the time, and days of cutesie teen detective work are long behind me. I may have issues, but letting people die isn’t usually one of them. I came back here because I didn’t have a choice, and writing the guide is all I have left.

-"The Guide to the Village by the Sea," Ashley Hart

This is a work of fiction, end to end. You can read it and walk away, or read it and bring your friends on a trip to the Village by the Sea. No matter what role-playing game system you pair the Guide to, That Which Sleeps Beneath will still be waiting.

The Guide to the Village by the Sea is a manual for surviving the coastal home of modern horror.

I want to tell you this story. And I want to tell you about the people helping me.

My editor is Richard Dansky, who was the line developer for Wraith: The Oblivion, currently works at Ubisoft as the Central Clancy Writer. Lisa Grabenstetter, who has done work for everyone from museums to Crossed Genres, is the genius behind the seal of the Village, interior illustrations and art-related rewards. Sarah Troedson is my cartographer, and spends her days working as a GIS analyst.

As for me, I'm a horror writer and journalist raised in Washington State, which has one of the weirder and more gruesome histories of the territories. I've published a number of strange stories with some very lovely people; The Edge of Propinquity took my first Jewish horror story, and The Irish Times took a shine to a ghost story that grew out of a childhood with my Irish Gram.

I'm also synesthetic; my senses cross-wire and trigger in overlapping ways. The whole world has tastes, smells, colours and textures for me that are wildly different than one sense tells me. My eyes tell me green but my mouth says something green can taste pink. Fire alarms are painful and echoes can stretch like fun-house mirrors. This is my first book where I leave those sensory impressions in, and get to write in a way that's normal for me. The narrator of the Guide has synesthesia, and it literally colours her perceptions.

When you back the Guide, you’re coming for a visit. You’re becoming a part of it, burrowing into every dark shadow and corrupt garden party the Village has to offer. And you get to borrow someone else's senses while you do.

I hope you enjoy your stay.

Video Editing: Jeremy Keller.

Autographing E-Books: Since I've had a few questions about it, I wanted to clear up some confusion. Yes, you can totally autograph an e-book. Kindlegraph and MyWrite are just two ways that writers can autograph an electronic eddition of a book, as well as the hardcore method of hand-scanning signatures and generating unique copies of the e-book, one at a time.

The $15.00 reward really does include an autographed electronic copy of the Guide, it's not a typo referring to a softcover.

Reward Changes:


$100 pledges will now receive a signed, limited edition art print of the village seal

$200 pledges will now receive a signed, personalized map of the Village from Sarah Troedson and I.

Leonard Balsera will be writing "Injured Coast," a Fiasco playset set in the Village by the Sea.

Stretch Goal $5,500: Stephen Blackmoore (CITY OF THE LOST, DEAD THINGS (Feb - 2013), KHAN OF MARS (2013) and Will Hindmarch (Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities, The Escapist, Don't Read This Book) will each write a short story to be packaged together in an ebook, available only to backers $5 and up.


Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    224 backers

    Day Tripper: An eBook edition of the Guide to the Village by the Sea (pdf, ePub, or Kindle format.)

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  • Pledge $15 or more
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    36 backers

    Tourist: A personalized, autographed eBook of the Guide to the Village by the Sea, computer wallpaper of the Village Seal, postcard of thanks.

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  • Pledge $25 or more
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    19 backers

    Student: All Tourist benefits, plus e-format copy of the unpublished Village by the Sea short story "The Well," name in the guide.

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  • Pledge $50 or more
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    72 backers

    Townie: All Student benefits, plus signed limited edition hardcover of the Guide to the Village by the Sea. Please add $10 for international shipping ($5 Canada/Mexico.)

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    3 backers

    Pillar of the Community: All Townie benefits, plus use of a name, phrase or word of backer's choice as an acrostic in the Guide. Limit of ten letters.

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    3 backers

    Founding Family: All Pillar of the Community benefits, plus inclusion in and copy of the Village by the Sea Founding Families Tree.

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Funding period

- (25 days)