You did it! The Kickstarter is funded. My thankfulness is a typhoon that could shred dragon wings with hundred-MPH gusts of gratitude. Don't worry, though. I’ll restrain myself.
From here on out it’s just a waterfall of gravy, a gravyfall, if you will. And, yes, I’d dive head-first into that. I’ve listed the stretch goals below, and as each is attained, your current pledges will grow riper with additional fantasy swag.
$2,950 Level: PLUNDERED! All those noble heroes who pledge will receive their due spoils.
$3,300, Mini-Boss Level: VANQUISHED! I’ll commission another internal illustration from Bartosz, likely featuring the wallway passages within the Recurve Tower.
$3,600, Mini-Boss Level: TROUNCED! This internal illustration from Bartosz will depict the Mindvault Academy as a whole, so you can see the spatial arrangement of the buildings in relation to each other. A dragon's-eye view.
$3,950, Epic-Boss Level: TRIUMPHED! I will hire a voice actor to perform an audiobook, and this glittering aural treasure will be bestowed onto all who pledge at the $20 level or higher. In an afterward in the audiobook, I will personally thank all supporters by name and pledge-level title. Delivery date: September, 2013.
$4,350, World-Shaking Level: SHATTERED! A map for the Lands of Loam by Bartosz Milewski. Delivery date: July, 2013.
I hesitate to part the mist from farther stretch goals, but in order they include a Kirkus-review promotion for Gravity’s Revenge ($4,775), internal illustrations for Fox’s Bride, and a full-color illustration of Tethiel, the Lord of the Feast, by Eva Soulu.
In the Mindvault Academy, magic imbued within the stone reroutes the flow of gravity. The school’s enchantments allow for architectural wonders that inspire the empire’s next generation of great minds.
Now those minds are falling. The Academy’s spells are collapsing, its keystone jewels stolen. Saboteurs have invaded the magic school in a political heist a year in the planning. The attackers make but one mistake: Getting between Enchantress Hiresha and her research.
Hiresha, Provost of Applied Enchantment, endures her own pathological sleepiness to study unorthodox magic. Now twelve warriors have invaded the Academy, the only home she has ever known. Hiresha plans to expel them with the help of a dangerously charming illusionist, her loyal bodyguard, and spells by no means in the approved curriculum.
No, seriously, don’t pass this link up. Click the image. This isn’t a first-chapter teaser but a first course of a feast: over a hundred pages electrified by fantasy illustrations. You can even capture the PDF to read later on your phone/computer/eReader.
About the Author:
Sure, you can read my official bio here, but I think I’ll let you in on a few things I don’t normally mention.
In my junior year of high school, I fell ill to pneumonia untreatable by antibiotics. For a month I lay on my back coughing, near paralyzed by fatigue. Even trying to watch TV was too exhausting. But I could still imagine. I spun a fantasy story and went over it scene by scene in my head. I swore to myself that I would live to write it.
Gravity’s Revenge is not that story. I was a sick kid and hardly in the best frame of mind to invent original plots. However, Gravity’s Revenge does feature three of the same characters from that daydream so many years ago. The illusionist magic of Feasting in my stories also grew out of that pivotal month.
As a potential patron and partner in my writing, you deserve to know my greatest weaknesses as an author. First, my protagonists tend be eccentric and flawed—a far cry from a Mary Sue—which isn’t to every reader’s tastes. Second is my desire to include swaths of unfamiliar settings and a plethora of magical wonders, which all lead to complexity. To address my weaknesses in Gravity’s Revenge, I commissioned the internal artwork to give readers the visual aid of the delightfully convoluted Academy architecture. I also took steps to streamline the plot for the sake of clarity, and although the protagonist Hiresha still has room to grow, she’s become a better and more confidant person over the last few novels.
To bring a story of magic and wonder to life, to illuminate it not only with a beautiful cover but also thirteen internal illustrations of the magic school, to pay the artists and editor, and to promote the novel. Without advertising, the book would remain essentially a secret, and, as we all know, secrets are meant to be shared.
With the success of this Kickstarter, Gravity’s Revenge will be published both as a paperback and a DRM-free eBook. Your contribution will fuel an epic fantasy of over 400 pages: the perfect length for a weekend vacation.
Your pledge also puts me closer to employing a voice actor for an audiobook. I love people whispering stories through my earbuds, and I would be dance-on-clouds delighted to be able to produce one of my own stories for all those hungry listeners.
Kickstarter is crucial in the blossoming world of Indie publishing. Artists have always needed their patrons, but Kickstarter brings writers and readers together into a partnership. If this Kickstarter succeeds, it’s not my victory. It’s yours.
Pledge Rewards: What you need to know
Acknowledgments: All generous enough to pledge will be scribed into the acknowledgments in the front of the book and eBook, under the rank of their contribution. For instance, if Jane pledges at the $25 level, she would see her name in the finished book as “Jane, Farseeker of Fantasy.” Winners of unique (limit one) titles, such as Amethyst Dragon, will appear in my future fantasy books as well.
Short Fiction: The Lands of Loam are vast, and short fiction allows me to bring you perspectives and magics that I have not yet featured in my novels. The flash fiction entitled Tasting a Curse is a story of a thousand words that'll give you a whiff of hexers, a powerful class of magic users belonging to the Dominion of the Sun. This nation is referenced in Gravity’s Revenge, and in the novel, Tethiel also mentions a cult depicted in the second short story, Leg for a Leg. Over seven thousand words long, this fiction is set in Oasis City, the location of Fox's Bride, and revolves around a feud between a hexer and a jaguar knight. For this story, I’ll commission a unique graphic from Ray Chun. Both tales will be exclusive to those who pledge to this Kickstarter.
The Secret Chapter: Despite my insatiable desire for more magic in my stories, in other ways I am a reductionist. I could not help but notice that one delicious chapter in Gravity's Revenge could be removed without disrupting the plot. My story did not need the chapter, but neither did it not need it, as its placement wasn’t especially disrupting of pacing. In fact, it’s an adrenaline pumper that features the most dangerous and beloved character in my stories, Tethiel. I decided I would give those who pledge to this Kickstarter at the $15 level or higher this chapter as an exclusive. My only regret is that this decision will deny the chapter to the poor souls who fail to learn of this Kickstarter in time.
Ethereal Loot: You’ll notice many Ethereal options in my rewards lineup. These all provide you with electronic eBooks and other valuable intangibles, which will arrive in your clutches at the speed of electrons and at far less a shipping expense. Rest assured, the eBooks will also include the secret chapter. It’s important to note that my reward system isn’t entirely linear. If you pick a higher-level Ethereal reward you’ll not receive the lower-level tangible rewards. The same is true for higher-level tangible rewards and Ethereal loot.
International Shipping: A two-pound package that costs me $5 to ship within the USA will cost $24 to ship internationally. For this reason, I recommend the Ethereal options for residents outside the USA. I would teleport the swag to you if I could, but that would mean leaving the magic shielding of my underground lair, a blunder on which my nemesis would leap.
Posters: Dimensions are 13 x 19". Due to constraints of shipping size on the Adventurer of Unexplored Horizons level, I also offer a more stealthy size of 10 x 16", a mini-poster. And hey, the smaller size even makes it easier to frame. For your posters, you can choose fantasy word art, internal illustrations of the Mindvault Academy, or cover illustrations as seen in the Kickstarter movie.
Advanced Reader Copy of eBook: Available to those pledging $49 or more to the Ethereal line, a manuscript PDF of Gravity's Revenge will fall into the clutches of covetous readers. The file will be viewable immediately in all eReaders as well as on your computer. To receive your just rewards as a Spymaster, message me at AEMarling@gmail.com; if I’m awake and able to confirm your email and pledge, I’ll send you the manuscript. Depending on how soon you acquire your copy and your reading velocity, you may even finish the story before my parents do.
Shirts: Some frown upon the wearing of wizard robes or chain armor on workdays. These shirts are the next best thing! You may choose your size, of course, and sweatshirts are available at the higher reward levels.
Create Your Own Character: Have a favorite gaming character you’d like to immortalize in the Lands of Loam? Or would you like to see a Tuckerized version of yourself in my stories? We of course must respect the continuity of the fantasy world, but I would be happy to hear all suggestions for characters. You can provide me with as much or as little description/ background for the character as you like. Choosing a class is optional. Selecting one preexisting within the Lands of Loam will likely allow me to introduce your character sooner: enchantress, Feaster, spellsword, hexer, jaguar knight, luck broker (these last three in the Dominion of the Sun), and also the traditionals like warrior and thief. It’s possible that I may be able to include the first few pledgers at this level in Gravity’s Revenge.
Dancing Author: Contributors may choose the Ethereal Reveler or Rioter pledge out of general good-hearted joy, a curiosity to see an author dancing to a favorite song, or a wicked urge to force me to dance to something unspeakable (but regretfully not unsingable). I respect all motives and will bravely accept all song challenges. I will improvise volleys of steps for up to five minutes for your song selection. For an example of me dancing a partially choreographed piece, click here:
Jewels: In the epic-pledge levels, you are awarded with real jewels. The Paragon of the Lands gains gems such as topaz, citrine, and garnets (seen below). Shipping insurance will be included for both the gemstone volley and the Amethyst Dragon loot (seen above).
Your contributions support:
$500 for advertising spots in Bookbub, Ereader News Today, Pixel of Ink, and Kindle Fire Department.
$ 150 for Kickstarter, as the innovators of this website deserve their cut.
Total = $2,950
I encourage people to touch the sky of human imagination and read fantasy. There’s no better way to recapture the childhood joy of make-believe than reading about what never was in lands that never were. A fantasy book is a vacation lit by magical fireworks, all for the price of a sandwich.
I collect reasons why people love fantasy on my website, The Importance of the Impossible. You can armor yourself against boredom by wearing these words on a shirt or sweatshirt. Or you can ward your room against mediocrity with a mini or epic-level poster. If you would like a poster of alternate word art found on my website, let me know, and my workshop of gremlins will likely be able to print one especially for you.
Risks and challenges
Since the novel Gravity’s Revenge is already written, I can guarantee you'll have your spoils by the advertised time. I am currently polishing the manuscript to a gleam with the last edits, as well as formatting it with its trove of internal graphics. There’s always the small risk your swag will spontaneously combust while in shipping transit. (Another reason I recommend the Ethereal options.)
If the project is not full funded, the artists will be paid less, and I’ll have to scale back my hopes for internal illustrations, publicity, and an audiobook. My tears might also salt the earth and cause a hundred-year famine.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)