The Cobweb Bride Kickstarter
The short version: Cobweb Bride is a novel that must be written. You’ve been waiting for it for a long time. I’m out of time and resources (and I am being eaten by hungry cats). Now, with Kickstarter and your help, I will finish the book, and publish it myself in beautiful hardcover, paperback and ebook editions—all designed and created entirely by me. You will get to read it, and you will get rare or unique (one-of-a-kind) wonderful swag (while I will buy cat food). Everybody will be happy! For the amazing details, continue reading the full story…
Hello, friends! I am Vera Nazarian, writer, artist, creator of wonder.
You might know me as the author of the humorous mash-up parody Mansfield Park and Mummies, the first novel of my Supernatural Jane Austen Series. Or maybe you’ve run into one of my inspirational quotes that are all over the internet, originally posted on my creativity blog Inspired.Us and recently collected in The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration.
Maybe you’re a fan of my arabesque “collage” novel Dreams of the Compass Rose, or the cult classic epic fantasy Lords of Rainbow about an unrequited love in a world without color (yes, it’s the original “fifty shades of grey,” literally).
Yet again, you might remember me for the strange mythic stories in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword and Sorceress anthologies. Or possibly, you’ve read my snarky pop culture essays on various TV shows and entertainment subjects such as True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, and Charmed, in various Smart Pop anthologies.
It doesn’t matter! We’ve probably “met” already, in one way or another. Now, let me share my project with you.
The Project—Cobweb Bride
Many are called... She alone can save the world, and become Death’s Bride.
A few years ago, I started work on a major new dark fantasy project—Cobweb Bride, the first book of Death’s Cobwebs.
The premise—what if death suddenly stopped all around the world, and people and all living things continued being conscious and “alive,” in pain and in denial, suspended in a strange undead state, even if they were mortally wounded?
What if you killed someone and then fell in love with them?
COBWEB BRIDE (Death’s Cobwebs, Book One) is a history-flavored fantasy novel with romantic elements of the Persephone myth, about Death’s ultimatum to the world.
In an alternate Renaissance world, somewhere in an imaginary “pocket” of Europe called the Kingdom of Lethe, Death comes, in the form of a grim Spaniard, to claim his Bride. Until she is found, in a single time-stopping moment all dying stops. There is no relief for the mortally wounded and the terminally ill…
While kings and emperors send expeditions to search for a suitable Bride for Death, armies of the undead wage an endless war… A black knight roams the forest at the command of his undead father… Spies and political treacheries abound at the imperial Silver Court…. Murdered lovers find themselves locked in the realm of the living…
And one small village girl, Percy—an unwanted, ungainly middle daughter—is faced with the responsibility of granting her dying grandmother the desperate release she needs.
As a result, Percy joins the crowds of other young women of the land in a desperate quest to Death’s own mysterious holding in the deepest forests of the North…
And everyone is trying to stop her.
* * *
When I began writing this book, I already had several novels and numerous shorter works in print; was nominated for the Nebula Award twice and translated into eight languages.
Things were going great with Cobweb Bride. However, at around the halfway point, somewhere near 60,000 words, I had to stop writing the book.
You see, my life had suddenly become a Series of Unfortunate Events.
And I mean Unfortunate Events that would put Lemony Snicket to shame and give the Biblical Job a run for his shekels. Things like foreclosure and loss of home, bankruptcy, auto accident, business losses, death in the family, cancer, a cross-country move from the West Coast to the East, passing of several beloved companion animals, and my own recent major surgery while uninsured. All of this rained on my head like the plagues of Egypt. And all of it happened over the course of the last six years, just as the economy crashed.
Now, I’m no special snowflake. I continued working hard, as things fell apart around me. But it was impossible to work on the longer, more intricate projects such as this one, on spec (without getting paid upfront), and the bills were piling up.
And so, regretfully, I allowed Cobweb Bride to gather even more unintended cobwebs. I set it aside to do other publishing work, to write shorter books with faster or more reliable payouts, to write stories, essays, articles. I also published other people’s books through my own independent small press Norilana Books, and put my own work on the backburner.
But now, I am ready to resume the project of my heart—with your generous help.
Why No Video Intro?
Two very good reasons:
1) My antiquated computer equipment is falling apart.
2) I am still not quite up to it, after last month’s major surgery and complications.
Besides, do you really need to see yet another hapless writer speaking with a quivering voice and staring into a somewhat grainy laptop webcam, while attempting to hold up her books and your prize swag for show and tell, inadvertently dropping books on top of cats, bending down to pick books up but somehow lifting cats instead, dropping said cats on top of other books, bending down again to crawl under desk and chair, and as the whole thing comes crashing down, finding herself on the floor, tangled in wires and ignominy… Ahem! Squint your eyes, and there you have it, you’ve “seen” the video.
But—if you really must hear my voice, why not listen to it here, lifted in song?
With your help, Kickstarter will pay for every part of the book creation and production process, and the physical materials, goods, and services required for its completion.
It will pay for all the steps of book production, including:
- Copyediting / proofreading.
- Special formatting for various paper and e-book editions.
- Interior text layout and design.
- Cover art final design.
- Short run printing of Advance Reading Copies (ARCs).
- Packing and shipping of ARC review copies to the major trades.
- Lightning Source printer setup fees.
- Lightning Source annual catalog fee.
- Global distribution to the US, Canada, UK, Europe, and Australia.
- ISBNs for all three editions.
- Bowker Books-In-Print listing.
- US Library of Congress Copyright Registration.
- Promotional expenses such as paid ads.
- Any other incurred expenses.
It will also pay for the cost of goods and materials that comprise your gifts and prizes—the exclusive swag and merchandize—and its packaging and shipping to you (domestic and international), in gratitude for your support.
What You Get—the Swag and Hot Prizes
Below are just some of the reward items that will be offered to you at various levels of participation.
(Note: in case you simply want to make a pure donation, you can decline any and all rewards for every reward level of donation—don't worry, you are not stuck with gifts you don't want...)
- Mentions and heartfelt acknowledgements, on the Cobweb Bride website, and inside the book itself, in all its editions.
- Ebooks galore—in various formats—of all my other books, including:
- Lords of Rainbow
- Dreams of the Compass Rose
- Salt of the Air, with introduction by Gene Wolfe
- The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration
- The Clock King and the Queen of the Hourglass
- Mayhem at Grant-Williams High (YA)
- The Duke in His Castle
- After the Sundial
- Mansfield Park and Mummies
- Northanger Abbey and Angels and Dragons
- Pride and Platypus
- Rare, limited edition buttons.
- Rare, limited edition pencils, including one very special signed hand-made pencil.
- Autographed trade hardcover and trade paperback editions of Cobweb Bride when it comes out.
- Autographed trade paperback and hardcover editions of my various other books.
- Extremely rare, autographed, gold-seal embossed, first edition hardcovers of my other novels.
- Glossy fine printer cardstock limited edition collector greeting cards with the full color reproduction of my original oil painting “Pegasus,” signed on the back by me. Did I mention I am an award-winning artist?
- “The Midnight Fountain” — an original one-of-a-kind oil painting by me, on special 16" x 20" oval canvas. This one is a collector’s dream.
- Other very special items to be announced if we exceed our goal!
What Comes Next?
Should this Kickstarter reach my goal, I will proceed to write the book, aiming for a January 31, 2013 completion deadline.
Then comes the week cool-off period, followed by editing, proofreading, interior text layout, final art and cover design and layout, and other details of book production, including PDF file distillation, file upload, book setup at the printer, ISBN and standard registration with Bowker Books-in-Print, the Library of Congress Copyright Registration, dedicated website updates, and the short-run edition printing of Advance Reading Copies (ARCs) for major trades.
My goal is to have the book available for sale in trade hardcover, trade paperback, and multi-format ebook editions by July, 2013, from Norilana Books.
I want to point out an interesting tidbit—I am one of a very small number of individuals in this industry who can single-handedly perform every step of the book production process. As an experienced writer and editor, I can process text at a professional level. As an award-wining artist, I have created hundreds of professional book covers for Norilana Books and others, some of which have been reprinted in other sources and even used as TV show props by the BBC. As a high tech professional (my day job for the previous two decades), I handle all the computer and technical aspects of file manipulation, production, website work and even promotion and marketing.
And in the happy event that this Kickstarter exceeds the $5,000 goal, I am going to extend the original project goal to the writing of book two (tentative title, Cobweb Empire) and even—with your continued amazing help—book three of the trilogy (tentative title, Cobweb Forest). And, if it goes even better, then I might even upgrade my business software, get an ergonomic work chair, and maybe upgrade some of my PC equipment so that next time there will be a video (with cats).
But it all depends on YOUR incredible and unrelenting support!
And when it comes down to it (although every dollar helps) if you simply help out by spreading the word about this project, you will make a wonderful true difference!
With all my heart... thank you!
Q: Isn’t this the premise of Torchwood: Miracle Day?
A: Yes and no. I am pretty certain mine came first, before T:MD was aired, filmed, or even conceived. Also, mine is a historical-flavored fantasy, set in a world reminiscent of 17th century Europe, as opposed to contemporary science fiction. Finally, since ideas are not copyrighted, it’s the execution that matters. Besides, stories of and variations on “death taking a holiday” go way back. Cobweb Bride is simply my personal take on a classic trope.
Q: Are those cats really eating you alive?
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