VOODOO QUEEN: a novel of Marie Laveau project video thumbnail
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$728 pledged of $4,500 goal
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By Teralyn Rose Pilgrim
$728 pledged of $4,500 goal
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About this project

What the book is about

VOODOO QUEEN, a novel of the famous voodoo priestess Marie Laveau, is an epic trilogy of magic, secrets, love, death, and spiritual power. Think of it as a mix between Margaret Mitchell’s GONE WITH THE WIND and Toni Morrison’s BELOVED.

Marie lives in a world where the heads of rebellious slaves are stuck on spikes, colored women live as concubines to white men, and improper medical treatment kills people by the hundreds. There’s so much Marie wants to change, but she’s just a poor colored girl abandoned by her parents – a nobody.

Then she discovers voodoo. The mystical energy she taps into makes her more powerful than she ever imagined. Soon her potent gifts make her the most feared and respected woman in the city.  

Marie's strength is tested repeatedly by personal tragedy, but with the help of the spirits, her ancestors, and her unstable family, Marie empowers and heals New Orleans.

Click here for writing samples: Prologue and Chapter 4.

What the money is for  

Historical novels require a lot of expensive research. Your donation will pay for trips to New Orleans so I can do interviews, attend ceremonies, visit museums, go on tours, and view archives. It'll also pay for a babysitter while I'm out researching, and it will buy the dozens of research books I need.

The Rewards  

Besides a copy of the book, here are pictures of some of the rewards you can get for backing my project.

A pendant with a common voodoo symbol  - a "veve" - representing Papa Legba, the guardian of the crossroads.
A pendant with a common voodoo symbol - a "veve" - representing Papa Legba, the guardian of the crossroads.
An authentic New Orleans-style voodoo doll made of Spanish moss. This one represents Marie Laveau.
An authentic New Orleans-style voodoo doll made of Spanish moss. This one represents Marie Laveau.
You can get the book cover on any size t-shirt, an 8 oz mug, a 14"x14" tote bag, or an 18"x24" poster
You can get the book cover on any size t-shirt, an 8 oz mug, a 14"x14" tote bag, or an 18"x24" poster

When will the novel be in bookstores?

Writing a novel takes a long time. Once a novel is finished, the writer has to find an agent to represent it and an editor to publish it, and then it takes an additional year before the book is available to buy. I will send email updates to all my backers, so when it's published, you'll be the first to know.

My progress on the book thus far

So far I've written 60,000 words, which is about half of the book. I've read ten research books, I've interviewed a historian and a priestess, and I've been to New Orleans twice (though I could only afford day trips). I've made good progress, but it's hard to get much further without a longer trip to New Orleans and at least twice as many books.

Risks and challenges

I want to publish this novel traditionally, which is always difficult. I've already had two well-known agents ask to see the novel even though it's unfinished, which is remarkable for an unpublished author like me, so I'm pretty confident it will be successful. If I can't find an agent or editor I will self publish, so everyone who orders it through Kickstarter will still receive copies of the book.

No matter which route I take, it will be a long time before the book is available. Thank you for your patience!

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Everyone who helps out will get updates on the novel's progress and their name listed in a thank you on my blog. When the novel gets published, you will be the first to know.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Everyone who donates $10 or more will get a postcard of the novel's cover with a personally written thank you and my signature.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    A pendant with a veve (a beautiful design used in voodoo ceremonies).

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    The cover of the novel on your choice of either a t-shirt, mug, poster, or tote bag.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    An authentic Marie Laveau voodoo doll.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    A signed copy of the novel.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    A short story, chapter, or query letter critique. I've critiqued numerous novels, including two in the process of getting published.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    A signed copy of the novel, a veve pendant, the cover of the novel on your choice of either a t-shirt, mug, poster, or tote bag, and an authentic Marie Laveau voodoo doll.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    An hour on the phone or over Skype discussing the novel and my experiences in New Orleans and with voodoo.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    All of the rewards above: a postcard, a signed copy of the novel, a veve pendant, either a t-shirt, mug, tote bag, or poster, an authentic Marie Laveau voodoo doll, a critique, and an interview, PLUS a thank you in the novel's acknowledgments.

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

    All the gifts above, plus a tour through New Orleans by yours truly. Travel expenses not included.

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Funding period

- (30 days)