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Join an interactive experience where YOU get to shape Lara Kingsley’s journey in solving the mystery in the fiction novel Project Gecko
48 backers pledged $2,467 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$2,467

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Join me in the creation of Project Gecko, Book Two of the Lara Kingsley Series. Rather than simply ask you to help me publish a book, I’m inviting you to become part of the story and help me choose names, pick settings for story scenes, and decide what actions characters take and how they should evolve.

How Does the Crowdsourcing Concept Work?

You'll participate in crowdsourcing if you sign up for Reward #4 (Fan Club) or Reward #6 (Super Fan Club), becoming a member of my private Lara Kingsley Facebook Group (or my email list if you don’t use Facebook).

As I edit the first draft of Project Gecko, I’ll pose questions to the group (on names, settings, character actions, and storyline). 

Here’s an easy example from the book. In Project Gecko, a craft beer (the favorite of a male character) plays an important role in the story. I’m currently using a real world name (Blind Pig Ale), but I'd like to use an original name if possible. 

What would you name this craft beer?

The “crowd” or in this case, you and other members of my fan club, respond with creative suggestions. Then I’ll review the list, choose my favorites, and put 3-5 options back to the group for a final vote.

The idea with the highest votes will be used in the book. If you’re the one who came up with the idea, I will give you credit on a special “Credits Page” in my book. And so, you’ll become part of my fiction novel and my story as an author.

About Me

I might be new to publishing fiction as an Indie author, but I’m a longstanding defense expert (18+ years) on national security issues, weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and emerging technologies. I think about nasty stuff and future scenarios for a living.

Of course, I have the fancy degrees to prove it, including a Ph.D. in international relations with a specialization on nuclear weapons proliferation. I also have years of experience working for think tanks, the United Nations and the U.S. government. For the past nine years, I’ve been teaching senior military officers about these critical national security issues, thus making the world a safer place. Well, at least, I'd like to think so.

For years, I’ve been drawn to the profound impact of pop culture on national security topics and decided to make my own foray into the world of fiction. My mystery series, though works of fiction, reflect my expectations for our technological world ten years from today.

The Lara Kingsley Series

Meet Lara Kingsley. Private investigator. Military Officer in the National Guard special forces. And now, Amateur Detective. Her adventures have just begun...

Is this mystery series for you?

  • Do you enjoy an action-packed novel that has a satisfying and tidy ending
  • Are you a thriller reader looking for something lighter to enjoy on the beach or at a mountain cabin? 
  • Do you read classic mysteries and yearn for an extra kick of action or thrill, but don’t like modern crime fiction for its graphic violence and dark plot lines?
  • Do you like thinking about the future but prefer books grounded in reality to sci-fi novel set fifty years into the future? 

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, then this series is written for you.

The Lara Kingsley Series is a set of mystery novels that takes place in Washington, D.C. ten years from today and uniquely blends elements of mystery, techno-thriller, and speculative fiction. For more information about my genre choices, please read When Technothriller meets Cozy Mystery.

Each novel thrusts Lara, her brilliant side-kick, Vikram Abhay, and a vibrant cast of supporting characters into a new technological world to solve crimes involving drones, biotechnology, gene editing, robotics, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, cyberspace, and 3D printing.

Warning: This is not your grandmother’s mystery novel.

Bionic Bug (Book One)

Imagine you’re sitting in a crowded baseball stadium enjoying the game when hundreds of quadcopter drones fly into the park and swarm in formation. Are they friend or foe? Lara must decide in Bionic Bug...

In Bionic Bug, Amateur Detective Lara Kingsley must sacrifice everything to stop a rogue scientist from unleashing the ultimate biological weapon—a deadly swarm of bionic bugs.

When Lara starts up her business to install surveillance systems for wealthy clients, she never imagines having to solve any grisly murders. That is, until her best friend and fellow private investigator drops dead before her eyes.

Lara begins a harrowing search for her friend’s killer and uncovers far more than she bargains for. Racing to unravel the mystery, she finds herself becoming deeply entangled in a new technological world of drones, gene editing, and the Dark Web—the notorious underground of the Internet.

To solve the murder, she must enlist the help of the rogue scientist himself while trying to stop him from killing thousands of innocent people.

Click here if you want to download a ten-chapter sample of Bionic Bug first.

Project Gecko (Book Two)

Imagine you’re riding in a self-driving car, and someone else takes control via the wireless Internet connection with the intent to cause you harm. What would you do? Find out how Lara responds in Project Gecko...

In Project Gecko, Lara Kingsley must choose between her integrity as a PI and her patriotic devotion to her country. If she fails to make the right call, China will acquire vital defense technologies, putting U.S. national security in grave jeopardy.

When she is hired to install a high-end surveillance system for a Chinese tech startup called Spectral Industries, Lara has no idea she’s about to get caught up in in a deadly technology race between the U.S. and China. 

Her journey begins when a mysterious man scaling the glass windows outside the tenth-floor office where she’s working falls to his death below. Lara begins a desperate mission to prove to authorities that the man’s death was not a suicide.

Rewards

I’m offering a wide range of backer rewards for readers from Bionic Bug ebooks and signed limited edition hardcovers to unique opportunities to help shape the story in Project Gecko. There are also rewards ideal for authors who want to write about technology.

  • Reward #1 - Bionic Bug ebook
  • Reward #2 - Bionic Bug ebook and Project Gecko preview
  • Reward #3 - Bionic Bug technology webinar and ebook
  • Reward #4 - Bionic Bug ebook and Project Gecko preview + Crowdsourcing
  • Reward #5 - Bionic Bug signed limited edition hardcover
  • Reward #6Bionic Bug ebook, Project Gecko preview, Bionic Bug signed limited edition hardcover + Crowdsourcing
  • Reward #7 - 2x Bionic Bug signed limited edition hardcovers
  • Reward #8 - WMD 101 course, one-hour consultation, Bionic Bug technology webinar, 2x tip sheets
  • Reward #9 - Name a Character in Project Gecko

Stretch Goals

Reaching my stretch goals will unlock additional rewards for backers. If you share my campaign and help spread the word, we may able to exceed my initial fundraising goal of $1,000.

My first stretch goal of $3,000 will unlock the following rewards for all levels of backers:

  • Bionic Bug Story Bible - An attractive guide to the characters in Bionic Bug, including their backgrounds, characteristics, likes and dislikes and life goals.
  • Bionic Bug Authors Note - A behind-the-scenes overview of the technologies featured in Bionic Bug and online resources for more information.
  • Original Bionic Bug Artwork - A postcard with original artwork in the mail, thanking you for your support.

My second stretch goal of $6,000 will unlock rewards for all levels:

  • Bionic Bug On Location Videos - I will shoot video footage at several real Washington D.C. locations from Bionic Bug. I’ll talk about how these locations inspired me and why I chose them for a particular scene in the book.
  • Original Bionic Bug Artwork - You’ll receive another postcard with original artwork in the mail, thanking you for your support.
  • An advanced review copy of Project Gecko ebook (final version) for all backers at Reward #4 and above.

My third stretch goal of $10,000 will unlock:

  • An audiobook version of Bionic Bug for all backers at Reward #4 and above

Timeline and Budget

In 2017, I invested my own funds toward the creation and publishing of Bionic Bug (now available and ready to go), and I'm prepared to do the same for Project Gecko if necessary. Here’s a tentative timeline for delivering rewards:

  • March-April 2018 - Engage in crowdsourcing experience on Project Gecko in the Facebook Group or via email (your choice)
  • April 2018 - Deliver Bionic Bug ebooks and signed limited edition hardcovers to backers
  • May 2018 - Send Project Gecko to my developmental editor and hold Webinar on Bionic Bug Technologies for backers
  • May-June 2018  - Hold WMD 101 Course and expert consultations for backers
  • July 2018 - Send Project Gecko to line editor and a preview copy to backers
  • September 2018 - Expected publication date of Project Gecko for the general public

I’ve set my campaign goal to $1,000 (14% of my total budget) because the focus of this campaign is building a reader community around my series rather than funding the publication of my book. My real goal is to reach 1,000 super fans by the end of 2018, and I hope this campaign helps me achieve this objective.

In case you’re interested in what it costs to publish a book, here is an overview of my book budget:

The views expressed in this campaign are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the National Defense University, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government. 

Risks and challenges

My funding goal is $1,000, which is less than 14% of the total cost to publish Project Gecko. I expect to invest my own money to finish this project if we don’t meet our stretch goals. I don’t anticipate an issue with this since I’ve already successfully completed Bionic Bug. I’m doing this kickstarter to build a community around my series. I want to reach my goal of having 1,000 super fans by the end of 2018.

I’m writing, editing, and publishing Project Gecko in my free time. Any delays to completing the project as scheduled could be caused by illness or other unexpected life circumstances. However, barring any crisis, I expect to submit a draft to my story editor in May 2018 and a final draft to my line editor in July 2018.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $6 or more About $6

    #1 Newbie Fan

    You’re interested, but want to try the series first. You’ll get the Bionic Bug Ebook in the format of your choice (pdf, epub, mobi).

    Includes:
    • Bionic Bug Ebook (Available Immediately)
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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    #2 Eager Beaver

    You’re pretty excited about this series and want to read Bionic Bug right now, plus get a preview (DRAFT) of Project Gecko, long before the masses get their grubby hands on it.

    Includes:
    • Bionic Bug Ebook (Available Immediately)
    • Project Gecko (Draft/Preview Copy)
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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    #3 Techie Fan

    You want to go behind the scenes and learn more about the technologies featured in Bionic Bug. You’ll participate in a one hour Webinar where I'll discuss my background research on gene editing tools, drones, the Dark Web, and biological weapons. You'll get to ask questions during the Q&A session.

    Includes:
    • Bionic Bug Ebook (Available Immediately)
    • Webinar on Bionic Bug Technologies
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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    #4 Fan Club

    You want to be the first members of my fan club and help shape the story of Project Gecko (Book 2). You’ll join a private Facebook Group (or email list) and help choose character names, settings, character storylines, plot points, etc. You’ll have access to early drafts of scenes and have an opportunity to provide real-time feedback. As an extra bonus, I'll give you credit for any of your ideas I adopt for my book on a special “Credits Page”.

    Includes:
    • Bionic Bug Ebook (Available Immediately)
    • Lara Kingsley Facebook Group Membership
    • Project Gecko (Draft/Preview Copy)
    • Webinar on Bionic Bug Technologies
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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    #5 Book Lover

    You prefer reading print books and enjoy collecting then. You’ll receive a signed Limited Edition hardcover copy of Bionic Bug (no more than 300 copies printed). The inside cover will include original artwork and denote the specific copy number of your book. Numbers will be assigned based on your order number on a first-come, first-serve basis.

    Includes:
    • Bionic Bug (Signed Limited Edition Hardcover)
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 16 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    #6 Super Fan Club

    You want to be the first members of my fan club and help shape the story of Project Gecko (Book 2), but you also want a signed limited edition hardcover of Bionic Bug. You’ll join a private Facebook Group (or email list) and help choose character names, settings, character storylines, plot points, etc. You’ll have access to early drafts of scenes and have an opportunity to provide feedback. As an added bonus, I'll give you credit for any of your ideas I adopt for my book on a special “Credits Page”.

    Includes:
    • Bionic Bug Ebook (Available Immediately)
    • Lara Kingsley Facebook Group Membership
    • Project Gecko (Draft/Preview Copy)
    • Webinar on Bionic Bug Technologies
    • Bionic Bug (Signed Limited Edition Hardcover)
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    #7 Book Obsession

    You are either obsessed with books or are buying a second copy for someone else. You’ll receive 2x signed Limited Edition hardcover copies of Bionic Bug (no more than 300 copies printed). The inside cover will include original artwork and denote the copy number of your book on a first-come first-serve basis. Numbers will be assigned based on your order number.

    Includes:
    • Bionic Bug (Signed Limited Edition Hardcover)
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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 3 backers
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    #8 WMD Expert Consultation

    You’re interested in learning about the technologies related to weapons of mass destruction and want specific information related to your novel, TV series script, or screenplay. You’ll get access to the WMD 101 course and get a 60 minute consultation where you can ask me anything. Finally, I’ll provide you with a written tip sheet on two WMD-related topics of your choice. A tip sheet includes the most important information on a topic and will keep the law enforcement authorities from showing up on your doorstep after a series of suspicious queries (just kidding!)

    Includes:
    • WMD 101 Course
    • WMD Expert Consultation
    • Tip Sheet (on a topic of your choice)
    • Webinar on Bionic Bug Technologies
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    Limited 2 backers
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    #9 Name a Character

    You’ll get to name a character in Project Gecko after yourself, a relative, or a friend (with permission). I will assign the name to a character and decide if I use the first and/or last name. Get this gift for the person who already has everything! You’ll also have the honor of getting the first Limited Edition hardcover copy of Project Gecko (signed of course).

    Includes:
    • Bionic Bug Ebook (Available Immediately)
    • Bionic Bug (Signed Limited Edition Hardcover)
    • Project Gecko (Draft/Preview Copy)
    • Project Gecko (Signed Limited Edition Hardcover - First Copy)
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    Reward no longer available 1 backer
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Funding period

- (27 days)