Hello! And thanks for tuning in to the Soulwoven Kickstarter. There’s a lot to say, but I’ll start out with:
Litnig Jin has spent his life yearning for the power to weave the souls of the dead into magic. His brother Cole has spent his believing in nothing bigger than his own two hands.
When a dragon sinks its claws into their nightmares, their lives will change forever.
A dream of moving statues, shattered chains, and seething clouds of darkness sets the brothers on a journey into the unknown. A prince asks for their help. A necromancer hunts them. The bloom of first love gives Cole something to believe in.
As the brothers travel the world of Guedin seeking to prevent the hatred of a god from coming to life, Litnig discovers he has more power than he ever thought possible. But learning why may cost him his brother, his best friend, and everything he is.
So that’s what the back of the book will say, once there is one. But we’re on Kickstarter, and that means you get more than everybody else, including the following: Soulwoven is about 420 pages long, depending on how it’s typeset. It’s got 62 chapters, organized linearly and told in eight points of view, which it switches between as necessary to move things along. Think Game of Thrones if everybody stayed together and the chapters all happened in order (I know, right?).
Ready for more? Great. How about:
This isn’t my first time at the dance. I’ve been writing for ten years, writing professionally for two, and working in publishing for one and a half. I edit for the Harlequin imprint Carina Press (I handle mostly speculative fiction). As a trial run for Soulwoven, I put out a book of short stories called Three Dances this spring. You can find it on Amazon. I did everything myself, and it turned out better than I thought possible.
But Soulwoven is a bigger, tougher, more robust monster than Three Dances was, and I don’t want to go it alone if I don’t have to. So I’m looking to Kickstarter to help me fund:
The funding floor is set at $550, because that’s what I need to bring on Michael Valsted as copy editor. I’ve worked with Michael before on books for Carina, and he’s a fantastic editor who really knows his work and how to fix little problems and complement the voice of a book rather than trying to alter it. Copy editing Three Dances on my own was nightmarish. Trying to do it on a book of Soulwoven’s length wouldn’t be feasible. If we can get Michael, we’re off to the races and I can handle everything else myself.
There’s so much more that I want to do with the book. I’ve been in touch with the inimitable Abby Howard (who just finished Kicking the crap out of some Start of her own) to do some illustrations. If we hit $750, we’ll start off with a map, which will mean she’ll turn this:
which is what it looks like when I draw, into something more like this, which is what it looks like when SHE draws. Later stretch goals will include more illustrations from her.
And if we hit the big bucks, I’ll bring on Rose Fox, who for years ran an amazing blog for Publisher’s Weekly (and coordinates their reviews), to edit. Just reading Rose’s blog taught me more than I care to admit about what’s been done to death, what’s never been done, what shouldn’t be done, and what would be amazing to do. Editorially, Rose is a lot like who I would be if I had ten more years of experience, and it would be my great honor to have Rose's help on the book.
That’s it for the team, but since this is Kickstarter and we’re all about extras, I want to talk a little more about
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT
both to me and, hopefully, to the people who read it. Soulwoven is about identity, and loving and hating things about yourself. I wrote it that way because everyone feels that way at some point. When I was a kid, characters from Dragonlance and Final Fantasy taught me how to hate things about myself and still be a good person. I needed that, and I don’t think I could have gotten it anywhere other than fiction, where I could fill in the details around the characters and make them what I needed them to be.
Soulwoven is my contribution to that tradition. It’s got a young man with frustrated ambitions, who’s seen the girl he loves go on to do everything he ever wanted to and forget him. It’s got another young man who thinks he’s never cared about anything but realizes he can’t do that in the face of what’s happening to the people in his life. It’s got a young woman with no family to rely on who’s put all her faith in a religion and a god who both betray her at the same time. It’s got a prince who has to walk away from princehood in order to stay true to himself. It’s got an aging warrior who’s spent his whole life trying to atone for one mistake, to the detriment of everyone who loves him most. It’s got a girl who’s spent her whole life searching for a place to fit in, hiding a secret that she knows will make everyone hate her if they find it out. It’s got another young man with incredible abilities who’s spent his whole life searching for the best way to use them and never quite finding it. And it’s got an ancient being who lost everything he loved thousands of years ago and is living only on the strength of a promise that grows fainter every day.
Eight points of view, remember? I’m not screwing around.
And finally, because I can’t resist:
THE WATTPAD CONNECTION
About a year ago, I started posting chapters of Soulwoven on the story-sharing site Wattpad. They contacted me pretty quickly about featuring it, and I went into berserker-writing mode and finished it up in a couple of months. The full book has been on the site since November, and it’s notched over 300,000 reads since then.
It’s reaching people.
I want it to reach more people, and I want to make a little money at it so that I can dedicate my life to doing that and nothing else.
I hope you’ll help me.
$750 - The inimitable Abby Howard comes on board to do a map. Hopefully, it will have a kraken on it, or maybe a dragon or a tunnelworm instead. - WE HIT IT!
$2,400 - Rose Fox joins the team for developmental editing. Any lingering troubles with story and character and plot get scrubbed away under the power wash of Rose's editorial eye. - WE HIT IT!
$5k - The Rose Fox Connection gets upgraded for line editing. Language in the story gets polished to utter perfection.
$6k - The Abby Howard Connection gets upgraded. Interior illustrations become reality. Maybe she even agrees to do me up some cover art, if I’m very lucky (Please?).
$7k - Marketing! I’ll run a marketing and PR campaign for the book, making sure it gets reviews in Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly and gets advertised on Facebook and Goodreads and maybe Amazon, and generally gets as much attention as it can.
$10k - Heck, let’s fund TWO books! I’ll keep the team together for the second book in the Soulwoven story, Soulwoven: Exile.
$10k-$13,500 - Since it’s Kickstarter and we’re all about collaboration and backer extras, it’s short story time! In addition to Soulwoven and Soulwoven: Exile, I’ll put together a collection of short stories set in the Soulwoven universe. We’ll start with one from me, and for every $350 we raise on top of that, we’ll add another author until we’ve hit ten. All backers get the e-book free. Backers at $50 and over get the print book free as well. And it’ll be backer exclusive for at least the first year, and possibly forever.
$25k - Three books! Soulwoven: Redemption becomes a reality, riding on the power of crowdfunding alone.
$35k - So that’s it then...all four books of Soulwoven funded in one fell swoop. You guys are awesomesauce.
$60k - ???
$75k - ???
$100k - ???
Risks and challenges
The nice thing about a project like this is that I've done this all before, all on my own, with Three Dances. And if everything breaks down I can always revert to that model. There WILL be a book, come Hell or high water.
But there are still risks. While all the people on the creative team have said they want to be a part of the project, I haven't paid any of them yet (obviously---that's what this Kickstarter is for!), and any of them could still back out and leave me scrambling to find a replacement. Luckily, the world is full of great editors and artists, and my connections in publishing give me a good base to find them from. If someone backs out, I'll find someone else to fill their role. Life happens, and we'll roll with it.
On a more macabre note, I suppose that something bad could happen to me. But unless the bad thing is death, that'll just change the schedule. If I lose my eyes, I'll dictate it. If I lose my tongue, I'll type into one of those programs that reads it back to you aloud. If I lose my ears, I'll make it work through Braille.
If lose my brain, we're probably screwed. I promise to take good care of it though. It means a lot to me.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)