David Bergantino's Afraid To Love -- A Novel (Canceled)
5 couples converge upon a remote, ramshackle B&B. It's clearly a fixer-upper -- and as they soon discover, so are their relationships.
In this gentle but sharp-edged story, five couples meet in a rundown bed-and-breakfast located in the Pacific Northwest. Each couple--and each individual--soon find their lodging's state of ill-repair reflects the states of their unions.
All the while, the middle-aged owner of the B&B tries to take the mounting drama in stride while finding himself playing diplomat, matchmaker, confidante and psychologist, among other roles besides that simply of proprietor. It's all distracting him from the novel he's meant to be working on.
As tension ratchets, passions once held at bay are unleashed. The B&B practically vibrates with emotional intensity. Hearts are broken. Feelings crushed. Lies are revealed and the betrayed demand vengeance. In the end, each traveller is forced to face his or her ultimate fear: true love. The struggle leaves each emotionally battered, but triumphant. And in some cases, with a new partner.
Fall in love in my novel!
The key reward for backing this novel is not only to name a featured character but also to provide the catalyst for how that character will fall in love.
If the Kickstarter succeeds, I will take all the backers' suggestions and "improv" the story based on what I'm provided. While I have a basic framework for the novel, I can't write it--and don't know quite how it ends or what exactly will happen--until this Kickstarter ends.
For me, it'll make writing the book a lot more enjoyable, and when you enjoy doing something, it shows in the quality of the work.
For you, you're not getting a pre-packaged novel I've had sitting in a folder on my computer. It'll be something brand new. And most importantly, this book can't be written without your input and without Kickstarter.
Just remember that I'm going to try to surprise you with how I use your suggestions. If I didn't, then you wouldn't have as much to look forward to. Also, you are only suggesting elements related to YOUR character and I will need to make love connections with other characters in the story. For example, one person might suggest "puppies" and another might suggest "spaceship" and I'll have to create a romantic narrative for these characters people using that pair of more or less random ideas.
See how it works? I can't wait to see what people come up with.
Who is this guy, anyway?
Before this, I have written primarily horror novels. Among my eleven published novels are several based on The Nightmare on Elm Street feature film series, a pair for a children's series called Bone Chillers, and a series of my own creation, Bards Blood, teen horror sequels to Shakespeare plays.
The reason I've turned to a romance novel is that I thought I'd try something different. Although it's not so different if you think about what we're really scared of, in our real world. It's not the Freddies and Jasons of film. The thing that makes our blood truly run cold is Love. The fear of losing it. Of never having it. Of messing it up if you manage to find it.
So you can tell I’m not here to create just any ole bodice-ripper. Hopefully, between the input of backers and my own perspective, I can come up with a type of novel that challenges the convention of romance novels, without challenging the reader with an unnecessary reinvention of the wheel.
Be My Guest
Oh, and if you haven't picked up on it yet, I will be playing the role of the "middle-aged proprietor" of the B&B. Those familiar with Wes Craven's New Nightmare know that I had a key role in that novel--as the author. Reality and fiction blurred, in the spirit of the movie, and people even called my parents' house after reading the book, expressing sympathy that I'd been killed by Freddy Krueger. Really. Life since then has seemed a surreal blur of fantasy and reality. In any case, I thought I'd use the convention again, in a less, um, tragic context.
And so, I look forward to hosting you in my novel!
Once Afraid to Love is written, physical paperback versions of the book will be created via Amazon Direct Publishing. Backers receiving a digital version of the book will have a choice between Kindle Direct Publishing, iBook Author and PDF versions.
Detailed Rules for Submissions
Hi there. This novel will rely about your willingness to submit personal information out of which I will create this story. Given that, I wanted to lay some ground rules so that everyone's clear on expectations and outcomes.
It's highly preferred that when you provide a name, that it is your own. That's meant to be part of the fun, seeing your own name in print. A pseudonym is acceptable as long as it is a "real-sounding" name. And no names like Seymour Butz, please. If for some reason I feel a name is provided in the wrong spirit or is otherwise unusable, I will make every attempt to work with you to create a name that will satisfy us both.
It's important to make these as simple as possible, such as "cup" or "iguana". Single words are ideal, but in some cases, two or three word phrases are unavoidable, such as "Eiffel Tower" or "St. Louis Arch". Too much specificity or artificial descriptors should be avoided, such as "green crystal teacup" or "deserted country road". Please note that this is NOT 50 Shades of Grey so please avoid overtly sexual or obscene keywords. No sex toys. No violence. Don't be gross or scatalogical. Again, should there be any issues with a submitted keyword, I will endeavor to work with you on an acceptable alternative.
Additional Character Descriptors
For those becoming characters, I will ask for five additional descriptors. Similar to the key words, these should be single words if possible. They can include physical descriptions like "redhead" or "heavyset", gender preferences (gay, bi or straight), personality traits (i.e. headstrong, robotic), or less literal associations like "plaid", "coffee", or "hummingbird". Once you've backed the project, I will send a very simple form on which you can provide the requested information. Again, we will work together to resolve any issues with the information you've provided.
For those in the tier that will see their likenesses incorporated into the book cover art, I will ask you to provide a clear, color photograph. While something similar to a yearbook photo is ideal, other types of pictures are acceptable as long as your face shows clearly in it. I will also ask for a copy of a driver's license or other ID to prove the photograph you are providing is actually of you and I will send a release for you to sign to confirm all this and give me permission to use your likeness for this purpose. This is a formality but important given our digital world and the importance of our personal information.
Risks and challenges
There are few serious risks in this project. Even though I don’t start writing the book until the project is funded, as I’ve mentioned, I already have a basic structure into which to fit the rest of the material. And having already written eleven novels, there’s no danger of me not actually writing it. Ask my previous editors, I’m very reliable.
The biggest challenges are for me to write in a different genre than usual. However, I’ve been pretty versatile—I have a long history of working with the top kids and family brands, in comedy and new formats like video games in sci-fi and crime drama as well. I’m a genre sponge and expect this to be, while a fresh challenge, not a stumper.
You should know that as is my process, I am NOT gorging on romance novels. My sponginess works overtime when I’m writing and I’m too easily influenced by others’ writing. And so, you will be getting a pure, personal interpretation of the romance genre. So hopefully, you’ll both recognize it for what it means to be, but find something new and exciting in the presentation.
The final challenge may simply be schedule. The timing of the end of this Kickstarter and the beginning of work starts to encroach upon the year end holiday season. So, I’m padding the schedule by a few weeks to accommodate holiday distractions. The result will be Baby New Year crawling in with a brand spanking new romance novel tucked into his diaper!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)