Funded! This project was successfully funded on August 5, 2012.

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A zombie school adventure. The first in a series of novels where you choose your own story.

Just a few hours left!  I'm excited to see this series come to life.  Tell your zombie friends before they miss out.

...actually, don't tell your zombie friends, but tell your friends who like zombies.

UPDATE #4 - I'm including a sample color sketch for the $200 level.  This will fill a full page in the novel.  Sketches at the $75 level will be half page and black and white.

Here is the zombie principal!  You can see a before and after shot here.

Thanks to everyone who helped us reach our first goal!  I am really hoping to make the first stretch goal for this novel to be everything I want it to be.  Stay tuned for a sample zombie sketch of one of the backers.

UPDATE #3 - Increased rewards at $200+ levels. 

UPDATE #2 - I've included a graph of rewards for your convenience.

UPDATE #1 - Thank you for your pledges so far!  I am including a bid element to have a zombie likeness of yourself on the COVER of the novel, in the event that no one purchases this reward ($1000).  If you are interested, send me a message, or write a comment on the project page.  If the highest bid is tempting enough, I will add a single pledge level at that amount.  Feel free to start low!

Perilous Paths is a series of interactive eBooks, where the reader decides what happens in the story.  In a Perilous Paths eBook, the reader is far from safe, and unlikely to obtain a happy ending the first read through.  The series is intended to be family friendly, very much similar to the writing in the rewards section, and the artwork here on the page.  The writing will contain horrific themes and elements, but will not be explicit in content or overly graphic in description.

Our first, modest goal is to complete a single novel, Zombies Ate My Teacher--a zombie adventure that takes place in a school, and you--the reader--are a student.  When students begin turning into zombies, you must decide whether to head for the hills, barricade yourself in a classroom, or possibly uncover the cause of the plague.  Will you pair up with friends or do it alone?  Will you wear your lucky blue shirt or your new blood red shirt?  Everything is certain to effect your chance of survival. 

If we hit our base goal only, this project will produce a completed manuscript with approximately 120 pages, with cover art and links for the reader's convenience, whenever a choice is to be made.  Ideally, I would love to hit the first stretch goal, which will allow us to include several illustrations within the novel itself to enhance the mood.  If your pledge includes an illustration, this will be included regardless of the stretch goals we reach.

If we reach subsequent stretch goals, this project will produce additional novels.  Here is a list of those I plan on writing.  Feel free to suggest other ideas.  Ultimately, the backers of this project will vote for the order that these novels will be produced.

Themes: Pirates, Ninjas, Ghosts, Aliens

For your convenience, here is a list of all items contained in the PREMIUM PACKAGE, for pledges of $48 or more.

PREMIUM PACKAGE: You receive a copy of the interactive eBook, Zombies ate my Teacher and the next TWO novels in the Perilous Paths series. If we reach our third stretch goal, the second novel will be available by December. Your name appears on the Credit pages of the novel. You receive one vote to determine the next novel in the series. You are eligible to receive the EPIC rewards, if we reach our EPIC goal. Your name will appear etched on a tombstone in a special "Graveyard" tribute page at the end of the novel. In addition, you may include a short (max. 10 words) epitaph to be inscribed on your tombstone, beneath your name.

Links

You can check out my first novel at here.  It offers a writing sample, if you are interested, as well as an example of my commitment to finish large, complicated projects.

I would like to thank the illustrator, Cameron Kendell for capturing the mood of the novel so well.  You can find his blog here, or in the links below.  If you like what you see, Cameron is available for commission work.

I would also like to thank Mike Evans for helping me with my questions about Kickstarter.  You can find his project here, or in the links below.  His project is still live, as of this writing.  He is an excellent sculptor, and currently producing a line of Dwarven miniatures.  Check out his project, if you would like to benefit from its success.

Below are my stretch goals for the project.  The first includes improvements on the first novel.  All subsequent goals are designed to produce additional novels in the series.

This is my real goal.  If we do not reach it, the novel will still be complete, but I will simply not be able to include the number of illustrations that I would like.  At this goal level, the novel will include no less than eight illustrations.

If we reach this goal, the second novel in the series will be finished much sooner.  The setting will be voted on by everyone who has pledged at least $21.  The novel will be complete with illustrations and available by December.

If we reach this goal, the third novel in the series will be finished much sooner.  The setting will be voted on by everyone who has pledged at least $21.  You do not need to vote for one of the above options--if you have a good idea you would like to see, I will consider adding it to the list.  The novel will be complete with illustrations and available by April 2013.

A fourth novel will be added to the series.  The setting will be voted on by everyone who has pledged at least $21.  The novel will be complete with illustrations and available by August 2013.

A fifth novel will be added to the series.  The setting will be voted on by everyone who has pledged at least $21.  The novel will be complete with illustrations and available by December 2013.

EPIC GOALS are designed to give incentive for backers to share this project with friends (through Facebook and other websites).  Each time we reach an EPIC GOAL, everyone eligible receives something new.

If we reach our first EPIC GOAL, everyone who has pledged $14 or more will receive an additional novel in the Perilous Paths series, with two novels guaranteed by December 2012.

If we reach our second EPIC GOAL, everyone who has pledged $25 or more will receive EVERY novel in the series, with three guaranteed by December 2012.

In addition, EVERYONE, even if you have only pledged a dollar, will receive a copy of the published eBook "Ashen - Stone of Aether," as my thanks for your support.  The novel is an epic fantasy with a zombie apocalypse thrown in for good measure.

If we reach our third EPIC GOAL, EVERYONE will receive EVERY novel in the series, even if you have only pledged a dollar, with three guaranteed by December 2012.

In addition, everyone who has pledged $25 or more, will receive a more serious interactive novel series, featuring more horrific settings, zombies, and themes.  This series will supply two correct paths (meaning you don't die), each of which leads to a second novel continuing the apocalypse.  This series will not be as family friendly.  You will receive the series (a set of three novels, initially) by December 2013.

Reward Chart
Reward Chart

FAQ

  • The artist has warned me that he does his original sketches on cardboard. I made the business decision that his art was worth it. It was a good decision. You, as a backer, need to know that if you pay for a color illustration, the original will come on cardboard.

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  • For my backers, I will bend over backwards to get you the format you want. I simply cannot make physical copies, because the book relies on links for simplicity.

    After I have served my backers, I intend to publish on Amazon, at which point the novel will cost $8.99 and be available on Kindle and Kindle apps (essentially, you can read it on any device). I have intentionally priced the rewards to give a discount to backers who would like a copy of the novel.

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  • Pledge $1 or more
    You selected

    3 backers

    DAY 1: You receive my sincere thanks. * * * * However, you decide to split up from your friends and fail to survive a single day. You turn early and manage to infect hundreds before you are put down.

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  • Pledge $7 or more
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    23 backers

    DAY 7: You receive a copy of the interactive eBook, Zombies Ate My Teacher. * * * * You aren't in the least bit prepared for a zombie apocalypse. You hide in your parent's basement for six days. On the seventh, you head upstairs for a bowl of Fruit Puffs, and they catch you in the pantry. Fortunately, you are entirely eaten and are unable to harm other innocents.

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  • Pledge $14 or more
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    5 backers

    DAY 14: You receive a copy of the interactive eBook, Zombies ate my Teacher, and your name appears on the Credit pages of the novel. You are eligible to receive the EPIC rewards, if we reach our first EPIC goal. * * * * You've hoarded over a thousand cans of Pork and Beans in your cellar, along with a 72-hour kit with basic supplies. You were prepared for an apocalypse. You just weren't prepared for zombies, and when they surround your small house, it is only a matter of time before one finds an opening. Good run though.

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  • Pledge $21 or more
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    1 backer

    DAY 21: You receive a copy of the interactive eBook, Zombies ate my Teacher, and your name appears on the Credit pages of the novel. In addition you receive one vote to determine the next novel in the series. You are eligible to receive the EPIC rewards, if we reach our first EPIC goal. * * * * Vote for something less violent--the three weeks you survive are absolutely miserable. The only redeeming element being your noble sacrifice in the end. You save a small girl from two of the lumbering dead. Turns out she was already a zombie though. Still noble...

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  • Pledge $25 or more
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    13 backers

    DAY 25: You receive a copy of the interactive eBook, Zombies ate my Teacher and the next TWO novels in the Perilous Paths series. If we reach our third stretch goal, the second novel will be available by December. Your name appears on the Credit pages of the novel. You receive one vote to determine the next novel in the series. You are eligible to receive the EPIC rewards, if we reach our EPIC goal. * * * * You are not incompetent. Your fatal mistake is having incompetent friends. Unwilling to leave anyone to die, you form a small, indecisive group. In time, you become the leader, but it is simply too hard to take care of everyone and maintain a covert presence in the area. The group dwindles, despite your best efforts, until only two of you remain. Eventually your companion gets bitten. Had he told you this fact, you might have survived. As it is, you fall to sleep a little too close to him when he finally turns.

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  • Pledge $38 or more
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    3 backers

    DAY 38: You receive a copy of the interactive eBook, Zombies ate my Teacher and the next TWO novels in the Perilous Paths series. If we reach our third stretch goal, the second novel will be available by December. Your name appears on the Credit pages of the novel. You receive one vote to determine the next novel in the series. You are eligible to receive the EPIC rewards, if we reach our EPIC goal. In addition, your name will appear etched on a tombstone on a special "Graveyard" tribute page at the end of the novel. * * * * You clear out a house on the first corner you come to and begin boarding windows and doors. It's a nice setup, but after about a month, the number of zombies seems to only be increasing, as the undead congregate near food. You decide to get out while you can, and slip out in the middle of the night, when you will be unseen. Rather than plan an escape route, you simply take the path of least resistance, until you find yourself in a cemetery, of all places. Your presence seems to disturb the recently buried. You run, but in the darkness you lose your way and run into the perimeter fence. By then you are surrounded. You had depended on your greater speed, but it doesn't help now that you are cornered. You start to climb the fence, but a strong arm pulls you back down, and in a matter of seconds, you disappear beneath a seething horde of rotting flesh.

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  • Pledge $48 or more
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    3 backers

    DAY 48: PREMIUM PACKAGE - You receive a copy of the interactive eBook, Zombies ate my Teacher and the next TWO novels in the Perilous Paths series. If we reach our third stretch goal, the second novel will be available by December. Your name appears on the Credit pages of the novel. You receive one vote to determine the next novel in the series. You are eligible to receive the EPIC rewards, if we reach our EPIC goal. Your name will appear etched on a tombstone on a special "Graveyard" tribute page at the end of the novel. In addition, you may include a short (max. 10 words) epitaph to be inscribed on your tombstone, beneath your name. Makes for an excellent gift. * * * * You easily make it 48 days by finding, and securing, a secluded cottage in the woods. You survive by catching small game in snares. Ultimately, though, the woods run thin with anything truly living, and the longer you [WAIT] the less food will be available elsewhere. You have a choice to make. Return to the [CITY] to forage, or climb deeper into the hills, looking for another [COTTAGE]. Before you leave, you write a few words of goodbye to your loved ones, in a short letter, and leave it on the mantle.

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  • Pledge $62 or more
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    1 backer Limited (49 left of 50)

    DAY 75: Your name OR a sketch in your likeness will appear in a later novel (your choice if you are one of the first 25 to pledge). You may be a ghost, a pirate, or an alien in disguise. The more stretch goals we reach, the sooner this will happen. The sooner you donate, the sooner you will be in a novel--first come, first served. You also receive everything offered in the PREMIUM PACKAGE ($48 donation level). * * * * [WAIT] Patience is a virtue. Leaving the cottage would be reckless, and likely just lead to a more horrific death. You would rather quietly starve than be eaten alive. And so you wait it out.

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  • Pledge $62 or more
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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    DAY 75: A sketch in your likeness will be included in the novel. Warning: You will likely be a hideous zombie. This makes for an excellent gift. You also receive everything offered in the PREMIUM PACKAGE ($48 donation level). * * * * [CITY] You head toward the city. It is a long, quiet walk. You thought you had gotten used to silence, but out here in the open, it is nearly more than you can take. The city is swarming with the living-dead. But you have no choice. You must attempt to pass them in your search for food, or die of starvation. You would rather die fighting. When you are bitten, you laugh. You have saved one bullet for just such an occasion, but now that you are facing the decision, it doesn't seem worth it. If you're being honest, you've always thought you'd make an awesome zombie. Might as well let nature run its course and join the new dominant species.

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  • Pledge $75 or more
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    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    DAY 75: Your name will be included as a character in the novel. If you wish, you may include a brief description of yourself. Warning: You will likely die. (You may include the name and description of your choice, so long as it does not distract from the novel.) Makes for an excellent gift. You also receive everything offered in the PREMIUM PACKAGE ($48 donation level). * * * * [COTTAGE] You make your way deeper into the woods, hoping you may find another home to search for food. On the way, you notice a small, grey squirrel caught in one of your traps. Figuring you might as well take the meal with you, you stoop to cut the corpse free. It stirs suddenly and violently. You are quick on your feet, but its teeth graze your ankle. You stumble away, in a bit of a daze, and soon you feel a heat in your belly, and you sweat, despite the cold weather. Of all the luck. You draw your hunting knife and drop to your knees beneath a tall aspen. As your mind begins to fade, you carve your name into the white bark of the tree. It's not much. It will probably grow unobserved into the sky, but it just felt right to leave something lasting behind.

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  • Pledge $120 or more
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    1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)

    DAY 120: Your name, a brief description, AND a sketch in your undead likeness will grace the novel. You also receive everything offered in the PREMIUM PACKAGE ($48 donation level). * * * * Your goal was to make it a week. Honestly, you just like to win. You underestimated your abilities. As the months go by, you are careful and deliberate in all of your actions. Whether it is your choice in weapons, shelter, or company, you are constantly calculating your best odds, and calculating well. Your simple and fatal mistake? You never thought about where the infection came from initially or you might have been more careful in filtering your water supply. You die alone, in a stranger's attic, where you are unlikely to do any harm.

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  • Pledge $200 or more
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    0 backers Limited (6 left of 6)

    DAY 200: You receive your likeness as a zombie, as a full-page, color layout, included in the novel with the original signed and delivered to your home. The artist is a little eccentric, and it's very likely your sketch will be on cardboard. Have your name included in the dedication page of the novel, expressing my sincere thanks for your contribution. In addition, you will receive everything offered in the PREMIUM PACKAGE ($48 donation level). * * * * Your friends had always joked about their zombie plans, and now, you have to laugh--it actually pays off to have done some thinking. You are by no means happy with this new development, but you are likely to fare better than most. This thought does not please you, and in the end, it is your good nature that gets you killed. You are not content to hide away, but attempt to eliminate as many zombies as possible before you go out. To your credit, you never give up, despite the overwhelming numbers and the hopelessness of it all. When you go down, you go down in a blaze of glory.

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    DAY 500: You receive a personalized short story (approximately 30 pages), as an interactive eBook, complete with a minimum of three sketches. The originals will be signed by the illustrator and delivered to your home. He is a little eccentric, and it's very likely your sketch will be on cardboard. Makes for an excellent gift. The novel will be dedicated to you. You also receive everything offered in the PREMIUM PACKAGE ($48 donation level). * * * * You are in your element. You have an extensive zombie plan, with supplies, guns, ammo, maps, and even a katana you purchased online. You survive for over a year, distilling tainted rainwater, and foraging for supplies at night, because you like the thrill. You have conceived every possibility and prepared for all of them. Except for one. When the virus goes airborne there is simply nothing you could do. Honestly, you had just figured you were immune.

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    DAY 1000: Your zombified likeness will be featured on the COVER of the novel. Makes an excellent gift. The novel will be dedicated to you. You also receive everything offered in the PREMIUM PACKAGE ($48 donation level).* * * * In time, you come to realize you are immune to the virus. You have been bitten several times, and always seem to heal well enough. Honestly, after surviving for nearly three years, the zombies have gotten a lot slower and a lot dumber. You don't need to filter your water. You can eat cooked zombie meat without much of a stomach ache, and, to be fair, things are really not much worse than before this whole debacle. Life is good.

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  • Pledge $2,000 or more
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    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    DAY 2000: You receive a personalized NOVELLA (approximately 100 pages), as an interactive eBook, complete with a minimum of six sketches. The originals will be signed by the illustrator and delivered to your home. He is a little eccentric, and it's very likely your sketch will be on cardboard. Makes for an excellent gift. The novel will be dedicated to you. You also receive everything offered in the PREMIUM PACKAGE ($48 donation level). * * * * Puny mortals. You enjoy watching your evil plot unfold. Soon the world will be full of nothing but your mindless slaves. And then... on to new worlds, perhaps?

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Funding period

- (30 days)