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$45.00 pledged of $1,000 goal
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By Lauryn April
$45.00 pledged of $1,000 goal
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About this project

About Me:

I’ve been writing my entire life. In college I worked for my school newspaper and had some poetry published in my school literary magazine. In my own time I was constantly writing short stories. In 2012 I finished my first full length novel and after looking over all publishing options, decided to self-publish it. Now, three books later I’m happy with my decision to become a self-published author, but I’m also ready to take things to the next level. I’ve learned a lot from writing and publishing three books, I’ve made some money, and I’ve made some mistakes, and now, with a fourth book on the way I’m looking for the funds to reach a new level of professionalism.

About the Book:

Unearthed after Sunset is a book I started with the idea of writing a vampire story that was a little different from the novels that more recently have been flooding the market. You won’t find any sparkling vampires, or damsels in distress here; but there is plenty of action and a little bit of romance as well. This is the first book in The Cereus Vampire Chronicles which will consist of three to four full length novels, and possibly a series of short spin offs.

Summary: When Greg Erickson is killed by sultry and seductive vampire Lila, he wakes up cold and alone in a wooden box. After clawing his way out he finds himself thrust into a vampire turf war, unsure of exactly what he’s fighting for. Greg discovers that it’s not easy to be human one day and hunting humans the next, and while his new vampire cohorts try to get him to accept his newfound existence there’s one girl from his human life he’s unable to forget.

Caroline Christensen lived a normal life once. Then her brother was killed by vampires and her family legacy as a vampire hunter was handed down to her. When she meets Greg out at the bar one night they both feel a connection. Then Greg discovers Caroline’s secret and she worries he’ll never talk to her again, but soon she finds out that he has a very different reason for not calling – he’s dead.

Now Greg has become the thing Caroline is supposed to hunt, but can she bring herself to kill him? Greg, however, isn’t Caroline’s only concern. There’s something going on with the vampires. They’re fighting over something and she’s determined to find out what it is.

Excerpt:

I dreamed of her as the cold set in, remembering her sitting at the edge of that short brick wall. Beside her a spindly cactus with white flowers grew; the sweetness of their perfume drifting in the arid wind.

In truth, the cold had set in much earlier, but that was when I became aware of it. My vision of her vanished, and I was left with thick, icy blackness.

I tried to open my eyes, but couldn’t. The haze of my slumber lifted, and I became aware of the discomfort, pulsing from every part of my body. My muscles felt stiff, my throat dry, my eyes itched. I lifted my hands to rub them and realized my problems were larger than some achy feelings. My hand knocked into something above my head. I felt around. I lay in a small space, a box, with little room on either side, and the walls were covered in a silky fabric.

My hands balled into fists and pounded against the walls. I tried to yell, to call for help, but my screams remained muffled behind my lips. I couldn’t open my mouth. I kicked the box and felt it vibrate. Slithering and twisting, I reached for my eyes and clawed at them until I pulled free two pieces of plastic, like scored contact lenses.

Everything looked fuzzy at first, but slowly it came into focus. The only light in the box came from my wrist watch, a gift from Sarah I rarely wore, giving the faintest green glow. Yet, as if it were clear as day, I could tell my deepest fears were true. Satin lined walls surrounded me. I wore my only good suit and the tie my great aunt Mara bought me for Christmas. It was black, silk, boring but expensive.

My hands traced the inside of the coffin, searching for weaknesses, clawing into the silky fabric and ripping at the seams. I yelled through sealed lips, still unable to open my mouth, then I set my fingers after my jaw and began to pry it open.

I didn’t think about how I got in a coffin. I didn’t ponder what kind of sick fuck tortures a person by not only burying them alive but also sealing their eyes and mouth shut. The only thing I could think about was I needed to escape before I ran out of air.

I yanked at my jaw until I felt something snap. Pain shot from beneath my ears to the tip of my chin, but I also felt relief. I stretched like I was yawning and tasted something bitter.

“Help.” It hurt to speak. My voice was scratchy and soft.

A strange mix of every nightmare and horror movie I’d ever seen played through my mind as my fists pounded on the casket lid. Ghoulish zombies and dancing skeletons entangled with the very real fear of suffocating to death. I prayed I had enough adrenaline in me to fuel an escape.

I felt the wood crack. The sound surprised me as I’d never been particularly strong, but it also gave me the drive to beat harder against the casket lid. The satin tore. Dirt and splinters rained down on my face. This was it, get out fast or suffocate on the way up. I tore into the wood, into the dirt. I dug and pulled and watched as the world went dark again. I squeezed my eyes shut. I felt nothing but the black earth. I kicked and squirmed and pulled myself through the soil. I scraped and clawed, used every muscle, every ounce of strength I had. I was deep down and for a moment I thought I wouldn’t make it out. That was when my hand broke free and I felt the hot, dry air and brittle, browning grass beneath my fingertips.

My arms pulled me out of the hole I’d dug and I fell into the dehydrated grass. The blades crunched as I landed on them and dragged myself forward to free my legs. Splinters from my own casket were painfully wedged beneath my fingertips. I gasped, breathing deep even though I didn’t feel out of breath. I pushed myself onto my knees and shook my hair, freeing it of dirt. I looked around the graveyard and for the first time tried to remember how I got there. It was dark. Rows of graves surrounded me and a number of large oak trees broke up the horizon.

Life felt surreal, unbelievable, distant. I was still trying to wrap my head around the idea that I’d just clawed my way out of my own grave, when I heard a laugh.

Costs:

The funds will go to…

Hiring a Professional Editor – I am a firm believe that editing is one thing no author can do themselves. I have a wonderful editor I’ve worked with on previous projects. She does excellent work and plan to work with her again on this project.

Buying an ISBN number from Bowker – For my first two novels I used the free ISBN numbers offered by Createspace, but found this limited my ability to get my book into places like bookstores. With this book I really want to buy an official Bowker ISBN.

Registering a DBA – I would like to publish this book Doing Business As my own publishing company. Instead of having my name as the publisher. With a DBA I can create a company name to publish my books under, giving them a more professional appearance.

Marketing -- With my previous books I mostly marketed via word of mouth. I’d like the ability to buy a few ads, or possibly purchase a Kirkus review.

Buying all the Kickstarter Prizes – All the lovely gifts backers will receive, like books, postcards, stickers and bookmarks, will cost me money.

If I raise extra money…

5% of any extra profit will be reinvested into other Kickstarter Projects. (kickingitforward.org)

Set Money Aside for Book #2 -- Unearthed after Sunset will be the first in a series of three or four books, with the possibility of additional companion stories. The first draft of book #2, Unraveling in the Night, is complete, and I will need money to edit and market that story as well.

Cover Art – I have a wonderful cover that I created myself. I have a little bit of background in graphic design, but I know there are artists out there way more talented than myself. If I have extra funds. I will use them to hire a professional cover designer.

My book cover.

My Cover
My Cover

Timeline:

I finished the first draft of Unearthed after Sunset late in 2014. Since then it has been looked over by over a dozen beta readers, who have offered advice on how the novel can be improved. I am currently reading through the novel and making edits based on their suggestions. Once I’m finished I will send the book off to a few more beta readers, make my final edits, then send the book off to be professionally edited. Once my editor gets her hands on it things tend to move fairly quickly, and I believe I should have a final copy available to publish in late September, early October.

Prizes including shout outs, postcards, and swag packs will be mailed out as soon as survey’s are returned. Surveys will be sent to you via e-mail after this campaign comes to an end (and is fully funded). Prizes such as kindle copies, paperback copies and hardcover copies will be mailed out after the book is published.

Risks and challenges

Having self-published three books previously I’m fairly familiar with the process. My biggest challenge right now is just getting the money together. If I can’t raise the money I’ll have to push back my release date and will probably cut back on things like marketing.

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Funding period

- (33 days)