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Can one girl win a war?  Magical but historical, Risuko follows one young woman along the first steps to discovering who she truly is.
Can one girl win a war?  Magical but historical, Risuko follows one young woman along the first steps to discovering who she truly is. Now available from Stillpoint Digital Press at your favorite bookseller!
Can one girl win a war? Magical but historical, Risuko follows one young woman along the first steps to discovering who she truly is. Now available from Stillpoint Digital Press at your favorite bookseller!
52 backers pledged $1,580 to help bring this project to life.

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Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale (Teen Historical Adventure Novel)

$1,580

52

Can one girl win a war?

My name is Kano Murasaki, but everyone calls me Risuko.

Risuko follows a young woman along the first dangerous steps to discovering who she truly is. 

Though Japan has been devastated by a century of civil war, Risuko just wants to climb trees. Growing up far from the battlefields and court intrigues, the fatherless girl finds herself pulled into a plot that may reunite Japan -- or may destroy it. She is torn from her home and what is left of her family, but finds new friends at a school that may not be what it seems.

Set in Japan during the Sengoku Jidai — the century-long civil war era — Risuko is a coming-of-age adventure for a young woman adrift in a tumultuous, terrifying world. 

It is the first in a planned four-book series, Seasons of the Sword.

When you support this project, you'll reserve your own copy of the final book in the format of your choice at a discount from the retail price, plus much more!

Stretch goal incentive! For every $100 pledged over $1000, I will share a prequel short story with all backers

Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale
Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale

Thank you so much for supporting Risuko!

Green is spring's color
Rain and rebirth flow like joy
Publishing takes cash

It's true. Publishing isn't cheap. While Risuko is nearly finished, I need your help to make the book a reality and to help it find its audience.

Reaching the funding goal will help create an attractive, exciting, historically and culturally accurate thrill-ride of a teen book.

Some things you'll help make happen:

  • Producing an audiobook
  • Final fact-checking by a historian (support your local scholar!)
  • Proofreading
  • Advance reviews (Yes, disgusting isn't it? Some of the major sources of book reviews charge small publishers simply to be reviewed.)
  • Inclusion in major catalogues, trade shows, etc.
  • Thank-you gifts for the Risuko Beta Team (a group of phenomenal teens and adults who are helping me to polish the final book)

Some of those are not very exciting in and of themselves, but they're all essential if we're going to release the best possible book.

Should we surpass the goal, there are a number of would't-it-be-nice options that we'll be able to go for, from presenting the book at cons and festivals to marketing directly to libraries and schools to creating braille and/or large-print editions for the vision-impaired to finding translators for foreign language editions. When we get there, I'll start announcing some stretch goals. :-)

Risuko Title Page
Risuko Title Page

Reasons you should feel proud to be a backer:

  • You're helping publish an exciting debut novel
  • You're supporting increased diversity in teen fiction
  • You're increasing the number of strong female role-models in teen fiction
  • You're encouraging teens to consider complex moral issues — in the context of an adrenaline-rush story
  • You're supporting independent (non-corporate) publishing

Teen fantasy/science fiction has long been one of my favorite genres; as I was reading (and loving) the Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl, and Percy Jackson series with my daughters, two questions occurred to me: first, why couldn't historical fiction be as engaging and exciting, and second, why aren't the protagonists girls? 

In the past few years we've seen a number of strong young women headlining popular teen books — but they remain the exception rather than the rule. I'd like to continue chipping away at that imbalance. (My youngest daughter informed me with pride that Risuko passed the Bechdel Test with flying colors. I had to look it up — but was pleased to find that not only was she right, but the book passes the reverse Bechdel. W00t.)

Risks and challenges

Once we have received funding, the only obstacle we foresee in fulfilling our backers' rewards is unpredictable shipping costs. We've tried to plan as thoroughly as possible; it's difficult without the final book, but we will make sure that everyone gets their reward!

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FAQ

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    CLIMBER: Get a copy of the ebook (ePub, mobi/Kindle, or PDF)

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    NOVICE: Get a signed copy of the paperback, a bookmark, and the ebook (ePub, mobi/Kindle, or PDF)

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    INITIATE: Get a signed copy of the hardcover, a bookmark, and the ebook (ePub, mobi/Kindle, or PDF). Also, you'll be listed as a backer in the acknowledgments!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    INITIATE (Audiobook): Be the first to download and listen to the completed Risuko audiobook!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    DOUBLE NOVICE: Get TWO signed copies of the paperback, bookmarks, and the ebook (ePub, mobi/Kindle, or PDF)

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    SENIOR INITIATE: Get a signed copy of the hardcover, a bookmark, and the ebook (ePub, mobi/Kindle, or PDF) when Risuko comes out this June — and a signed copy of Bright Eyes (Seasons of the Sword #2) on publication (anticipated 2017)!

    Also, you'll be listed as a backer in the acknowledgments for both books!

    (NOTE: the non-US shipping cost includes postage for two separate books.)

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    SENIOR INITIATE (print PLUS audiobook): Get a signed copy of the hardcover, a bookmark, the ebook (ePub, mobi/Kindle, or PDF) and the downloadable audiobook (MP3).

    Also, you'll be listed as a backer in the acknowledgments!

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    KUNOICHI: Get a signed copy of the hardcover, a bookmark, and the ebook (ePub, mobi/Kindle, or PDF) when Risuko comes out this June — and a signed copy of each sequel on publication.

    Also, you'll be listed as a backer in the acknowledgments for each book!

    (NOTE: the non-US shipping cost includes postage for four separate books.)

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    KUNOICHI BOOK CLUB: Get TEN signed copies of the paperback, bookmarks, and the ebook (ePub, mobi/Kindle, or PDF)

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    KUNOICHI (Skype): Get a signed copy of the hardcover, a bookmark, and the ebook (ePub, mobi/Kindle, or PDF) when Risuko comes out this June — and a signed copy of Bright Eyes (Seasons of the Sword #2) on publication (anticipated 2017)!

    In addition, I'll Skype with you for up to one hour — I'll happily talk with you (or your book group) about Risuko, about publishing, about ebook design (my day job), about Joseph Campbell and the hero's journey (my other day job), or whatever you'd like (within reason)!

    Also, you'll be listed as a backer in the acknowledgments for both books!

    (NOTE: the non-US shipping cost includes postage for two separate books.)

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    SENIOR KUNOICHI BOOK CLUB: Get TEN signed copies of the paperback, bookmarks, and the ebook (ePub, mobi/Kindle, or PDF).

    In addition, I'll Skype with you for up to two hours — I'll happily talk with you (or your book group) about Risuko, about publishing, about ebook design (my day job), about Joseph Campbell and the hero's journey (my other day job), or whatever you'd like (within reason)!

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    RISUKO: Name a character who will appear in at least two of the sequels! (Sorry — it has to be a period Japanese name. But I'll work with you to find the perfect one!)

    In addition, you'll get a signed copy of the hardcover, a bookmark, and the ebook (ePub, mobi/Kindle, or PDF) when Risuko comes out this June — and a signed copy of each sequel on publication.

    Also, you'll be listed as at the top of the backer list in the acknowledgments AND on the dedication for each book!

    (NOTE: the non-US shipping cost includes postage for four separate books.)

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    RISUKO BOOK CLUB: Get THIRTY signed copies of the paperback, bookmarks, and the ebook (ePub, mobi/Kindle, or PDF).

    In addition, I'll FLY to speak with you for up to two days — I'll happily talk with your book group or class about Risuko, about publishing, about ebook design (my day job), about Joseph Campbell and the hero's journey (my other day job), or whatever you'd like (within reason)!

    Good for the US only, I'm afraid — but if you'd like to discuss my flying elsewhere, please let me know!

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Funding period

- (28 days)