The image you see here is not my cover. It's what the cover *could* look like if we don't meet the funding goal. Won't you please help?
What Is This Project? (Short Form)
It's the first of a short series (ie, not George R.R. Martin-length) of fantasy novellas that tell a single unified story. See below for the longer form.
Why Support Me?
If my twenty years as a professional writer and game designer has taught me anything, it’s that every writer needs an editor, me included. But editors don’t come cheap! In fact, in some cases they cost more than a writer, which is kind of weird, but if you want a quality editor (and I guarantee that every writer should), you should probably splurge. So that’s the first goal for this Kickstarter project: To pay for my fantastic editor, Planescape guy Ray Vallese!
See that art up there? That's my placeholder image. I didn't do the background; that was the excellent and talented Stone Perales. I've sketched in the blue part in order to show what the cover could look like if I don't pay him. If I do pay him, well, there's a huge improvement in quality coming your way.That's the second goal:To pay for my amazing artist, Stone Perales!
Right now the section breaks are five asterisks, centered. I've got a layout for it, but it's not consistent. I'd like to make sure the whole book looks great. With your help, I can pay a graphic designer to do that with me! That's the third goal: To pay for a graphic artist!
People who've read this book really like it. Not just family members, either, and not just people I'm planning to pay, but people just like you. I am assuming in this last sentence that you are a connoisseur of fun stories, very good looking, undeniably smart, and completely immune to flattery. That's the fourth goal: To immortalize you in e-print.
What Is This Project? (Long Form)
This is a novella, the first part of the Oathbreaker series. This story, told in a series of novellas taken together, tell the story of an empire ringed with enemies, of ambition and betrayal, of power and its uses. The empire of Terona, built with blood and steel and the first tyrant’s pet magi, has grown powerful on the backs of its surgically augmented knights and the weapons of its Council of Magi. But political tensions are destroying Terona, and the aged king’s life is numbered in days.
But the story is not about those tensions, at least, not directly. It’s not about the nobles who thrust and parry with diplomacy and poisoned words.
Instead, it’s about the people who have been their pawns. It’s about the people cast aside when the mighty act. These people have certain abilities of their own, and the story tells what happens when they do not meekly accept the fates their superiors have declared for them.
The first novella, “The Knight’s Tale”, is about one of the augmented knights. He has been cast into the unenviable position of having to choose between his oath to the king and his true duty. Since the story is called “Oathbreaker”, his choice is probably not a surprise. The bulk of the story is about what happens after that, so luckily this conflict doesn't ruin that particular surprise.
Yet even here, the book is told not through his eyes, but through the eyes of the people who come in contact with our sort-of hero. Each of them has a tale to tell. Few of them are the great nobles or the movers of history—they are the common folk, the people often caught up in events beyond their control, but they live and breathe as surely as those who dictate their lives. They act, and their actions help to shape history.
And this is just book one!
Sample: The Prologue
He rode, his proud face bleeding and grim in the light of the setting sun. He cradled a sleeping baby. in the crook of his left arm, the reins of the metal horse in his right fist. With a few swift kicks, he urged the steed ever faster westward. His eyes squinted into the setting sun, and beads of perspiration—or were they tears?—coursed down his unlined cheeks. The gleaming hooves of the steed tore great clumps of sod from the grassy hills as it sped through the dusk.
Miles behind him, the city burned on its mountain. Steel-clad knights thundered from the great city’s gates into the dying day on their own silver stallions or took to the air with mechanical wings. The military dirigibles Retaliator and Heaven’s Will rose slowly from the heart of the city, flames spitting from their engines, and turned their massive noses to the west.
The knights sought the oath-breaker, the thief of their princess, the betrayer of their king. They swore bloody vengeance on Pelagir of the King’s Chosen, son of Pelgram, and raced to be the first to have his head. He had betrayed the most sacred of their oaths, and their rage burned as brightly as the flames in the capital city.
- (30 days)