Freeing the Dragons Was a Game Changer:
Who hasn't said to themselves, "If I ruled the world, things would be done differently!"
When Verity Brown becomes Argonia's queen (with a little help from some binding spells from her tricky time-Traveller mother reinforced by even more binding legal agreements drawn up by her family's shifty lawyer) she has the opportunity to find out what sort of difference she can make.
It's not as though she's had a lot of preparation for the job. Her previous qualifications, besides having royal Rowan (as well as witchy Brown) blood, are metal-smithing and a formal education consisting almost entirely of being expelled from all the best schools and academies in the realm. That and her curse, of course, to always tell the truth. Not only can she not tell a lie, she can't even hear a fib without setting the record straight, or suffering until she does.
It makes holding court is a royal pain, of course, along with virtually every other aspect of a political career.
For a queen, it's extremely inconvenient, especially as drastic changes are being made before she can so much as don the Royal Accessories. Her other accessories, a collection of magical beads and singing shells, are much more relevant to the revolution of which she is co-instigator, being the keys to the lost lore of the land and the powers that were stolen from its magical families.
But Toby the dragon-wrangler and his firebrand friend Taz have their own agenda. The industrial dragons of Argonia have had enough working for the Man and they're not going to take it any more! Once Toby and Taz freed them from the shackles of magically treated dragon chow, they broke out of the boiler rooms and iron mines, reclaiming their wild birthright along with their wings, and they are hungry.
All of which simultaneously destabilizes the economy, unbalances foreign trade, and presents both a food shortage and a security threat to Argonia and possibly beyond. And it--er--gives renewed relevance to the ancient stories of dragons carrying off human maidens for dinner engagements.
Although the dragons are both the biggest problem and the highest priority, Verity is also haunted by ghost cats that crowd mewling over, under, around, through and into her bed every night, and by the hide-behinds, wraiths of murdered magicians that taunt and tweak anyone lacking protective iron.
The new queen needs help, and where better to look than the heirs of the long-dead sorcerers, enchanters, witches, wizards and wise women and men. She owes them all a visit and an ancestral bead that may, just may, help them regain their power. Which could be a good thing. Or not.
"Go," her Aunt Ephemera advises.
"By myself?" she asks.
"You'll be fine. I'll send messages to my sisters, your other aunties on your father's side. There's Etherea in the west and Eureka in the east."
"This is the first I've heard of them!"
"They don't usually like company but they'll make an exception in your case. And I guess you also should visit Erotica, further down on the southern coast. She's the closest and the least reclusive, but your dad didn't think she was a suitable influence for an impressionable girl."
Risks and challenges
Like the dragons in my book, the engine to my writing machine is organic--it's me. The book will need research, artwork and editing, and distributing. I need enough funds to stage or attend readings and signings, and other events to increase the book's visibility.
Another major expense for me has been making physical copies of the books available at the readings, signings and conventions I do attend. Print on Demand books are expensive, even for the author, and I don't always have the funds to buy my own books so I can have them with me for you to purchase if your preference is for a physical book I can autograph for you. Another process is to have download cards made that I could have with me at signings --they can be signed and then you can use them and keep them if you wish before, during and after you order the book.
Since I do not live in a major metropolis, attending signings, readings and conventions, even fairly "local" ones in the Pacific Northwest involves long drives, ferry fares, and often lodging for the night. All of which also cost money.
I've written 40 books already (for a list and all particulars, see my dedicated book website: http://scarbor9.wix.com/beadtime-stories including 16 co-authored with Anne McCaffrey. All but three of these were for traditional publishing companies, Bantam, Del Rey, Putnam Penguin, Harper Collins. At one point I was writing three books a year and I fulfilled all of the contracts producing work that I was proud of and enjoyed. I won the Nebula, a major award, and my books earned a lot of good reviews from prominent publications like Library Journal, Kirkus, and Publisher's Weekly.
Barring death or some illness or injury that prevents me from writing, I have every confidence that the book will be completed within 6 months-year or perhaps just a bit longer. Once I'm committed to it, I have to keep writing even if no-one else is involved because, since I am a "discovery" writer, I need to find out how it ends too!
Once I've written the book--it may take another month or two, especially to get print on demand copies--er--demanded. These are the sort of setbacks I can imagine at this point. Of course, I am very imaginative and could foresee problems caused by everything from alien invasion to a new outbreak of the Black Death, but at this point these catastrophes seem unlikely.
Two important risks for me in this campaign: One is something Kickstarter veterans will be familiar with: unless my stated goal is reached, the campaign ends and no money at all changes hands. Therefore I am asking for the bare minimum to get started on the new project, though the more that is pledged, the more I will be able to do to ensure the success of the proposed book (and the series preceding it). The other caveat is that in the first campaign, I learned that since it turned out that many patrons were from other countries and contributed at levels that earned them material goods that had to be mailed, postage and shipping costs ended up eating a goodly sum of money. Therefore, this time, I need to ask for shipping fees on any tangible rewards.
If the campaign breaks $8000, I'll write a song (borrowing a traditional melody) in authentic Argonian style, immortalizing an incident in the book for all patrons subscribing at $10 or more. If you are lucky, I will get a real musician to perform it for you. If not, you'll get me performing it. (I wrote several such songs for that were included in THE DRAGON, THE WITCH AND THE RAILROAD. Oddly, no one has requested me to perform them yet.)
If the campaign breaks $10,000, I will write brief individual back stories of each specially named dragon or ghost cat and digitally publish them with dedications to the patron who inspired them.
If the campaign exceeds $15,000, I'll send download codes for digital editions of the entire series except the first book, SONG OF SORCERY, (which is currently published by Open Road Integrated Media) plus pdf's of the related songs and stories, for everyone who contributed at $100 or more.
If the campaign reaches $20-$25,000. I'll write another story set in this world for everyone subscribing at $25 or more levels.
If the campaign breaks $30,000, I will create an audio book of this book, as soon as it is finished and a narrator and sound engineer can be recruited.
For each additional $5000 over $30,000, I will create an audio book of another book in the SONGS FROM THE SEASHELL ARCHIVES series.
If it breaks $75,000, we will forego print on demand and start looking for a printer to produce print copies of the book for direct sale.
- (30 days)