Thanks to Claire Harrison for an excellently edited video. Much loves.
Quiet Courage is an independent young adult fantasy novel. It began as a simple map I drew ages ago but has evolved into a staunch cry for more positive gay protagonists in fantasy literature and culture. The days of the comedic relief gay guy or the tragically alone homosexual are over and it's time for real characters to rise.
Since I was young I’ve always found escape between the pages of a good fantasy adventure. Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The worlds of Tamora Pierce, all of them brought me so much excitement and solace as I struggled fitting in at school and in life. But despite their splendor these stories never fully resonated with me. I never found someone like me. So I decided one day to make my own.
What resulted was the world of Sundast and Cienn’s story in Quiet Courage. Cienn is an openly gay youth in a home that doesn’t quite know how to accept him. His struggle personifies the journey thousands of young gay men and women, including myself, experienced growing up. I won’t lie, being a gay youth in today’s society still isn’t easy. Many of us still struggle to find our place in the world.
We unfortunately live in a world only halfway to perfection. Many of us have seen the errors of the past and are striving to change for the better. But there is still the influence of those that came before us weighing heavily on the shoulders of today. We see that in the seemingly never-ending list of teen suicides, the continued hate crimes both at home and overseas, and the snail’s pace of change of social reform. And while we lock ourselves in this boisterous, overly dramatic argument about the rights of human beings some of those human beings get left on the wayside crying out for a lifeline.
Some lifelines do exist. And more are popping up all the time. But the fact of the matter is that the people who need these messages of acceptance and equality aren’t the 45-year-old moms who 'absolutely love Kurt on Glee', but are the boys and girls who cry themselves to sleep at night wishing they could just be normal. They need to know there is someone out there just like them who rises above the expectations society sets on them. They need to know that “normal” is what you make it and they need to know that it’s still okay to love whomever you choose. I needed this story growing up, and I would hate to deny the next generation something I wish that I’d had.
Thank you for stopping to check out the message behind Quiet Courage. While what may await you is a pulse-pounding adventure story in a fantastical land at its heart Cienn’s journey was always something deeper than adventure. And if I can bring solace to even one person I will have done my job. If you are one of those people who are confused and lonely, this is for you. May you find in reading it everything I did in writing it. Donate today to help someone tomorrow. To find out more about Quiet Courage, Cienn and the world of Sundast just click the handy-dandy image at the top to go to sundast.tumblr.com.
All funds raised will go directly to publishing costs. My goal is to get the most books for my dollar from the most reliable self publishing source I can find. Production will start immediately after the goal has been reached. I would hope to have the books in by September at the latest, pushing all book related prizes out to around October. If for any reason there were left over funds at the end of pricing those would go directly to purchasing the necessary materials for the hand-bound hardcover editions I will be producing.
STRETCH GOALS! - Initiated 6/21/13
$800 -REACHED 6/29!!!- - More copies of Quiet Courage coming out to you the people. How many you may ask? Well I don’t have the answer to that quiet yet but just know that if we make it to $800 there will be more copies to go around. (UPDATE: We're looking at present at around 125 - 135 books! :D)
$1000 -REACHED 7/4!!!- All of those copies of Quiet Courage will come complete with a newly introduced full page center spread of an as yet unseen image! Now that’s in addition to the already announced two other illustrations as well as the chapter headers. Sounds pretty exciting right?
$1500 -REACHED 7/10!!!- All backers who pledged 20 dollars or more (basically if you pledged for a hardcopy of the book) will get a complimentary packet of the 13 full page illustrations in addition to their book. (Original Stretch goal changed due to funding miscalculations)
$2000 - In addition to more books with that lovely center spread there will be an official release of 25 hand-bound, hardcover, full color copies of Quiet Courage in addition to those made for backers.
$4000 - I will put together a small, local circuit of educational talks in schools and public locations about Quiet Courage, growing up gay in the 21st century, being an artist or a writer in a world that’s pool of talented people keeps growing by the day and how to try and stand out in that growing pool. Whatever the location’s might want honestly. If we get here and you know of a place (New England area only) that would be interested don’t hesitate to let me know.
More than $4000 - FIESTA! All copies of Quiet Courage will come in color. (Changed 7/10)
Risks and challenges
I'm tackling the publishing of Quiet Courage all on my own. I have support and help from my friends and family, but none of them have any idea how to publish a book. Because of that it's up to me to find a decent publisher, raise the funds, lay out the book and artwork, decide on paper, the list of things necessary to make a good book goes on and on. At least the hard part of writing and illustrating the book is already done.
Tackling setbacks is a necessary part of everyday life and I've tackled every setback that's come my way with composure and calm. I don't see how this could be any different. I'm sure I'll be able to handle whatever comes my way, be it problems with layout, difficulty with the publisher or issues shipping out prizes.
I suppose the biggest risk is that no one will buy the book once its published. I'm working as hard as I can to promote the book and help spread the word of Quiet Courage, but my biggest fear is people will remain uninterested. Should that happen I suppose I'll have to start giving the books away to libraries and private collectors in the hopes that their communities will help bolster the message behind the book. I have plans for talks at local schools and community centers about the book and with actual hard copies I know the "sell" would be a lot easier.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)