I work as a storyteller, teacher and writer, working with boys. Every day I see boys failing. The books that we have to get boys into reading are just not the sort of books that appeal to boys. So I've decided to do something about it.
I've written a book.
If you can engage boys at a young age with books, you have a better than even chance of keeping them out of prison.
But don't take my word for it, have a look at what Neil Gaiman has to say:
Here in New Zealand it's the same, two in every three prisoners have problems with literacy.
Now I reckon our boys are short-changed when it comes to books. The books on offer to our boys are either bland and painfully politically correct, or books that are all about toilet humour. It's no wonder boys are turned off reading. I think they need something else:
I’ve worked as a professional storyteller for the last 25 years, writing and performing my own stories. I also teach writing for reluctant boys. This experience has given me insights into the sort of stories that kids, and especially boys enjoy but are currently missing from the marketplace. These stories deal with the darker parts of childhood; menacing neighbors, ghosts of the recently deceased and the fear of murderous pets!
"Mr Hawker didn’t exactly look like a pirate. He wore dirty black jeans and a stained old singlet. His arms were covered with tattoos. “Sod off” was tattooed across his wrinkled forehead onto skin the colour of tanned leather. Just like the leather of his steel cap boots, which he never took off, even to go to bed Scott suspected."
This is the real mythology of kid's childhoods, not the Thomas the Tank Engine, Iron Man & Frozen prepackaged culture that we're fed.
“You know what the widow told me? She said that she didn’t need it any more cause she doesn’t climb ladders now. Not after old man Milner fell off this one. That’s what killed him you know.”
If you back this book you can be assured of a brilliant award winning story, as this story was runner up in the inaugural Forsythe-Barr Short Story competition, 2012. But not only is the story of the highest quality, it is also accompanied by illustrations from Romilly Brown, one of New Zealand's unsung heroes of oil painting and sketch. The son of famous New Zealand oil painter Peter Brown, Rom's illustrations bring the story to life in the visceral style he is so well known for.
This book bridges the gap between picture books and chapter books. It's written in the style of a chapter book, but it has the "pages of text" to "pages of illustrations" ratio of a picture book.
“It was given to me by an Arabian pirate prince. We sank his ship after a terrible battle and in exchange for sparing his life he gave me this.” Dad fixed Scott with a steely gaze. “You can have it if you make me a promise.”
They can be proud of reading it, but it's not going to take them forever. The action comes thick and fast and even as a parent you can read it to your kids as a bedtime story. It will take you back to a time before smart phones and helicopter parenting.
Check out my previous Kickstarter: "The Climbing Competition".
One signed copy of The First Storm of Autumn, PLUS have the author visit you and read the book, as well as tell stories to a group of up to 20. This visit runs for an hour and draws on the authors skills in his other job: www.zebong.com
Please note, travel expenses may be charged for backers outside the Central North Island.
One signed copy of The First Storm of Autumn, PLUS visit the Author at his home and have the story read IN THE ACTUAL TREEHOUSE from the book! You have the choice of a daytime visit, a nighttime visit (for added authenticity), or the premier option: a nighttime visit during a storm!
This reward is for a group of 3, for a visit of one hour, featuring stories from the author's other job: www.zebong.com
Please note the Backer must be available during a storm for the premier option, and the author accepts no responsibility for group members being struck by lightning.
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
"The Arabian Prince" ~ Signed and numbered Giclée fine-art print, pigment printed upon 100% Cotton rag, heavy, archival grade paper, with a print run limited to those who obtain it via this Kickstarter. Approximately 8" x 12" ~ A perfect piece for framing and displaying on your wall.
"Mr Hawker" ~ Signed and numbered Giclée fine-art print, pigment printed upon 100% Cotton rag, heavy, archival grade paper, with a print run limited to those who obtain it via this Kickstarter. Approximately 8" x 12" ~ A perfect piece for framing and displaying on your wall.
Both the "Mr Hawker" and "The Arabian Prince" signed and numbered Giclée fine-art prints, pigment printed upon 100% Cotton rag, heavy, archival grade paper, with a print run limited to those who obtain it via this Kickstarter. Approximately 8" x 12" ~ A perfect piece for framing and displaying on your wall. Buy both together at a reduced price! :)
To add an Add-On to your Kickstarter Pledge, follow these steps:
- Click the "Manage Your Pledge" button on this page. If you have not pledged yet, it will say "Back this Project".
- Increase your Pledge in the Pledge Amount box by $50 for this add-on, or $80 for both prints.
- Do not change the tier you are currently pledged at, unless you also want to change it while you are on this screen. You will then need to add $50 (or $80 for both prints) onto the amount of the tier you chose.
At the end of this Kickstarter you will receive a survey where you will be able to confirm whether the additional money added to your pledge was for "The Arabian Prince", "Mr Hawker", or for both of these fine-art prints. :)
Note: This add-on requires your base pledge to be at the $20 tier or above.
Risks and challenges
Risk is minimal for this campaign.
The book had been written, the illustrations completed, and the whole thing has been to the printers in ready-to-print form.
This is the second book I've self published, so I have a good grasp of the costs and time frames involved in printing.
My printers are a reliable company that has been in business for 28 years and I have a good working relationship with them from previous projects.
I also run my own storytelling business, doing everything from performing shows to printing promotions, writing shows to doing my own tax and bookkeeping. In this way I feel I have a real handle on the business and "dollars" side of things.
- (13 days)