Hi, I'm John!
Welcome to the Kickstarter for my first spiritual picture book, A TALE BY FIRE.
Wait... a picture book?
At times, the world can feel a bit dark and divided. As a country, and as a global community, our branches seem to be growing apart... and it's easy to forget we are but one tree.
In an age of information overload, I want to share simple, powerful wisdom to return us to our common roots. I want to tell bold and innovative stories that guide us from our heads to our hearts, using a fresh yet familiar medium...
The medium of our childhood.
I am writing and illustrating picture books that seek to heal our divides, awaken our inner power, and illuminate our wider world.
What do you mean by "spiritual"?
Spirituality, for me, can be defined simply.
I believe that everyone, and everything, is connected... in fun, beautiful, and often invisible ways.
For instance, right now, whether or not we can see them, we are cradled by the same sea of stars... and in this moment, all life on Earth is sharing the same breath.
I believe that the more we become aware of these quiet connections, the more we will see our planet as one collective, living organism - a world in which we take care of each other and safeguard our shared home.
And so - this book, and the others still to come, are meant as a bridge... guiding us into the present moment, nourishing our hearts, and unveiling the brilliant, magical world all around.
Ok, so what is A TALE BY FIRE?
It is a hand-drawn journey of fire and light across the ages of history, narrated by fire itself.
From the prehistoric spark, to the hearth of ancient times, to the missiles of medieval warfare, and beyond... watch as fire is harnessed as both a beacon and a weapon, to illuminate and to darken, to create and to destroy.
You'll notice I define "fire" loosely - a star's light, an electric cityscape, a rocket exhaust trail, and so forth. I follow its essence... for as much as this is a tale of our outer history, it is also a reflection of our inner story.
This is a 36-page, 8.5" x 9", full-color, hardcover book. I am so excited to finally share it with you.
I get that it's for my inner child...but what about my actual child?
It’s for them too!
I’ve shared the book with several six- and seven-year olds who really enjoyed it (and in some cases, understood its message more than the adults).
However, as shown above, there are a few images of war/violence, so please use your best judgment.
It was important to me to show the full breadth of how we have used our power throughout history. I want us, as readers and as leaders in the world, to reflect on the responsibility that comes along with such power... because the next chapter of Planet Earth, for better or for worse, is ours to forge.
Ok, so what can I get? Books, artwork...?
Both a hardcover and a digital version of A TALE BY FIRE are available! You can get as many copies as you want, plus there are a TON of other fun reward packs - some reflective, some silly, and some that are truly unique to you.
The "Day to Night" Bookmark
Everyone forgets about bookmarks - bookmarks are awesome! With every copy of the hardcover book, you will also receive my original two-sided bookmark!
Limited edition "Buddha Earth" Bookplate
Remember when you used to put your name in a really special book, to tell the whole world that it belongs to you?
This bookplate shares my vision of a unified, peaceful world. It only shows up in a few rewards, and there is a limited supply, so keep an eye out for it.
The Insider Pack
Go behind-the-scenes, and get the full inside story of the making of A TALE BY FIRE! You'll also receive copies of my original sketches throughout the journey, including the illustration that started it all.
As a bonus, you'll also get an exclusive look at my upcoming book, BEYOND THE CRIMSON.
The Oddball Pack
Let's just say this pack is a little different.
It's a gift not from an inner child, but from an actual child - a diverse and bizarre collection of my childhood creations from age 4 to 12. Cut-out action figures, ninja comics, hand-made trading cards, a friendly monster named Carmex-3000, and much more.
If you're looking for something fun, silly, and occasionally super cool, this is the pack for you.
(Oh, and if you're wondering who the "oddball" is, I'm definitely referring to you.)
Ok, let's shift gears again. Take a deep breath...
The Sacred Pack
A few years ago, I had a moment where it felt like the world exploded into vivid color - it was the pivot point of my life, when I began to see myself, and all of us, as magnificent instruments in a single, grand symphony... and I discovered that when I really listened, I could hear its melody.
The Sacred Pack is my chance to share much of what I have discovered - a special collection of original affirmations, hand-written musings, guided meditations, words of wisdom, and far more... from my heart to yours.
The Master Pack
The culmination of everything that has come before - the Insider, the Oddball, and the Sacred combined - plus, you'll receive the exclusive "Buddha Earth" bookplate!
That's a lot of stuff... Is there more?
Oh yes. So much more.
Want me to illustrate an original comic for you, on a subject that we brainstorm together?
Want to connect on Skype, or even meet in person?
Want to be a unicorn??
Feel free to check out the full list of rewards up above.
As for stretch goals, I have some unique ideas that I'm super passionate about, and as we near our $7000 goal, I'll be sharing them with all of you.
I’ve always loved telling stories.
As a 6-year old kid, I would sneak out of bed to write and illustrate little picture books about my favorite monster, Godzilla. They are adorably terrible and logic-challenged (and alarmingly sadistic - in one issue, Godzilla rescues the passengers of the sinking Titanic and then, once they are safely aboard a new ship, Godzilla sinks them.)
My friend Paul was kind enough to turn the first issue into a video...
...Yup. I made over thirty of these weird little things. I was obsessed, to say the least. And at age 6, I had found my medium.
I’ve written and illustrated comics and short stories all my life, and while I used to glorify war and division, I now seek to celebrate our oneness.
A TALE BY FIRE will be my first published work, and there are many more to come. I believe storytelling allows us to heal, grow, and ultimately evolve… and I cannot wait to share ALL of my stories with you.
Why a Kickstarter?
This is a way for me to not only publish a book but also to share my vision for the world - and to share it directly with you. It's a chance for me to share my creativity, my passion, and my art in an innovative way.
Plus, now I'm able to offer you really cool, unique rewards :)
Where does all the money go?
Good question! Most of the funds will go toward production costs. To be more specific:
- 50% of the money will go towards printing copies, obtaining ISBN numbers, etc.
- 30% will go to shipping and packaging to get the books to you
- 10% is "lost" to Kickstarter fees, Paypal fees, and taxes (woohoo!)
- 10% is my "wiggle room" for any unforeseen challenges
Of course, a profit would be great - it would even be awesome - but my ultimate goal is to share my words and wisdom with others, and to make a positive impact on the world.
And finally...thank you!!!
I could not have done this alone, though I have often tried.
To Carmen, Sam, Nav, Alicia, Toccara, my parents, and the countless guiding lights along the way - I am eternally grateful. This dream lives because of you.
Risks and challenges
I have been building this bridge, stone by stone, for a long time. The story and illustrations are complete, and I am now working with an amazing team to get the book printed and brought to life.
The book is currently being typeset and formatted, and is on the eve of printing. While this is all very new to me, and there will undoubtedly be challenges along the way, I'm confident in my ability to deliver something both timely and beautiful. Here's to smooth sailing! I will be sure to update you along the way.
I look forward to sharing this journey. Thank you for everything!
- (30 days)