With 48 hours left of this Kickstarter campaign, Soulfire is FUNDED. The more we raise before the closing deadline, the bigger the first edition print run and the better the chances are of the book reaching more of the young readers who need it most! With this in mind, some stretch goals with added rewards are below:
If we raise $25k (NZD) / are 125% funded by the time this project ends, I'll include a Soulfire bookmark for ALL backers of physical copies and ALL backers will get access to a digital download of Soulfire artwork as a desktop wallpaper.
If we somehow manage to reach $30k (NZD) / are 150% funded by the time this project ends, ALL backers of printed copies will receive the logo button pins and the temporary tattoos included with their copies.
LGBTQ youth rarely see themselves represented in family-oriented media. Positive representation of LGBTQ heroes going on quests, falling in love and living happily ever after is also still rare to find.
LGBTQ people are almost never portrayed as the central protagonists in the stories that young people read, and that lack of visibility sends a harmful message to ALL young people that being LGBTQ makes us less than.
We need to change that message.
SOULFIRE is the first book in The Soulfire Chronicles, a new series of LGBTQ-inclusive upper middle grade fantasy novels for readers 10-14 years old and up.
Written by Chaz Harris (co-author of Promised Land, Maiden Voyage and Raven Wild), the book has been professionally edited, typeset and is ready for printing. If this campaign is successful, Soulfire will be released in October 2019 in eBook, Paperback and a Special Limited Edition Hardback, available to order through this Kickstarter campaign.
On the eve of George Grimes's thirteenth birthday, a man with a forked beard and a crooked nose clambers out of the Grandfather clock in the upstairs hallway. The man claims to be from Mythika - a world that George thought only existed in his Grandad’s tall tales.
The evil Lord Helwrath - once a boy who lost his imagination - has been murdering Creators, the name given to artists who keep his power in check. When George enters Mythika, he joins forces with a talented group of young artists to stop Helwrath before it’s too late.
But a long-kept family secret leads some to believe that George can create the only power strong enough to fight Helwrath… Soulfire.
When I was growing up, there were no stories with LGBTQ protagonists going on quests, saving the world, falling in love or living happily ever after. Those are the kind of stories I desperately needed in the 1990s, and two decades later they're still sorely lacking on bookshelves for young readers now.
I've wanted to tell stories ever since I saw Jurassic Park at ten years old. I wanted the power to make people believe in something impossible - something that didn’t exist until I wrote it down. To me, that was a lot like magic.
So what if it really was magic?
In bringing the world of Mythika to life, I wanted to create a fantasy world and a magic system based on creativity itself. I wanted to highlight the importance of artists and creativity for young people, and their role in keeping imagination alive. I also wanted to explore why it could be dangerous thing to lose.
Soulfire is the first in a planned series of books I'm writing. By supporting this Kickstarter, you can help me prove there is a market for inclusive fantasy adventures like this one.
Because queer kids need heroes too.
Chaz Harris, Creator of The Soulfire Chronicles
A merry band of talented Creators have been involved in bringing this Kickstarter project (or the book itself) to life. A little more about each of them and their Crafts can be found below:
CHAZ HARRIS - AUTHOR (Prosean)
Chaz got his start on the set of The Search for John Gissing starring Alan Rickman and went on to work in the development team at Miramax Films before moving to Aotearoa New Zealand in 2006. Since then, he’s created two award-winning web series, 101 Dates and End of Term, and the short films The Shoe Box and Broken Glass. In 2016, Chaz co-founded Promised Land Tales with Adam Reynolds and they’ve since created two internationally acclaimed LGBTQ children's books, Promised Land and Maiden Voyage. A third, Raven Wild, is due out in June 2020. Chaz is also a Producer on the collaboratively made anthology feature film Encounters. Soulfire is his first novel.
BO MOORE - ILLUSTRATOR (Acrylian)
Bo is a New Zealand-based illustrator and concept artist specialising in science fiction and fantasy. In her spare time, she loves sci-fi and horror films, books and games, and enjoys world-building, writing and working on personal projects. Bo was the background illustrator on the internationally acclaimed LGBTQ inclusive children's books Promised Land, Maiden Voyage and she is currently working on the third book in the series, Raven Wild. Visit her website for more information.
TOBY SELWYN - EDITOR (Kindorian)
After studying Modern Languages & Literature at Oxford University, Toby started out in publishing as a Managing Editor at Taylor & Francis. Following a hiatus to complete an MA, he spent several years editing English language teaching materials for Oxford University Press. In 2013, Toby setup his freelance business and he now focuses on editing sci-fi, fantasy, thriller, horror, romance, literary and LGBTQ fiction. He works for independent authors as well as publishers including Pan Macmillan, Black Library, Skyhorse Publishing, New Terrain Press and Vulpine Press. Toby lives near Birmingham in the UK with his husband and their hyperactive Labradors. He balances his inner bookworm with dog walking around the British countryside, the odd MMORPG and his fair share of TV box sets. Visit his website for more information.
MICHELLE KAN - VIDEOGRAPHER (Nessian)
Michelle is an independent filmmaker/videographer and writer based in Wellington. She runs Fish & Swallow Productions, an online content production studio dedicated to the documenting of local arts/cultural events and the spotlighting of artists, creatives and other extraordinary individuals around Aotearoa. Michelle likes to explore her cultural heritage through her creative output, and is an avid lover of graphic novels, video games and action/martial arts media – all profound influences which help shape the content she likes to produce. Visit her website for more information.
HILARY NORRIS - EXCERPTS NARRATOR (Thespian)
Hilary Norris is a professional actor, director and teacher. Her theatre experience has seen her feature in productions in most of New Zealand's theatres, especially the Fortune Theatre where she has featured in over 60 productions. She recently toured New Zealand in playing Kath in Roger Hall’s play Social Climbers, for Ben McDonald Productions. She is also a recognised and respected director, having directed more than 30 productions professionally, including highly successful plays for young people. Her appearances in television drama and feature films include the TVNZ drama How to Murder Your Wife, The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies and the Dreamworks feature film The Light Between Oceans. Hilary has worked extensively in the area of vocal coaching; both in the area of one on one voice production and as a dialect and accent coach for film and stage. She has narrated books for children, radio drama and voiced adverts.
The licensed music used for this Kickstarter campaign was composed by several Octavians: Patrick Rundblad, Remember The Future & Immersive Music.
Risks and challenges
The creation of a novel already involves countless hours of writing, re-writing and work between the author and editor. The path to publication also involves further collaboration with the artwork illustrator, layout designer, editor, proofreader and printers.
Our printing partner BookPrint based in Auckland, New Zealand are working with us to ensure a high quality product and they also handled the typesetting of the book. I've worked with them previously as the printing provider for the Promised Land Tales book series.
The timeline is realistic for printing to be complete in time for an anticipated release in October (exact date TBC). Backers will be kept informed throughout the process with updates, including any delays.
We have a warehousing and fulfilment provider able to handle large volumes of orders and the books will ship from New Zealand.
- (27 days)