About this project
Neri is an empty-brained, fresh slate of a spirit who finds herself suddenly conscious in Hell with no rhyme or reason. Wiggling her way out of the giant skeletal rumba, she's quickly attacked and eliminated by a massive demon— which should be the end of this story. But this is where it starts.
Caelum Sky is an illustrated novel lead by a strong female character that can hold her own. She has a muscly-counterpart that isn't portrayed as an idiot. It discusses religion, it's not specifically for or against any one faction, and it treats them all like rationalizing human beings. My biggest frustration when reading a book centers on unrealistic, unreasonable characters. So I tried to take the most absolutely ridiculous situation and write about it like normal, everyday life. But with dinosaur-dragon things. And mouth lasers. And crazy monster fighting hijinks. And it was boatloads of fun to do.
I've worked on this story since late 2007. Given two years to percolate and prepare, the first book was written in the span of a few months. About 150,000 words were spilled in a single Nanowrimo! It's massive. Since I don't own the U.S. Mint, I'm publishing illustrated sections of it 5 chapters at a time. This book is 70-80 pages long and has 18 full illustrations that I haven't posted anywhere.
That being said, the entire in-progress version is available, for free, here: http://caelum-sky.tumblr.com/
Why? Because I believe in a cooperative effort. Because I don't want to keep you from reading on. We've got a record going of someone reading for 36 hours straight, and I want you to fall in love with this book too.
(Tumblr can also be a pain to read continuous literature on and it lacks the pretty illustrations I've made for the published version!)
Caelum Sky is my baby; as a writer and professional illustrator, I want to give it my all. That being said, the "Picture book novel series for young adults " market doesn't entirely exist. It's a relatively unexplored market.
I love the creative ability to add content for you, the readers, right up until final publication, something that would be harder to do with someone else in charge. I also want to have a lot of fun drawing the same red and white face dinosaur beastie until my hands fall off.
Felt pretty clever making that up but apparently "authorstrator" is already a thing. Damn.
Anyway, yes! I've been a professional illustrator for about 4 years now, and a writer since I could hold a pencil and write stupid stories about a cat named Kitty that had a million babies when I was 6. (That actually exists, I was a fiend for 101 dalmatians and had no concept of plagiarism at the time) I intended to pursue both as a double major in college before I had to pick one, and Illustrator sounded like the more colorful option. But I've never stopped writing.
I've done magazine covers for Asimov's Science fiction Magazine in April 2013, I work on Pathfinders artwork for Paizo, do card art for Fantasy Flight Games' 'Talisman' series, painted some sweet yetis for SolForge and employed myself entirely on commissions after that. I work my fingers to the bone, and I get dissapointed in myself if I don't. I like long walks on the beach and hate the sound of dragging flip-flops.
I'm also adding an addendum- You can also get this pin by buying into our regular stretch goal tiers of 50 dollars or more!
That's right! Since I hear people are fiends for pins, and I like making cutesy pin designs, I'd like to offer an incentive — if you can recommend / get 10 people to help back this project, you'll receive a free pin that'll never be reproduced or run again! When the campaign is over I'll run a survey and add up the tally.
If things really get crazy in here, I'll add on additional goals!
Risks and challenges
Since this is my first project, I tried to take as much of the uneasiness out of it that I could- of the 18 illustrations in this novel, 9 are nearing completion or already done.
I've picked a printing service that'll be able to create the book at a quality that want, for a fair price to you all. I've consulted the pin folk and have all the quotes, I own the gosh-dang button machine myself/ have years of button-making experience, There's a good, established printer I've worked with before, and me and ULINE go way back.
Everything's set up!
I chose October to allow for any unforeseen issues, if any. If everything comes in before then and I'm satisfied, then I'll begin shipping out, whenever that may be. I expect this date to be appropriate, given the nature of production, and whether I get to add more illustrations as stretch goals are reached. I'll be posting updates along the process, and you can watch my Twitter, Tumblr, or Livestream accounts to keep tabs on this project and myself chugging away!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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