Peril, cunning, romance! Follow this pirate captain's adventures on the high seas -- and the clues to her treasure!
This project is for you if you like...
...daring young women, carnivorous mermaids, jungle-dwelling lizard-men, Atlantis, ghost ships, unrequited love, shadows that suck the breath from your lungs, ruthless anachronism, witty banter, calculating ballistics trajectories. Huzzah!
Welcome, my friends, to The Daring Adventures of Captain Lucy Smokeheart.
The story will follow the adventures of -- you guessed it! -- Lucy Smokeheart, a pirate captain seeking vengeance and lost treasure as she follows the trail of her brother's last voyage.
This project will unfold as a year-long story told in monthly installments. Each month you'll receive an episode in ebook form, including a clue or puzzle for you to solve. By the end of the year, these clues will lead you to the online location of Lucy's hidden treasure!
And who's behind all this? I'm Andrea Phillips. I've done writing, game design, or both for such projects as Perplex City, Floating City, America 2049, The Maester's Path for HBO's Game of Thrones, and more. These projects have won a fair shake of awards and critical acclaim. I've also written A Creator's Guide to Transmedia Storytelling, in which I tell you all of my trade secrets.
Now I'd like to do something new: Take my crazy brain and put it right in front of the reading public. That's you!
Do Not Expect...
Distressed Damsels with heaving bosoms ('cuz that's sexist), Noble Savages or Magical Negros ('cuz that's racist), looking at source code, period accuracy, nautical accuracy, scientific or occult plausibility, or gritty realism. Sorry. Maybe next time? ...Or maybe not.
We're working on the $7500 stretch goal now -- if I can get a good last burst of fresh donors, then I'll be able to commission my illustrator, Heather Williamee, to make quality covers for all twelve ebooks! I want this more than anything. More than a pony. More than ice cream. More than grog!
I've also been overcome by a raging fit of magnanimosity. Magnanimatude? Uh, giving feelings! And so I'll be sending every backer, at every level, a bonus gift -- a postcard with the Lucy Smokeheart illustration on one side, and a barely legible yet lovingly hand-written and signed thank you note on the other.
Lucy Smokeheart will fund at a modest $5,000. It's about as much money as you might hope for as an advance for a genre novel. (But if you work out the sheer hours going into such a project as this, odds are that would come out to well less than minimum wage.)
So let's set our sights higher, shall we? Here are the wonders we'll unlock if you, the Kickstarting public, bring us well over the top.
All stretch funds... Will allow me to spend more time on the project, apply more craft, commission extra illustrations, and in general will result in a superior project all around. If I only make that $5,000, it won't pay my mortgage, so Lucy Smokeheart will just be a side project.
It's a lot easier to deliver a knockout story when you don't have to write it in stolen midnights between client deadlines, you guys. Every dollar over goal gives me the gift of time.
At $7500: All episodes will feature bold cover illustrations (like the one toward the top of the page) by the brilliant and talented Heather Williamee! These will be far superior to the ones I could put together on my own. Just trust me, here. You really don't want that.
At $10,000: Subscribers at the $25 level and above will receive a short work of fiction by Jay Bushman, transmedia producer for the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, creator of Airship Dracula, and innovative genius behind #SXStarWars, #Cthalloween, and other Twitter dramas.
At $12,000: Subscribers at the $25 level and above will receive a short work of fiction by Naomi Alderman, lead writer and co-creator of Zombies, Run!, critically-acclaimed novelist (including Disobedience and The Liars' Gospel), protégée of Margaret Atwood, and author of BBC Doctor Who novel Borrowed Time.
At $14,000: Subscribers at the $25 level and above will receive a short work of fiction by J.C. Hutchins. J.C. crafts transmedia narratives for such entertainment companies as A&E, Cinemax, Discovery and St. Martin's Press. He's also the author of the 7th Son and Personal Effects thriller novel series.
At $16,000: Subscribers at the $25 level and above will receive a short work of fiction by bearded wunderkind wordsmith Chuck Wendig, author of the Miriam Black, Dinocolypse, and Atlanta Burns series. Serieses. Seriii.
At $18,000: Subscribers at the $25 level and above will receive a short work of fiction by Hugo Award-winning author (!) Maureen McHugh, of China Mountain Zhang, After the Apocalypse (one of Publishers Weekly’s Best 10 Books of 2011!), and ilovebees fame.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
I might be late on delivering. That's because Lucy Smokeheart isn't my bread-and-butter daily work. If a project will pay three months of my mortgage but Lucy will be late in return, I'm going to have to let Lucy be late. All the same, I will use my very best time management skills (and evenings and weekends) to try to prevent this.
The story might kinda suck. I hope not? I like to think I'm a writer of some skill. But even the best writers don't hit a home run on every project. I'll try my best, and if I'm doing a bad job, I'll listen and try to correct course before we hit the rocks and all die of drowning and also hypothermia.
I might get killed by a meteor! Obviously the whole project relies on me continuing to be alive and well. If I die or suffer an incapacitating stroke, sorry guys, no recourse for you. Them's the breaks.
All of my favorite projects involve some level of audience interaction. I want you to tell me what you love and what you don't, so that each episode gets better and better. Sure, I could write a pirate novel over the next year, but I don't just want to talk. I want to have a conversation!
It's true! If you solve all of the clues, you'll discover a place online where you'll find the treasure Lucy and her crew are searching for. What could it be? Gold? Jewels? Secrets? Only time will tell!
But the treasure definitely is NOT a physical object buried somewhere. This would be unfair, because then only one person could 'win' -- and that person would have to be geographically lucky. Anyone and everyone who solves the puzzles can find the virtual treasure.
Yes, but there will be a digital version included in an episode, as well. The physical version isn't necessary.
Hard to say! Each episode will be a short story, and I aim for the whole work will be novel-length -- somewhere between 80,000 and 100,000 words in total. I'll certainly make each episode as long and juicy as I can. Of course the more I fund, the easier it'll be to deliver longer episodes...
Absolutely not. I do have projects out there right now I would like to get in front of a traditional publisher, but Lucy Smokeheart isn't about that. It's about you and me. It's about us. Together. Making sweet, sweet narrative until... until...
Ahem. Sorry, I got a little distracted, what were you saying?
Yes and no. Yes, because I do expect to adapt the story according to your reactions, and because there are multiple pieces to the project, including tangible artifacts like those maps and letters of marque. Just don't expect Lucy Smokeheart to play out in real time, on Twitter, or in live events. At least not unless I make far, far more on this Kickstarter than is, frankly, plausible.
Depends on the kid, and depends on what you mean by suitable? Lucy will be written with a young adult-ish sensibility. There will be some violence but it will by no means be splatterpunk. There might or might not be kissing but definitely not explicit sex. It's likely there will be some mild swearing, and some colorful language that does not actually use modern swear words. I'm afraid I can't yet predict how the story will rate in terms of how scary it'll be, how dark the themes, etc.
I'll let my own kids read it, but then again I also let them watch us eg. play Assassin's Creed? Your parenting may vary.
Right now I'm planning on supporting PDF, .mobi (the Kindle format) and .epub (the everything else format.) No DRM. If there is a public demand for episodes in eg. plain text, I will seriously consider it. But then you'd lose out on the gorgeous illustrations! ...uh, assuming we fund enough for illustrations!
Yes! Everyone who pledges at the $50 level or higher gets the hangouts. You'll be invited to the party for sure! Sorry that's unclear!
seconds to go
Pledge $1 or moreYou selected
CHUM: The first episode of the Adventures, plus email updates notifying you when each subsequent episode is available for purchase at an internet bookstore near you. Great if you want to keep track of the project but you're not quite ready to commit!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10 or moreYou selected
SAILOR: Get all 12 episodes of The Daring Adventures in the ebook format of your choice -- including each month's clue to the whereabouts of Lucy's treasure!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
CREWMAN: Get the complete Adventures as an ebook when the serial is complete, including a solutions appendix explaining how to find the treasure. You'll also receive a backers-only exclusive prequel episode -- learn where Lucy Smokeheart is from and how she began her pirating career! This level does include each monthly story and clue as they are published.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
COOK: Hang out with the author! At this level, you'll receive an invitation to a monthly Google Hangout where you can give feedback on how the Adventures are going -- and maybe even influence their future direction. Want a character named after you? Dying to see more carnivorous mermaids or fewer lizard-men? No promises, but join the Hangout and make your case. Also includes the ebook and monthly episodes.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
30 backers Limited (70 left of 100)
FIRST MATE: A signed and numbered limited-edition hardcover copy of the Daring Adventures! You'll also receive the serial and clues to the treasure hunt, the ebook with solutions and Lucy's exclusive origin story, and new episodes as they are published.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (15 left of 15)
BUCCANEER: Receive your own handcrafted paper copy of Lucy's mysterious treasure map -- and the key that opens whatever marvel is hidden there. Also includes monthly episodes and clues, the ebook, and a signed hardcover copy.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)
CAPTAIN: A personalized, hand-written Letter of Marque spelling out the details of your captaincy and a selection of your own feats of derring-do! Also includes Lucy's treasure map and key and all prior rewards.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)
ADMIRAL: You will be written into the Daring Adventures as a major character! I'll work with you to establish a suitable name and history, and then you'll get a starring role in one or more episodes! Also includes the monthly episodes and clues, ebook, signed hardcover, treasure map and key.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $5,000 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)
POSEIDON: Your own private episode of Lucy's adventures, written to your own specifications. Feel free to share or keep it to yourself, at your discretion! Also includes the Letter of Marque, treasure map and key, a hardcover book, ebooks, clues, and email reminders.Estimated delivery:
- (30 days)