High school student Jamie Hattori spends her nights disguised as the crime fighter Kensei. Her life has taken a turn for the strange over the last few months. On the one hand, she has a new girlfriend, and she's managed to make friends among the more veteran heroes of Cobalt City. On the other hand, her parents have separated, and she recently had a Greek goddess trying to kill her.
Now she faces a pair of threats that might undo her. Not only does a World War II supervillain come to Cobalt City with plans to kill Jamie, but her two least favorite people are also coming to town: her grandparents.
The Love of Danger is a sequel to my first book, Kensei. These books feature Jamie Hattori, a teenage superhero who has the ability to talk to the spirits of items and places. It is set in the shared world setting of Cobalt City, created by Nathan Crowder. I'm looking to raise the funds to cover the cost for final cover art, any additional editing that comes up after this round of revisions, and printing a small set of books.
What did people think of the first book?
"Jeremy Zimmerman has created a unique combination coming-of-age / super-hero story in which the protagonist wrestles with her sexual identity as much as she wrestles with the city's villains. Readers will love Kensei's impressive ninja skills, but will root for her because of her humor and her heart." - Danika Dinsmore, author of Fairy Tales of the White Forest
"There is always room for another kick-butt female hero, and Zimmerman delivers a double-punch with Jamie and her superhero identity, Kensei. Battling next to - and against - spirits, gods, lions and the awkwardness of high school, Jamie is a young lady with courage, spirit and staying power. A can't miss read." - Caren Gussoff, author of Homecoming and The Wave and Other Stories
"Kensei is fast paced, engaging, and full of likable characters. A wonderful mix of superheroes and mythology. Watching Jamie Hattori navigate high school, dating, and supervillainy is just plain fun." - Lane Robins, author of Maledicte
"What an exciting, action-filled blast! Full of superheroes, villains, laughs, and mystery, this page-turner will charm and entertain while you cheer for the heroine to solve the crime and save her city from evil." - Ann Charles, author of The Deadwood Mysteries
"Jeremy Zimmerman's Kensei is all you can ask from a superhero story and more-great fight scenes, treacherous villains, vampire owls, clever quips, family drama, and even young love." - Author Jamie Lackey
If you don't believe them, you can read it for free!
You don't need to sign up on a web site or back a token amount. I'm offering this for free, no strings attached. If you prefer the convenience of getting the book through a retailer so it automatically downloads to your reading device, I've dropped the price to 99-cents for the following sites: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo. Smashwords, Oyster, Scribd.
Before someone else asks it, I figure I should address one thing that might concern potential backers: why is a straight white middle-aged man writing about a mixed race lesbian teenager?
I want to see diversity and representation in media.
After some introspection and talking with fellow writers, I decided that I should push myself to provide representation in my writing. I figure: I'm going to write stories no matter what. If I'm going to write, I have a choice between another instance of "straight white dude saves the world" or writing characters that you don't see as often as you should. I try very hard to get feedback and find beta readers to let me know when I screw things up.
If you're looking for more diverse media like I am, I want to take a moment to direct you toward some authors who represent marginalized and non-privileged groups. This is not an exhaustive list, just a list of people I think are particularly awesome.
- K. C. Ball
- A. M. Dellamonica
- Caren Gusoff
- N. K. Jemisin
- Keffy R. M. Kehrli
- Nnedi Okorafor
- Nisi Shawl
- Cynthia Ward
The core reward is the book. The ebook will be available in Kindle/MOBI, EPUB, and PDF formats. The physical book will be 5.5"x8.5". There are rock-bottom reward tiers for early adopters.
All backers will also receive a free digital copy of the first Kensei book. I will take down the free copy I linked to above when the Kickstarter ends, but if you back the Kickstarter, I'll make sure you don't miss out on your free copy if you forget to download it earlier.
His Grubby Mitts!
If you back at $20, I will sign the book before I send it your way.
In the context of the book, Capechaser is a web site and app for superhero fans. It's like the unholy child of Instagram and Yelp. And I'm using it to describe the penultimate set of rewards. Not only do you get a signed copy of the book, but you will get some swag. This will include:
Cobalt City Trio !
While Nathan Crowder created Cobalt City, he's invited many of his friends to play in his creative pool. My lovely wife and I have been working on collections of stories about some of our favorite characters, combining older stories with newer creations. Backers will receive ebook copies of The Devil, You Say and Snowflake War Journal by me and Sparx and Arrows by Dawn Vogel. Dawn and I have decorated up our little corner of the Cobalt City mythology, and these compliment the Kensei books nicely.
Storied Threads has designed a patch that will go out to high end backers. Here's a photo! The patch is four-inches wide and features the kanji that Jamie uses on the front of her superhero costume. The colors red and black are a reference to the high school she goes to, Abraham Lincoln High School. (Go Loggers!)
This reward level will include all the fun of Capechaser, but with a few additional extras! Some of the stretch goals will add to the things that come at this reward level.
"Major Tomboy and the Jammer from Mars"!
I've written a short story that has not been seen by the general public, told from the point of view of Jamie's girlfriend, Parker "Major Tomboy" Fiorenza. It takes place between books one and two and gets referenced a couple times in The Love of Danger.
Illustrator IcyPanther has designed a set of chibi stickers featuring the Derby Dozen, twelve skaters from the Glass-Eyed Roller Dolls that help out Kensei in the book. Each skater will be on their own three-inch tall sticker, that will have a white border around it like this:
One of the stretch goals is to extend the stickers to other characters from the book.
I love telling stories. When I'm not writing, my main creative outlet is roleplaying games. This reward tier means we can build a story together. I will travel up to 200 miles from my luxurious north Seattle home to run/facilitate a game for you! Am I really a celebrity GM? Not really. It's a a very tongue-in-cheek title friends have given me.
For the things that are outside of the tidy tiers of rewards, we offer add-ons! Increase your pledge by the amount of the add-on you want to include. For international backers, there will be an added cost for shipping.
- $5 - Print copy of Kensei
- $5 - Additional print copy of The Love of Danger
- $10 - Random set of four stickers!
- $10 - Additional patch (for Capechaser backers only)
- $25 - Additional set of stickers (for Superfan backers only)
$1,500 - Kensei Tales: Offensive Driving
There's a small time jump between this book and the next one. I've been considering writing serials to cover the events between books two and three. If we hit this stretch goal, I will commit to writing the first of these serials. This would be a 20,000 word novel, broken up into four or five chunks and released online. Kickstarter and Patreon backers will get to read these before they are released to the public.
"Kensei Tales: Offensive Driving" will be a team-up story featuring Kensei and Traffic Enforcer.
$1,750 - More Stickers!
My original idea for the stickers was to cover just the Derby Dozen, the twelve skaters from the Glass-Eyed Dolls Roller Girls who know Jamie's secret. If we hit this stretch goal, I will increase the commissioned art to include other characters from the book: Kensei, Pícara, Imperial Dynamo, Imperial Vortex, 2thefairest, Dave, and Jamie's family.
$2,000 - Prestige Edition!
At this level I will create a limited run of hardcover editions with a dust jacket and everything. Capechaser level backers will have the option to upgrade to this for $10. Superfan level backers may choose to upgrade to this for free.
$2,500 - Kensei Tales: Carry the News
Another serial, this time featuring Parker, Kara Sparx, and Parker's least favorite boy band: The Young Dudes.
Credit Where It's Due
The creative team helping with The Love of Danger consists of my lovely wife Dawn Vogel (first pass editor), the amazing Lillian Cohen-Moore (second pass editor and content advisor), and Errow Collins (cover illustration and layout).
Swag is designed and will be produced by IcyPanther and Storied Threads. Music accompanying the video is "Can't You See The World Is Ending" by The Doubleclicks, used under license. Video was assembled by Derrick Swedelius. And the voice in the video is mine.
Risks and challenges
The core manuscript is done and is going through revisions. The base cover art is done. The biggest risks at this point are:
- The final version of the cover art doesn't get completed. But Errow has been a reliable designer that I've worked with before. If the worst happens and she can't finish it, I do have other artists I can turn to.
- Act of God. There are many tasks that have yet to be completed that rely on me and my clunky old laptop. It seems unlikely, but I do have backup options in case either I or my laptop experience catastrophe.
- Swag production. The plan is to not actually order swag until this funds. So I don't have the swag in hand, and the actual production is out of my hands. Should one of the manufacturers fall through, then there will be some delay while we find backup vendors.
- (31 days)