UPDATE: Stuart Conover, editor of the BuyZombie blog, has written an... hmmm, how do we say this, interesting interpretation of our Kickstarter project. With roughly 100 words of original text in the article, both of our names are misspelled and our faith in fact-checking needs to be restored, however, it is for these reasons that it is an entertaining read. Check it out and lend your support to Marc and Cole, they sound like swell chaps!
UPDATE: John Sears, President of the Zombie Rights Campaign and Administrator of its accompanying blog, has written a feature post on our project. Ever vigilant, his praise comes with no little concern for our attempt at an "honest" portrayal of the differently animated (zombies) in this story. Forthright, candid- and highly worth the read! John, we will try not to disappoint the cause!
Napoleon. England. Undead. Tall Ships Shooting Fire. Awesomeness.
Port of Gibraltar, 1805. When French forces steal Admiral Nelson's body shortly after the Battle of Trafalgar, HMS Spectre is tasked with it's recovery. Among her crew, rumors and superstitions are traded freely that Napoleon is in league with the devil and is raising an unholy army of undead. Fearing that the Emperor has designs to reanimate Admiral Nelson and gain naval superiority over England, the Spectre makes pursuit to turn the tide of war. Kipling, a convicted crewman pressed into service, embarks on the Spectre as penance for his criminal past, risking discovery that his own life is unnatural as he has twice cheated death.
The World to Come is a four-part serial adventure novel, created as a quarterly experience where reader reaction can influence the direction of the story, and that culminates in a limited compilation paperback novel featuring color artwork in period style. Experience 19th Century serial fiction for our (digital) times!
The story takes place in Napoleon's war-torn Europe where the grave spontaneously gives up her dead. It pits the historical figures of the era against a supernaturally-aided enemy, and brings to the foreground all of their superstitions and occult traditions as they try to make sense of this new reality. The story embraces historical events and facts and re-imagines them for our time and sensibilities (we really heart zombies), producing a story that is human at its core, while being thoroughly entertaining.
No. It's high adventure with historical accuracy to add authenticity and realism to the more fantastical elements.
The zombies in The World to Come won't resemble the typical brain hungry, mindless hordes depicted elsewhere in the genre. That is to say, not all of them do. The undead in our world are merely amplified reflections of the people they were in life, and the attitudes and appetites they most indulged.
So, if a zombie had been a bloodthirsty war-monger in life, he might more closely resemble the flesh-eating monsters we're all used to seeing in typical zombie fare. Yet our protagonist (still a zombie) is an introspective, reluctantly undead, properly British chap who puts his pantaloons on one leg at a time.
Yes... (reassuring pat on the head)
We want to create a shared experience where reader reaction can influence the direction of the story. We also want to deliver this story in a form that fits the tone of the project. Many of the 19th Century's greatest novels first appeared in serial form- the works of Dickens and Conan Doyle come to mind as worthy examples. Many times the author would adjust the story direction according to audience reaction, and we'd like to mimic this phenomenon for the digital age by providing access to a discussion platform available only to our subscribers.
- You subscribe ($30 and up level)
- We deliver the first installment (January 2013)
- We interact with readers in the subscriber-only forum
- We incorporate feedback and deliver the next installment quarterly
- Rinse and repeat! The fourth and final installment will be delivered on the anniversary of Admiral Nelson's death in October, along with the compilation* ebook and limited edition paperback
*the compilation will include the cover art as well as exclusive commissioned artwork
If ideas and gents were dollars and cents, something-something-something. Bottom line, publishing costs money.
Funds will go toward all the great people it will take to get this out of our hands and into yours. It'll cover costs for the editing, proofing, layout, cover and commissioned artwork, printing, marketing and distribution. Plus, there is Kickstarter, Amazon, and The Man who need their cut as well. Our goal should just barely cover these costs.
Part One is already being written and edited, with a launch in January. Each part will be delivered quarterly (January, April, July, October) with the last installment delivered on the anniversary of Admiral Nelson's death.
In the end, we aim to produce a unique quarterly experience that will result in a 60-80k word compilation novel complete with up to twenty commissioned illustrations (as these rewards are funded) in period style as a memento of that shared journey. We plan to have a different artist for each piece, working in traditional oil paintings, woodcut lithographs, and etchings to fill an interlude for the book told completely visually. Each of you will have this artwork in the book in full color, as well as an opportunity to own a limited original work of art.
Please have a look at our reward levels. We have kept them simple and meaningful so that you won't get overwhelmed with choice.
We are an enigma, wrapped in a riddle, smothered with bacon and maple syrup and left to age. Seriously, we're a creative duo who love stories and storytelling. We're also brothers, and decent writers/filmmakers. Originally, we approached this idea as a feature screenplay, and after writing the treatment, decided we'd like to see it expanded and enjoyed in a medium that can handle the immersive detail of the world. Hence the novel.
Mark is the co-creator and primary writer for the project. He is an avid adventurer, writer, and amateur historian. He considers himself born 200 years too late and on the wrong side of the Atlantic. If he wasn't a family man, he'd be spending all his time on lone peaks and open seas.
Colt is the co-creator and self-proclaimed captain of the ship. He is a screenwriter, film director, and a community storytelling facilitator. He considers himself a creative explorer, uncovering the last known "dark areas" on the map through creative interpretation of the world around him.
The Little Red Man is our muse. With over 260 years as a consultant to many of history's "who's-who" (including Napoleon Bonaparte), he has promised us ten years of literary dominance in exchange for our souls. A bargain, really.
In addition, through our experience in film and media, we have a network of emerging artists who will be creating the paintings, woodblock lithographs, and etchings that will bring the story to life visually. We're also open to inquiries from artists within the Kickstarter community.
Questions? Ask! (another reassuring pat on the head)
It's worth mentioning we'll be Kicking It Forward.
Special thanks to: Wikimedia Commons for public domain imagery, J.M.W. Turner for a lifetime of artwork, Benjamin Moreau for the licensing of his great score, and Archive.org for the community audio recording of Boccherini La Musica Notturna Delle Strade Di Madrid No. 6, Op. 30. Also to Lumi we tip our hat (we share one big sombrero-like one), sirs.
- (29 days)