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Strong heroine Kiellen risks death for the ecstasy of biomechanical flight. Will love overcome betrayal in the fight to save the world?
Strong heroine Kiellen risks death for the ecstasy of biomechanical flight. Will love overcome betrayal in the fight to save the world?
Strong heroine Kiellen risks death for the ecstasy of biomechanical flight. Will love overcome betrayal in the fight to save the world?
74 backers pledged $7,115 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Mechalarum: A Science Fiction Novel

$7,115

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SUCCESS!!!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you everyone for making this Kickstarter project a success! I'm blown away by how much everyone has gotten behind my vision, you guys are the absolute best :)

I'll continue to post updates on my novel as the project progresses, want to make sure that everyone knows how things are going. Look forward to delivering the finished product!

You can also go to the Mechalarum website to learn more, or check out my blog, website, Facebook, or Twitter.


Updates

I built a Mechalarum suit mock up! Check out more pics!

I have art of Kiellen!

Hungry for more? Read updates on my blog, or follow along on Facebook.

Overview

Love. Power hunger. Betrayal. The theft of a part-organic, part-machine prototype flying suit and the threat of interplanetary war. The actions of a strong but foolhardy woman setting off a sequence of events that will determine the future of at least one world.

Synopsis

In a desperate bid to save her home, The Citadel, from an overwhelming force, outcast Kiellen steals a state-of-the-art biomechanical Mechalarum flight suit from her former school. She deals a damaging blow to the mysterious foe, but her foolhardy heroism is not received as she'd hoped it would be. Hurtling back to earth after the Council disables the Mechalarum, she wonders if she'll survive long enough to save her homeland. And is it still worth saving? A gripping tale filled with love and betrayal, the first novel of this series will leave you breathless.

Excerpt

As Taim watched, too far away to get to her in time, Kiellen grabbed the fabric of her woven tunic and pulled it over her head, then took off her pants and stripped out of her undergarments. In a moment she stood completely naked. The quickness of the motion caught Taim by surprise, and he tripped over a drain, nearly falling face-first into a mixer before catching himself.

By the time he raised his head, he saw Kiellen easing into the hungry embrace of the Mechalarum. He started towards her once more as the suit wrapped itself around her, the sensing wires slithering over her skin, the electrodes working their way into position to pick up on signals from her nerves and synapses.

It wasn’t pretty to watch. A look of shock crossed Kiellen’s face as the armature spasmed. The suit switched from an exploratory mode to a predatory one, swallowing her exposed skin inch by inch like a particularly virulent case of gangrene. She fought back, arching her spine and contorting her body until it looked like she might dislocate a shoulder or snap an elbow.

Finally, Taim got close enough to grab her by the waist, but it was too late. Although he pulled with all his might, his puny human arms were no match for the suit’s strength.

The muscles in Kiellen’s face relaxed as she gave into the experience of pairing. The Mechalarum sensed her acceptance, and its antagonism lessened.

“Please,” Taim begged, fighting as the suit worked its way between Kiellen’s skin and his fingers. “This is insane. I don’t know what you have in mind, but I’m sure there’s a better way.”

Want to Read More of My Fiction?

I recently resurrected an old folk-style story I wrote in the vein of a traditional Norwegian tale. Very different from Mechalarum, but an interesting example of my writing!

Lueil's Lyre


The Story Behind Mechalarum

I live for challenging boundaries with my work. In Mechalarum, i explore...

  • What it's like to take on the role of strong heroine.
  • Love, friendship, and romance, and how the forms those things take don't always fit in pretty little packages.
  • The distinctions between biology and machine, organics and man-made things.
  • The meaning of power, and the lengths people will go to cling to it when the alternative is opening up and exposing their deep-seated vulnerabilities.

I want to make science fiction that is accessible, that teases the edges of your imagination without making you feel like your brain has gone through a blender. I like characters who can snark at and tease each other, even as the world comes crashing down around them.

And, finally, I want to tell an adventure story with lots of action. What's the point of a tall tale if it doesn't make your heart race?

My Influences

Far too many to mention, but here's a short list. Tamora Pierce, for her ability to create strong female characters recasting their roles in new and interesting ways. Piers Anthony and Douglas Adams for making science fiction and fantasy stories that are exceedingly accessible and hilarious at the same time (although I did resist the urge to pun in this particular work)! Dan Simmons, who I only recently became acquainted with, for creating fiction that spans genres, demonstrating that you can be fresh simply by refusing to stick to the rules. Classic authors like Tolkien and Lewis; I will always aspire to create such richly realized fictional worlds. And Michael J. Sullivan, for his accessibility to fans and fellow writers alike.

Why Me?

I still have a crystal-clear memory of the first time I watched Star Wars. I'd already seen plenty of TNG, and watched with starry eyes as Davey helped Max find his way home, so science fiction wasn't exactly new to me. But the universe brought into existence by alien dive bars, mystical telekinetic powers, and radiant swords of light burned itself indelibly into my nine-year-old brain. Of course, if I had my druthers, I'd be working to encourage the discovery of space-time manipulation in the search of the solution to the problem with FTL travel. But until I figure out a way to help with that, I find it absolutely necessary to explore new frontiers with my imagination (instead of my corporeal being).

Why Kickstarter?

I'm giving my all to make this project come to life. I want to build a movement. I want to release a fictional universe onto the world for fans, artists, and visionaries from all mediums and realms to play in. My life would have been sad and miserable without the fantastical stories of my youth, and if I can give the same experience to even one new person who desperately needs it, it will all be worth it. But I need your help! My story won't be complete unless I get a cadre of talented people on my team. With your assistance, they will be the masters to my padawan.

Note: You need an Amazon Account to support a project through Kickstarter, but I've done a tweak that lets you use PayPal or your credit card!

IF YOU WANT TO PAY WITH PAYPAL, CLICK HERE!

Interpretive Dance Video

Check out an awesome interpretive dance version of the suit-bonding in my novel!


Funding Breakdown

Where will the money go?

  • Reward costs: $1600
    Printing books, ordering prints, shipping, etc.
  • Kickstarter/Amazon fees: $700
  • Cover Art: $1000
    I have a terrific artist lined up to make sure that my novel puts its best foot forward.
  • Content Editing: $1800
    No writer creates in a vacuum. Often, we get too close to our work and start to miss things. A good editor is essential to point out inconsistencies when we've made plot or character jumps in our heads without actually writing them down.
  • Book Tour: $1100
    I'm thrilled to be able to provide my book to wonderful people pledging on Kickstarter, but wouldn't you like to say that you were the first of many, many readers? In order to get the book in front of more eyes, I'll have to physically and virtually take my show on the road. Even better, I'll be partnering with you the fans to bring live events - and me - to a tavern, meeting hall, pub or hidden bunker near you.
  • ISBNs, barcodes, formatting, copyediting, other: $700
    I've got a good grasp of all I'll need to get the book in finished form, but something always comes up that you don't quite expect!
  • Total: $6900

Rewards

And now, the good part!

Of course, actual copies of the book (ebook, paperback, or hardcover) will be included at most reward levels.

But that's not all. There's more!

Amazing Etsy jewelry artist Noadi will be designing a custom piece of jewelry to ship at the $50 level.

UPDATE!

Here's the sketch for the piece Noadi is working on. So excited to see this in production!

Mechalarum Jewelry Sketch by Noadi
Mechalarum Jewelry Sketch by Noadi

Below is an example of her beautiful handicraft!

(NOT ACTUAL IMAGE OF REWARD JEWELRY)

Sample Jewelry by Noadi
Sample Jewelry by Noadi

Thank You For Stopping By!

Hope you like my project :) Feel free to ask questions here or elsewhere, I'd love to hear what you have to say!

Risks and challenges

Although the novel still needs a lot of work, the first draft is complete. I have a cover artist on board, I'm in the process of making the final editor selection, and I've got a swarm of excited readers ready to give me feedback throughout the process. As someone who has worked as a professional freelance writer for four years, and who has written several novels and worked on other large-scale projects, I don't foresee any major hiccups in the process. I have advisers to help guide me through the process of creating the ebook, printing hard copies, and generally making this a rewarding and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • The suit is a prototype, it's being developed as a "secret weapon" to fight against a mysterious threat. It's made from metal, rubber, and special nanofibers - together, they create a protective shell that can withstand incredibly high impact forces. It uses a futuretech similar to antigravity for propulsion (as opposed to, say, rockets or jets). In order to get optimal control, the suits are supposed to be genetically matched to their hosts; however, Kiellen steals a suit that isn't perfectly matched to her, which does not bode well. I'm having some artwork done that will better represent the look :)

    Last updated:
  • The version I have written now is about 90,000 words. It's hard to say exactly how many pages that will be in the final, printed form, but for comparison, The Hobbit is 95,000 words.

    Last updated:

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    A huge boost of Karma, and special website thank you :)

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Electronification! A copy of the finished ebook, and your name immortalized on the Internet... at least, until the Internet gets replaced by the next world-shaking communications innovation.

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    25 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Repurposed cellulose-based tissues! A copy of the finished paperback book, and website thanks. And, because you're so awesome, we'll throw in an ebook copy for you or a friend. (Non-US backers, please add $10 for shipping, $35 total).

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Citadelian! Show your Citadel pride by proudly wearing the mark of the Mechalarum. At this level, you'll get the paperback book, ebook, web mention, and a special piece of polymer clay jewelry designed by Etsy artist Noadi. Get 'em while they're hot! (Non-US backers, please add $15 for shipping, $65 total).

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    ULTRA SUPER-BONUS HARDCOVER LEVEL! A limited-edition, signed and hand-numbered hardcover copy of the finished novel. This reward level includes special recognition in the book acknowledgements and on the website, and also an ebook copy for when your arms get tired of supporting the weight of all that awesomeness. (Non-US backers, please add $15 for shipping, $115 total).

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    Pledge $115 or more About $115

    Triple threat! Copies of Mechalarum in all three formats - hardcover, paperback, and ebook. Signed! Web mention and acknowledgements included. (Non-US backers, please add $15 for shipping, $130 total).

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Hardcover and jewelry in one! Everything from the hardcover and the jewelry level combined. Best of both worlds at a special price! (Non-US backers, please add $15 for shipping, $140 total).

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Person of Insight! In addition to a copy of the finished hardcover, a copy of the ebook, and acknowledgments in the novel and on the site, you'll also have the chance to leave your eternal mark on this tale by naming one of the characters or locations. The author may ask for an alternate suggestion if your first choice is vulgar, unpronounceable, or boring. (Non-US backers, please add $15 for shipping, $215 total).

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Consumption and conversation! A finished hardcover version, ebook version, mention in acknowledgements and on-site, and an invitation for you and a friend to attend a special dinner in lovely NYC with the author, full of artistic luminaries, startup whiz-kids, and tech geniuses.

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    Storification! Have you ever wanted to be the inspiration for a work of fiction? Now is your chance! Your likeness and/or ideas/places/themes of your choosing will inspire an original work of fiction. Choose to keep it forever to yourself, or have it shared with the world and receive credit for your contribution! Included at this level is a hardcover version of Mechalarum, an ebook version, and acknowledgements.

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Funding period

- (32 days)