Thank you very much for making this Kickstarter such a success. We’ll keep you updated on the project here, and on the Stone Skin Press site!
A Man Without A Past
Cipher is a monk: a master of the Deadly Arts, able to dismantle enemies using his bare hands. He is immune to lies, and can see volumes of information in the smallest detail.
Unfortunately, that’s all he knows. His real name, his history - all stolen by an unknown foe.
Without memory or purpose, Cipher can only follow his instinct to find bad people, and hit them until they stop doing bad things. Joining a crime-fighting cavalry unit in a remote corner of the Dragon Empire, he finds himself allied with a singing orc, an indecisive elf, and a flying carpet that doesn't like heights. Together they’ll take on a crazy halfling death cultist, a love-maddened alchemist, a charming drunkard dog-thief, a blinded arch-demon in chains, and the bizarre Mantischorgoth.
The Forgotten Monk is high fantasy and high adventure, woven into a story of strong friendships, deadly hatreds, ingenious criminal mysteries and baffling affairs of the heart.
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The first time I read 13th Age, I thought to myself, "Wow, neat!" Then I thought, "Ooh, I've got a great idea for a character!"
Then, a little while later, I thought, "Whoa, and I know the perfect story for that great character."
A bit after that, it was "...and that would be the perfect ending for the story." Which is when I realized that what I actually had was the outline of a novel.
So I wrote it.
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It was not the first book I've ever written. This isn't even the first novel I've pushed using Kickstarter: SINNER and Mask of the Other have both been improved, or just made possible, by crowdfunding. That's without getting into the many short stories I've released through this platform. (They're free now! Click the link if you haven't seen them yet!)
But The Forgotten Monk is something different. I'm not just funding this to release as a print-on-demand book and Amazon file. Instead, this Kickstarter is to push this into broader distribution through Pelgrane's fiction imprint, Stone Skin Press.
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Your backing does not get you a promise to write the novel, it gets you the novel itself. It's written! Done! Complete, 90,000 words long. But printing out that much action, magic and crazy mayhem isn't free, and the layout people and proofers and editors want to get paid for their expertise. (I do too, as do the IP owners for 13th Age.)
That's where the money raised goes. This is a good story. Stone Skin Press is award-winning publisher Pelgrane's fiction imprint, and it's already released six critically acclaimed short story collections. (My favorite is The Lion and the Aardvark.) With your help, The Forgotten Monk can be their first novel.
If you're interested in stories about hard choices, loyalties and identity, I've got one. Or if you just want to read about fistfights in the Dragon Empire... it's got that covered too.
FIRST STRETCH GOAL... MET!
While I was fiddling around with an update promising a writeup of 13 characters, monsters and assorted antagonists if The Forgotten Monk hit $2,000, I checked back and found that it already had. Awesome! The good folks at Pelgrane are going to stat up thirteen challenges described in the book!
SECOND STRETCH GOAL... MET! O'DUFFY UNLOCKED!
Patrick O'Duffy -- author of The Obituarist and Hotel Flamingo -- has agreed to write a short story based on one of the minor characters from the novel, to be released along with the book through Pelgrane.
Secondly, that font there, which I created for certain sections of The Forgotten Monk, will go out under a CC: license when the funds clear. It's a TrueType font, so you'll be able to knock together mysterious manuscripts until the cows come home, probably breathing fire
THIRD STRETCH GOAL... MET! RYDER-HANRAHAN, UNBOUND!
Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan is now also on deck to write a short story based on one of the characters from The Forgotten Monk. Will he choose the singing orc? The burglar with a drinking problem? Karvak, man of the north? Only time will tell, but when the time comes, we'll be able to lay it out in this font. Not that we'd do that.
FOURTH STRETCH GOAL... MET! HEINSOO IS FREED!
Outstanding. On top of the other stories, we've got one of the two 13th Age founders contributing a tale as well, not to mention this fine looking font to decorate your holy documents.
FIFTH STRETCH GOAL... MET! JONATHAN TWEET COMETH!
I'll admit it, I was worried we wouldn't get here, but we did! Tweet's going to write something based on my work (albeit a work of mine that's based on a work of his, but hopefully the recursion stops here). Pat yourselves on the back! You earned this!
SIXTH STRETCH GOAL: THIRTEEN IMAGES
Can this novel raise $10,000?
Can this novel raise ten thousand dollars?
That's the question, because if it does, the artists of Pelgrane will swoop in like angels with paintbrushes and produce thirteen illustrations. (Of course it's 13. The book has 13 chapters. Also, I'm posting this update on Friday the 13th. It's all connected.) If you want to see what characters like Gruttla Hammerheart, Sergeant Dovestrom and the sinister Grossthorn look like... well, honestly, I'd love to as well. It can happen!
It can happen at $10,000.
(Special thanks to James Semple, whose theme music for 13th Age is used in the video. You can also hear it, and more, online at Soundcloud!)
(Grateful thanks also to Pat Loboyko, who did such a kick ass job on the cover. I particularly like the trees on the back, actually.)
Risks and challenges
As stated previously, the book is written. The stages that remain are editing, layout and printing. Delay is possible at each of those phases, but Pelgrane is a healthy company that has printed dozens of books and gotten them distributed. There might be a binding error, but this is not a project that's at risk of having the creator flake out.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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