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Estelle lives in a city of light, but dreams of the dark and seeing the stars. Armed with a bulldozer she attempts to change her world.
Estelle lives in a city of light, but dreams of the dark and seeing the stars. Armed with a bulldozer she attempts to change her world.
72 backers pledged $2,766 to help bring this project to life.

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http://hdknightley.com/

Thank you for a successful Kickstarter campaign!

If you missed out and didn't order Bright, no worries, just head over to my site: http://hdknightley.com/  where you'll find updates and links to e-books and printed books as they become available. The book will also be available on Amazon and hopefully in fine independent bookstores within a lovely biking distance from your home. We can dream, huh? Thank you again!

Have you ever looked around and thought, This is all so wrong? Or, A bulldozer would fix this situation nicely? Or, Regardless of the repercussions, a hammock and sleeping under the stars would be mighty fine right about now? 

If you have, then Estelle, the protagonist of Bright, is your kind of revolutionary.

Bright started out as a short story that I wrote about eight years ago. The story is about an idealistic teenager named Estelle Wells, who lives in an uber-consumerist city with too much ambient light. She dreams of seeing the stars and ultimately carries out a plan inspired by the writings of Henry David Thoreau. 

The short story sat on a shelf while I worked on other projects. 

About a year ago while standing on the shores of Walden pond. I started thinking about Estelle's world. I thought about her city and all the ways that its relationship to its citizens was insidious, and confining. It was all about control I realized. I became certain that in Estelle's future world where everything was new and bright and exceedingly controlled, that Thoreau's ideas would still shine brightly. 

I started writing again, and changed the story in many ways. 

Her world that once glowed all over with a grey murky light, now was a bright gleaming jewel of a city with projected patterns that covered the sky. Even with the fabulous light-show, Estelle still longed for a black night sky and twinkling stars.

I deepened the malicious authority that Estelle struggled against. In deepening, Estelle's character emerged. She became less idealistic, and far more imperfect. My favorite stories have protagonists that are in-over-their-head; Estelle became deep.

Estelle's brother Terran, formerly a side-kick, blossomed into a true partner and friend. Estelle's parents, Frederick and Sylvia emerged as fallible, but caring parents.

Floyd*, William, and Mj entered the story, bringing with them friendship and love. They also complicated things thoroughly.

Some of the cast of Bright (Estelle, Terran, Mj and William), painted by my daughter, Fiona
Some of the cast of Bright (Estelle, Terran, Mj and William), painted by my daughter, Fiona

The story is exciting. Here's just a few moments: 

Estelle joins a protest and almost gets...Oh, wait, I don't want to spoil it.

Estelle falls in love, with someone. I'm not saying who.

Estelle has to drive a large piece of machinery.

Okay, well, I can't tell you too much without spoiling the book, but suffice it to say, there's a whole lot more.

Estelle wants to change her world. She believes she has a plan, a good plan, but it's a lot more like wishful thinking. Her plan goes well until it doesn't. Then Estelle realizes that in giving everything up, she's gained a lot more to lose.

Bright is finished. The editor, Denine Dawson (thanks Denine!) is giving it the last look. I'm raising money to pay the editor, because the bill is coming due. 

That's where you come in.

I've been working on this story for a really long time. I do hope you'll help me finish it up and send it out into the world.

Sincerely yours,

H.D. Knightley

ps. http://hdknightley.com

pss. chapter 4 is up on my site: The Kind of Guy

psss. Chapter 22 is up on my site: Introducing the Character, Mj

Risks and challenges

I know I sound like the protagonist of Bright when I say that there are no risks, but even disregarding wishful thinking there just aren't any. The book is finished. The proof-editing is almost over. I need to pay the editor, but even if the funds aren't raised now then I'll just beg her to let me pay over time.

Did I mention that I have minions (or rather elves, depending on our mood) to help me package the books and take them to the post office?

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Friends, thank you so much for your support. Your name will be incuded in a thank you page of the book. In the words of Henry David Thoreau, "Goodness is the only investment that never fails." Tis true!

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    Friend without a fancy schmancy e-reader! I'll send you a PDF of the book. Because you deserve it;0)

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    You'll receive the novel, Bright, in e-book form. And my undying gratitude. As Thoreau said, "You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.” Launch, yes indeedy.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    You'll receive the novel, Bright, in paperback, signed, shipped to you. "The bluebird carries the sky on his back." Henry David Thoreau

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    You'll receive the novel, Bright, in paperback, signed, shipped to you, AND in e-book (so you can read it on your e-reader). Thoreau said, "The true harvest of my life is intangible - a little star dust caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched." Thank you for sending some star dust my way.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    The Arty Friend: You'll receive the novel in paperback form, signed. The e-book. AND a small print: the characters, Estelle, or the map.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    The Friend with a Friend level: You'll receive two copies of the novel Bright in paperback form. Both will be signed. One will be signed specially with a gift note from me and you. That copy will be wrapped with holiday wrapping so it will make a perfect gift. AND an e-book copy. Two for you, one for a friend, yay!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    The Super Arty Friend: You'll receive the novel, Bright, signed in paperback form. The e-book. And all three of the prints (book size): the cast, Estelle, and the map.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    The Friend with extra fairy tale flair: You'll receive the book(signed), the e-book, the book for a gift (wrapped and signed), the three prints, and you'll get an advance .pdf of my next book (in progress) The Light Princess.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    The Friend with extra Oomph: The book, the gift book for a friend, the e-book, the three prints, the advance .pdf of The Light Princess, and a letter of thank you from me. Because you're awesome.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Help me name a character. There is a teenage girl that makes a brief appearance in this book, but will be a big player in the sequel. Oops, did I say sequel? Spoiler alert! This would be a great way to honor someone, but I'll get the final say. Also, you'll receive the novel in paperback and e-book form. Thoreau wrote once, "You must not blame me if I do talk to the clouds."

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    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    Help me name a family of characters. There's a teenage boy that I named Floyd, and then as the story grew he became a major player. He needs a good name, first and last. His last name is also a major business, and then his mother and father need names, too. Also you'll receive, the novel, Bright, in paperback, and e-book form. "Having each some shingles of thought well dried, we sat and whittled them," said Thoreau. Let's whittle!

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Funding period

- (25 days)