The Empress of Timbra project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound
$2,893
pledged of $1,875 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

By Karen Healey
$2,893
pledged of $1,875 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

About

Set against the backdrop of an intricate world of magic and intrigue, The Empress of Timbra is a high fantasy novel written by authors Karen Healey (Guardian of the Dead, The Shattering, the When We Wake duology) and Robyn Fleming.

Fourteen-year-old Taver didn't know he was a nobleman's bastard until his real father died. Eleven-year-old Elaku has always known she was the bastard daughter of the same nobleman - and the Empress's Witch. When the two siblings meet in the Empress of Timbra's palace, neither is aware that treachery and war threaten their home - and that they must rely on their magic, their wits, and each other to have any chance of victory.

Ten years ago, before Karen wrote Guardian of the Dead, we created the world of The Empress of Timbra. A decade later, after Karen made a very bad character collage for her students as an example of what not to do, we went back to that world and that book. With all our improved skills we carved a novel we're proud of from that rough early draft.

The manuscript itself is complete, and, sure, we could slap an e-book together ourselves. But we want this book to be the best it can be, so we're raising money to do it right. If we make our goal, the money we raise will go to a professional proofreading job, a beautiful cover design, professional formatting and layout, and Kickstarter fees. 

The bonus is that for helping us achieve our funding goal, you get some great rewards! We've also got some spectacular stretch goals planned (character illustrations! maps! appendices!) if we raise money beyond our funding goal, and we're looking forward to sharing them with you.

Thank you for joining us. This novel has been ten years in the making, and we're so excited to finally bring it to the world!

Robyn and Karen, much better lit than in real life.
Robyn and Karen, much better lit than in real life.

STRETCH GOALS!

Stretch Goal #1 - $3000 - Dry Fantasy Appendix - REACHED!

Every high fantasy needs appendices at the back of the book, where the authors ponderously explain things like family trees, state religion, and the nature and practice of magic. Karen and Robyn are well-practiced nerds who have enjoyed many an appendix. We've got this covered.

Stretch Goal #2 - $3500 - Character Portraits by Laya Rose - REACHED!

 What exactly do Taver and Elaku look like? Wonder no more! Wellington-based artist Laya Rose is deservedly well-known for her beautiful fanart, as well as her gorgeous original work. If we make it to this goal, we'll commission her to create character portraits of our half-sibling duo, to be included in the book.

Raphael Santiago from The Mortal Instruments, by Laya Rose
Raphael Santiago from The Mortal Instruments, by Laya Rose

Stretch Goal #3 - $4000 - Writing Together Podcast - REACHED! Karen and Robyn get a lot of questions about how they co-write. What if they have different ideas about the direction of the plot? Who writes what bits? How does it, you know, work? We’ll tell you all about it in this podcast, EXCLUSIVE to our backers!

Stretch Goal #4 - $5000 - Fantasy Map. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a high fantasy novel set in distinct geography must be in want of a map. But who shall draw it? Eisner Award winner and New Zealand Arts Laureate Dylan Horrocks, that’s who!

If we reach this goal, we’ll commission Dylan (Hicksville, Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen) to create a fantastic piece of cartography showing the Three Cities of Timbra, New Hart and Catella, included with every copy of The Empress of Timbra.

Rewards

We're all about the book. All of our reward levels, excluding the $5 level, include an e-book of The Empress of Timbra, in .mobi and .epub. Naturally, there will be no DRM or region restrictions.

Additional rewards levels include a novella, The Spymaster's Apprentice, set in the same world, and three unrelated fantasy short stories by Karen, two of which have been published in acclaimed anthologies. These are all digital rewards - shipping from New Zealand would have raised our funding goal and rewards levels to prices we weren't comfortable with.

Limited rewards include embroidered, original, one-of-a-kind fabric bookmarks (handmade by Robyn!), a choice of three levels of manuscript critique, and the ability to choose a name to go into the sequel. 

That's a horned horse. They're important.
That's a horned horse. They're important.

We also have our ultimate reward level, the Empress of Timbra, which includes so much swag - including the terrible collage that revived our love for this world.

The monstrosity that restarted it all
The monstrosity that restarted it all

 

Risks and challenges

The book is written, and it has two co-writers managing the kickstarter, so unless both of us are hit by different buses (on different continents), it will be published.

Most of the rewards are completed or mostly completed, and we are giving ourselves generous deadlines to reduce the chances of delays. The artists we have approached for possible stretch goal commissions have also committed to our deadlines.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Make a pledge without a reward

    NZ$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 5 or more About $3

    Fisherman's Son

    Your name, in the back of the book, in thanks for your generous donation

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    NZ$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 10 or more About $7

    Witch's Daughter

    Your very own copy of The Empress of Timbra e-book in .epub or .mobi format!

    Includes:
    • The Empress of Timbra: the e-book
    • Your name in the back of the book.
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    42 backers
    NZ$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 12 or more About $8

    Blacksmith's Apprentice

    Karen's story "Careful Magic" was first published in the acclaimed Twelfth Planet Press anthology Kaleidoscope.

    Includes:
    • The Empress of Timbra: the e-book
    • The short story "Careful Magic", by Karen Healey.
    • Your name in the back of the book.
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
    NZ$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 18 or more About $13

    Journeyman Weatherworker

    How much do we love this world? So much. This novella explores events after the novel's end. It has blacksmiths, pirates, weddings, justice, law, spycraft - you know. The good stuff.

    Includes:
    • The Empress of Timbra: the e-book
    • The novella, "The Spymaster's Apprentice", by Karen and Robyn
    • Your name in the back of the book.
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    27 backers
    NZ$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 25 or more About $17

    Lanrian Priestess

    Do you LOVE reading? We do too! Pour a beverage of your choice and dive in.

    Karen's short stories "Careful Magic" and "Mrs Beeton's Book of Magical Management" have only been published in anthology. "Lips as Red as Blood" is a BRAND NEW original short story!

    Includes:
    • The Empress of Timbra: the e-book
    • The novella, "The Spymaster's Apprentice", by Karen and Robyn
    • Three short stories by Karen.
    • Your name in the back of the book.
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    46 backers
    NZ$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 75 or more About $52

    Zurikan Heretic

    Our ONLY physical reward until the Empress level, this reward includes a handmade, one-of-a-kind original fabric bookmark, created by Robyn's careful hands, as thanks for your generous help!

    You'll also receive Teen Movie Times, Karen's hilarious book of critical essays on classics like Clueless, Bring It On, The Craft, and Empire Records.

    Includes:
    • The Empress of Timbra: the e-book
    • Handmade Empress of Timbra fabric bookmark
    • Teen Movie Times: essays by Karen
    • The novella, "The Spymaster's Apprentice", by Karen and Robyn
    • Three short stories by Karen.
    • Your name in the back of the book.
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited (14 left of 20) 6 backers
    NZ$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 150 or more About $104

    Baron of the Blue Chamber

    Robyn and Karen are both experienced critics, with years of expertise in workshops and manuscript development.

    Are you a budding writer, or know one who would appreciate a hand? We'll read a short story or first chapters of your work (up to 8 000 words) and provide detailed critique and suggestions in an edit letter.

    Includes:
    • Manuscript critique (8 000 words)
    • The Empress of Timbra: the e-book
    • The novella, "The Spymaster's Apprentice", by Karen and Robyn
    • Three short stories by Karen.
    • Your name in the back of the book.
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited (2 left of 5) 3 backers
    NZ$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 500 or more About $347

    Speaker for the Okkelg

    Ready for a deep delve on your writing? We'll read a selection of short stories or first chapters of a novel (up to 40 000 words) and give you detailed critique and suggestions in an edit letter.

    Includes:
    • Manuscript critique (40 000 words)
    • The Empress of Timbra: the e-book
    • The novella, "The Spymaster's Apprentice", by Karen and Robyn
    • Three short stories by Karen.
    • Your name in the back of the book.
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited (3 left of 3) 0 backers
    NZ$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 1,000 or more About $695

    Lord of Tanur

    Your novel's drafted, you like it a lot, but you know you want professional eyes on it so you can really knock it into shape before you start submissions.

    We'll read your whole novel (up to 100 000 words) and give detailed critique and suggestions in an edit letter.

    Includes:
    • Manuscript critique (100 000 words)
    • The Empress of Timbra: the e-book
    • The novella, "The Spymaster's Apprentice", by Karen and Robyn
    • Three short stories by Karen.
    • Your name in the back of the book.
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited (1 left of 1) 0 backers
    NZ$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 1,800 or more About $1,250

    Empress of Timbra

    Do you want SWAG? We will give you SO MUCH SWAG!

    Original handcrafts, signed copies of Karen's books, the collage that started it all - all this can be yours!

    Includes:
    • An original handknitted scarf by Karen, in colours of your choice
    • Signed copies of Karen's four published books.
    • A one-of-a-kind recrafted doll of the Empress of Timbra, by Robyn
    • Awesome inspiration collage
    • Handmade Empress of Timbra fabric bookmark
    • The Empress of Timbra: the e-book
    • The novella, "The Spymaster's Apprentice", by Karen and Robyn
    • Teen Movie Times: essays by Karen
    • Three short stories by Karen.
    • Your name in the back of the book.
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited (1 left of 1) 0 backers
    NZ$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. All gone!
  13. Reward no longer available

    Pledge NZ$ 50 or more About $35

    Admiral of the Fleet

    We plan a sequel. Want to name a character after your best friend, your sibling, or yourself? This is the reward for you! Subject to some conditions (no "Skullcrusher Jamboree") you can have your shout-out immortalised.

    Includes:
    • The Empress of Timbra: the e-book
    • A character name of your choice in the sequel.
    • The novella, "The Spymaster's Apprentice", by Karen and Robyn
    • Three short stories by Karen.
    • Your name in the back of the book.
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 10 backers
    NZ$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.