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!
Stretch Goal #1 - $3000 - Dry Fantasy Appendix - UNLOCKED!
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 - UNLOCKED!
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.
Stretch Goal #3 - $4000 - Writing Together Podcast - UNLOCKED! 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 - UNLOCKED! 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!
Stretch Goal #5 - $6000 - Family Portrait. They're an unusual family, it's true. But that's no reason they shouldn't be immortalised by the stunning work of Laya Rose!
Stretch Goal #6 - $7000 - Where It All Began. Origin stories are awesome. This book began lo back in the mists of time, when Robyn and Karen created the world of the Empress of Timbra by writing a completely different book that took place twelve years earlier. In this essay, we'll discuss the origins of the world, language and characters - and share samples of that early work, complete with the extraneous apostrophes in character names.
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.
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.
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
- (29 days)