Lost & Found in Como Park
Publish my novel and bring fiction to life by placing a real memorial brick in Como Park for a character from the book.
Short version: I want to publish my novel, Lost & Found in Como Park, and bring fiction to life by placing a real memorial brick in Como Park for a character from the book.
For the month of November I'll be writing a novel called Lost & Found in Como Park. I'll have 30 days to write at least 50,000 words. It's part of a project called National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I've participated three times before and it's become my bi-annual tradition.
I'll be writing the novel no matter how this campaign goes, but I want to up the ante. At the end of NaNoWriMo I want to self-publish the book and leave an indelible mark on the real Como Park.
1) It's an incentive and added encouragement to help a work-at-home father of three stick to the grueling 1,667 words per day that are required to crank out a novel in a month.
2) I love Como Park and this is a great way to share that love and also support the park.
3) The idea of bridging fiction and reality: A fictional book will describe a real physical place and a real physical place will describe a fictional character. Cool!
4) Let's be honest: Work is slow and NaNoWriMo is a further distraction from finding more work. Making a little money off the publication would make up for that and ensure my family still eats.
5) Supporting this project means that if it's successful, you'll get the book for cheaper. Pledging $10 or more will get you a copy of the book, shipping included. After this is all over the book will cost more.
6) It could also prove to be a source of income going forward that I couldn't set up without this help (but let's not get our hopes up--self-published novels don't exactly sell well)
The novel is called Lost & Found in Como Park. It will tell the story of John, a 29-year-old computer programmer by night and nanny for his niece and nephew by day. He has a deep connection to nearby Como Park in St. Paul, Minn., and turns there as he's re-evaluating his life. That's as much as I can tell you because it's National Novel Writing Month and in my experience it works best when the story unfolds as I write it (and even this little bit may change!).
The narrative will be closely tied to the real locations and history of Como Park, including some historical asides that are as firmly based on fact as possible. The story will refer to a many of the locations in Como Park, specifically the memorial bricks along the exterior walkways of the Conservatory, as well as the the Mold-a-Rama and collectible penny machines in the Zoo (hence the fun rewards like Mold-a-Rama souvenir figurines, pressed pennies and a personal tour).
How We'll Do It
I'll be publishing a rough draft version of the novel, kind of a literary demo tape. I'll take minimal time after the novel is written to polish it up and fix glaring errors. Then I'll publish the book through Amazon's print-on-demand service, CreateSpace. I've used their system three times before and it works great. The $1,000 funding goal will pay for a barebones approach to publishing the book (i.e., DIY layout and cover design). If the project brings in enough money above and beyond that goal then I'll hire pro designers to make the book look ridiculously good. I hope to have the book available in January 2011.
If it all works the book could go from mere idea to finished product in a few months.
What the Money is For:
Preparing the book for publication, paying for rewards (roughly 50% of the funds), buying a memorial brick in Como Park ($150 minimum) and fees (Kickstarter takes 5% and Amazon takes 3-5% for credit card processing).
This project is in no way affiliated with Como Park Zoo and Conservatory or the City of Saint Paul.
- (33 days)