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I've been writing stories since I was young, but this is the first one that I think is worth telling. I need your support to do that.
I've been writing stories since I was young, but this is the first one that I think is worth telling. I need your support to do that.
23 backers pledged $730 to help bring this project to life.

About

Help me self-publish my first novel, "A Better Person" project video thumbnail
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The material within this novel comes from one of the most emotionally difficult and draining years of my life. In 2012, my sophomore year in college, I moved out of the faith-based, on-campus living/learning community that I'd opted to live in just a few months earlier. I'd grown exhausted of attempting to reconcile my sexual orientation with the conservative atmosphere of the Evangelical student organizations that my roommates and hallmates participated in, and tired of having to hide myself and my identity in the place that I willingly called home. I moved into an apartment with my best friends, and within a month, my new home had grown more tense than the one I'd just left, and I found myself disconnected from every source of friendship and community that I'd established since coming to college. I also found myself head over heels in love with someone who I hadn't seen since high school - "the one who got away," so to speak - and I threw everything that I had into getting close to him, including leaving my college town altogether.

And that was only the first few months of the year.

This is not a romantic book, not a love story. This is a book about flailing around and self-hatred; this is a story about finding and losing friend after friend, relationship after relationship, home after home. I'd like to imagine that "A Better Person" is roughly what would happen if you took Stephen Chbosky's "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," got rid of all the naiveté and the wide-eyed sense of discovery and replaced it with depression and an always-increasing sense of loneliness, and moved the focus from high school to college. Cheery, right?

Sharing this story is difficult for me. Don't get me wrong - this is a novel, and not a memoir - but only barely. However, since this is such a personal story, I decided that I don't want to start sending it off to publishing agents willy-nilly. First, that's expensive. Second, I don't know if strangers would get it. I want to share this story with the people who I care about, and who care about me. I've built so much of my life around my writing, and my friends and family have supported me every step of the way. Now, I'm asking you for just a little bit more of support - and in exchange, I'm ready to share what I've written with "A Better Person," no holds barred. Self-published and printed via Lulu, and sent to you directly from me, the way a work of writing as personal as this should be shared.

Any extra funds raised over the amount of $450 will go toward printing more copies of the book, and/or toward gathering enough money together to send this to an agent someday - but not until after you all have read it first. Extra funds may also go toward my next book, a career-spanning biography of the Florida rock band Anberlin, which I will be working on for the rest of 2014.

Risks and challenges

After my project is funded, there aren't very many obstacles left. Since I'm planning on sending the book to be printed in late September or early October, I still have several months to complete the final revisions. The printing company that I will be using, Lulu, is a professional company; unless they experience delays of their own after I send my book to be printed, the books will definitely begin shipping out from me to you by the end of October. Since all of the other rewards are hand-made, there will be no risk of delays.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    Every dollar helps bring this book into reality, so even if you can't give much, even five dollars would be amazing. Your name will be included in the Acknowledgements section at the beginning of the book.

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    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Your name will be included in the Acknowledgements section at the beginning of the book, and you will receive a digital PDF version of the book when it is released.

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    6 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Every previous reward, plus I'll send you a hand-made, one-of-a-kind postcard featuring a short passage from the book.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Every previous reward, plus a physical copy of the book (in paperback) sent to you, or hand-delivered to you if you live in the Kettering, OH or Oxford, OH areas.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Every previous reward, plus you will also receive a digital PDF of a short, unpublished collection of poems written by me.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Every previous reward, plus, in the same shipment (or delivery) as the physical copy of the novel, you will receive a physical copy of the collection of poems. While the novel will be printed professionally, the collection of poems will be hand-assembled and numbered. You will also receive four 5x7 photo prints of alternate cover designs for the novel, each of which will be accompanied by a short passage from an earlier draft of the novel that has since been edited out.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Every previous reward, plus a one-of-a-kind poem written by me, one hand-written copy and one printed/bound copy that includes a black and white photo (also one-of-a-kind). You pick a word or a phrase and I'll build a poem around it. You'll be the only person who has ever read it.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Every previous reward, plus a one-of-a-kind short story written by me, printed and hand-assembled. No short story will be given out twice - you'll be the only person who has ever read it.

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Funding period

- (30 days)