My most popular books are all set in the world of the Pelted Alliance, a space operatic setting filled with genetically engineered critters, aliens, and humanoids. This is a world with over 25 years of development, and it practically begs for visits from enthusiastic readers. For fun, I ran a "What Alliance species are you?" quasi-quiz over on my journal, and we had such a great time (to the tune of 270+ comments!) that I thought it would be fun to draw everyone! But for that to happen I need to be able to justify time taken away from my schedule writing books.
Enter this Kickstarter!
Almost all the prizes for this project involve getting you translated into the world of the Pelted via art! There are two tiers of early bird specials for sketches (head and shoulders, and full body). You can do whatever you like with that picture: post it on your social media, turn it into icons or wallpaper, share it with friends... whatever floats your boat! My only request is that you not re-package it for commercial gain (i.e. make money by selling prints of it, or putting it in books, etc), and that you leave my signature on any piece large enough for it to be seen.
Here are some samples (done with traditional media; I hope to do the actual pieces digitally, depending on what I can swing technology-wise):
The higher level prizes involve cameos in my forthcoming book, Dreamhearth! This is the third installment of my bestselling series about xenotherapists Jahir and Vasiht'h, which begins with the story Mindtouch.
But How Do I Choose My Alter-Ego? I'm glad you asked! If we haven't already figured out who you are on my journal, I'll be doing write-ups in the project blog about all the members of the Alliance. That way you get the grand tour, and if you need a refresher or if you're new to the universe, that'll help you decide! Or you could ask me on one of my journal entries. It's all good! We'll go with whatever you like best (so long as it works within the world!).
Or maybe you'd like to experience the setting yourself! If you haven't read my books yet, I encourage you to check out Earthrise, which at free-to-download is cheaper at retailers than I can afford to put it up as a backer reward! (Heh!) Here's the ebook on Amazon. You can also find it on iTunes, B&N, and Kobo.
About the Cameo Rewards! This is important! If you want to buy one of the cameo rewards, please be aware that your translation into a Pelted novel is going to be just that: a translation. Here are the guidelines and caveats:
- The author owns the character. While I'll do everything I can to respect the spirit of your offering, this character will not literally be you, nor will it be yours once it enters the novel. The character may do things you hadn't imagined or planned! Bad things may happen to them! Or they might have their speaking part and fade into the canon, never to be seen again! If you have specific requests I'll do my best to work with them, but in the end the "you" we develop will end up mine. Which brings us to...
- The character has to work within the setting. You may want to be a griffin or a mouse or a superhero mutant, and I sympathize with these desires! But the cameo characters have to work within the setting. They cannot be special/unusual.
- If you are backing the "case study" cameo, the psychological problem has to work within the setting too. There are some problems we have today that simply don't exist in the Pelted setting (transgenderism comes to mind: technology makes this no longer an issue). For this particular cameo, I'd want something non-specific, like "dealing with depression" or "dealing with feelings of inadequacy." If you know the setting well, you can take a stab at something specific, like "I'd like to be a Tam-illee who puts career above family," or "I'm a Hinichi with doubts about religion," but I don't want these to get too "game-breaking" either. And finally--
- The cameo does not constitute real medical advice. This has to be said. My fictional characters' psychoanalysis of your cameo's problems should not be a substitution for real help! I am not a licensed therapist!
So, for instance, a good simple cameo request would be "I'd like to be one of the catlike races, and a medical professional, and I have panic attacks." A great (complex) cameo request would be something like: "I'd like to be a middle-aged Seersa woman who works at the local school, and who is dealing with her aging parents dying. Her hobbies are gardening and linguistics, she has a sister, and she sometimes thinks in multiple languages and gets distracted trying to funnel all her thoughts into Universal."
Feel free to send me a PM within Kickstarter to run your thoughts by me before you back one of the cameo rewards!
The money I earn from this Kickstarter will be put toward expenses for running my business! For instance, I just had to buy a new flatbed scanner last week to replace the ancient one that Windows 10 doesn't recognize. Ouch! Not in my plan for the year. *shakes fist* If we start hitting extra milestones, I'll start opening up more slots for prizes. I have no idea what those prizes will be. Maybe you'll tell me!
Meanwhile, here's where the money will go:
$2500 - I've been working on a print collection of my web comic, The Three Jaguars! At $2500, I'll have covered all the costs for producing it.
$3000 - If we hit $3000, I'll be able to issue print editions for some of the novels that don't yet have them yet, like Thief of Songs and Either Side of the Strand!
$3500 - If we hit $3500, then we'll be paying the expenses for the print/e-book edition of Dreamhearth, Dreamhealers 3, coming in 2016.
Risks and challenges
I think the biggest risk with this one is twofold:
1. I might overextend myself with the sketches. I enjoy doing tiny sketches, and I think I've arranged the limitations on the rewards such that I'll be able to complete them in a timely fashion, but the temptation to do more because it's fun is going to be difficult to overcome. I am busy; I need to be aware of my own scheduling challenges. Fortunately, my readers seem to be as concerned about my health as I am! If I start overdoing it, I'm pretty sure they'll come after me. :)
2. I'm going to be drawing these sketches on my new tablet computer! I'm guessing there's going to be a learning curve with the new device, which I'm hoping won't be too painful. Regardless, you'll get to muddle through it with me. I promise to report my observations about everything!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (14 days)