As part of the recent Kickstarter for Apotheosis Drive X, I pitched a setting idea - Bones of the Earth: Norse mythology meets giant mechs. The idea won't leave me alone. I decided to take the setting hack and make it into something more. It became Iron Edda.
And as part of Iron Edda, I'm writing this novel.
Within Sigrid burns the spirit of the Valkyrie, Sveid. Sigrid travels to the ends of Midgard to protect what she holds dear. She learns from the women in her life what it means to carry the spirit of a Valkyrie, what it means to truly be called Sveidsdottir.
The novel is broken into nine vignettes, each focusing on Sigrid's interactions with a specific woman - friends, lover, mother, fellow warriors. Each one in some way reflects the spirit of Sveid and will teach Sigrid a vital lesson, if she's willing to listen.
The opening of the novel focuses on Sigrid's decision to leave her family and clan to become one of the Bonebonded. Sigrid feels that the only way to win in the war against the dwarves is to bond her spirit to the bones of a giant and fight.
Rin Hagrimsdottir is Sigrid's friend and lover. This vignette takes us back, through the tumultuous day before Sigrid's decision to become Bonebonded. Their love will be tested. Will it survive?
An outlander held as a thrall by a warrior in Sigrid's new clan, Sabina struggles with the life she has in Midgard. She believes in nothing but her eventual freedom. She is determined to earn it, whatever the cost.
Oddveig is a clan warrior fighting alongside Sigrid in the war against the dwarves. She has sacrificed much through the years. It is her fervent prayer that her final sacrifice will be enough to earn her a place in Valhalla.
The wife of the Jarl, Marsa knows the meaning of the word duty better than most. Marsa will be tested when her duty to fight for the good of her people is matched against her duty to her husband.
VI. Freya, the Shipwright
This character was voted on by the backers when the campaign hit $2,500. As such she's not fleshed out yet, but this takes the novel in a direction that involves ships, assuredly. Sailing? Reaving? The patience it takes to craft a vessel? We'll find out! The point is, the backers, you made this choice and have had a direct impact on the novel. Thank you!
VII. Krelga Ravensdottir, the Seer
This was the second backer-voted character. It also means that the campaign is FUNDED! That's amazing. And as part of this character being unlocked, I decided this: The character for the 8th backer vote will be a trans* character. I think it's important to really be inclusive when I say inclusive.
Decide Sigrid's Fate
When you back this project, you get a say in how the novel develops. When we reach certain milestones, you'll have an opportunity to vote on the direction of the novel and the people that Sigrid will encounter in the final four vignettes. This is in addition to the backer tiers that allow you to work with me to include characters in the book.
I want this to be our project.
I feel that minorities of all types are underrepresented in fantasy literature, and I hope that Sveidsdottir can help change that in some small way. There are characters of various races, creeds, and sexual orientations represented, including Sigrid, who is gay. As well, this novel is a work of fantasy. It is influenced by Norse culture, but does not conform to all of the cultural norms of that time or place.
To make sure that this project meets the professional standards that I have come to expect in my work, I've gathered a team of talented individuals to help me make this novel a reality.
Me: My name is Tracy, and I'm a writer. I've successfully Kickstarted and funded two tabletop roleplaying games: The ENnie Award-winning School Daze and the vengeance-fueled One Shot. This project is an extension of my RPG work, but is taking my efforts in a new direction. I've always wanted to write a novel; with this setting, I've found the place to do it.
Editor: Amanda Valentine - Amanda's years of editing experience include several award winning roleplaying games. She has a discerning eye and an amazing willingness to work with an author to make each project exactly what it should be. In addition to helping me polish my words, she also understands my agenda with this novel.
Cover: Ravven - Ravven's work speaks for itself, as you can see above. She has a keen eye for detail, and she clearly understands both strength and femininity. That combination will be very important when it comes to representing what Sveidsdottir stands for. Her work, very simply, rocks.
World Map: Jonathan of Fantastic Maps - A beautiful map of the world is a valuable resource in a fantasy novel. For Sveidsdottir, I want a black & white, line drawn map, similar to the maps in Tolkien's and Jordan's novels. Jonathan does amazing work, including a full color series for Game of Thrones. He is precise, detailed, and I'm delighted to be working with him.
The (Stretch) Goal(s)
The funding goal for this project is $5,500. That covers all of the costs for Sveidsdottir to be produced in eBook form. During that process, as we meet funding milestones, the backers will get to vote on the direction of the novel. Once funding is met, a series of stretch goals will help this project climb ever higher.
$2,500: The First Vote
This is the first milestone for backer voting. Here, you will get to choose the focus character for the sixth vignette. UNLOCKED! The character is Freya, the Shipwright!
$5,500: FUNDED! The Second Vote
At this goal, the project will be released! As well, you get to choose the focus character for the seventh vignette. UNLOCKED! Survey has been sent out!
$7,500: The Third Vote
This is where the vote for the eighth vignette happens. As well, once we hit this mark, I'll commission brand-new art inspired by Iron Edda and Sveidsdottir. It will be suitable for computer wallpapers and will be used to promote Sveidsdottir once the book is published. All backers will get this art. UNLOCKED
$10,000: The Fourth Vote & Bones of the Earth!
Here, you get to vote on the focus character for the ninth and final vignette. When we reach this goal, every backer receives a PDF copy of the game supplement that started it all: Bones of the Earth. This alternate setting for Apotheosis Drive X uses Fate Core, which is pay-what-you-want on DriveThruRPG. Now you can weave your own stories in Midgard!
Risks and challenges
This is the first novel that I have ever written. A project of this scope is new to me. It goes against many traditional models of writing and publishing. If this project doesn't succeed, then I will not be able to afford to produce this story in the manner that I feel it deserves; that means no awesome editor, no sweet cover, no amazing world map.
I also feel this novel holds some personal challenges for me. I'm a white, middle-class man and I'm choosing to write a novel whose protagonist is a young lesbian woman who is discovering what it means to hold the spirit of a Valkyrie inside. These are things that will need a deft touch and the careful eye of an editor who understands them. Not an easy task.
Finally, the best-laid plans could go awry. I'm writing the novel based on the specifications I listed above, but it could turn in different directions. The agenda will not change, but characters, structure, plot, and more could all shift as I write.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (34 days)