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Created by a bestselling fantasy author, ONLY FREAKS TURN THINGS INTO BONES is a gothic picture book about bullying.
Pre-order your copy of ONLY FREAKS TURN THINGS INTO BONES – a gothic picture book about bullying.
Pre-order your copy of ONLY FREAKS TURN THINGS INTO BONES – a gothic picture book about bullying.
178 backers pledged NZ$ 8,740 to help bring this project to life.

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Little Death stands up to bullies in a gothic picture book

NZ$ 8,740

178

We did it! OMG – we are FUNDED!

It’s Little Death’s first day at a new school. He’s excited about making new friends, but the other kids don’t like his talent for turning anything he touches into bones. They call him “freak” and “weirdo” and refuse to play with him. 

Little Death runs away to hide but ends up learning something very important about being different.

Written and illustrated by two artists who were victims of bullying themselves, Only Freaks Turn Things Into Bones uses darkly gothic humour to address the very real issue of being different. How do you find a way to get through when people bully you for being who you are?

Only Freaks Turn Things Into Bones will help kids remember to celebrate the fact that they are different and unique, and that bullies don't get to define who you are or who you want to be.

Steff Green is the USA Today bestselling author of 22 paranormal and dark fantasy novels. Before becoming a writer, Steff worked as an archaeologist and museum curator, and elements of ancient history, mythology, and the literary gothic tradition are present throughout her work.

Steff self-publishes her work, selling thousands of copies every month. She was the 2017 recipient of the Attitude Award for Artistic Achievement, in recognition of her accomplishments as an artist living with a disability. She's appeared on Breakfast TV, RNZ and Attitude TV in New Zealand, and has also been featured in NZ Women’s Weekly, The Spinoff, The Daily Mail UK, NZ Woman’s Day, That’s Life!, New Idea, and the NZ Herald.

Growing up with a vision impairment, Steff was a victim of bullying in school. The experience of being shunned or hurt because she was different shaped her as a person, and is the inspiration behind the book, Only Freaks Turn Things Into Bones.

Bree Roldan is a freelance illustrator and graphic designer from Auckland, New Zealand, where she studied a Bachelor of Design at the Auckland University of Technology.

She pursued a successful illustration career working for NZ clients (including Auckland Zoo and Bunnings Warehouse). After this dose of commercial success, Bree embraced her dark side and created set illustrations for the multi-award-winning New Zealand indie hit movie DEATHGASM – focusing on macabre illustrations of daemons and small-town rockers for this darkly satirical comedy.

With a mixed-race background and a love of all things weird, Bree experienced bullying as a child. She wants to use her experience to help others celebrate their differences. Bree’s interests lie in the esoteric and occult, Vikings, darkly inclined fashion, travel, and kittens. She is now based in London and is busy working on client commissions.

Only Freaks Turn Things Into Bones is a full-colour, high-quality 32-page picture book telling the story of Little Death and his bullies. It's illustrated in Bree's distinctive gothic style, and each page is lavish with details and little things to discover.

(For example, there is a skeletal rabbit that follows Little Death through the book, and you can find him hopping around through the pages).

Little Death's first day of school.
Little Death's first day of school.

We've designed the book with the older picture book audience in mind (5-8 years). The story includes a wider range of vocabulary and deals with a hard topic, but in a sensitive and fun way.

No one will sit with Little Death.
No one will sit with Little Death.

Only Freaks Turn Things Into Bones will be edited by Sue Copsey, a professional editor and children's book author with over 20 years experience in the industry. Sue's book, Children Just Like Me, was an international bestseller and won several awards, and she has edited over 150 books for children, many of which have gone on to be bestsellers or award-winners. Sue will be the developmental and line editor (as well as the proofreader) on the project.

Little Death runs away.
Little Death runs away.

As well as the book, we've also created some fun rewards for backers, including art prints based on pages of the book, a t-shirt featuring Little Death and Suzie (and a beautiful quote from Helen Keller), and the chance to have your name on the dedication page or your own piece of custom artwork!

 One of our t-shirt designs features a quote from Helen Keller.

If we exceed our funding goal, we've created some cool stretch goals. 

At $10,000, we will create a PDF colouring book for ALL backers.

At $15,000, we'll create an exclusive artwork of Little Death and Suzie that will be available to ALL backers as PDF, and as a print option for art print rewards.

At $20,000, we can afford to produce the entire print run in hardcover, so all backers who purchased a book will get a hardcover copy!

Help us reach our goals by sharing the project with your friends and family!

Risks and challenges

This book would not be possible without our amazing team of collaborators and businesses. We've put together an awesome team who are going to help us deliver a great story for you.

Steff is experienced with self-publishing and consistently releases high-quality books for adults. This is her first illustrated book, but with experienced editor Sue Cospey on board, we're confident you'll love the results.

The manuscript and many of the drawings are already complete, and we're funding to cover the costs of the initial first-edition print run. We've made a detailed budget and timeframe and are confident we'll be able to deliver the book to you in time for Christmas.

We’ll be keeping our backers informed throughout the process with updates, including notifying you of any potential delays.

Any questions or concerns, please let us know in the comments. Thank you for your support.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 5 or more About $3

    The Grim-ly Good Vibes Reward

    Our undying gratitude (Get it? GET IT?) for supporting our project, and all the updates about the project.

    Includes:
    • Exclusive backer-only updates.
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    Pledge NZ$ 10 or more About $7

    The Dastardly Digital Reward

    A digital copy of the book that can be read on any device.

    Includes:
    • Ebook of ONLY FREAKS TURN THINGS INTO BONES
    • Exclusive backer-only updates.
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    38 backers
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    Pledge NZ$ 25 or more About $17

    The Eerie Early Bird Reward

    One copy of ONLY FREAKS TURN THINGS INTO BONES at the special early bird Kickstarter rate.

    Includes:
    • print copy of ONLY FREAKS TURN THINGS INTO BONES.
    • Ebook of ONLY FREAKS TURN THINGS INTO BONES
    • Exclusive backer-only updates.
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    Pledge NZ$ 30 or more About $20

    The Boo! it's a book! Reward

    One copy of ONLY FREAKS TURN THINGS INTO BONES, as well as an ebook and some gratitude and stuff.

    Includes:
    • print copy of ONLY FREAKS TURN THINGS INTO BONES.
    • Ebook of ONLY FREAKS TURN THINGS INTO BONES
    • Exclusive backer-only updates.
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    Pledge NZ$ 55 or more About $37

    The We're All Freaks Here Reward

    Two copies of ONLY FREAKS TURN THINGS INTO BONES, so you can gift one to a friend or use it to summon the Elder Gods.

    Includes:
    • print copy of ONLY FREAKS TURN THINGS INTO BONES.
    • Ebook of ONLY FREAKS TURN THINGS INTO BONES
    • Exclusive backer-only updates.
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    Pledge NZ$ 70 or more About $47

    The Freakish Fan Reward

    One copy of the book and one limited edition 8x10 art print of your choice.

    Includes:
    • Limited edition 8x10 art print (3 to choose from)
    • print copy of ONLY FREAKS TURN THINGS INTO BONES.
    • Ebook of ONLY FREAKS TURN THINGS INTO BONES
    • Exclusive backer-only updates.
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    8 backers
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    Pledge NZ$ 70 or more About $47

    The Ghoulish Garment Reward

    One copy of the book, plus a t-shirt featuring Little Death and Suzie.

    Includes:
    • art t-shirt
    • print copy of ONLY FREAKS TURN THINGS INTO BONES.
    • Ebook of ONLY FREAKS TURN THINGS INTO BONES
    • Exclusive backer-only updates.
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    Pledge NZ$ 80 or more About $53

    The Terrible Three Reward

    You asked. We delivered! THREE copies of Only Freaks Turn Things Into Bones, so you can share them with your fellow freaks.

    Includes:
    • print copy of ONLY FREAKS TURN THINGS INTO BONES.
    • Ebook of ONLY FREAKS TURN THINGS INTO BONES
    • Exclusive backer-only updates.
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    Pledge NZ$ 150 or more About $100

    Devilish Dedication

    Two copies of the book, one 8x10 art print of your choice, AND your name printed in the dedication page of the book.

    Includes:
    • Dedication in the book.
    • Limited edition 8x10 art print (3 to choose from)
    • print copy of ONLY FREAKS TURN THINGS INTO BONES.
    • Ebook of ONLY FREAKS TURN THINGS INTO BONES
    • Exclusive backer-only updates.
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    Pledge NZ$ 250 or more About $167

    All THE FREAKY THNGS

    Two SIGNED copies of the book, all three 8x10 prints, one t-shirt, AND your name in the dedication page of the book.

    Includes:
    • Dedication in the book.
    • art t-shirt
    • Set of 3 limited edition art prints
    • print copy of ONLY FREAKS TURN THINGS INTO BONES.
    • Ebook of ONLY FREAKS TURN THINGS INTO BONES
    • Exclusive backer-only updates.
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    Pledge NZ$ 400 or more About $267

    The Fiendish Fan Package

    Two copies of the book, PLUS a custom 8x10 artwork created for you by Bree, a book dedication, an ebook, and epic levels of gratitude.

    Includes:
    • Custom 8x10 artwork
    • Dedication in the book.
    • print copy of ONLY FREAKS TURN THINGS INTO BONES.
    • Ebook of ONLY FREAKS TURN THINGS INTO BONES
    • Exclusive backer-only updates.
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Funding period

- (31 days)