When a pirate captain, a princess, and an outlander discover that their crystal necklaces have magical properties, the three women go on an adventure to save the world from darkness.
The Explorers of Azullucent is a young adult fantasy novel about the coming of age story of three women: a swashbuckling pirate, a rebellious princess, and a traveling cuisinière that all want more out of life. On the brink of a raging war, the three women are brought together by a drifter. Upon meeting, it becomes clear that these women have more in common than expected. They all own the same necklace, which appears to have magical properties when the three gems are brought together. They must join forces to learn the truth behind their necklaces and stop the war of darkness before it's too late. Follow the story of three adventuring women in the world of Azullucent, the enchanted necklaces that bring them together, and how they all find the adventure they've been looking for.
The Explorers of Azullucent was inspired by my love for RPG video games, my fascination with the fantasy genre, and my core feminist values. I wanted to see women as the main protagonists in a story about fighting pirates, royal kingdoms, enchanting magic, and catastrophic war. I wanted to create characters I could relate to and character arcs that were empowering.
"Nothing is as freeing as my home, the sea. I don't need an anchor, or a man, to slow me down."
- Captain Sting
Captain Sting is the leader of the pirate group, The Great Escapees. She is known for her quick wit, ability to escape from any situation, and unbeatable swordsmanship. Sting is the most well-known pirate in the world, being the protagonist of many infamous tales. As a powerful woman, she is awed and feared. Even though she is known for being a trickster thief, if you can gain her loyalty you have a trustworthy comrade for life.
"What is having a life if you cannot live for what you believe in?"
- Princess Elizabeth
Princess Elizabeth Morrill is the rebellious, progressive princess. She wants to do all she can to prepare to be the best queen for her kingdom, which includes going up against her father's way of ruling. She might look like your stereotypical medieval princess from fairytales, but she is ready for action and unwilling to follow tradition. Smart and compassionate, Elizabeth embodies the power of femininity.
“Unexpected adventures are the best way to learn who you really are.”
- Gretchen Grant
Gretchen Grant has traveled across the world in pursuit of her dream of being a head cuisinier for her own establishment. Like many women, she was told she had to follow a certain path in life, but she decided to take her own. However, the adventure to be a chef wasn't what she'd hoped for and she's craving more. Upon meeting other world travelers she joins them on a brave quest to see every continent in the world of Azullucent.
More Characters to Explore
In addition to the main three protagonists, there are many additional characters in the story whose diverse backgrounds, dreams, and desires will be explored and whose character arcs will be developed throughout the novel.
There are also two doggos featured in the story!
In a lot of ways, Azullucent is a romanticized version of medieval times. The story does explore classism, sexism, and other issues of the time and adds some magical elements to the world. Readers will get to experience an enchanted diamond compass mirror, mystical gems that have surprising properties, dark magic that causes destruction and chaos, flying metallic horses, and beautiful fairies.
There are four continents: Palacia is full of castles and royalty, Sepertzo is the land of pirates and gamblers, Winterica is an ice covered continent and home of the biggest trading post in the world, and Cascadia is a mysterious, beautiful land filled with waterfalls and magical properties.
Fans of Fantasy: The story and world are deeply tied to classic fantasy roots. If you enjoy stories about knights fighting in wars, pirates sailing the seas, and princesses dancing at balls, this novel should feel at home on your shelf. The setting was largely influenced by my love of The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia.
Fans of Romance: While the content is rated PG, romance is a big part of the story and is explored in a variety of relationships and how connections are formed. My style of romance is similar to what you see in stories like The Hunger Games and Harry Potter, with a very innocent take on what love is. I am also a huge fan of Shakespeare's melodramatic style of romance, so many of my characters are hopeless romantics.
Lovers of Pirates: Swashbuckling is a big part of my story. You must be ready for a daring adventure! The biggest literary influence on my novel is The Princess Bride, including the use of an omniscient point of view.
Fans of RPGs: The biggest inspiration for this book was actually RPG video games that I played during the original Playstation days, such as the Final Fantasy series and The Legend of Dragoon. The plot and use of character development is an attempt to capture a linear story told through multiple perspectives, similar to a game with multiple character arcs.
Young Adults: While I believe this is a story that can be enjoyed by all ages, the target audience is teens and people in their twenties. This is primarily a coming of age story for a diverse set of characters from different backgrounds and experiences. I believe the story will be more relatable for female-identifying folk, but hope that people of all genders and sexual orientations will enjoy the story.
Feminists: The main protagonists of the story are women dealing with issues and feelings that young women often face. My intent was to create relatable characters that overcome questions of self-doubt and life goals in empowering ways. As a feminist myself, it is always important to me to capture these overtones in my work.
I've been creating stories since I was old enough to pick up a crayon. I started writing my novel, Azullucent, at the age of 14 and finished the first draft 3 years later. I moved across the state to attend the University of Washington to major in Creative Writing. While I did a couple of revisions during college, my plan was to rewrite my novel and get it published as soon as I had my degree. While in college, I got deeply involved with the gaming industry and like many adults, pursued a career.
I worked at Wizards of the Coast as a Brand Manager for Magic: The Gathering, at Xbox as an Editorial Producer, and at GTS Distribution as an Account Representative. Meanwhile, I founded an organization to help women, non-binary folks, and members of the LGBTQ community get into gaming, specifically Magic: The Gathering. My organization, The Lady Planeswalkers Society was overwhelmingly successful.
As I approached 30, I knew something was missing. I had never followed my dream of publishing my novel. In July of 2018, I quit my job to finish my novel once and for all, revising it using the tools I'd learned while getting my degree and diving deep into my personal experiences in my twenties for inspiration. To help pay the bills and build up a writing portfolio, I launched a career as a freelance writer, doing some work as a game journalist and blogger.
Your Support Will Help My Dream Become Reality!
Now, my novel is almost ready to be published! I've been working non-stop on revision number seven and intend on doing one more round of peer-reviews and editing before hitting the publish button. I have been through a lot since high school and want to capture my core values, what it feels like to fall in love, and intend to use my emotions of being a mother to my advantage in this final revision. I expect to have a physical copy of my book in hand before 2020.
The funding from the project will be used for publishing costs, printing costs, and to support the efforts of marketing my book for success.
About the Rewards
The following people for helped this project come to fruition:
- These amazingly talented artists: Amanda Sharpe (cover art), Nick Trujillo (map), Stephanie Martin (cover design)
- My wonderful mother for supporting and inspiring me every step of the way: Lyn Meyen
- My supportive husband who directed, filmed, and edited my Kickstarter video. He is also always there for me to vent to, bounce ideas off, and provides a comfy shoulder when I need snuggles: Mike Robles
- The following friends for reviewing my novel for me: Kristina Horner, Liz Leo, Nick Feldman, Katrina Hamilton, Jess Ross, Justin Hammond, and more to come!
- My editor: Morgan Wegner
- Tara Theoharis for being a Kickstarter wizard
Risks and challenges
The biggest risks and challenges I am facing is a lot of firsts:
1) This is my first complete novel! I am still learning the ropes of peer-review, editing, and formatting a book. But the good news is that the initial writing portion is complete! Now I just need to get it polished and ready for your eyes.
I also have a solid team of peer-reviewers with a plethora of experience in writing and editing fiction ensuring that it will be the best product that it can be.
2) This is my first novel to go to publication. I have done hours and hours of research, but I am still learning what needs to be done in order to self-publish a book. This includes all the hoops that need to be jumped through in order to get it up in eBook form, as well as physical copies printed and shipped.
For months I have been meeting regularly with successfully published authors and folks who have had successful Kickstarters in order to prep myself for this journey.
Luckily, I am a fast learner. With your help, I am confident I can tackle these risks and challenges to bring this project to completion.
Just like in everything I do, I am pouring all of my passion into this dream of mine.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)