Why I spent the last eight years working on this story.
I've always loved true stories, stories with huge character arcs, character-driven films, and especially stories with positive outcomes, so I was rather surprised - no, blown away - when I stumbled across the story of Mitsuo Fuchida. Having already completed a feature film screenplay on another true story I instantly recognized that this was, indeed, a very cinematic and dramatic story, and one I'd never even heard of.
So I plunged into research, studying thousands of pages, having material translated, and exchanging hundreds of emails, and each nugget of information I discovered enriched a story that didn't need any enrichment. Well-meaning friends thought I was crazy to fund a trip to Japan to meet with authors, professors, to visit museums, and to just figure things out, but it was totally worth it.
After I spent a month on the outline, I wrote out the film script over a summer. A year later a studio wanted to make a "significant offer" to purchase the rights, but I didn't trust them to protect the integrity of the story, so I had to decline the offer. While still focusing on funding the development phase of the feature film (to co-produce independently), I decided to novelize the screenplay.
After completing the book and receiving four offers from (smaller) publishers, I turned them down, too (this looks like a bad pattern) because none would commit to a marketing budget. The book would just sit on an unknown list somewhere. That just didn't work for me.
So, why have I done this? This story affected me personally - and still does. Even though I've read and reread sections many dozens of times, I find myself lost in the story and, at times, can't keep the water from coming to my eyes. It's simply an amazing story. I want others to experience the awe, the encouragement, the tension, the sorrow, and the sense of wonder that I have. And I want them to receive the encouragement and hope that only comes from true stories like this. I also have a personal sense of responsibility to see that this story is told, and told the way it should be, in written form, and on the screen (which is a whole other project).
For those who want to opt in to the Fans of Wounded Tiger to stay up to date on the progress of both the book and film, click here. Thanks.
Anyone can print a book for a few hundred dollars, but to publish a book, that is, to promote it to a wide audience and make it equally available, costs considerably more. The $10,000 is relatively arbitrary. It's a number that I believe I can reach but high enough to give me a little working capital for promotion. Believe me, after reward costs, fees, and taxes, I end up with only a fraction of the total amount pledged.
Lifetime Guarantee As a simple thanks to those partnering with me in the first stage of this project, I'm extending a lifetime guarantee on all products ordered on my Kickstarter page. If you drop, tear, or damage anything for any reason, I'll replace it for free. Ebooks come with a lifetime upgrade to the latest version.
Every Print Book Signed I'll sign every print book purchased during my Kickstarter campaign for everyone.
Tiger Sponsors A straight $100 pledge (see rewards list) or a combined total pledge of $250 or more will make you a Tiger Sponsor and earn you a permanant credit on a dedicated page. It's a way for me to thank those who've trusted me and been a significant part of the ground floor of this project.
Read This Before You Pledge
Kickstarter is set up for you to pledge only once, so if you want only one item, you can pledge straight from this page. Most projects list a set of combinations of rewards, but I have too many combinations to do that efficiently, so if you want a combination of rewards or multiples of a reward, then please download the Rewards Descriptions and the Pledge Rewards PDF Sheet (or the Pledge Rewards Excel Sheet) and select what you'd like and total it. You can print it out as well. When you've decided what you want, go back to this Kickstarter page to any of the items you've selected (if the book is on your list, please use the book pledge) and pledge the total amount you've decided for your items and send me a message with two things:
1. A list of what you ordered with quantities, prices, and total, and
2. Let me know how you found out about my project. This is really important.
Save your list and when the project ends, (so long as I hit the first goal), we'll be connected and you can send me your list (for insurance) and I'll make sure you receive the exacts awards you want.
I've spent a great deal of time and care creating rewards to let you know that I sincerely appreciate your participation. This was no small feat to pull off in about a month. Below are photos or mockups of all of the physical items you could receive as a reward. I tried to make sure there was something valuable and memorable for everyone. See the Pledge Rewards Descriptions above for detailed information on each item.
Click on an image for larger pictures.
Q&A on the Wounded Tiger Book:
Q: What, exactly, is a nonfiction novel? A: A nonfiction novel is a true story (nonfiction) that reads like fiction in the same style and format. "In Cold Blood" by Truman Capote is a good example of a nonfiction novel.
Q: I really don't like war stories. Is that what this is? A: No, it's a set of character stories that take place in wartime. 9 out of 10 ladies LOVE the book.
Q: Can I read the first chapters? A: Yes! Please do! You can read the first two chapters of Wounded Tiger here.
Q: Can I see reviews of the book as well? A: Absolutely. Here is a list of comments from the over 500 advance readers of both the screenplay and book manuscript.
Q: How serious are you about the film, really? Every author seems to want to see their book made into a movie. A: I couldn't be more serious or more committed to this end goal. I spent 2 years on research, then 1 year writing the screenplay first. A year later I turned down a significant offer from a studio. An Oscar-winning producer said he believes Wounded Tiger can make "a very prestigious film," and the former VP of Columbia Pictures read the screenplay twice and said he believes the film will be successful. Until I have $2.5 million to develop the film and make attachments for investors, I'll focus on the book, which I believe will bring the right people to the project.
Q: Why haven't you backed any Kickstarter projects? A: I've only become fully aware of Kickstarter in the last two months. People say it looks good to be a part of the community, but I wasn't going to pledge $1 on a few projects for the sake of appearance. The fact is, I'm pretty new here.
Q: Can I stay informed of the progress of the Wounded Tiger book and film projects? A: Yes. Click here to opt in to "Fans of Wounded Tiger."
If/when we hit $18,000, everyone who's pledged to Wounded Tiger will receive an unabridged audiobook.This is a stretch for me as well, and you'll have it when the book is released in November this year. The audiobook will be later priced around $28.
$25,000 level will let me hire a publicist. With the book out in November, it would be a prime opportunity to be able to bring exposure to the story through the first week of December, the anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor.
I would LOVE to translate Wounded Tiger into Japanese, but I'm afraid that's simply too big a stretch. That would require a net of about $25,000, or a goal of $125,000. The fact is, I'll use all of my resources to further the project in every way, and every participant will be a part of this success.
And if we hit $5 million, everyone pledging will get 2 free tickets to the Wounded Tiger movie, if and when it's released. And popcorn.
Risks and challenges
The risks of this book not being completed in time for a November 2013 release are very low because the book's been complete, more or less, since 2011. I'm currently on a final polish with a top editor. The challenge will be to complete the final edit, then get all the formatting done for the various print and ebook versions in time to have the book out to everyone in November.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)