Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Just 48 hours left to pledge to our Kickstarter



Attention friends, family and fans!


The Kickstarter campaign for my novel “The Evenarian" is rapidly drawing to a close and I want to make sure everyone who's interested gets a chance to show their support. The campaign ends midnight this Friday!

It’s been a wild four weeks of racking up pledges and talking with new fans, but now there is just a little over 48 hours left to support my project.

With more than 100 people pledging from as little as $1 to more than $500, this Kickstarter campaign has really fueled my ambition to complete my novel and share it with all of you.

If you would like to show your support for my writing, I have created various rewards levels for your pledges, ranging from a personal note and a electronic version of the book (when it is released) to your name appearing on the dedication page and a signed hardbound copy of the book.

It’s easy to pledge. Simply go to my campaign's Kickstarter page, choose the amount you wish to pledge, the reward you would like to receive...and you're done.

I'd like to extend my utmost thanks to each and every person that has helped spread the word of "The Evenarian" and to all those who have already shown their generous support. The campaign is going to be a success because all of YOU!

And remember, you have until Friday evening to pledge!


Thanks again!
-- Julia Dickinson

Monday, November 26, 2012

Meet my characters




Everyone has been so great to me and my Kickstarter as I dive deeper into the world of The Evenarian.

It is day 26 of the Kickstarter campaign and we have reached $5,159. That 103% of our goal. I’m overjoyed with the early progress of this project. In fact, the campaign has done so well that I have created a stretch goal of $7,000 to reach in the last 4 days. 

As a thank you to everyone that has helped get me this far, I wanted to give all of my fan-supporters a glimpse of some of the characters that are in my book. I hope you find them and the world I’ve crafted just as gripping as I do.

Turo:

The story's narrator and age 18 when The Evenarian begins. Turo was the youngest son born to a well-off textile merchant. He grew up in a small town outside the northern capital. 

Though the town lies along major trade routes, Turo has rarely ventured beyond the town limits. Unlike his older brothers who showed an interest in warfare or taking up
their father's trade, Turo has always been meek, quiet and bookish. 

He has an excellent memory and a talent for facts and figures. Afraid that he would be forced to become a clerk in his father's warehouse, Turo decided to join the local cloister and become a student of magic (AKA a Seeker of Truth). 

While other young seekers aspired to greatness, Turo only wanted to be left alone with his studies. His life of contemplation and study is disrupted in the late summer of his 18th year when he stumbles upon a stranger man wandering in the woods near the cloister. 

Short and a bit overweight, Turo is used to being overlooked by other and is generally subdued and withdrawn. But the stranger's revelations, coupled with his own knowledge of history and prophecy, spur Turo in to action for the first time in his life.

Josh:

A stranger from parts unknown, Josh is discovered wandering in the woods. He is likely in his mid-20s. Taller than most northern men and apparently unable to speak, Josh briefly becomes an object of fascination in Turo's small cloister. 

He is dressed unusually and has a large, strange-looking bag slung over his shoulders. Over the course of one afternoon, Josh miraculously regains the ability to speak and
soon begins asking odd questions and make even odder statements that mark him as a foreigner, and perhaps something more. 

He insists that he needs to go to the capitol to see the northern king. Meanwhile, Turo's fellow seekers argue amongst themselves: is this man trustworthy, or is he a charlatan trying to pull off an elaborate ruse? 

Turo comes to believe that Josh is the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy—that mages from magic's earliest days went into an enchanted sleep and would reawaken when the world needed them—and decides to help him. Josh also displays an impressive array of magical abilities, which help him and Turo on their journey, but also brings them a good deal of unwanted attention. 

He never claims to be a mage, or anything else for that matter, allowing other people to cast aspersions on him. As Josh becomes more comfortable in his new surroundings, he shows himself to be arrogant, harsh, pushy and single-minded in his quest to assassinate a shadowy figure known as the Evenarian.

Elena:

A young woman from the southern republic of Sone, Elena is a diplomat sent to the northern capital to negotiate a trade agreement. Although Sone and the northern Kingsrealm made peace many years ago, tensions remain between the cultures. 

Like most northerners, Turo was raised to be suspicious of Sonans and only accepts Elena's help under duress. She is not conventionally attractive by Turo's northern standards, having a dark complexion, short hair and a commanding, confident manner. 

Turo and Josh meet her on their journey to the northern capital. She sees a certain potential in Josh and eventually ropes the two young men into her entourage under the pretense that Josh is a mage from the unexplored “lands beyond the map.” 

Elena is somewhat two-faced. She is capable of massaging the thorniest sovereign’s ego. But in her private life, she is fond of gossip, especially scandalous tales of the northern kingdom's leadership, and has a sharp tongue and scheming nature, both of which she seems to delight in. She firmly believes that history is written by the victors
and intends to be on that winning side.

If you can't tell, I love crafting unique, interesting characters. I'll roll out some chapter excerpts in the near future. Stay tuned! And if you haven't already, consider pledging to the Kickstarter so you can find out what happens to The Evenarian's characters.


Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section and share this with any literature-loving friends so I can reach my stretch goal too!!!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanks for Giving to my Cause


As I settle around a crowded table filled with delicious treats and smiling family, I am reminded of just how lucky and thankful I am. So many friends, relatives and fans have supported me on my quest to get my first novel completed and published.

The very first day that The Evenarian Kickstarter was live I had 41 people pledge their support. And now, 22 days later more than 100 people have joined together to championed this project with their great words and dollars.

I have also found a great community in the grouping of Kickstarter campaigns -- entrepreneurs with amazing drive and mind-boggling ideas.

I now have to say that I am thankful for so many more things today than I was just a month ago and I hope that I have been able to provide some encouragement and support back to each and every one of you too.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Kickstarter Campaign -- Week 3 update




Hey compadres!
It's already week three of The Evenarian Kickstarter campaign and I am so happy to tell you all that we are at more than 100% of our goal. With another nine days left to gain more pledges, the campaign has already received $5,075 of support from all of you.
Thank you all so much for helping me get this far. But now I have set my sights just a little bit higher -- to $7,000 -- so that I can build greater buzz online and get some orignal artwork created for the fantasy world I've built.
If the Kickstarter campaign can reach this new stretch goal in its final days then I can share the artwork with all of you and even get some extra goodies out to those of you that have pledged toward the book's success.
So, if you would like to continue your support by increasing your pledge or sharing the Kickstarter page on your Facebook, blog, Twitter or other methods of communication, I would greatly appreciate it.

Monday, November 19, 2012

100% Funded and Going Strong

Image Source: Tumblr

Friends, fans and fellow authors I have great news to share with you -- The Evenarian Kickstarter campaign is more than 100% funded as of today.

It took an amazing 18 days to get $5,000 crowd-sourced and I couldn't be more excited to share the news with everyone that has helped.

As most of you are aware, this $5,000 will go toward hiring an editor to prepare the book for agents and publishers since I would like to head down the traditional publishing route. But, with another 11 days left in the Kickstarter campaign, my efforts are far from over. In order to better position the book for publishing I would like to raise some more funds to commission orignal art and get a stronger social media buzz out there about The Evenarian.

The new stretch goal set is $7,000. As I continue to get orignal artwork created I will update this blog and the Kickstarter rewards to give back to those that are supporting my writing efforts.

Stay tuned for some additional perks for being a part of the campaign and keep sharing this cause with more friends and family.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Discovery on Kickstarter

Image Source: Kickstarter

My friends and fans have heard all about how they can help support me and the completion of The Evenarian on Kickstarter, but I want to take this moment to give a shout-out to some other great projects I have stumbled upon while clicking through the crowd-funding site.

Those of you that aren't familiar with Kickstarter might be excited to learn that there are more than publishing projects on the site. In fact, there are some great technology, film, fashion and art projects kicking off in every day.

Here are some that caught my eye and I thought I'd show some love and pass on their info.

She's Beautiful When She's Angry
Mary Dore and Nancy Kennedy are working on a film that tells the story of the birth of the women's liberation movement during the 1960s.

They have already compiled a lot of archived footage and have female pioneers from then and now telling their tales.

Both documentarians are set on bringing the enthusiasm  of the 1960s back for women that are now struggling to keep the rights won for them so many years ago.

With 11 days left in their campaign, they still have another $40,000 to raise and reach their $75,000 goal. Check them out.




Downturn Abbey
Accomplished author Michael Gerber of the Barry Trotter series is running a Kickstarter campaign to fund an book-length parody of the British costume drama Downton Abbey.

As the author puts it in his blog: 

"For over 20 years, I have been producing books and magazines for myself and others, and I can tell you: Downturn Abbey is a corker. (I thought the book was going to be in every bookstore in the US for Christmas, so I really sweated the details.) Readers of the US edition of Barry Trotter know that I show a level of care with my projects almost unheard of at big publishing houses. Sad but true."

I certainly know that story but the great news is he has reached his goal -- but we all have stretch goals too.
Image Source: Kickstarter


He has just passed $5,045 of funding, surpassing his $3,500 goal.

Whooz
Image Source: Kickstarter

These are vinyl designed stickers you can apply to Apple product cords and chargers. This great idea is very close to my heart. As an Apple product user in the Apple-centric city of San Francisco, I am constantly having to keep an eye on my chargers and make sure I leave coffee shops and friends' houses with all my accessories.

Whooz not only assures that no one mistakes your cords with theirs but also gives your computer some fun individuality.

I like to think that hosting a Kickstarter campaign is about more than just using a website and its tools. Kickstarter is more like a club that supports members' creative endeavors  It's really fun to discover new ideas and even pledge some dinero to a couple that I think should see the light of day rather than later.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Inspiration is a mystical thing

Image Source: Freelance Fodder


Writing depends heavily on inspiration.

Whether it is a painting you saw, a movie you watched, a dream you had or a song that won't stop running through your head, inspiration makes the creative process smoother.

These little moments or images can help bring about a perfect single sentence or even become the fodder for volumes of books. And this is why I am so happy to be joining the novelist club in the age of the Internet.

Writers of generations past relied on their memory or filled up journals and camped out at a museum or along the Seine to leverage their inspiration into words on a page. As enticing as that sounds, I am provided the comfort and ease of opening a browser and finding the exact song I need to complete a chapter or find the obscure painting I saw 10 years ago that will help me craft a new character.

Imagine what kind of novels we would have now if Earnest Hemingway or Mark Twain had been able to see even more nooks and crannies of the world.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Marathons of the creative kind


It's day 13 of The Evenarian's Kickstarter campaign and I'm so very, very grateful to the 91 people who've already pledging over $4,000 to my project. I am inspired by all of the well-wishes and interest in my upcoming novel.

Simultaneously writing the book while spreading the word about the Kickstarter has presented me with some interesting challenges. I am reminded that as I draft emails, manage social media pages and call everyone I can think of, that marathons come in many forms. With this particular marathon I've embarked on, I've had to set goals that are challenging (yet attainable). Eventually, all those mile markers add up to something amazing.

While it took a lot of preparation and energy to build the Kickstarter campaign and get it approved by the admins on the site, once I pushed the "launch" button, I felt so much satisfaction that helped fuel me to my next goal.

And to my astonishment, just hours into the campaign, I felt the exhilaration of seeing the next mile marker: getting my first 25 backers. Next, I was excited to reach the half-way point of fundraising by getting $2,500 from friends and fans. Once the campaign reached that point, I opened up a new reward level so my backers could essentially pre-order the print or e-book version of The Evenarian.

My next goal is to hit the $5,000 marker, where the campaign will be officially funded and I'll open up even more fun reward levels. And just like a marathon, I am looking to friends, family and the larger literary community to help keep this momentum going until the finish line is in view.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Another Kickstarter project that we love

Barnaby and I came across a beautiful children's book on Kickstarter called "Vicki's Wish". The campaign has four days left to go and it needs your help to reach it's goal. We immediately identified with this one because it's done by a couple, and we know what it's to do a creative project together. The ups and downs of driving daily funding while still working actively on the project can take over a relationship. But we also know that the stress will be worth it in the end.

The book illustrations are really cute, and when you watch the video you can't help but imagine the joy in a little kid's face when they interact with it. We immediately wanted to help. We contributed, tweeted, and now we're sharing it with you because we want to see Vicki's Wish do well.

If nothing else, check out the hilarious out-take at the bottom of their Kickstarter page, where they try to keep a straight face as the cat walks into their screen while they are recording. We got a good laugh out of that.

Kickstarter is a great community, and it helps people reach for dreams that they couldn't fund otherwise. Let's mobilize and help Vicki's Wish go from 54% to 100% in their remaining 4 days!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Week One Success!


Image Source: All Posters


I'm seven crazy, fun days into The Evenarian's Kickstarter campaign and I am overjoyed to report that we are 65% of the way to our funding goal of $5,000. A staggering 71 friends and fans have pledged just over $3,400 to help get my book into print.

In order to increase the value going to my current supporters and future backers, I recently unlocked a new reward level on Kickstarter. For $41, anyone can get the regular or e-book version of The Evenarian, plus have their name printed in the book's thank-you page and get a thank-you postcard and social media kudos from me.

I want to continue offering new reward levels with each funding goal we cross. The next reward level I will unlock will be when we break the $5,000 funding goal. But until then, it's a secret. If you have already pledged and like the sound of a new or different reward level, you can always adjust your pledge amount at point before the end of November.

I am so excited to make it through the first hurdle with such a boom, but now comes the challenge of keeping up the momentum and finding people outside my close circle who will support this creative cause.

So at this point, I am asking all those that have already been kind enough to pledge to share my campaign with others - especially people I may not already be connected to. Share Evenarian-related posts on Facebook, tweet about the campaign or tell your friends in person - whatever works for you.

The campaign has 22 days to go. I can't wait to see where this adventure takes me!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Pledge early, pledge often!





The Evenarian's Kickstarter campaign started with a bang on November 1st and lasts until the 30th - all the way through NaNoWriMo.

Kickstarter is a way for everyone to share in the novel's success. Just like a presidential election, you are taking part in a huge endeavor that cannot succeed without individuals coming together to act. In return for your support, you get rewards, including manuscripts, one-on-one phone calls with the author, signed copies of the book, and invites to the eventual launch party. But you only have one month to get in on the action.

You may be wondering, "How can I help?" Well, you hopefully have already shared the Facebook page with your friends, or told your family coworkers about it. Keep doing that. But the most critical thing you can do is to show your support on Kickstarter.

Remember, if the project does not meet its funding goal, then it doesn't get any of the money that has already been pledged to it.

So if you were going to wait until the end of the month to make your pledge, don't. Pledge now - or at least, pledge this week. Showing your support is easy, and no amount of support is too small. I can't do this without you.

Your pledge is a vote for The Evenarian's success.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Halfway on the second day!


Thank you EVERYONE for your help thus far! We're already past the halfway mark for the campaign's goal of $5,000. Your contributions will help make publishing The Evenarian a reality. To show my deepest thanks for your overwhelming support, I want to give something back.

I was hesitant to offer a reward level that basically amounts to pre-sales of the book because negotiating with publishers is notoriously difficult and because, as Kickstarter has stated, this website is not a store.

But with this much support already, I am prepared to buy the books from the publisher and mail them to you my making a new pledge level of $41. If you've already pledged at a lower level, you can still adjust your pledge amount.

With this new funding level, I hope we will be able to reach $7,000. So tell your friends that they can pledge and "pre-purchase" the book for $41. And if we reach this second push goal of $7,000, then I will add a very affordable level where I mail you a map of The Evenarian's world. So after all is said and done, you'll get a little tube in the mail with a map that you can hang on your wall - but only if we can reach that second push goal.

I love you guys. No, really. Everyone who contributed, even at the $1 level. Your support means everything. I hope you will share this Kickstarter campaign with your friends and ultimately enjoy my book.

Click here to make or adjust your pledge.

Also, I'm going to post another excerpt from the book on my blog shortly. So stay tuned for that!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Kickstarter campaign is LIVE


Image Source: Twabbit.wordpress.com


Come one, come all! The day I've been telling you about is finally here. No, the book is not yet complete, but I have shot past the half-way point, for those of you keeping track. Today The Evenarian Kickstarter has launched and you are cordially invited to check out this crowd-sourcing campaign and make your pledge.

As I have been hard at work banging out gripping pages for my upcoming fantasy novel, many of you have asked when you can contribute to the cause. Today is the day you finally can.

Since success on Kickstarter is closely tied to a campaign's starting momentum, I'm asking for contributors to make their pledges on Day One for maximum impact.

How to pledge:

1.              Go to this link
2.              Choose the level of support you wish to give.
3.              If you are new to Kickstarter, you can create an account or link it to your Facebook account for speed and ease.
4.              Then click on the “continue to Amazon” link to complete the payment.
5.       Once you have pledged your chosen amount, you can share this pledge via Facebook or Twitter. I would greatly appreciate everyone spreading the word!

Remember that the campaign runs for just 30 days (the month of November), and if the $5,000 goal is not reached, then we don’t receive any of the pledged funds.

I will keep all of you apprized of the campaign's progress throughout the month. If you haven’t done so yet, join the Kickstarter Facebook event page, check out my blog, Kickstarter profile, Facebook and Twitter where I will be sharing this experience and the process of creating a novel.

Stay tuned, because in coming days I will be sharing some sneak peeks into some elements of the novel that I can’t complete without your support.

Thanks again!


Kickstarter campaign is live!

The Kickstarter campaign has gone live!

If you're reading this just after midnight on November 1st then you can be among the first to contribute, right here: ow.ly/eVVLL

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Scratch my back

Image Source: Hosted.verticleResponce.com

Why is launching a Kickstarter campaign so exciting? For me, it's the feeling of letting you be a part of this book, The Evenarian, in a very special way. Some authors are all secluded when they write their book, not giving the slightest glimpse to strangers or family alike. But I want to share my book with you, and let you get a sense of what it's like to write and publish a novel.

All my life I've been training to be an author. I've saved up money while working as a journalist so that I can do this. Every day after work I would come home and work on a novel that I self-published online because I wanted to perfect the art. Since it received many positive reviews, and I had enough money saved up to get started, I went for it. I'm writing full-time now, and it's going great. I'm writing conflicts and resolutions, build-ups and action, plot and subplots. The story will be spellbinding - not in the least because there's actual spells in it.

Sadly, I recently realized that I have enough funds to get me through writing the book, but not enough to build an audience and get the novel published. That brings up all sorts of troubling questions.  What if I write a great book but nobody will be able to read it because it just needs an extra boost to get a bit of press and an editor who will make it shine for a publisher? That's why I need you to donate to my campaign.

But this isn't a one-way street. I can give you an inside scoop into writing and publishing, and you can give me a chance to go all the way to bookshelves and living rooms all over the world. This is where Kickstarter comes in. With each donation comes a prize.

For the price of a movie ticket, you can get the first level of inside scoops into the book and writing process. You can get a postcard in the mail with new and improved Evenarian cover art and a heartfelt thank-you note from your truly. You can also get an inside view into what literary agents see when I send them the package about my book. You can get a phone call with me where you can ask me about the writing and publishing process, or just what it's like to live in California. It'll be a blast. You can even get an invite to the book launch party. And most importantly, for all of the prize levels, you get your name in the book's thank-you section!

Thanks in advance for your support. I promise it'll be worth your while.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Writing is a job



Image Source: O5.com

When you work in an office environment ensconced by coworkers and a 9-5 schedule, it's easy for friends and relatives to understand why you are occupied for the better part of the day. People know the demands and constrictions that come with working-full time – in the conventional sense, that is.

It seems to be more abstract and far harder to grasp when you work from home and create your own schedule. I noticed this shift in the attitudes of others when I made the switch from my office job to writing a book from home. Suddenly people were acting as though I didn’t even have a job – not a conventional one, at least.

More requests for help in the middle of the day trickled in and I kept hearing about how lucky I was to be free of the daily grind. A lot of people couldn’t quite grasp the fact that I still worked, that making my own schedule and fostering a creative environment where I could churn out pages everyday was a real challenge.

Rather than having a place I could go that was conducive to productivity, I had to create that space in my own home. I had to make a schedule that I could keep everyday to maintain a consistent work pace. And I had to find time to get in some semblance of social interaction so this new experience didn't become isolating. I really underestimated how the workplace can be a big a part of your social life.

It has taken four months to really find a new work-life balance, even though both of those things are occurring in the same room.  And, now that I am halfway through the book, I have learned a lot about what it takes to have both self-discipline and to communicate my new needs and feelings to others.

I suggest everyone take at least one crack at self-employment and detour to self-discovery at some point in their careers. It’s hard work.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween and terrifying realism in fantasy

Image Source: Deviantart


Halloween is just around the corner and I am going out on a limb predicting that there will be a fair amount of bejeweled daggers, velvet sleeves and Grecian-esque outfits accessorized with dragons traipsing about thanks to the recent popularity of the Game of Thrones series. 

My anticipation of the street flowing with the nobles and small folk of the Seven Kingdoms has gotten me to really reflect on what this phenomenon is resonating.

While many are jumping on the Thrones craze because of the HBO show's popularity, I like to think there is something about series' gruesome realism that is both shocking and refreshing.

When Game of Thrones debuted last year, I quickly became intrigued with the unapologetic way George R.R. Martin kills, pummels and maims even the most beloved characters in his series. He throws the utopian Camelot mold out the window to show that kingdom building (and destroying) can be scarier than any magic and fantasy elements. 

In my novel The Evenarian, I was inspired by, and hope to do homage to, this darker side of the human experience. Because while time travel, magic and fanciful creatures make life more interesting, people's behavior can be a story's most outrageous element. 

This is what I'll be thinking about when I see drunken Lannisters and Starks milling about Halloween parties this year. Who knows, maybe in a few years people wearing Evenarian costumes will remind others of the fear that human responses can muster.



Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hey everybody, I made a video!

Who's excited to see a new video about The Evenarian? I'm putting the finishing touches on the short video that will be on my official Kickstarter page come November 1, but I couldn't wait to share it with all of you!

It's a casual conversation in a San Francisco cafe. It's a glimpse at my working routine and my office. It's also a great overview of the book. I put a lot of positive vibes into this video and hopefully you'll want your friends to feel them too, so let them know about it.

And as always, kill the prophecy, save history.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Editing is a dirty job, but someone has to do it

Image Source: Excuseeditor.com



Have you ever read a magazine article or even a menu at a local restaurant and been struck by a glaring editing mistake? It happens to me all the time. From simple misspellings to just plain bad grammar, I can't help but see it. My years in journalism taught me that editing mistakes take away from the reader's experience and can be embarrassing to boot. 

As an author, I have experienced both the frustration of running into these errors everywhere I look as well as catching mistakes that I make while writing The Evenarian.

When you are churning out hundred of pages and already going through multiple rounds of edits, all those paragraphs start to look like alphabet soup. This is why I have decided to push my inner copyeditor aside and hand my novel over to a professional editor with a fresh set of eyes. Because heaven help me if there's a single subject-verb disagreement in the book!

However, the real issue with getting a professional to dive into editing an entire novel is that they tend to want to be paid for their time - and rightfully so.

In order to fund this quest for the most high-quality novel possible, I am asking friends, family and grammar sticklers alike to support my upcoming Kickstarter campaign to offset the editing cost before I shop for a publisher.

If you are a fellow fan of error-free reading, then please pledge support for my campaign and share the event with friends and family.

My red pen thanks you!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Support an artist -- It's good for you!


Image Source: Heartrockshome.com


Everyone has a special talent, a gift that lets him or her shine as an individual. Some people plan exceptional parties or decorate their home and others can craft a piece of furniture or design jewelry that puts a smile on someone’s face.

Whether I am basking in the beauty and skill of historical art pieces in a museum, passing by alley murals or watching performers along the street, I am constantly reminded that art can truly be awe-inspiring. However, my path into this world has always been the written word.

I have been enamored and connected to the literary world for as long as I can remember.  Creating something with little more than your imagination and words is both challenging and rewarding.

As I continue to pour ideas onto pages while creating The Evenarian, I am reminded of just what a challenge it is to be creative full-time. While many people indulge in their creative side as a hobby to unwind from a less-creative work life, I have taken the plunge to be a full-time artist.

And let me tell you, I have a newfound respect for people who have devoted their lives to their art all along.

Through this process I have become much more generous and supportive of various artists I come across from buying more books and art to supporting projects I have found on Kickstarter.

It is easy overlook all the sweat and tears that go into creating something from the depths of your imagination. So I just wanted to remind and encourage everyone out there to support artists that they admire because not is it a financial commitment to get new art out into the world, but we do appreciate the feeling of being appreciated by others.

So buy a book, tip a street performer, share a new artist with a friend or, heck, hug an author.

If you would like to support my efforts to get my book to print then please “like” my Facebook page, attend the Facebook event preparing for the Kickstarter campaign, pledge to donate to my Kickstarter, share the event and page with friends, follow my blog, follow my tweets or send me an email to theevenarian@gmail.com




Monday, October 22, 2012

Alternative history

Have you ever read a book that made you put it down every few minutes to pause and think? A book that made you see the world around you in a different way?

In science fiction and fantasy, there are books which make you ask questions about events, and how they could've transpired differently. This is a sub-genre called "alternative history." It takes place in our world's past but frequently a key historical event happens differently and magic or other fantastical elements are present. These stories explore "what if" questions like "what if Hitler had been assassinated before starting World War II" or "what if Jesus' ministry had been different" and so on.

While The Evenarian does not take place on Earth, its world very well could have been ours, or rather, our world may have been The Evenarian's world.

One of the themes tackled in the story is just how much of truth is hidden from us, including history and destiny. Many elements of The Evenarian's world are parallel to ours.

For example, what if the messianic figure that changes the world had created a positivist religion (i.e. based on science) instead of a mystic one? What would our society be like if its religious institutions were founded on positivism and post-enlightenment thinking? How would this even go about happening?

The world before the Evenarian came was a mystical place, full of simple wonders. But our hero knows that the world left behind by the ministry of the Evenarian will be full of fanatics. Opposing groups with different scientific axioms are constantly at war because of conflicting logic instead of religious beliefs. These groups are, of course, painfully unaware of what we know as Goedel's incompleteness theorem. It's our world, except that it's totally different. After reading the complete story, you'll hopefully see many of our modern debates about the nature of truth and religion from a new angle, much like after meditating on a zen koan.

I'm very proud of this concept. It's one of those mind-bending puzzles that makes you put a book on your chest and gaze at the ceiling. If you enjoy that feeling of enchantment that a book gives you, then please support our Kickstarter (launching October) so we can get this book published.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Meet my new friend Kickstarter

Image Source: Theproducersperspective


Happy Friday, fans! It’s been a few days since I sprung my latest endeavor on you: The upcoming launch of a Kickstarter campaign to get my book edited and out to publishers.

So far, I've gotten a lot of positive feedback, but also some questions about what Kickstarter is and how people can help with the campaign. I'd like to take this opportunity to tell you all more about what Kickstarter is and why I'm using it to help complete The Evenarian.

Kickstarter is an online funding platform for a host of creative projects, from films, books, and music to art, design and technology.

People interested in funding creative projects create a campaign on the website and encourage people from all over the country (and the world) to support their cause. But unlike many donation-based services, the only way for a Kickstarter campaign to see any of that money is by reaching their funding goal. Otherwise, no money is received.

In other words, if you pledge to support my Kickstarter but I don’t make the goal of $5,000 within the allotted timeframe, you don’t get charged anything. But on the flip-side, the project remains unfunded.

This campaign runs for just 30 days (the month of November) so that means it is crucial to get support on DAY ONE. You can help by making your pledge on that day.

Also, Kickstarter promotes campaigns that get an early wave of donations (whatever the size) by putting them on their front page. This exposes campaigns to a huge number of prospective backers.

For The Evenarian's campaign, there are different levels of support, from a single dollar up to $3,000. Each contribution leve comes with its own rewards (think the totebags PBS gives out during pledge drives). Who doesn’t love rewards? And for those of you who can’t spare much, know that a bunch of supporters giving a dollar apiece can still make a huge difference!

You may be asking: What else can I do to help?

Until the Kickstarter campaign goes live on November 1st you can join the Kickstarter Facebook event page and pledge to donate on Nov. 1! Also, “like” The Evenarian's Facebook fan page to get updates on the campaign and the novel's progress. And don't forget to read the author's blog, comment, retweet and pledge!

Thanks so much for all your continued support!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Kickstarter Countdown


Attention bibliophiles and fantasy aficionados! I'm really excited to announce that while I have been banging out pages of my book, The Evenarian, I am also getting ready to launch a Kickstarter campaign to help get the book edited and shopped around to publishers.
 


It seems like just yesterday that The Evenarian was just a twinkle in my eye and now it’s really happening!
 


While I’m the one giving my sweat and tears, I am asking for just a little help from my supporters in order to get this book to print.
 


On November 1, I will launch the KICKSTARTER campaign with a goal of raising $5,000 (and have hopes of surpassing that in the 30 days that the campaign is live).
 


In order to reach (and hopefully shoot past this goal) I need help from everyone who believes that more creative, page-turning literature should be out in the world.
 


Since I have friends, family and supporters of all different means, there are many different levels of contribution that can be made (from a single buck to a $3,000 bracket – each with rewards to boot!) to bring The Evenarian to fruition.
 


Since November is just around the corner, I want to keep the buzz going so the Kickstarter gets a big first week and the momentum propels this book into everyone’s hands as soon as possible.
Word of mouth and excitement will help make this book more than just a few million letters on my hard drive.
 


Since November is national novel writing month, I couldn’t think of a more fitting time to get this project closer to completion. In the coming days and weeks, I will be posting some great blogs, asking for feedback and giving shout-outs to all those that pledge to support The Evenarian. (Hopefully I’ll be shouting out to all of you.)
 


Until the Kickstarter campaign is live, I am asking everyone to share my Facebook fan page with other avid readers and people that love to support original content so “like,” blog, join the Facebook event, comment, retweet and pledge!


 More about The Evenarian:

The Evenarian is a fantasy novel-in-progress, inspired by the works of George R.R. Martin and Neil Stephenson. It takes place in a medieval world of magic, kings, ancient tribes and empires. It's also world on the verge of a massive change—a change that must be stopped at all costs. The world is held together by a monastic system of cloisters where the Seekers of Truth study history, prophecy, healing, warfare and, of course, magic. As the characters navigate a dangerous, politically-charged landscape, they find themselves confronted with not just the realities of their own journey, but questions about the nature of truth itself.



Thursday, September 27, 2012

A small update

Been busy with lots of writing lately, but there's some exciting news coming in a few weeks. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Talking politics

One of the greatest challenges a fiction writer faces is whether or not to include references to current events in one's work. If your story is set during a recent historical event, that's one thing.  It's also par for the course to include familiar sites and cultural touchstones to guide the reader and give them a sense of place. But what if you're crafting a world out of thin air?

There are many major works of literature that contain veiled references to contemporary political issues and cultural figures. F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ayn Rand's books come to mind, and they weren't always straight-up allegories either. Those works can be appreciated if you don't understand the references, but reading through their entries on Sparknotes certainly fills in the gaps.

But in a few years (let alone 50 or 100), who's going to care about a spot-on caricature of a society matron or a send-up of an obnoxious political operative? Why risk future readers conflating an interpretation of the author's time with a message for all time?

Also, some authors who tackle political analogies in their fiction don't always get a warm reception. In A Dance With Dragons, the most recent installment of ASOIAF, George Martin was accused of modeling one of the book's subplots on the U.S.'s recent involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. He denied drawing inspiration from those wars, but the perceived parallels made the already shaky subplot even more unpopular with readers.

That's he conundrum I've been wrestling with lately. So far, I've come up with one answer. Shoehorning in pop culture references is a sure road to irrelevance, but there's always interesting people in the world, no matter what era you live in. If those people have something equally interesting to say in your world, maybe you should let them in.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Inspiration

I've been writing for as long as I can remember. I had a brief fascination with the letter M when I was 3 or 4 years old and spent at least one whole afternoon(filling pages of construction paper with the letter. Of course, today's parent might see such behavior and think there was something seriously wrong with me. My mom probably just asked me what I was doing and gave me a bowl of strawberries.

It's been more or less the same ever since. I get fixated on a topic or idea, it sprouts in my mind and then I can write about it. I can write a lot about it. That's when I can go on one of those classic "writing binges" you hear so much about. I know some writers are very methodical about their craft. Some, like Danielle Steel, even have a formula. And good for them.

My approach has always been more organic. While I see The Evenarian more as a project than an artistic endeavor, I write most effectively when something has sparked me. And that spark could be anything. Recently a remembered scene from a not-very-good-movie (if you must know, it was Kingdom of Heaven) induced me to introduce a character into the story much earlier than first planned. But I never know what stimuli is going to send me flying to my computer. Actively seeking out inspiration usually backfires, believe it or not, so I simply have to be watchful. I let lots of potentially inspirational sources into my life - music, art, books, a few movies and TV shows.

When I'm truly at a creative dead-end, I remember a quote from George R.R. Martin, whose A Song of Ice and Fire series was an enormous inspiration for my novel. An interviewer asked him if he enjoyed the writing process and he replied that he enjoyed the feeling of having written. Remembering that spurs me into action, and I know the satisfaction I'll feel once I hit my page count for the day is stronger than writer's block, and sometimes it's all the inspiration I need.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sharing a bit from the manuscript.


I want to give you an unedited version of the prologue because of all of the support I have been receiving online for my writing. It couldn't wait any longer. The excerpt below is full of the honest mistakes of a rough manuscript. You rarely get such an intimate look into an author and her writing.
 If you like it then could I ask you a favor in return? Please share this with your friends?


Prologue



“I have much important things to say but little time to say them.”
Turo sighed and looked down at the speaking stone in his hand. It was smooth and round like a large pebble, but it glowed from the inside with a gentle red light. Turo had only ever seen his master use the stone and he was not even sure whether it was working. He had been assured that there was plenty of blank space left on it for his purposes, though he had no idea what “blank space” meant. Should he hold the stone closer to his face? Speak louder? Should he use the Northern dialect that he had spoken his whole life, or should he try to muddle through in another language that more people might understand?
Turo lifted himself off the cold stone bench and tugged at the new clothes they had given him. The rough-spun pants and tunic were both too big for him. They hadn't even given him a rope to tie around his waist. He could guess why though.
Holding the stone, he walked aimlessly to a wall where a rectangular hole sliced into its stonework served as a window. His room was high in one of the many towers so he had a view of the river valley below. The sun was setting over a mountain range in the west. Turo remembered an argument he had with his master when they first caught sight of the magnificent city that lay at the end of the long winding canyon.
But that was months ago now; early in their travels. So much had changed since then. That conversation may as well have happened in another lifetime.
Now Turo watched the setting sun turn the landscape and the sky shades of gold, purple and flaming red. The river became a molten ribbon as it threaded through the canyon, so bright he could barely stand to look at it. Turo just shaded his eyes with his hands for he needed to watch. Soon it would all turn to grey, and then black, save for the lamplights twinkling below.
“I didn't set out for any of this to happen,” he said to the speaking stone in a mournful voice. Still in his hand the stone pulsed with its reassuring red light. “I supposed my father would say...” Turo's throat thickened with sudden emotion and he had to stop again. Thoughts of home would only slow him down now.
The sun was igniting thin bands of clouds as it sank closer to the mountains. “It looks like someone painted it”, his master might have said of the scene.
Turo took a deep breath and looked down at the stone. Perhaps this would be easier if he pretended he was talking to a person...?