Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Do Me A Favor (Strange New Words)

See that image over on the left? It's a proposed cover for Ari Marmell's Strange New Words, a collection of short stories he's written over the years. You might know Ari as the author of the amusingly grim Conqueror's Shadow series, or the grimly amusing Goblin Corps. Or you might have read some of his work for the Magic: The Gathering or Iron Kingdoms games.

My point being: Ari's a very good fantasy author with a proven track record, and I've got no doubt he's written some strong material for this book. So I'd like you to take a minute to click on this link, go read over the Kickstarter, and contribute a few dollars to help him get it off the ground.

My reasons for this are not... entirely altruistic.

See the Yeti Rock-Thrower tier reward? It's the one where Ari has offered to critique a short story or a novel chapter for the low low price (I'm not kidding here) of $100, minus the cost of a hardback copy of the book and a USS San Jacinto patch. That is a frigging bargain, which you can discover for yourself if you go looking for critique rates at any reputable agency.

As of last week I've pledged $100 to become a Yeti Rock-Thrower. See, I love writing and I intend to keep writing, but I am downright horrible at kicking my own ass hard enough to finish any project larger than a short story. (That's finish as in "oh God I can finally submit this", not finish as in "I 'won' NaNoWriMo again".) And that sucks. I'm writing because I ultimately want people to read this shit, er brilliance, and that's not going to happen if I keep leaving the corpses of unfinished novels behind me like so many chicken bones.*

I need privacy, I need quiet, I need regularly scheduled blocks of time to write.** And I'm not going to get any of that because I have a day job and an infant son, so I'm settling for threatening to tear a strip of flesh out of my own arm. Because if I don't finish polishing this book, I'm going to be letting $100 go to waste and I'll never hear the end of it.

You may say, "Dave, real authors don't need to do this sort of thing." And to that I say, "Professional authors don't do this sort of thing because it's not profitable, but real authors will try any Goddamn thing they can to finish the book. Now hand me my Viking helmet."

So now I've got some financial skin on the line without taking the ultimate step of quitting my day job. Or I will once Ari's Kickstarter gets fully funded. And at the moment it's only halfway there, with fifteen days to go, and if it doesn't get fully funded I keep my $100 and I'll have to start thinking about how to remove literal strips of flesh in a motivational manner.

So please click this link and go help Ari out. We'll both be grateful, and you'll have done your good deed for the day.

*To my neighbors: Stop doing that. My dog doesn't understand stomach perforation.

**These are of course not "needs", as any experienced writer will tell you repeatedly. But they wouldn't hurt.