The shifting sands of novel writing force a change

Doing the Kickstarter project to fund my writing and presentation of my new ZOMBIE BOOK has been fascinating. I learned that my friends and colleagues are the best people on Earth, of course, but more than that, I have learned that the creative world of artists, angels, “free the information” advocates, and others are intertwined in ways I had never really thought about.

Something else I learned was that you can’t force others to meet your deadline. I had been writing Reviva Las Vegas! as a collection of novellas, but “novellas” wasn’t the right word. And “four interlocking stories in the same universe, with the same motifs and possibly some secondary characters being shared by some of the stories” seemed a bit cumbersome. And how do I express that one section will be narrative prose, a second in graphic novel format, a third in screenplay format, and a fourth possibly as an Iliad– or Don Juan-like epic poem? I mean, other than by saying what I just said.

So here’s the hitch, and it’s a damn valid one: My artist who has been working with me on covers and other illustrations said there’s no way he could knock out 32 or 64 pages of GN art in the time I have allotted for it, which is like 3 weeks. I guess I knew that, but didn’t want to face it. So I’ve decided to give him the time he needs to do that part, and it will also allow me rewriting and polishing time that will make Reviva Las Vegas! successful.

But what about the Con? What about being funded to have a zombie book there? Well, what I’m going to (or am asking my sponsoring donors if I may) do is write a short zombie novel and publish my iTunes lecture series as a standalone book. Both of these would be done in time for the Walker Stalker Con on November 1. So far I have gotten unsurprisingly supportive feedback, but I also want to allow for the possibility that someone doesn’t necessarily want their support going to a slightly different project than was first promised.

Anyway, please read the letter below, which I sent to all my Kickstarter sponsors, to how I attempted to resolve this dilemma. Now I must go write, for I must have 50,000 words done by October 1!

Love,
Sean

Dear Kickstarter Donors who are also now Dear Friends even if we ain’t met yet,

Allow me to take this opportunity to thank you again for your support. You are a kind and generous lot, and you are allowing me to take the time I need to get this book project done. I am all signed up for a table at the Walker Stalker Con from November 1-3 in Atlanta.

(If you want to say hi in person, but don’t necessarily want to buy a ticket to the Con, please just email me and let’s make an evening date for while I’m in Atlanta!)

I got a bit of bad news from the artist who is doing the graphic novel portion of the project, in that he can’t possibly get the art done in time to get it to the printers in time to have it debut at the Con. However, just like sorority girls who had a little too much fun the night before, I have a Plan B.

Plan B-1: Since my zombie lectures are already done and in the process of being transcribed right now (by a professional transcriberer, no less), I am going to put out the lectures as an independent book. I think these will sell like candy bars at the 7/11 nearest to a fat camp. Donors at $50 or above will be thanked in this book. ALL donors, regardless of donation size, will receive both an ebook and a hard copy of this first book. And

Plan B-2: I am working on a short zombie novel called “Deadtown Abbey.” It is going to be the world of Downton Abbey (natch) with a leeeettle problem with the undead. All of the donors will receive the ebook, and donors at $25 or above will get a signed copy of this book as well. Also

Plan B-3: The original novella-filled book will be out in the first six months of 2014. I was doing this book for the Con, but I was told there was no way to have it done right by then. However, “Reviva Las Vegas!” will be a fantastic, multi-formatted book and worth the wait. All donors will receive the ebook and those at or above $25 will get a signed hard copy as well.

This situation, like most in life, have an upside and a downside.

Upside: THAT’S THREE BOOKS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE! WHEEEE! And every book will be a winner. Just like you guys.

Downside: This isn’t technically what you signed on for. You are helping me get a zombie book to the Atlanta Con, and you are going to receive the RLV book, but it will be Deadtown Abbey and the nonfiction zombie book for the Con, with RLV coming later.

So here be my offer: If you would rather not support the changed project, please just let me know and I will return your donation to you ASAP. I never intended to do a bait-and-switch, but I think this new and improved project will be even better. Regardless of how I feel, however, you are entitled to withdraw your donation if you are no longer interested. THERE WILL BE NOTHING BUT GRATITUDE FROM ME! I would never give any one of you a hard time about needing to step away from a slightly different project from the one you were supporting.

Okay, so let’s say you’re still in. ALL DONORS will receive an ebook and a signed hard copy of the zombie lectures book. Those under $25 will receive ebooks of all three, in fact. And those at or above $25 will receive ebooks and signed hard copies of all three. All who pledged at the $50 or above level will be thanked in all three books.

As for the $75 and above donors (if you decide to stay in), you are going to have a character named either after you or named to your specifications. The choice is ask you to make is whether you would like that to be a character in Deadtown Abbey or in Reviva Las Vegas. I would make it both if I could, but these are separate universes, so it wouldn’t make sense. So please do drop me a line letting me know iin which book you’d like your eponymous character to appear. Also, if you have a preference, let me know if you want your character to be (1) a good guy, (b) a bad guy, or (c) a zombie from the get-go.

The ebooks and signed hard copies of the first two books will be delivered around November 15. This is also when I will post the video of me nearly nekkid on the Strip. (Those at the $100 level will receive my three earlier books in ebook and signed hard copy in November as well.)

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I do hope you’ll continue your support. But there is no problem if you withdraw it. I still love you all like whoa.

Many thanks once again,
Sean Hoade

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