Purchase “The Wheel Diver” on Kickstarter!


The hardest part of being an author isn’t writing books. It isn’t even editing the books, although there’s a long list of things I’d rather do than edit my books, and it might actually include cleaning the bathroom. The hardest part is marketing them. Most of the writers I know are extremely passionate people—brutally honest, thoughtful, socially conscious, and highly awkward. The very last thing they should be doing is marketing anything, much less their own work.

But that is exactly what we are called upon to do, the publishing industry being what it is. Also, print is dead. Long live print.

Three and a half years ago, I self-published my first book, Scourge of the Righteous Haddock. It was professionally edited, featured original artwork on the cover, and the book release party was nothing short of epic. On that night, with my friends drinking themed cocktails inspired by the book and lining up for me to sign their copies, I just didn’t think that life as an indie author could possibly get better.

I guess I’ve gotten braver since then because I realized there were a few things I wanted to do that I hadn’t tried the first time around:

    1. I wanted to produce a book trailer for one of my books. In December of 2016, I flew my boyfriend’s brother up from Los Angeles for the weekend. Why? Ryan makes movie trailers for a living. Who better to make my book trailer on a nonexistent budget? We spent two days filming in three different locations. Which was followed by three more months of video editing. This is what we came up with:
    2. I wanted to produce a hardcover edition of one of my novels, something that would rival Barnes & Noble’s leatherbound classics series for beauty.

In order to accomplish the second task, I found a printer in Iceland that makes beautiful books—Oddi Printing. I found an illustrator in Portland who makes beautiful images—Michael Arras. And, thankfully and as always, I have one of the best graphic designers in the world on my team—Mignon Khargie.

But what about the swag? A key aspect of any crowdfunding campaign is the rewards for backers. Besides pre-purchasing the hardcover edition of The Wheel Diver, rewards include a T-shirt with original artwork, bookmarks, original jewelry inspired by the book from The Fox and Stone jewelry designer, art prints, copies of my previous works, and handwritten thank you letters from my cats.

Schwag Collage 2

So I’m ready. I guess. Maybe. The night before the campaign began, I vacillated between feeling like a little kid on Christmas Eve and a little kid in The Hunger Games the night before the reaping. I don’t know what to expect, whether a hardcover edition of an independent fantasy novel will have any appeal whatsoever to contemporary audiences. But I have to believe that there is an audience for this whimsical, feminist, punk rock roller derby world set on the Amazon River. Because I want to live in a world where indie authors—hell, any indie artist—proves the publishers wrong, shows that there is a market for people willing to say something new and especially to produce something beautiful and provocative.

And I’ve got 20 days and 23 hours to prove it.


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