One week left to buy your copy of “The Wheel Diver”

You can buy The Wheel Diver here.

Writing The Wheel Diver took nearly a year. Illustrating and designing The Wheel Diver took another six months. Planning the Kickstarter campaign has been a year-long process. All for three weeks to somehow communicate just how special this book is. As of today, there are about eight days left of this campaign, eight days left to purchase your hardcover copy of The Wheel Diver, and pick up some pretty awesome book-themed swag as well.

Let’s start with the concept. I was inspired by Joss Whedon’s magical ability to build worlds out of two seemingly incongruous themes (space and the wild west for Firefly, my favorite show of all time, and bubbly high school cheerleader meets monsters and vampires in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, another favorite of mine). For The Wheel Diver, those two incongruous worlds were the Amazon and a punk rock roller derby aesthetic. Marry the two and you have matriarchal roller derby warrior tribes, which was ridiculously fun to write. If you’re curious about the writing, you can download a free copy of Chapter 1 here.

Of course, there’s a lot more to creating a beautiful book than the writing. The artwork above are nine of the twenty-one original illustrations produced by Portland-based artist Michael Arras for the book. In fact, there’s one illustration for each chapter, and graphic designer, art director, author, and all-around art genius Mignon Khargie used these illustrations as a kickoff point for the first page of each new chapter.

I happen to be a really huge fan of original, modern book design. One of the greatest disappointments about print publishing, to me, is that the financial challenges facing the industry tend to result in an overly simplistic approach to content, design, and production. The beauty of being an independent author is that I don’t have to justify any imaginative excess. The images below are eight of the first chapter pages designed by Mignon Khargie. When was the last time you picked up a book with design this beautiful?

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Undeniably I am biased. This book is my baby, the product of so many countless thousands of hours of effort. And now three weeks will determine its fate. Copies cost $25, and will be available until April 6.

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