in a recent blog post that my good friend Alana Abbott was gearing up for a Kickstarter project, and I’m happy to say she launched it this past week. The project is to fund the release of Regaining Home, the third book in her Redemption trilogy, which began in 2006.
At that time, Alana was writing the trilogy for White Silver Publishing, as it tied into the setting of their fantasy RPG Chronicles of Ramlar, which Alana wrote most of lore for. The first two books, Into the Reach and Departure, made it to print, but White Silver ran into some financial issues, and the third book Regaining Home never saw the light of day.
Alana now has the rights to the series back, and she has brought her original editor (Shawn Merwin) and artist (Lindsay Archer) back on board to properly finish this trilogy.
The rewards for the Kickstarter project range from getting an eBook copy of Regaining Home to naming a character, to having some input into the story itself!
If you pledge at least $9, you’ll get eBook copies of the first two books, and Regaining Home as well. Once you’ve read the first book Into the Reach, download the writer’s commentary style interview I did with Alana about it over on Drive Thru Coimics for free!
Click here to head over to the Kickstarter page and check out all the details!
I helped fund this kickstarter and ended up extremely dissatisfied.ReplyDelete
While abiding by the letter of the kickstarter rules, she definitely failed to uphold the intent. Namely a "good faith" effort to go forward with the backer reward.
When I discovered the vignette had a tiny word count as compared to the story reward and was told that my prompt could not possibly be completed as a vignette, I noted my surprise and feeling that the vignette had been misrepresented. I should note, that having taken the time to look at the definition of a standard vignette again, I’m beginning to wonder if this response was an outright lie, particularly after having consulted other authors and been assured that some version of what I wanted could have been completed within the limitations of a vignette.
She offered to alter my backer reward to correct this and I suggested I provide additional monetary compensation to qualify for the story level as this would seem to correct the issue. She then came up with additional problems with the prompt and noted she could no longer change backer rewards via kickstarter/amazon. I suggested another method such as paypal/check (as other kickstarters had done in the past) and corrected my prompt to address all of her objections.
Instead of making it clear that she was unwilling to accept other methods of payment so I could decide if I wanted to try and work within the confines of the vignette as she saw it, she summarily ended the conversation, made it clear she had had no intention of fulfilling the vignette from the beginning, and that her objections had been geared toward making me accept a non story reward. In other words she attempted a "bait and switch." Presenting two options that would have provided little to no additional effort on her part rather than the comparatively time consuming project she had originally offered.
When writing to the public, she made a show of willing to do her "best to accomodate" genres, her preference that she have a character type to work with and examples giving those characters motivations, and complete openness as far as setting so long as the material was rated PG13 and under. When presented with a topic she was unwilling to complete, she attempted to obfuscate this fact with fake helpfulness and problems with the prompt structure.
As to the job itself, I asked her to write about an event in my life that I find confusing and she already has knowledge of in the hopes that I would find her story illuminating. There is no breach of privacy, the parties involved insisted they were straightforward and I have all the information I need. However, because she found the topic difficult, she chose not to rise to the challenge of attempting to portray the interrelationships between people and the failures that sometimes occur. Given the wording of her guidelines and the apparent intent: to challenge her as a writer to write about things a reader might like to see in an attempt to improve herself and challenge her limits, I find this an odd and unfortunately cowardly response. Her guidelines could have produced far more uncomfortable but still interesting pieces. Hitler's speech after winning World War II, a soldier taking part in genocide tracking down civilians, a boy at the funeral of his mother, or any of a number of topics that could be done without entering into the R category. All with opportunities to show character types and create mood in ways that may challenge her.
I would complain to Kickstarter, but given that kickstarter has historically done a poor job of holding people accountable, I am following the example of other dissatisfied customers and complaining on other places on the internet. While I do appreciate having my money refunded, I do feel it my duty to note the appalling failure of customer service in that last e-mail, not to mention warning others of the emotional letdown and wasted effort they are likely to suffer when buying her products.