You can also view this update on Kickstarter.
Hello all, and once again I’d like to offer a very deep thank you for all of your support! Tonight in particular was an amazing night… more than $100 in contributions came in just in one night!
This is not only amazingly generous and supportive, but it also helped me to reach my second goal! The funds raised so far are enough for the cover art for both the short story “Radiance” and the novel “Manifestation.” The “Radiance” cover is ready to be revealed as soon as the Kickstarter drive is over, so in just a few more days you’ll be able to see the cover that you, yes all of YOU made possible!
There’s just 4 1/2 days left of the Kickstarter drive. If possible (and yes I do think it is possible), I’d like to try and raise enough in these final days for just one more cover. There are actually several different short stories the third cover could be for, depending on which order the stories get released in. So I decided it would be nice to share some excerpts from those stories with you, so you can get a preview of the work your contributions are supporting.
These excerpts are from three different stories. Each is set in the same world as “Radiance” and “Manifestation,” and each is from the point of view of a different character. These characters all play a supporting role in the novel, and the short stories are a chance for each of them to shine in their own starring role.
The following excerpt is from “Man of Faith,” which is centered on the character of Father Alexander Donovan:
“And God bless and protect the souls of our children,” he prayed, one hand raised to the heavens while the other clutched a bible to his chest. Near the front of the crowd, a woman dropped to her knees and her sobs echoed loud into the night. Father Donovan knelt beside her and wrapped his arm around her. “And let our memories remain pure and strong, and our hearts unite as we stand together in the face of tragedy. Let us find comfort in each other, and in the shelter of the Lord, may His light ever guide and shelter us…”
A commotion started in the distance, where the HAZMAT crew stood. Over the roar of the fire and the cries of those in mourning, it was impossible to hear what was going on. Muted screams sounded from that direction. Father Donovan looked up and saw signs of a struggle, lit by the flickering light of the flames. In the distance, a young girl screamed. The priest’s heart ached with the weight of the sorrow behind that scream. The sound that pierced the air was more than a scream of loss, a scream of pain. The scream carried the dreadful awakening of horror and guilt, and the realization of some truth too horrible for the priest to contemplate.
Then came the light. It was sudden and blinding, rising into the sky from some unseen source in the parking lot. Father Donovan covered his eyes and gasped, clean air filling his lungs as the light banished the smoke and soot. He strained to look, to see the source of the light, but all he could make out was shadowy figures moving near the base of the luminous pillar.
The clouds parted when the radiant pillar struck them, and streams of light flew through the sky bringing day to night. All around the priest, people fell to their knees in awe. Tears stained many faces, including Father Donovan’s.
Then chaos erupted.
The second excerpt is from the story “Soldier of Light,” which is centered on the character Jeremiah Pritchard:
The shadows fled from Jeremiah’s mind, leaving an awakening in their place. Pure light streamed from his raised arms, crystallizing in the air. The lamp smashed into the light and shattered, golden shrapnel flying into the walls. The girl across from him gasped and threw her hand at him. Green and gold flew through the air and slammed into the light before him, piercing the crystal barrier in a dozen places. Jeremiah grunted as he was pushed back, his feet sliding across the floor until he shifted his stance and found traction. The girl stared at him and he stared back, wide-eyed and sweating. The green and gold tentacles piercing his light strummed with power, stretching and writhing as they tried to pull the barrier apart. He winced and closed his eyes, some strange instinct driving him to pull back against the light. Instead of repelling it, he drew it in, strengthening the crystal with each passing moment.
The girl grunted and squealed, thrusting her hand forward and pouring more of her light against his. He dropped to one knee, but kept his arms up, refusing to let the barrier drop or allow anyone else to be hurt. The girl whimpered with strain, then lowered her hand and released the light. Jeremiah’s arms dropped to his sides and he slumped against the wall.
And the third excerpt is from the newest story, “Belladonna,” centered on the character Maelyssa Southeby:
Mae ducked back inside when the cop started repeating his message again. She turned to face the door and sat on the window ledge, tapping her fingers against it. She wasn’t surprised they were being evacuated; between the power outage, the attacks throughout the city, and the oddities that had arisen all over, the inner city wasn’t safe.
The only problem was, she was one of the oddities.
“Mae, dear.” She looked up and saw her mother standing in the doorway, holding a suitcase. “Come on. We need to go. I packed some of your clean clothes. We can talk about what happened once we’re someplace safe.”
Mae just stared at her mother, her mind spinning. The thought of going downstairs, where the cops were waiting, made her mouth go dry. She hadn’t had the chance yet to even process what was going on. She suddenly realized that she couldn’t go. She had killed someone. It had been an accident, but that didn’t matter. She was a killer.
These excerpts are just small teases of the overall stories to be told, but hopefully they spark a little interest in the reader. Each of these stories is in the process of revisions, and each one will be following “Radiance” into publication. Of course, in order for that to happen, I’ll need cover art for them as well.
As of this writing, the pledge drive is at $410. If we can raise another $190 and hit $600, then one of these stories will get the chance to be born and be shared with the world. If, somehow, we surpass that, the others could get their covers at $800 or $1000. I don’t realistically expect to reach those higher marks with just under five days left, but I know the $600 mark is reachable.
All it will take is spreading the word a little bit further. So, if you find these stories interesting, I’d just ask for you to tweet, text, or email a link to this Kickstarter to a few more people. A lot of the people that have already pledged found out about the project because someone else shared it with them. That extra communication makes all the difference in the world.
And once again, THANK YOU all for your support!