GREETINGS FROM A TELLER OF FIBS
Thanks for finding my Patreon page! I'm a children's author or, as I like to put it, a Teller of Fibs. Apparently, I do it well. You may have heard of my first series of novels, THE LUCK UGLIES, which was published by HarperCollins. My books have won a bunch of awards if you're interested in that sort of thing, including being named an ALA Notable Book, a New York Public Library Top Book for Reading and Sharing, a Booklist Top Ten First Novel for Youth, the CYBILS Award Winner, and a Kansas City Star Best Book of the Year. But more importantly, my writing has given me the opportunity to travel to schools and libraries around the country in an effort to inspire a love of reading in children. I'm constantly inspired by letters from the parents of reluctant readers whose sons and daughters have gone on to become dedicated bookworms after reading my books. For those of you who may be inclined to support my efforts to reach as many of those readers as possible, I hope you will read on.
I've always had a soft spot for two groups of people--kids and aspiring authors (probably because I was once both of those myself). I left the corporate world three years ago so that I could spend my time writing for children and teaching writers of all ages how to follow their vision and pave their own creative paths. It's my passion, and I am so fortunate to wake up every day and do things that I love. For a full year after my first book was published, I visited schools absolutely free. Even now, with three books under my belt and more on the way, I set my speaking fee lower than my peers' to make an author visit attainable by schools regardless of their budget. Unfortunately, that's not necessarily a path to job security. Despite what you may have been led to believe, most published children's authors don't live in castles or get chauffeured to their public appearances. This one lives in a modest house in New Hampshire and drives an old Subaru to his book signings. I do get to write in an abandoned chicken coop at the edge of a swamp, though, which beats writing in some drafty castle any day.
I started this Patreon page so that I can continue to share the type of work I truly believe in. I will always find a way to write books that entertain and challenge young readers--that's a promise. I was doing it before a publisher ever paid me and I'll keep doing it long after they stop. But with your support, I can do so much more. Here are just a few examples:
I can keep producing my iTunes podcast, TELLING LIES TO CHILDREN, where I interview bestselling authors, editors, and agents in order to give teachers, librarians, aspiring writers, and readers a behind-the-scenes look at the children's publishing industry. It's always free to listen and I don't sell advertising, which ensures that I can invite guests who share a passion for producing quality books.
I can keep offering free Skype visits to schools and libraries. Any time, anywhere. If a teacher has an enthusiastic classroom of students and and internet connection, all they need to do is reach out and I will spend a half-hour or more answering questions for their readers. I've already "visited" schools from California to Krakow, Poland, with a whole lot of stops in between.
I can offer scholarships to my TRIBE OF THE MIND creative writing workshops for children, giving talented young writers who may not otherwise be able to afford a writing workshop the opportunity to attend.
Most importantly, I will have the time and flexibility I need to visit as many students as possible, in-person, in cities and towns near you.
WHAT I CAN OFFER YOU
I hope you will consider joining me on this journey by becoming a patron. You will have my undying gratitude, of course. And lots of good karma. But I can offer more than that. Want to access monthly posts and videos where I talk about creativity, inspiration, and tips on how to break into the publishing business? Would you or your kids like to read original Luck Uglies short stories that expand the universe that thousands of readers already know and love? How about a super-sneaky peek at my next project before anyone else sees it? Or, if you're a generous soul who has the means and inclination to really get behind my work, you might even find yourself acknowledged in my next published book. You'll be able to unlock all of that and more by supporting this page.
SO WHAT, EXACTLY, WILL MY CONTRIBUTION BE USED FOR?
If you've read this far--THANK YOU. I'm a novelist and I'm used to telling stories in 300-400 page blocks of text. But you deserve to know what your pledge will be used for. So here are the details.
- Supporting the Launch of THE LAST GARGOYLE. My new novel from Crown (Random House) will be published on January 9, 2018. Publishers offer some support for new books, but not much. That leaves it to us, the authors, to do most of the legwork and pay our own travel and promotional expenses. I plan on traveling to schools, libraries, and book festivals near you. Your support will help me get there.
- New LUCK UGLIES Short Stories. My publisher won't be publishing any more novels in the Luck Uglies series but my readers tell me they want more! I plan on expanding the Luck Uglies world through short stories and sharing them here with you, my patrons. Patrons will have exclusive access to those stories and the opportunity to vote on which characters they want to hear more from. Plus, with your support, I can even commission the original artist to create more amazing Luck Uglies artwork to go with them (and thereby support another talented creator).
- Expand and Grow my TELLING LIES TO CHILDREN Podcast. I currently produce, host, and edit my podcast. My technological skills are a work in progress, but with your help I can upgrade equipment and hosting services to be sure subscribers have the best listening experience possible.
- More and Better Quality Skype Visits. I offer free Skype visits to any school that asks. Your support will help me maintain my technology so I can keep scheduling those free visits and make sure the connections remain clear and fast.
- Discounted Workshops. I love teaching workshops for young writers. I wish I could offer them all for free but I have to rent space and sink costs in order to do them right. Your support will help underwrite those costs, keeping fees down for everyone and even allowing me to offer scholarships to those who need them.
- Hire an Intern. I'm a one man show. All this marketing, organizing, and producing takes a lot of work. I have plenty of hungry (literally and figuratively) college students who would like to help me out, but they need to eat too. I don't want to hire one until I can pay them a fair wage. With your help, I can.
- My Top Secret Young Adult Project. My books are marketed to middle grade readers (ages 8-12 or so), which is not to say they aren't enjoyed by teens and adults too. But I have a new pet project for teens and young adults that I am writing "on spec." That means I'm writing the full manuscript before offering it to the publishing world. Why? Because I believe that it's complex, nuanced, and ambitious. When publishers get their hands on projects to early, they sometimes try to mold them, label them, and stuff them into categories where they don't belong. This one is too good and too important to me. I want it to stand on its own, as-is, and my patrons will be part of its development.