Who are you and why should I give you money?
I'm Skyla and my characters kill people so I don't have to, meaning I write books. Lots of them. Mostly urban fantasy and paranormal stuff, full of snark, action, sex, explosions, and gratuitous naughty words. Usually with Unlikable Female Characters™ who solve their problems with violence and coarse language. Sometimes with a saber-tooth cat sidekick named Sir Rodney Ballsgalore.
I like writing books. I would like to write more of them but a lot of my time ends up devoted to freelance graphic design, editing, and paid writing projects (that I dislike) because of rent and stuff. I'd like to make writing what I love a little more sustainable so I don't have to write as many things that make me want to set my hair on fire, and give you awesome stuff in the process.
Where does the money go?
My primary goal with this is to pick up the cost of my monthly meds, at the moment.
So here's the thing: I got really sick a few years ago, and by "really sick" I mean I was bedridden for six months. It turned out to be an autoimmune disease that I'll have forever and ever, and now I need drugs.
Canada has free healthcare, right? Well, yeah, but that doesn't cover medication. I don't have a drug plan because hai, freelancer! ("Go get a job with benefits!" Right, I'll get right on that, because a chronically ill person is so employable.) So some guaranteed pennies a month going toward that would ease my mind a lot since I don't want to get sick again. Patreon supporters are directly responsible for keeping me well and able to write.
And of course THAT disease had a ripple effect and hit other areas of my health. I'm already paying $75/month for medication so I'm not able to get the others I need (another $120). That's a distant goal I'd like to hit, to hopefully start taking those needed meds too.
Next, it'll buy cat and dog food. I have a collection of wayward strays that require regular feedings or they will kill and eat me before my body is cold, and I'd like to prevent that from happening as I have books to write and can't do that when I'm dead. (Or maybe I COULD...hmm...) My pets are my family and the focus of a lot of my finances.
Beyond that? Patronage goes toward rent and keeping the lights on. The more of that stuff I can pay through funding from art patrons (you know that, right? You join and you are a patron of the arts, which is pretty damn cool), the more time I can devote to writing the stuff that I and my readers love. A toonie a month from you goes a long way for me.
Also, a bit of money goes to Patreon fees, PayPal/bank fees, etc. About 85-90% of your pennies come to me, though.
Can I read a sample of some of your work?
Sure! You'll find the first ten chapters of Bloodlines available here. If you're poking around Kindle and Nook, you can usually sample 2-3 chapters of each book available as well.
Okay, so what do patrons get?Stuff! Lots of stuff!
New: LET ME THANK YOU!
Like the credits at the end of a movie highlighting everyone who made a film possible, I'd like to start thanking my Patrons of Snark. Everyone who pledges, regardless of their level of patronage, is thanked in my books (assuming they are in good standing prior to publication). Nicknames are fine, though I reserve the right to not use anything offensive.
- Sneak peeks of what I'm working on (posted roughly once a month).
- Instant access to Prey, a Demons of Oblivion short story I wrote specifically for Patrons of Snark.
- Instant access to Resist, a Zara Lain short story that's exclusively for Patrons of Snark
- An official Patron of Snarky Arts badge to display on your website. Or print out and hide in your closet. Your choice.
- A one time 50% off coupon for my online ebook shop
- New: ALL patrons in good standing will be thanked in each of my published novels.
- Everything from the previous level.
- Instant access to Amends: A Zara Lain Serial as it's written as well as other stories serialized (like Livi Talbot's novella Ashford's Ghost).
- A monthly writing-related post on craft, business, How Not To Be a Douchebag Author, and answering YOUR writing questions!
- Probably stories about my cats.
- Everything from the previous level.
- A polished, official e-copy of Amends (all formats--epub, mobi, pdf, html--and DRM-free) when it's complete and/or whatever else is being serialized.
- eBook copy of Dial V for Vampire, the only available post-Oblivion novella, narrated by Zara Lain, which is now available.
- NEW: Get postcards from Livi! For six months, get postcards delivered to your door, telling a story from Livi about one of her adventures.
- Everything from the previous levels.
- A second monthly update with serialized chapters of a West POV novella/story.
- A min swag pack (bookmarks, signed postcards, etc). NEW: This year, get a mini travel pack after the postcard story completes.
- Everything from the previous levels (duh).
- A print copy of Amends and/or whatever is being serialized when it's ready, signed and delivered to your door (or PO Box).
- Video and/or audio commentary on what the stories/excerpts/whatever I post.
- All that above stuff.
- Advanced digital copies of ALL future self-published releases while you're a patron, your choice of format.
- That nifty stuff above.
- A signed/personalized print copy of any of my novels (currently available in print, or you can wait until a new one is in print) once a year, shipped anywhere (either to you or a family member/friend) because holy crap, that's a crazy huge contribution from you.
- I die of shock because seriously, omg, $50/month?
- If I survive, you get the stuff above plus an additional signed paperback a year while you're a patron.
- Your name is used in a book of your choosing as a character. Or you can choose someone else's name, with their permission. You might be a vampire, or a demon hunter, or an adventurer, or something else entirely. You might also die horribly. It's sort of a risk in my stuff. (Limit of 5 people.)
In addition to that, the more milestones we reach, the more goodies will be unlocked.
What DON'T I get?
You don't get to tell me what to write. I love hearing from readers, I love knowing what you like about my work, but supporting the work doesn't mean being able to dictate what I do and do not work on, or how certain plots work out. This means Nate and Ellie are not going to hook up, sorry.
You don't get my firstborn child. Sorry, Rumpelstiltskin, but I am wise to you now.
You don't get one of my cats named after you. Unless you have a REALLY cool name. Like Balthazar.
My obligations to patrons are spelled out pretty clearly here. Please do not overstep and creep me out. That's not cool.
Okay, I'm a patron. How do I claim my stuff?
Some things you can download right away, as soon as you're signed up as a patron. When other things come up, I'll either post them under the creations tab or post instructions for claiming them. If I need something from you, I tend to message through Patreon. Please ensure there's a valid, working email and shipping address for physical items.
Note: Patreon recommends I not send stuff until after the first month, which is when patrons are charged. So if you're getting a free ebook or something, that won't be coming until after your first month. Print books are shipped at the end of the year in time for Christmas.
You will not receive any unsolicited mail from me. Not even a newsletter--if you want that, head here to sign up.
Please also note that you are responsible for ensuring your payments are processed. When your payments are not going through, you lose access to things. Patreon notifies patrons if there's a payment problem. If I'm sending out rewards (ebooks, print books) and your payments are not up to date, you won't receive copies.
Wait, you'll seriously go back to Demons of Oblivion if you reach $1500/month?
Hey, I can live on that monthly, so: YEP. Do I think I'll meet it? Not this decade, but it helps to have goals. This does not mean I will formally publish those Demons of Oblivion novels that were previously canceled, but I will absolutely write them and make them available for Patrons of Snark. There are at least five more after Oblivion's conclusion.
Otherwise, the sustainability goal of $1000 means I can better prioritize my writing, which currently doesn't always generate enough for me to live on. Right now, I have to schedule time off of freelancing to write, which will limit me to 1-2 books a year. More income means I could be putting out at least three books a year.
In the meantime, there are still fun things for download, all of them exclusive to Patreon backers.
West Is Best ClubFor fans of the character Dale West from the Livi Talbot novels, at $10+ you get a secondly monthly snippet, and it'll be entirely about West.
His prequel novel, Tiger's Memory, is now available for download. It's about his first solo assignment for the agency, his first girlfriend, and how it goes very badly for him on both counts.
July 2018, I'm serializing Solomon's Seal from West's POV.
Needless to say, his POV stories are super spoilery for future books in the Livi series, so readers are sworn to secrecy!
Here's a quick list of all the special excerpt posts (for unpublished and exclusive books):
Excerpts (upcoming and/or unpublished books)
Devour - Ch 1 (first chapter of the unpubbed, unwritten sequel to my novel Soulless) All Patrons
In Darkness Waits Ch 1-5 (first five chapters of unpubbed post-apocalyptic UF novel) All Patrons
Solace Ch1-2 (first two chapters of Zara's first post-Oblivion novel) All Patrons
Trix Moody sample chapters (unpubbed....comedic crime novel? Or something?) $10+ Patrons
Revised Livi #3 opening $10+ Patrons
Livi Book #3 Preview All Patrons
Livi Book #3 Preview All Patrons
Livi Book #3 Preview All Patrons
Livi Book #4 Preview (Livi v yeti fight) All Patrons
Livi Book #4 Preview (angst) All Patrons
Livi Book #5 Preview (first chapter) All Patrons
Short Stories (complete)
Tales from Alchemy Red: Prey (Demons of Oblivion short, set pre-Oblivion, feat. Zara's saber-tooth cat Rodney) All Patrons
Resist: A Zara Lain Short Story (Demons of Oblivion short, set post-Oblivion, Zara's POV wherein she assassinates a fascist politician and punches nazis) All Patrons
A Livi Talbot Holiday Short - Standard Edition (Livi's first Christmas in the villa) All Patrons
A Livi Talbot Holiday Short - West Edition (Livi's first Christmas in the villa, bonus end scene from West's POV) West Is Best Club $10+
Tales from Alchemy Red: Dial V for Vampire (Demons of Oblivion, post-Oblivion Zara POV) Patrons $5+
Serials (in progress/unfinished)
Amends Ch 1-6 (Demons of Oblivion, pre-Oblivion, Zara POV--I had to put this on hiatus as it was a real struggle to write while I had Oblivion in progress; it's Nicolette's story as much as Zara's, and it should be fairly obvious why I kept hitting walls. I am sorry, I will come back to it.) All Patrons
First Dates (That End Badly) Ch1 (Livi POV, post book three) All Patrons
First Dates (That End Badly) Ch2 (Livi POV, post book three) All Patrons
First Dates (That End Badly) Interlude All Patrons
Tiger's Memory - West prequel novel + playlist (First draft; polished draft coming late July) West Is Best Club $10+
How Not To Be a Douchebag Author 101: Showing Your Ass in Public All Patrons
Storyteller Promises (aka I rant about the return of Twin Peaks) All Patrons
Writing Rape in Fiction (aka about Livi Talbot being written as a rape survivor) All Patrons
Mental Health and Medication $2+ Patrons
In Defense of Writing Bad Books $2+ Patrons
Training the Muse $2+ Patrons
Growing Pains $2+ Patrons
I'm Always Right $2+ Patrons
Where to Start $2+ Patrons
Wow, you reached the end of the page. Here, have a cat video.