Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Secrets, Like Dragons… Are Tales Untold: Or, The Coolest New Kickstarter Project Ever.

Fans! Readers! Moviegoers! Fantasists of all shapes, sizes, ages, etcetera, I sound this clarion call to thee! If heroic fantasy is your most cherished fare, then heed my rallying cry, for I sound my large flipping horn to thee! Spread the word! Unlock thine coffers! For a Kickstarter project hath swooped ‘pon us swift and true, one of great verve and pith, one that ushers in a powerful new order, one that will—pardon the cliché—shake the very foundations of the earth! Or, in this case, of Kharndam!

So, uh… what?

Okay, here’s the dilly. In case you've been living under a rock—you know, with those fellas who just found out how they can save up to 15% more with Geico?—you’ve likely heard of Kickstarter, the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world. Right?

Well, author STEVEN E. SCHEND (Blackstaff, Blackstaff Tower, and numerous gaming credits) has envisioned the world of Kharndam and gathered about his e-person a jaunty group of fellow creators and writers to be his creative braintrust. Among them:
The “uncontained” ED GREENWOOD (Elminster in Hell, Elminster Must Die, The City of Splendors, The Band of Four, the Falconfar series), creator of the popular Forgotten Realms settings for Wizards of the Coast and, according to Amazon.com, “best-selling author of hundreds of novels, game products, and articles.”
ROSEMARY JONES, writer of novels for Wizards of the Coast including City of the Dead (an adventure set in the graveyard of Waterdeep) and Crypt of the Moaning Diamond, with short fiction in numerous anthologies.
JALEIGH JOHNSON, yet another excellent Wizards of the Coast writer, credited with Unbroken Chain, Mistshore, and The Howling Delve, as well as short stories in Realms of the Dead, Realms of the Dragon II, and Sails & Sorcery anthologies.
And rounding up this announcement there would be, well, me… J.M. MARTIN, if I must remind you! In addition to sharing space between the covers on Sails & Sorcery with Jaleigh Johnson, you can see the rest of my bibliography here.

So, about that Kickstarter project—now that you know the principle folks involved—Steven plans to launch Vistag Media, a new publishing house. To get things off the ground he’s trying the creative funding route via Kickstarter (link below). I’ve taken about three minutes of your time (if you’ve made it this far), and now I’m asking for just a few more. Watch Steven’s video at the project page where he talks about his plans and aspirations.

More from the Kickstarter page:

How is this book different from other fantasies currently on the market?

1) There are no longer any elves, demons, dragons, or dwarves in this world. Secrets, like Dragons… is just a simile title to speak to readers looking for good fantasy tales. It's not a matter of disliking any of those fantasy tropes, but we wanted Kharndam to feel different from the start.

2) The focus is on characters and their stories, not overused plots or hoary stereotypes. You won’t read about stable boys destined for royal thrones, and you shouldn’t expect grand quests by motley parties of heroes or villains driven to save or destroy the world either.

3) There are no moral absolutes pointing out which are the good guys or the bad guys here. Each character believes himself or herself in the “right” at the heart of things, and it’s up to readers to decide how they view characters and their actions.

Point #3 is the one that especially intrigues me, and I look forward to tackling a project writing a morally ambiguous anti-hero type! If this all intrigues you to the point where you want to learn more or are convinced you can part with at least one dollar, visit Secrets, like Dragons...are Tales Untold now!


  1. Great post, Joe, and thanks very much for the kind words. Here's hoping that the project meets its goals so we can get to work on all this!

  2. No problem! Sure hope this blog can stir a few backers out of the brush.

  3. Thanks, Kenny. Spread the word. Sounds like if we can get this off the ground, Steven will want to tap some of those legendary Writers of the Storm (I assume you're one!).