UALR student uses crowdfunding website to pay for his first novel - Crowdfunding Planning

posted Aug 1, 2013, 9:22 AM by   [ updated Aug 1, 2013, 9:33 AM ]
A University of Arkansas at Little Rock student is using an online crowdfunding website to pay for his first novel.

Marcus Gray received more than $3,500 from 74 people through the website Kickstarter. On his crowdfunding webpage, Gray said he plans use the money to self-publish his young adult novel "Son of Solace."

Gray said the book as part of the paranormal genre. He gave the following synopsis on Kickstarter:

"The book follows the story of Chance Sullivan, a young grad student who while taking an evening stroll is attacked, bitten, and killed by a dark assailant. The next day Chance wakes up as a Vampire. Now stripped of his mortality,  alone, and abandoned, Chance embarks on a journey to find meaning in his new existence as an immortal, and to make the poignant choice of how much of his old life he can take with him; be that his humanity, or the people he loves."

Gray hopes to have the book available in February.

Here is a closer look at Gray's project including an excerpt from the book.

This story is about a young man, who by becoming a monster discovers what it means to be human.

Son of The Solace is a young adult novel in the paranormal genre. The book follows the story of Chance Sullivan, a young grad student who while taking an evening stroll is attacked, bitten, and killed by a dark assailant. The next day Chance wakes up as a Vampire. Now stripped of his mortality,  alone, and abandoned, Chance embarks on a journey to find meaning in his new existence as an immortal, and to make the poignant choice of how much of his old life he can take with him; be that his humanity, or the people he loves. 

The Son of The Solace Project will be self-published so I can retain the rights for the book and begin marketing it and building a fan base immediately. The book is completely written. To reach publication completion, the project needs a structural edit, a copy edit, formatting in book and ebook form, and all the other services required to distribute the novel in book stores. The book will be completely funded for $3500.00. Any additional funding will go to purchasing copies of the book to further distribute, marketing, rewards for the backers of the project, and an eventual book tour I hope to organize after the book is published.   

As I said playfully in the video, this project represents the beginning of a dream I have of becoming a writer. I hope that the full funding of The Son of The Solace is the first of many books I’ll be able to publish and share with readers everywhere. Thank you so much for your time and support! And if you’re not able to financially back the project, you can still spread the word by sharing the link to the video on your Facebook and twitter accounts and other social media. It all helps. Thanks again guys!!!

-Oh... and here's an excerpt from the first chapter!

Half an hour goes by, I’m about to collapse, but I keep going down the trail that I’m running on. Why I have this insatiable appetite to run I haven’t the faintest, but something keeps pulling me in this direction. I’ve never been down this particular trail before, but when a fork comes to it, I instinctively know where to go, like the heavens are guiding me somewhere. I think psychologists call this flow. When time fades out of existence and the human is completely submerged in the process they’re engaged in. The thing is, I’m not a professional runner. So it’s strange that I’m losing myself in something I only do to stay in shape.

On I go, even passing up the water fountain, which I could really use, but I can’t let myself stop. Finally, I come to a patch of woods by the trail I absolutely must explore. When I make the turn into the woods, I start sprinting! That menacing presence is back! The germ surfaces in mind again, yet this time it tells me something. No! I didn’t need to explore the trail; I needed to meet someone here! Of course I did. I’ve known it all along, that’s why I ran this trail tonight. I have an appointment to keep. I should hurry so I sprint even faster. I can’t be late for this. I’m as stealthy as a dirt bike dragging tin cans as my feet rake across the fallen leaves that cover the earthy ground. Finally, I enter a grove of trees where my company awaits. I can’t see his face, or was it a her? But I know that they’re somewhere near. I stop sprinting and fall, panting for air. 

While I’m inhaling vigorously, desperately trying to catch my breath, I hear a faint thud on the ground about fifteen feet in front of me. Good, my company is here. “Yes I am.” A piercing voice says back to me. I don’t remember saying that out loud… no worry. All that matters is that I’ve done what I’ve been told. “Is there something I’m supposed to do?” I ask sincerely. “Nope, you just sit right there and I’ll take care of the rest.” Its voice is so appealing. Listening to it evokes the same feelings I have when I listen to a favorite song. I could listen to that voice all night, and I’m prepared to do just that if it’s required of me. “I told you already child. I’ll take care of everything.” It said. For an instant, my full awareness returns and I realize that I’m in the woods alone with someone that I don’t know and can’t identify. I feel violently uncomfortable. In a way completely nonsensical, I’d come here through the force of this creatures unseen command. Furthermore, the person I’m with has a presence that it is… well… baleful...evil. Whoever this is feels like the devil, or some other incarnation of malevolence and evil. Ah, I realize now. This is the source of the germ in my head, it came from this creature, it led me here. When I realize this I clench up in fear, only to be reminded by my company’s soothing voice… “All is well. You've nothing to fear. Now don't move.” The voice tells me. 

As soon as that concluding syllable is uttered, I feel a tremor in the air. Like a static pop a car makes as it whizzes past someone while walking. The vibration stops as I hear a faint swish from behind me, and a sharp pain erupts from the right side of my neck. I immediately get lightheaded and dizzy, the kind you feel from losing too much blood. I’m stunned by the sheer shock of what’s happening yet reassured that no harm will come to me by the unseen presence I’m entertaining. Shadow pervasively fills the forest, so much that my vision registers nothing, yet more blackness engulfs me as the dizziness increases. My hearing still works fine though. There is sound coming from my right ear. A gulping sound. The noise sounds familiar. It’s the noise things make when they drink their favorite beverage when they’re miserably thirsty. The pain in my neck grows immensely, then immediately subsides as I fall yet again to the ground. My head hits the leaves with a muffled clunk. Though my body is growing more numb, I’m still aware enough to feel that something wet is now touching my face. More blackness comes, as the wetness spreads over my cheeks and trickles down to my upper lip. Whatever the wet substance is, its very sweet. I can tell I only have minutes, maybe less before this strange oblivion claims me. I then partially realize what’s happening, I’m dying! Whatever just incised the hole in my neck has all but killed me. 

I wonder how something with a voice so enchanting, so angelic by nature could ever take a life, even one as unglamorous as mine. As I ponder the thought of my demise, something hard and solid collides with the front of my head. I know it’s a person’s arm because I can feel the fingers touch my face and feel the wrist touch my lips. The person’s skin is hard yet smooth, like sanded marble. I begin to fade, and the shadow almost has me, until the taste registers again. Something is coming from the person’s wrist, something wet, and very sweet. As the liquid washes up against the nerves in my mouth designed to register taste, my alertness comes back. It has to, and thank God it has, because I want to be fully aware as I drink it. Surly this drink is the nectar I’ve hear from fairy tales, because nothing earthly can taste this good. I begin to understand the only important thing worth knowing right now. The wrist pressed against my mouth is a retainer, and inside it resides the sweetest tasting commodity known to man. That is what’s important. I can attest to this because whatever it is, it’s bringing out a thirst in me so ravenous that I’m confident I can drink oceans of the this glorious drink. MY mind is blown, as I realize this is what pure unadulterated pleasure tastes like. The flavor is salty, metallic, and divine. Yet as wonderful as this is and as incandescently happy as I am, I still know that I’m dying. It’s a wonderful way to die really, dying like this. If I could only properly thank my host for giving it to me, but alas, I’ll never have the opportunity. 

I can barely hear the voice again, so melodic and bewitching. The words are so final and confidant, yet gentle and soft, words that perhaps comprise of the last sounds I’ll ever hear as I pass from mortality and into eternity. “You’re right Chance, it is a good way to die, because you’re dying with purpose, a purpose with more grandeur than anyone can know. My son, my sweet Son of the Solace. You’re soon to be damned, but that doesn't mean you can’t claim redemption. When you find it, be a good lad tell the rest of us what it’s like.” The maniacal sincerity etched in the voice of my killer rocks me to my very core. It’s the voice of a martyr, of a saint, no—a god. The voice may be saying more, I’m not sure. All the sounds blur into a single harmonic echo I can faintly sense. I think for a second that I see a light, not the kind of light you see at the end of a dark tunnel, but just light all over, red light. I open my eyes for the first time since I started devouring the drink, and I’m blinded by all the red brightness that’s engulfing me. Then, just like that, my candle goes out. Blackness. I see nothing. And Chance Sullivan dawns the fate that every mortal will one day wear—death.

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