Saturday, May 28, 2011

Telling Secrets

I want to send many thanks to Dave for granting me use of his soapbox here to shout out the last 40-odd hours of my Kickstarter campaign.

For those who’ve not heard of Secrets, like Dragons… or me, here’s the synopsis: I’m Steven Schend, an old editorial colleague of Dave’s from TSR and Wizards of the Coast. For the past month, I’ve been raising pledges for money over at so I can publish a 400-page fantasy novella collection called Secrets, like Dragons…. Working with me on this project are authors Ed Greenwood, Jaleigh Johnson, Rosemary Jones, and Joe Martin. There will be at least two or three artists (yet to be determined) adding their expertise within its pages.

At the heart of Secrets, like Dragons… is the Akanri Order, the mysterious spies-soldiers-scholars within each of the five novellas as protagonists and antagonists alike. After all, no one said to make it easy identifying enemies and villains. At one corner of the continent, people hail these figures of all races and genders as heroes, while they are reviled as villains of nightmares across much of the rest. But who can predict a group whose members might do any of these actions?

• Translate and record any text he can touch without the use of pen and ink;
• Ensorcel a leather cloak to reflect a Star-Mage’s flame blasts back upon him;
• Heal a room of plague victims without touching any of them at the cost of his own life;
• Unify soldiers’ mounts in a powerful charge at unbelievable speeds to shift a war’s result;
• Reinforce city walls with the energy in his and others’ bodies enough to resist a siege;
• Unburden a lost soul of its guilt and pain to dispel hauntings of many lifetimes; or
• Transform everything touched by his aura into water to drown his family’s slayers despite being in the deep desert.

Intrigued? I hope so. All of these are hints of characters within the Akanri Order, or at least they’ll become characters when and if their stories are demanded. As the title of the book hints, the Akanri have their secrets, and more than a few of both can be as dangerous as any dragon.

The work of writing and illustrating the book’s five novellas doesn’t start until funding comes together, but this is a world I’ve been preparing for some time now. Previews and more information on the fantasy world of Kharndam have been posted at my website in small doses over the past month. That flow of information will expand over the summer, both to fuel interest and to let people get excited over possibilities in the stories and bits of world-lore that have been unveiled. Here’s one big secret up until now—Frequent commenters and visitors can influence which information gets revealed soonest, as we want to encourage an active community of fans and readers around Kharndam and its characters. Come early and often and help shape the world that’s to come…but only by your participation and patronage.

I’m writing this on Friday evening, and the funding drive ends at mid-day on Sunday. Thus, time is of the essence to bring your support to our small publishing house’s launch product. Please visit the link below for more details and pledge whatever you can if it’s of interest to you.

Thanks to any and all for their time and interest in reading this, and I hope to hear from some of you very soon at any and all of the linked websites mentioned above (or after you get to read of the excitement and dangers long hidden in Kharndam)!

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