Young Adult Author Gets Creative to Fund Book
BY MELANIE COUGHLIN
Special to The Pilot
The young adult novel "Julia Faye" is an epic girl-power tale to inspire 9- to 12-year-old readers.
It is also a tale that will never be told unless author Gayvin Powers raises $9,000 in the next four days.
Powers plans to fund the publication of her book using a relatively new and unorthodox means, the crowd-funding website Kickstarter.
Through the site, backers pool their money, starting with pledges as low as $1, to support projects of merit. Artists, authors, musicians, filmmakers and inventors retain the rights to their vision while getting the financing they need.
Though Kickstarter launched three years and was named one of the best inventions of 2010 by Time magazine, it is just now gaining momentum. The highest-funded Kickstarter project raised more than $10 million this past May, and well-known figures like Seth Godin and Whoopi Goldberg are using Kickstarter.
"With this Kickstarter site, people are starting to take control of their projects," says Powers, who heard about Kickstarter from a friend who had successfully raised $400,000 to fund a movie.
Powers calls "Julia Faye" a modern fairy tale. In it, 14-year-old protagonist Julia Faye's search for her missing mother takes her far from her comfort zone in Los Angeles and into a world of fairies and magic. She is a strong, confident girl who is undeterred by obstacles on her quest.
One of the reasons Powers wrote the book was to create a strong female lead in the young adult genre.
"My goal of this book is to empower girls to believe in themselves and to show a positive role model for girls in a genre that has been starving for strong female lead characters," Powers says.
She also wrote the book as homage to her mother, who died when Powers was in her 20s.
"It's a love letter to my mom," says Powers. "There were a lot of things I learned because she passed away, and I thought, 'Wouldn't it be great if I could share some of what I learned with children?'"
Today Powers, who has a master's in screenwriting from the American Film Institute and whose film "1916" won the Ojai Film Society award, is herself a mother.
She and her second-grade son moved to Southern Pines from Los Angeles last year to be closer to family in Vass.
A single mother, Powers operates an online retail business during the day and, at times, works part-time jobs to support her son. She writes late into the night. She admits the schedule has been hard but can't imagine giving up writing.
"Writing is like breathing," Powers says. "You have to do it or part of your life is missing."
If Powers reaches her Kickstarter goal of $9,000 by noon on Nov. 1, "Julia Faye," the first book in a series of six, will be published in paperback and e-book in December. If she doesn't reach her goal, none of her backers will be charged their pledge amount, and Powers will "go to plan b," an outcome she hopes to avoid.
"I'm just hoping it will catch fire," Powers says.
To support "Julia Faye," visit www. kickstarter.com and type Gayvin Powers into the search field.
For more information, email Powers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact freelance writer Melanie Coughlin at email@example.com.
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