I Am The Salamander - A Kickstarter Project by Michael Jan Friedman
Fans of Star Trek novels are all familiar with the work of author Mike Friedman. We have come to appreciate his work as fine quality reading in that universe. Now Mike is going indie and working on publishing a new novel aimed at young adults, creating a new universe with a superhero at the center. And this new superhero is…
As a youngster growing up on the west coast, I used to play with salamanders and never really thought of them as very menacing. I asked Mike about this and he responded:
“Salamanders are certainly NOT menacing, I agree. That was part of the challenge for me. I wanted to take something that was yucky like a bat or a spider (because if you're going to imitate, why not imitate the best?) but also quirky, with "powers" very different from the kind you see in most superheroes (super strength, speed, flying ability, etc.). I was pleased to find out that salamanders DO suggest an interesting array of powers even if they're not super strong or super-fast. One power I've mentioned elsewhere is the ability to see into the ultraviolet end of the spectrum. But there are others, which you'll find out when you read the book.”
All kidding aside though, this is a serious project that Mike has been thinking about for a long time. You see, his hero, Tim Cruz, is a juvenile cancer survivor. Don’t misunderstand though; this new book isn’t about cancer as much as it is intended to be an inspiration for kids that are suffering from debilitating illnesses. The author has chosen to tell this story in the superhero format because he, as many of us were, inspired by comic book superheroes ourselves.
So why is Mike trying to fund this through Kickstarter rather than publishing through his normal channels? Well, it is because he wants this to be something that can be available for a long time. The shelf life of novels in stores when published through the major publishing houses is limited. I also asked Mike about this…
“Regarding shelf life: Obviously it depends on the book and how well it's selling. However, it's not unusual for even a relatively successful sci-fi novel to remain on the shelves for just a few months. Book store shelf life has devolved into the magazine range. Part of the reason is the need to make room for new books, which are showing up at an increased rate because publishers aren't making as much on the sales volume of a given title; the only way to meet gross profit goals is to put out MORE titles.”
So, in order to assure that this book is available far into the future, he is asking that we invest $5000 to defray the costs of paper, printing, and cover art. He can tell you far better than I can, so here is the video that appears on the I Am The Salamander Kicstarter page…
I am more than happy to assist Mike in raising the funding for this project because my own life has been touched by juvenile cancer in ways that I am not at liberty to discuss on this forum. But also, suffice it to say that as a professional educator, I will welcome anything that will give hope and inspiration to kids, especially those who have little hope and know too much discouragement in their lives. And we all know that this will be quality work considering it is from the mind of a fine author.
Here are the links to follow:
- I Am The Salamander Kickstarter Page
- Michael Jan Friedman's Official Web Page
- Dayton Ward's Blog Post on I Am The Salamander Kickstarter Project
Check out the Kickstarter page to see how the project is going and see what perks you will receive once the project is funded.
Well, there it is…