A Writer's Novel Approach

Kickstarter funds sought to offset wages while finishing book

Tom Giffey

Erin Gitchell
Erin Gitchell

Aspiring novelist Erin Gitchell of Menomonie has finally decided to take time off and hammer out the epic fantasy novel, The Sowing of Rebellion, that she’s been working on for two and a half years. The drawback: Doing so means she’ll have to take four weeks of unpaid leave from her job as a librarian in Menomonie. Enter Kickstarter, the digital crowdfunding platform that allows the generous-hearted to pledge money to creative endeavors. While Kickstarter participants often seek donations to pay for studio time to record an album or printing costs to publish a book, Gitchell’s request is more straightforward: In addition to editing and publishing fees, she’s hoping to offset her lost salary so she can pay her other bills while she’s working on the novel. “Seeing some other projects do this helped inspire me to look into taking extended leave from my job,” she says. “This way I can focus on my writing and not worry about not getting a paycheck.” The Sowing of Rebellion will be the first installment of a two- or three-book series called The Farmers of Dalterra, which Gitchell says will tell the tale of “three countries set to collide in a cultural feast of bloodshed, sorcery, and adventure!” The epic will be populated by knights, rebels, a bloodthirsty king, and a lady who’s been transformed into a white horse. Gitchell says she draws inspiration from books, video games, everyday experiences, and her dreams: “I know that sounds a little cliché, but I’ve had some pretty epic dreams!” Her current dream is raising $3,750 via Kickstarter by Sept. 9. Those who make pledges will be eligible for rewards ranging from copies of the completed book to being immortalized as characters in the novel. “My hope with this Kickstarter project is that it will actually ‘Kickstart’ my writing career, so I can look forward to completing the first book this fall and the rest of the volumes within the next year,” she says. Even if she fails to meet her fundraising goal, Gitchell plans to write her books, although the process will likely take years instead of weeks. To help turn this fantasy into a reality, go to kickstarter.com and search for The Sowing of Rebellion.