With this campaign, we plan to collect funds to help out Robison Wells, a fellow author who has fallen on very hard times due to mental illness.
- Robison has four severe mental illnesses: panic disorder, agoraphobia, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder
- This has led to Robison losing his job, and making it very hard to finding new work. (Fortunately, book writing is a great fall-back position for him, but even that suffers. The first draft of FEEDBACK took six months to write 20,000 words, because he was laid so low.)
- One of Rob's panic triggers is finances, and being under such a large weight of enormous bills--student loans, back taxes, car payments, family and personal debts--is debilitating. Even something as simple as a $30 utility payment will send Robison into a panic attack.
- We're also hoping that we can reach our goal and then overshoot it, to have money to set up a foundation for authors who suffer from mental illness. We know that many authors--even authors contributing to this anthology--are struggling with mental illnesses.
- We have nearly thirty phenomenal authors on board who are donating their writing--Ally Condie, Lauren Oliver, Sara Zarr, Brandon Mull and others. (Scroll down to see a full list.)
- Who are we? This campaign was the brainchild of Brandon Sanderson. Dan Wells (Robison's brother) jumped in to help out. And Rob has been fiddling around where needed.
What We Need & What You Get
- We realize our goal is EXTREMELY optimistic, but we only get one chance at this, so we wanted to go all the way. For more about the size of the goal read below.
- We have some great perks, including dinner with several of the authors (if you live nearby), critiques of your writing (if you're aspiring writers) and autographed books. And for those who like violence, Larry Correia will be shooting things you hate on camera--he has something special planned for turning the DSM into confetti.
- If we don't reach our entire goal, the funds will still go to Robison to help him as best we can.
Here's what you get:
A high-quality hardback book featuring writing from the following authors:
Ally Condie, the foreword
Dan Wells, the introduction
Annette Lyon, An unpublished chapter from her retelling of the Finnish fairy tale, the Kalevala
Aprilynne Pike, Three short stories from the Wings universe.
Brandon Mull, Deleted scenes from Beyonders 2
Brandon Sanderson, five completely rewritten chapters from The Way of Kings, where Kaladin makes the opposite choice of what he makes in the published novel.
Bree Despain, an alternate ending to The Lost Saint, and an alternate beginning to the Shadow Prince.
Brodi Ashton, the first chapter from her YA novel about an unwilling alien fighter who has to rescue the boy she loves
Claudia Gray, a deleted scene from A Thousand Pieces of You.
Dan Wells, the original John Cleaver free write
Erin Bowman, a deleted scene from Taken
Howard Tayler, a creative non-fiction story about life with mental illness
J Scott Savage, three original chapters that led to writing Farworld
Jaqueline Novak, a scene from her humor non-fiction How To Weep in Public
Jennifer Moore, a deleted scene from Becoming Lady Lockwood
Jessica Day George, a deleted scene from Princess of Glass, where the main character plays poker with a witch
Josi Kilpack, the original opening scene to Tres Leches Cupcake.
Kiersten White, an original short story, set in a dystopian, sci-fi world.
Larry Correia, deleted fight scene from the Sword of Exodus
Lauren Oliver, two deleted scenes from Pandemonium, plus a hilarious scene about the plotting process
Luisa Perkins, a short story, "Seeing Red"--a modern-day retelling of Little Red Riding Hood.
Mary Robinette Kowal, a deleted scene from Valour and Vanity (The scene was cut because it showed a character struggling with depression and readers thought it was "whiney" and that the character needed to "man up.")
Nancy Allen, bonus scene from Beauty and the Clockwork Beast
Robison Wells, an epilogue to Feedback and the Variant duology
Sandra Tayler, creative non-fiction, "Married To Depression"
Sara Zarr, Chapter including characters from one of Sara's previously published works
Sarah Eden, "Farewells" for Longing For Hope and Hope Springs
Seanan McGuire, The original opening for Discount Armageddon
Shannon Hale, Ravenous, a previously unpublished scifi short story
SJ Kincaid, the original first chapter of Vortex, before it was entirely rewritten
Shawn Speakman, a chapter from The Dark Thorn, written from a different character's point of view
John C. Wright, a short story from Hermetic Millenia
We hope to raise awareness: not only for Robison's problems, but to use his example as a basis for storytelling, for raising awareness. Not all of the symptoms of mental illness are simply medical--some of them are crippling to a person and their family, with dire consequences.
- The more we talk about mental illness--and the wins that we make, and the help that we give--the more we remove the stigma and let people talk about this openly.
- Even if we just change one mind--to get them to see that people who have mental illness simply have a disease, like the flu, or pneumonia, rather than an archaic view where those with mental illness were viewed as "Unclean!" then we'll count it as a win.
Why Is That Funding Goal So High???
We know that setting a really high goal is like a death sentence on IndieGoGo, and we really debated where we should put it, but ultimately we decided that we should go for how much we needed--we should be perfectly honest and say how terrible the situation is. This--that $110,000--illustrates the reason why Rob can't simply pull himself up by his mentally ill bootstraps and make things work. But he can make a few guarantees:
- There is none--zero--consumer debt in that number. There are no credit cards rolled into that, or car payments, or house payments.
- At least 3/4 of it is owed to the government, both in student debt and in tax debt. Let me tell you: owing $38,000 to the IRS is not a situation you ever want to be in.
- We had poor insurance to begin with (COBRA, from when Rob was laid off), but then COBRA ran out and he still had to see my psychiatrist, and even once was hospitalized in the psych ward. All of this hangs over our head in monthly payment plans that we can't begin to pay--he was completely uninsurable until January.
- The remainder is family debt--loans from my parents and brother, who cannot afford to be carrying my weight.
And, like we said earlier, if we can do well with this and go past our goal, then we'll be able to set up a foundation for other authors who suffer.
Other Ways You Can Help
Some people just can’t contribute, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help:
- Get the word out and make some noise about our campaign. Tweet. Facebook. Email.
Thank you so much for taking the time to get involved. This means so much more to us than you will ever know.