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Altered Perceptions is an anthology of great authors, donating their work to help author Robison Wells, who's crippled by debt, caused by his mental illnesses.
Robison Wells
Identity Verified
Email Verified
1,262 Facebook Friends
North Ogden, Utah
United States
1 Team Member

Short Summary

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

The Impact

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.

Find This Campaign On
raised by 2,434 people in 1 month
110% funded
No time left
$110,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on May 24, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $10USD
    The E-Book

    You will get all of the stories--the full anthology--in ebook format, emailed to you.

    1246 claimed
    Estimated delivery: August 2014
  • $28USD
    The Hardback Book

    You get all the stories, in a sturdy, well-bound edition, along with a cover drawn by Robison Wells. (Includes shipping in USA and Canada.) (International shipping add $20)

    786 claimed
    Estimated delivery: August 2014

    Call from Brandon Sanderson

    Brandon will call and chat for 15 minutes or so about books, life, cats, macaroni and cheese, or really whatever you want. A perfect gift for a fan's birthday/anniversary/graduation/promotion/holiday celebration/etc. Includes a copy of the anthology.

    10 out of 10 claimed
  • $100USD
    2 books, Signed & Numbered

    At this level you can get two books, both signed and numbered by Brandon, Dan, and Rob. Includes shipping in (USA and Canada) (International shipping add $20)

    124 out of 990 claimed
    Estimated delivery: August 2014

    Schlock, signed & numbered

    Schlock Mercenary, Longshoreman of the Apocalypse, Numbered Sketch Editions. Numbers 001-010. Sketched with Sharpie, with spot-color added using Copic

    10 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: August 2014
  • $150USD
    Our favorite books

    Buy this perk, choose an author, and you'll get a copy of their favorite book (not written by them), and a copy of the anthology. Shipping is included. International shipping add $20.

    8 out of 10 claimed

    Breakfast w/ Rob, Brodi & Sara

    Breakfast for you and a guest and Rob Wells and Brodi Ashton and Sara Zarr, in Rob's favorite diner (in Salt Lake City). We could go tomorrow if you'd like. (Book is included.)

    3 out of 3 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014


    Several of our authors have offered manuscript critiques. Choose Annette Lyon for a fifty page content critique, or a ten page line edit. Plus a book. (Add $20 for international shipping.) Each author will do three edits. First come, first served to choose the author you'd like. (The critiques with Dan Wells and Josi Kilpack sold out. Annette Lyon only has one spot remaining!)

    1 out of 1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: August 2014

    Shannon Hale/Brandon Mull date

    Shannon Hale and Brandon Mull are good friends who hang out all the time--and they want you to hang out with them. Grab your significant other and another couple and go on a quadruple date, including dinner (their treat), and a game night.

    1 out of 1 claimed

    Stormlight Archive ARC

    As soon as we have them (usually 2-3 months before publication), we'll send you a signed Advance Reader Copy of the third Stormlight Archive book! If for someone reason the ARCs are delayed, we'll send you an ecopy so you still get the book early (and then of course we'll send the ARC as soon as we have it).

    5 out of 5 claimed
  • $250USD
    Timeless Romance Anthology

    ALL of the themed Timeless Romance Anthology collections. Each anthology contains 6 romance novellas, some historical, some contemporary, all clean reads, by a variety of award-winning writers, including Annette Lyon and Sarah Eden, who are also contributors in the Altered Perceptions anthology. You get all 7 of them: Winter, Spring Vacation, Summer Wedding, Autumn Suspense, European Collection, Love Letters, and Old West. All told, you'll receive 42 great novellas.

    0 out of 5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
  • $275USD
    Natalie Whipple Makes Dinner

    In addition to being an awesome writer, Natalie Whipple is a fabulous chef of Asian cuisine. She will come to your house (up to four hours from Utah County) and make a feast for four! (Book is included, to be delivered in August)

    1 out of 2 claimed
    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • $300USD
    Writing Getaway

    A one-night stay in the room of your choice (subject to availability) at the historic Ellerbeck Mansion Bed and Breakfast in Salt Lake City, UT. http://www.ellerbeckbedandbreakfast.com/ (You are responsible for arranging your own transportation) Book is included, with shipping in the US and Canada. International shipping add $20

    0 out of 1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2014

    Your Name in THIS VERY BOOK

    Rob's writing an epilogue to FEEDBACK, to wrap up some loose ends from VARIANT and FEEDBACK, and there's a couple characters who need names. (This perk includes a book. Add $20 for international shipping.)

    2 out of 2 claimed
    Estimated delivery: August 2014
  • $300USD
    Ally & Jessica Cry with You

    Two wonderful YA movies will be coming out over the summer--THE FAULT IN OUR STARS and IF I STAY. Ally Condie and Jessica Day George are going to cry their faces off in both of them (they already know). The winner of this auction item will be treated to the movie and dessert afterwards by Ally (you may bring a guest). You can choose which movie you'd like to see, but you must arrange your own transportation to a theater in Utah Valley. Ally will also provide Kleenex.

    0 out of 1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2014
  • $350USD
    iPod Nano w/ Playlists

    Many authors write with a specific playlist setting the tone for their work. Buy this perk and get an iPod Nano, a playlist written by the author of your choice, and an iTunes gift card so you can load those songs through your own iTunes account. (Anthology is included, plus shipping. Add $20 for international shipping.)

    4 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: August 2014

    Mary Robinette Kowal Workshop

    Guaranteed spot in one of Mary Robinette Kowal's short fiction workshops, plus an additional hour of private coaching on your work.

    2 out of 2 claimed
  • $500USD
    A Copy of Rob's Steampunk Book

    Steampunk, Alternate-History, Old-West, King Arthur. It's a fantastic book that has not yet been picked up by a publisher. I'll send you a printed manuscript (as in, printed off my printer). Hopefully you'll love it as much as I do.

    1 out of 5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2014

    Official Dan Wells Fan Fiction

    Dan will write a short story, based on any of his own books, featuring YOU or someone you love (or hate!) as a character. Want to build a new world with Kira Walker? Be embalmed by John Cleaver? Die gruesomely in...pretty much any of his series? He'll write it, sell it, and give you a free copy!

    1 out of 1 claimed

    Critique with Agent Sara Crowe

    50 page critique with Sara Crowe (the agent of both Dan and Robison). She'll read your 50 pages and synopsis and give you a phone call.

    2 out of 2 claimed
    Estimated delivery: August 2014
  • $1,500USD
    Indie Publishing Package

    Everything you need to self publish your book: a content evaluation, a copyedit, a backliner, ebook formatting, ebook cover design, loading your book into Amazon. Services from Eschler Editing, Scrivener Publisher, and KWYM Publishing.

    0 out of 1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: August 2014
  • $1,750USD
    Food & Flick w/ James Dashner

    Maybe you're not a writer, but you still want to donate, and donate big. How about this: James Dashner will take you and a guest to dinner, and then to the theater to watch his movie, "The Maze Runner". You must arrange your own transportation.

    0 out of 1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2014

    Edit by HarperCollins Editor

    Jordan Brown, an editor at Balzer and Bray (an imprint of Harper Collins) will do a full edit of your book, return it with notes attached, and call you on the phone to discuss it. Gold, baby!

    1 out of 1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2014
  • $6,000USD
    Join Bridge Four!

    Join Bridge Four in the Stormlight Archive, or fight the power in the world of Steelheart, or become a character in any of Brandon's other books (subject to approval and publishing schedule, of course). In a charity auction a few years ago these went for more than $10,000, so getting them for $6000 is a steal!

    2 out of 3 claimed
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