Who Is Sonja Blue?
Hello, my name is Nancy A. Collins, and I have been a professional novelist for over 20 years. I am also the creator of Sonja Blue.
Sonja Blue is the hard-boiled vampire/vampire slayer first introduced in the novel SUNGLASSES AFTER DARK, which won the Horror Writers Association's Bram Stoker Award and the British Fantasy Society's Icarus Award. It was also nominated for the Tiptree Award and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award.
Sonja later went on to "star" in 4 novel-length adventures--IN THE BLOOD, PAINT IT BLACK, A DOZEN BLACK ROSES and DARKEST HEART, a short story collection called DEAD ROSES FOR A BLUE LADY and her own comic book series. She's also appeared on a couple of t-shirts.
After writing her adventures for over 10 years, I decided to retire the character and focus on other projects.
Of course, that was all before a certain sparkling, so-called vampire phenomena struck the publishing industry...
Vampires: A Once-Feared Species Now On The Edge Of Irrelevance
For monsters to truly serve a purpose in our shared cultural psyche, they must retain a dark and dangerous edge. Since the publication of Dracula, there has always been a touch of gothic romance to the vampire. But now the original, scary, super-predator vampire is in danger of being sent into total eclipse by the deluge of defanged living dead designed for safe consumption by tween-agers.
When I saw what Twlight was doing to the dark fantasy genre I loved, I decided it was finally time for Sonja Blue to come back so she could return vampires to their rightful place as feared creatures of the night--and then kill them.
However, despite the character having a dedicated fan base and having been published throughout Europe and Japan, the book proposal for KILL CITY was deemed ‘uncommercial’ by the traditional Big Publishers who had *asked* to see it—largely due to its biting take on the Twilight craze. If I wanted Kill City published, the story would have to lose its darkness and violent edge to make it more palatable to the YA market and Paranormal Romance readers, something I am unwilling to do.
You see, although Mainstream Publishing might not feel there’s enough demand for the return of Sonja Blue in all her glory, I know otherwise.
I know there’s an audience out there waiting for Sonja's return, because every day I get emails and posts on my Facebook page from different fans from throughout the world, wanting to know when Sonja Blue will be coming back. Well, she's ready to come back, folks--but the only thing keeping her from you are the publishers in New York.
In today’s radically changing publishing world, there is no longer any need for the author of a widely read series—one that has won awards and been reprinted in ten different languages—to simply accept the say-so of a publisher as to what is commercially viable and worthy of production.
And that's why I'm taking my case to the internet and Indiegogo.
Kill City: The Return Of Sonja Blue
I have already written the first 50 pages of Kill City and have a detailed outline for the rest.
The central plot of Kill City has Sonja Blue being hired to hunt down and return a teen-aged girl who has been seduced into running away from home by a man claiming to be the vampire hero of the insanely popular Eventide YA series. Sonja tracks them from Hollywood to Las Vegas and then to New Orleans. Once she finally rescues the girl, she must travel cross-country with her unwilling charge while being pursued by a coven of angry vampires.
You can read Chapter Three, which sets up thebasic plot, here on the Hopedale Press website.
Once finished, Kill City will be a 300 page novel. If funding goes as planned, it should be finished and read for distribution to supporters by Dec. 31st, 2013.
Where Your Money Will Go:
The money I raise will be split between finishing writing the novel and production costs such as purchasing ISBNs from Bowker, paying my cover artist, graphic designer Sean Hartter, as well as a professional layout person and a professional copy-editor to help make Kill City the kind of book you would be proud to have your name associated with.
I had originally planned to commit to a initial print-run of 500 hardcovers through Lightning Press. However, the production costs proved too daunting in light of today's economic climate--especially since I would have to pay for the print run up-front, so I have had to rethink my publishing strategy and devise a different means of making Kill City available to Sonja's supporters and fans.
Digitial Editions: These will be epublished via my Hopedale Press imprint on Kindle, Nook, iTunes, Kobo, etc. For those who donate, I will be providing special passwords that will unlock Mobi (Kindle) and Epub versions available for download via Bkclb.co.
Audiobook Edition: I will be using Audible.com's ACX service to produce a digitial audiobook of Kill City, which will later be made available via Amazon, iTunes, and other online audiobook retailers.
Trade Paperback Edition: I have decided to go with Create Space, as they will allow those fans who miss out on the deadline to donate to the Kill City campaign to later order their own (unsigned) edition via Amazon.
Hardcover Edition: Most people are unaware that Create Space can also produce hardcover editions of all the tradepaper books they publish. However, these can only be ordered by the author, and are not made available for sale through Amazon. That means if you want a hardcover edition of Kill City, you have to place a order through Hopedale Press. It's not exactly a Limited Edition, but its pretty damn close. I will be hand-numbering the hardcovers in order of qualifying donation.
So What Do You Get In Return? How does IMMORTALITY Sound?
Perks are designed so that campaign supporters can donate as little as $5 and still be rewarded with something of value--in this case DRM-free digital copies in both Mobi and Epub formats.
Those supporters who donate $25 of more to the campaign will not only get a personalized, signed trade paperback edition, they will also receive IMMORTALITY! Yes, you, too, can live forever, just like a vampire--but without having to worry about those pesky stakes through the heart!
And those supporters who donate between $100-$200 to the Kill City campaign have their pick of either a Cameo turn or Guest Star appearance, complete with dialog, just like a Hollywood celebrity! Or, if you're more into RPGs, a character you've created can be incorporated into the storyline. You can even decide how your alter ego will die! Because, after all, this is a Sonja Blue novel, not Twilight. And because you are a characte in a book, you will live FOREVER! (Even if you do snuff it in the story.)
IMMORTALITY! It's not just for vampires and Hollywood legends anymore!
What Happens If Kill City Doesn't Meet Its Goal?
"Are You Sure You Can Do This, Nancy?"
While I have never solicited funding from fans--and strangers--to publish a novel before, I have written over 20 novels, 50 short stories, and numerous comic books, including a 2-year stint on DC Comics' SWAMP THING. Producing quality, novel-length fiction isn't a problem for me.
And while I might be realatively new to self-publishing, I know quite a bit about turning out publishable manuscripts, and I have numerous contacts who can help me make Kill City a book you'll be proud to know you helped bring into the world.
Other Ways You Can Help
Even if you can't contribute financially to the Kill City campaign, that doesn’t mean you can’t help by getting the word out to your friends on Face Book,your followers on Twiiter, or any of the other social media outlets you use. Just don't forget to use the Indiegogo share tools!
Thanks for your attention and interest in the Kill City campaign.