Samurai Dan and Jillian are stage performers that specialize in 16th century combative Samurai arts... Sword Fighting! :) In addition to engaging, educational, and entertaining shows, they provide a number of classes on varying topics from sword basics, self-defense classes, feudal Japan's weaponry, akitas, to just how to be funny onstage! They have dedicated their lives to these arts; teaching classes for the last 17 years, teaching self-defense units in public schools, and teaching all across the country at conventions & festivals.
What you may not know, is that Dan's lifelong dream has been to become a published author. This started as early as 3rd grade, when he would write 1-page monster stories for his classmates. In 6th grade he wrote a Christmas play for his elementary school that was used for over 20 years at the school! For the last 5 years he has been writing and developing novels, and we have been pursuing getting them published.
With that goal in mind, we had assistance from Fantastic Journeys in self-publishing 200 copies of Dan's first novel, The Pack, in April of 2012. The idea was to have physical copies of the book to sell, and to try to get the attention of a bigger publishing company that could help get Dan's works into bookstores.
In July of 2012, we thought this dream had been realized, when we signed on with Haven Publishing for a 5 year, 4 novel contract. We started working with Haven's owner and editors on revising The Pack, getting it a new professional cover, and making it ready for the big time. In February 2013, we got an excited call from our Publisher, saying that he had sold 50,000 copies of the pack! As the contract details were worked out, we were told that the deal was for 50,000 copies of each of Dan's four novels contracted with Haven, to be paid out over 4 years. That meant a check for $169,440 in 2013; and checks for $183,377.50 in 2014, 2015 & 2016.
Acting on these promises from our publisher, we began to rearrange our lives; turning our martial arts school over to our son to run, cutting back on fall convention appearances a little so that Dan had more time to write, and Jillian being able to leave her long-time part-time job to focus on being an agent for Dan's written works and for Samurai Dan & Jillian as performers.
In August 2013 we were given confirmation that our first royalty check was on its way to us! To celebrate the achievement of his lifelong dream, we went out and got Dan's dream car! We also purchased a used SUV to replace our old worn out car for traveling to conventions.
AND THAT'S WHEN OUR NIGHTMARE STARTED!!!
The day to cash the check had arrived, and there were insufficient funds available in the account(read-- NONE!). After 2 weeks of waiting everyday for news, and being assured repeatedly that things were being fixed, we were finally told that it was GUARANTEED to be fixed by the end of 2013...
And so we clung to that hope, believing the word of our publisher, and fell deeper into debt, waiting for and counting on the royalty paycheck to become valid. We had to take out $15,000 in loans to cover our loss of income, car payments, and bills through the end of 2013.
We waited and waited, being promised that Dan’s books would be on shelves in time for the Christmas rush, and that our check would be good any day…
5 days before Christmas we got confirmation from the company the book deal was supposed to be with(that we were being paid from) that the contract was a fraud! They had no deal with and had never heard of Haven Publishing. Our check was no good! Would NEVER be any good! And was not worth the paper it was written on! Additionally we have found out that Haven Publishing, LLC was dissolved by the state of Florida on September 28th, 2012—and is not legally allowed to conduct business of any sort. In other words, they can’t publish our books.
We enter 2014 facing the VERY REAL possibility of losing our vehicles, our home, and our career as performers because of this situation.
While we endeavor to find a legitimate publisher for Dan’s written works, and to pursue justice for what has happened, we are turning to you to help us keep our dreams alive. Please help us fight our way out of this mess!
Anything and everything you contribute to our campaign helps us to continue our careers as performing artists and bring our unique style of entertainment to people all across the country. We truly appreciate the love, support, and compassion that you show us!
Domo Arigato Gozaimasu!
What We Need & What You Get
We need your help! We live on approximately $38,000 a year of income, so this situation is a complete disaster for us. With our budget and bills, we were ok before all of this happened. We are working already on booking more performances and conventions for 2014 to put our income back to where it had been, and are both trying to find part time jobs as well. But we are left with $15,000 in loans; a $22,000 SUV loan; and a $42,000 car loan that we cannot afford. We are looking into giving back/selling the more expensive vehicle(Dan’s dream car), but we are still in trouble. The $35,000 goal of this campaign is to raise enough funds to pay off the bank loans and most of the SUV loan to get us back on our feet.
In appreciation of your contributions, you can claim a number of awesome perks! These include things like photos, DVDs, buttons, wristbands, stories, T-Shirts, having a book character named after you, and many more!!
Your contribution will help allow us to continue our performing careers, and help allow Dan to continue pursuing his dreams as an author. Initial reviews from people in the industry and from early readers have indicated that his works have the potential to do very well.
Without your help it is very likely that we may have to cancel our convention appearances and both get full-time jobs to work our way out of this. We are willing to do whatever necessary to fix our situation, but your help in this struggle means we won’t have to start over with our lives entirely. Any and all contributions make a real difference to us.
Other Ways You Can Help
We thank you all for your contributions and for any help in this situation! Please remember to share this campaign and help us get the word to as many people as possible! Thank you so much!