Last week I received an appeal that was hard to ignore:
“My name is Bret Kennedy, and I am a big fan of your site and wanted to take an opportunity to get in touch, introduce myself and ask if this is the appropriate forum to speak to someone.”
Hmmm, I thought. A BIG fan of the site. That always makes me feel good. So what, if anything, is Bret wanting to speak about?
“I am in the process of launching a Kickstarter campaign to complete and publish the first book of a 3 part series called Chosen. I have attached the preview link for you to view the video and information regarding the project, as it won’t go live until next week.”
Oh. Another writer who would like to use Amazing Stories reach to find an audience and fund their project.
I’m very protective of Amazing Stories. This makes me wary of endorsing things. To be blunt about it, I want the magazine to maintain a reputation for quality. I’ve seen a ton of would-be writers jumping on the crowd-funding band wagon and have not been overly impressed with the quality of the writing. (Things have settled down a bit since I formed that opinion; these days it seems that the percentage of experienced authors and editors looking for funding is on the increase.)
I told Bret that I’d be happy to include his project in our Sunday news (which just about anyone can take advantage of btw) and then I looked around to see if I could find any of Mr. Kennedy’s previous work, from which I might get some inklings.
No such luck. But a handsome, young-looking fellow’s picture kept on popping up. A guy on IMDB who has acted in several genre properties, worked on several more, including stunts.
“Are you the Bret Kennedy who worked on Daybreakers?”
“Here’s a link to my IMDB page.”
“Ahhh, I thought that might be you.”
Turns out Bret is Australian too. Ever since I learned that A. Bertram Chandler moved to Australia, I’ve had a soft spot for that continent and the people who live there. (That and Monty Python’s humorous influence…)
More email correspondence ensued: Bret would be happy to make a copy of the book available as a give-away on Amazing. (Thank you!)
We talked about literature and film and discovered that we share some of the same critiques:
“I have to agree that I am sick of seeing the same thing over and over…and that is a reason I took to writing, to try and create something new.”
And I got to liking Bret and his enthusiasm. And he’s in that industry. Working on genre properties. Who knows what he’ll get tapped for in future? Who knows who he talks to, who he’s pitched, who he drinks a warm beer with on the weekends.
And then I got to thinking that there must be a whole small island continent’s worth of young up-and-comers in media these days who are willing to admit that they like genre, want to work with genre, demonstrate an understanding that it’s not all just explosions and hand-waving, that story is important and that understanding the fan base – on their level – is as important, and I decided –
What the heck. I’ll give Bret Kennedy’s Chosen Kickstarter Campaign a push, even if I’ve never read anything he’s written, because experience and success in other fields often translates to the same elsewhere, because I like the guy based on the few brief email exchanges I’ve had with him, because the premise for Chosen sounds interesting – familiar enough to know it can play, malleable enough that a strong writer can make it fresh – and because I think that it might be cool if he got his funding, produced a decent or better book and remembers the genre community with fondness and approval.
So I urge you to check out his campaign and, if you like what you see, think about supporting it. Besides, how can you say no to someone with an accent like that?