A Year In The Rearview
Creating a book is one of the most challenging things someone can do. It takes passion, dedication, and hard work. I experienced this firsthand when I launched my Kickstarter campaign at the end of 2021. I failed, and the aftermath rolled over into the beginning of 2022. But, after months of hard work, a near-death experience, and with the help of family and total strangers, I barely pulled through in the end and achieved my financial goal. How did I do all that? It started in January as the government began to peel back pandemic protections.
Turning a Vision into Reality
My initial plan was to develop Cyber/Punk/Funk vol 2. an anthology I had launched in 2017 before How To Draw Black People had taken off behind the scenes while marketing HTDBP volumes 1&2. Crowdfunding would've allowed me to work from home, while sales and conventions would help pay the bills. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, Volume 2 failed halfway to the goal. Instead of letting this failure define me, I decided to reassess my approach and see what was possible. There were a lot of relationships I needed to rebuild and resources I didn't rely on.
Cyber/Punk/Funk was my focus but getting people on board proved difficult. New ideas require completion and admiration for new work to truly have a chance creatively. Too many people tried to lump what I proposed together with something they had already heard of. Not to mention, my previous serious TSIML was already on hiatus. I didn't want to repeat the same mistake of introducing a world I was building as I went. I needed more time to build before asking others to invest their time and energy.
I was on Bumble one day, trying to explain to someone what I was working on and, in a spur-of-the-moment elevator pitched The Bearcat Wright story I had been kicking around for a few years. The response was much more enthusiastic than my Afrocentric Sci-Fi saga, and that helped me make up my mind. So, I developed