I'm currently working on:
The Phobia of Renegade X (Renegade X 4)
2900 of 120000 words (2%) complete
Last reminder–there are 12 hours left to go on the kickstarter for The Betrayal of Renegade X. We’ve reached stretch goal #4, so besides the holiday special, the postcards, and the travel guide, all reward tiers now include magnets! And Kickstarter backers get to read the book two weeks early.
Stretch goal #3 has been reached! This means that backers of the kickstarter of all reward tiers get the Renegade X holiday special (and get to vote on which holiday I write about), the postcard set, and Damien’s Guide to Golden City, a snarky travel guide from Damien’s point of view. The kickstarter is currently at $4,166. and there are still five days left, so it’s time to announce the next stretch goal:
If the kickstarter reaches $4,500, ALL REWARD TIERS will get a high-quality 2×3 inch fridge magnet featuring the wrap cover art from book one, which looks like this:
These are going to be really cool, and I know I want one!
I also announced that I’ve been talking with ACX, the distributor for the Renegade X audiobook, and they’ve provided me with some extra promo codes, good for downloading a free copy of The Rise of Renegade X from Audible.com. This means that the top 40 backers–based on pledge amount–will be getting a free copy of the first audiobook!
Unfortunately, these only apply to backers in the US or the UK. And if you’re in the top 40 and already have the audiobook, you’ll have the chance to opt out so someone else can have a copy. Or you can hoard more for yourself, or give your Audible code to a friend–it’s up to you.
We’ve hit stretch goal #2! That means all reward tiers in the kickstarter come with not only the Renegade X holiday special (where backers get to vote on which holiday I write about), but also a set of 3 postcards featuring the cover art (one postcard for each cover).
And I’m super excited to announce that if the kickstarter reaches $4,000, I will write and illustrate Damien’s Guide to Golden City. This will be a tour/travel guide to Golden City, as only Damien can tell it. Expect lots of snark and hilarious anecdotes about your favorite characters. This will come in ebook format and will be included with ALL REWARD TIERS.
If you’ve been keeping up with the kickstarter for The Betrayal of Renegade X, then you’ve probably seen that we’ve reached our first stretch goal! That means I’ll be writing a Renegade X HOLIDAY SPECIAL. Backers get to vote on which holiday I write about. It’s going to be awesome.
And we’re getting close to reaching the second stretch goal:
If the kickstarter reaches $3,500, ALL REWARD TIERS will come with a set of three 4×6 postcards, featuring the gorgeous artwork from each book cover. I can also sign and/or personalize these, or leave them blank. And that’s all reward tiers, so even if you only pre-order the ebook, you’ll still get the postcards sent to you.
We’re at $3,385 as I write this, with eight days left to go–let’s make this happen!
As I’m typing this, the kickstarter for The Betrayal of Renegade X is at 97%! (It also got chosen as a Kickstarter Staff Pick!) And with 20 days still left to go, that means it’s time to announce some stretch goals.
My ultimate stretch goal is to raise enough to produce the second audiobook, which I’m really excited about, and I know a lot of you are, too. The whole campaign would need to get up to $5,500 in order to make that happen. We’re still a long way off from that, but I have some fun stretch goals planned for the milestones in between, and any extra funds raised by this kickstarter will go towards producing the second audiobook. So there will still be a second audiobook at some point either way–it’ll just be a much longer wait if we don’t make it.
If you haven’t heard the audiobook for The Rise of Renegade X, it’s freaking hilarious. I cracked up laughing the whole time. Philip Russell Newman is the absolute perfect narrator to capture Damien’s humor, and I love every minute of it. You can check out the first audiobook here. It’s also part of the Whispersync program on Amazon, so if you’ve bought the ebook version, you can get the audiobook for $1.99.
That’s my ultimate goal. For now, here’s Stretch Goal #1:
If the campaign gets up to $3,000, I’m going to write a Renegade X HOLIDAY SPECIAL. It’ll be a short story included in ebook format with all reward tiers, and backers get to vote one which holiday I write about.
I’ve added another reward tier to the Kickstarter.
One lucky person can get an annotated hardback copy of The Betrayal of Renegade X, with my handwritten behind-the-scenes notes and drawings all over it. There will be something on every page, and this will obviously be a one-of-a-kind item!
If you’ve read The Trials of Renegade X, then you probably saw all those awesome names of superheroes and supervillains in the back, and maybe you thought, “Who are these people? I’m a superhero or villain, and I live in Golden City–why isn’t MY name in here???”
Well, maybe you didn’t think that exactly, but if you wanted to be on that list, you’ve got a second chance, because the Kickstarter for The Betrayal of Renegade X is now live!
The Kickstarter is the ONLY way to pre-order the book, AND you also get to read it a couple weeks before it goes on sale.
You can get ebooks, signed and embossed paperbacks, or signed and embossed hardbacks of any/all of the Renegade X books. (If you’ve never seen a signed book from me, I have embossing stamps based on if you’re a hero, a villain, or something else…)
There’s also a very limited reward tier where you get to name a character in book 3. These go fast (it’s day two and there are only 2 out of 3 spots left), so if you want to be in a Renegade X book, get it before it’s gone.
It’s been awhile since I talked about book 3, so I figured I’d update you guys on where I’m at.
- I’m currently at 80,000 words out of an estimated 120,000, so the book is about 2/3rds of the way done. W00t! I don’t post a lot, but I do try to keep my word-count meter up to date.
- When does that mean it comes out? Short answer: I don’t know. Long answer: I hope to be done in about six weeks. Okay, I hope to be done sooner than that, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be done by six weeks from now. (No promises. I keep pulling a George R. R. Martin with this book and giving dates and then not meeting them. It’s been that kind of year.) Then I’ll get it to the cover artist and it shouldn’t be long from there! If you want to make sure you don’t miss it, the easiest way is to sign up for my newsletter in the top left, and you’ll get an email when The Betrayal of Renegade X comes out.
- The book description! I wrote this up awhile ago and posted it on Goodreads, but not on here.
Damien thinks he has the whole hero thing figured out—he’s getting good grades at Heroesworth and acing all his missions—at least until he zaps an unarmed bad guy he believes tortured and murdered children. It turns out the “bad guy” was actually a superhero working with the school. The mission was staged, and Damien blew it.
Now his best friend refuses to work with him, his dad is considering getting him professional help, and everyone’s questioning whether or not he has a future as a hero—including his grandpa, who will do anything to ensure Damien’s future lies in villainy. His grandpa creates a villain organization called the Truth, intent on exposing the way heroes really treat villains. But when the Truth launches its plan and the whole city erupts in chaos, Damien is caught between the opposing sides, and his future is anything but certain.
With heroes and villains bent on destroying each other, it’s up to him to do whatever it takes to stop the fighting, even if it means betraying the people closest to him.
Chelsea Campbell’s FIRE & CHASM, a dark fantasy in which a teen boy with no memory of his childhood puts his murderous impulses to work assassinating wizards in the war between adherents of the church and practitioners of magic, until he discovers one of his targets holds the key to unlocking his forgotten past, pitched as Dexter meets THE AMULET OF SAMARKAND, to Miriam Juskowicz at Skyscape by Holly Root at Waxman Leavell Literary Agency (World).
A million years ago–or maybe it was more like eight–I wrote a book. I freaking loved that book and I put everything I had into it, and I really thought it was The One. (For those of you keeping track, I’ve talked about this book before.) It wasn’t my first book, or the first book I’d sent out–not by a longshot–but it was noticeably better than anything else I’d written. (Little known fact: I actually participated in Miss Snark’s first critique thingy where you sent in your first page and she told you what for. She actually liked mine. My hopes skyrocketed.) I sent it out to agents. I got my first ever request for a partial. Then another request for a partial that later turned into request for a full.
I honestly thought I’d made it, that this was it and life was going to be good from here on out because I was going to get an agent, get published, and have my dream career. (Ha! Life so isn’t like that, and publishing even less so, but it certainly felt comforting to think so at the time.)
But this book I’m talking about, this was not Renegade X. And Renegade X was my first book that got me an agent and got published, so you can probably guess where this is going.
The agents who were reading it rejected it. I never got any more requests. I tweaked my query letter endlessly and kept sending it out, even though I kind of suspected at this point that it wasn’t going to make it. And it didn’t. And I was kind of heartbroken about it for awhile. (Okay, really heartbroken.)
I was mad at myself for believing in that book, for loving those characters and that story so freaking much. I felt like the book had betrayed me by getting my hopes up and then not being good enough. I forced myself to keep writing, even though my heart kind of wasn’t in it right then, and had a couple false starts with new books that only made me more stressed and frustrated.
This period of disappointment and frustration was in the spring and summer that year. It messed me up a lot. I joined a writing group during Nano, wrote another book over fall and winter, and was starting to get some confidence back, if not enthusiasm. Then that next summer, I wrote Renegade X, which ended up being The One, though it has its own long story of how it got published, or how it almost didn’t get published, and then how it was unpublished and republished by me.
But anyway. Back to the book that broke my heart.
Cut to five years and many books later. I started up in the distance program (online) at Syracuse University, getting my master’s in library science. During the week-long residency we had to do in the beginning, I learned a lot about innovation and the importance of failure and how giving yourself room to fail is a necessary part of making or doing something great, not the end of things. (I didn’t end up getting the degree in the long run, but I learned an awful lot from my teachers and classmates, about innovation and life and bringing the hot sauce.) I started to rethink how I felt about failure that summer, and so I started to think about that old book that had failed me. I’d spent years trying to “live it down” in my mind, not wanting to talk about it, and whenever I did mention it, I had to also mention how horrible I thought it was. But now I started thinking about it again, and about how even if it had some problems, it had a lot of good things about it, too. There was a reason I’d loved it so much. There was a reason it had gotten some requests, even though the writing really wasn’t there yet. If anything, I was the one who had let it down, not the other way around.
I got an idea for the opening and started writing. I kept characters and concepts I’d loved from the first one and rethought the world and plot and how everything could go together. The first version had been my sixth book. This reboot was my twelfth. And it was so much better this time around, and I loved it again, and my beta readers loved it, too. It was finally the amazing book I’d wanted so hard for it to be in the past.
This book is Fire and Chasm. And I’m pleased to announce that it’s coming out next February from Skyscape.