You can find my stories at MaybeTrey , Astrid the Devil , and on Instagram , Medium , and Wattpad .
My stories are aimed at black people who want to read dark stories that focus on original black characters that are complex and interesting.
I genuinely believe Black audiences deserve a variety of genres to delve into, and I want to introduce them to paranormal horror, dark romance, and fantasy that they haven't gotten enough of in the past. I also believe that this can be done across multiple mediums, and I spend my money with black creative professionals to make these experiences extend beyond my words.
For the last two years, I've run my stories on sites and Instagram to great reception. I like to craft complex experiences that offer looks at character backgrounds, side and backstories, full websites for each title, and more. I also provide encyclopedias, maps, audio journals, and other ways to get into each world.
During these last few years, I've run into a lot of walls, jumped a lot of hurdles, and tried my best. I've worked with amazing black artists, voice actors, and actresses, musicians, designers, and more. I trust my ability to run a project, especially when it comes to planning and finding talent.
My overall goal is to run a team of black creatives that crafts novels, graphic novels, audio experiences, and animated series for a dedicated audience.
Why I Need Help
Long story short: I have the skill, I have the marketing/website building/business experience, and I have the drive. There's a lot I can do on my own, but there's also a lot that gets left behind because I don't have the money I need to proceed at a steady pace.
I need help with funding so I can focus, hire the right people, and craft these stories the way they deserve to be crafted.
I have thus far spent over $60,000 of my own money on my projects over the past two years - the writing and site-building are easy for me; the rest has to be hired out. I have art, site costs for hosting, domains, templates, specific plugins, and maintenance, audio (and vocal artists to pay), musical, and editing costs.
I'm by no means rich or even particularly financially stable. I have taken on tons of extra clients for my digital marketing business, transcribed hundreds of hours of audio for dirt cheap, and taken out personal loans. I even worked a second full-time job along with my full-time business last year to afford to produce the content I love. It's starting to take a toll on my mental health.
I plan on continuing to fund these projects out of pocket (and finding ways to do so), but having financial help, however big or small, would allow me to move a lot faster and with less stress. It would let me flesh out ideas and concepts that I have had to scrap because I can only physically handle so much extra work.
I run a full-time marketing business from home, homeschool my autistic 10-year-old, and generally have a busy life. Some of the strain is taking a toll on me, and I don't want to give up. Having some financial backing could allow me to drop a client or two after a few months and focus on the work I love to do.
How You Can Help
I mainly need a start—a sort of base.
I want to emphasize that I plan to continue to provide the main bulk of funding for my projects. I know my goals are ambitious, and I know each step will take time and money. I welcome any help to make the process smoother and to get around the initial hurdles. I'd like to have ebooks and novels offered on my site by the end of the year (along with the free serials and stories).
Funding means that I can broaden the projects, include more free aspects to my sites, and secure direct financing through sales of ebooks and audiobooks sooner. It also means that I can offer MORE stories, whether they are online only or fully fleshed out novels and sites.
I am swamped with trying to work enough to cover all my bills and creative projects, so I lose a lot of time I could spend plotting and writing. If I have better funding, I can get my stories out quicker (and with fewer mistakes).
The Initial Stories
Let's talk about my stories! If you're familiar with my work already, you can skip to the next section.
My main story site is Maybe Trey .
Currently, I have two big titles and a bunch of smaller ones that I am seeking help with funding:
Astrid the Devil
Astrid the Devil is the complicated story of a girl who inherits not only her family's features and DNA, but their fears, struggles, and fights. It's the story of a condition called Devil Syndrome, the women who suffer it, and the monsters that devour them. It's the story of the fight to save the people you love at the expense of innocent lives.
At its core, Astrid the Devil is the story of a woman who inherits the chaos of three generations before her. It's a look at what is truly passed down to our children, and how they're left to fight our battles in the aftermath of our failures. It's the tale of an indescribable monster and the women who struggle to defeat it. It's a journey into how their every decision could save or destroy an entire world.
Astrid the Devil is the story of Astrid Snow, but her story can't be told without the story of the women before her.
Vicious: On MaybeTrey and The Vicious site (in progress)
That's the only thing that's for sure to Junnie Gorton, a young horned girl suffering from a debilitating disease called Horn Rot. She typically dealt with her low survival rate and abnormally large horns by escaping the world with her best friend, Lewish. Now she's forced to figure out which side is which, save her entire species, and find out the truth behind the sudden uprising in her home.
Horn Rot, a highly contagious and violent disease spreading through horned people, is causing mass amounts of madness and death. Normal horns grow in ways that will pierce, suffocate, and maim their owners, and the only one who can stop it is Junnie's mother, Lyria. As Lyria falls deeper and deeper into an anti-social revolt, the country reels. While Junnie broods, her entire species must prepare for mass extinction. Her brother plots with a group of people with less than good intentions and Lewish is quieter than usual.
In a civilization brought up on extreme violence and competition, Junnie and Lewish try their best not to get swallowed by their culture, their lives, or their horns.
Bunni and Bosque :
Bunni lives. Bosque dies.
We all know how this story starts.
Bunni is obsessed with destruction and death. She comes from the healthiest Horned family in her country. She's from the oldest, purest bloodline in the world. And she's bored with it.
Bunni spends most of her time trying to escape her duties as a pureblood. She wants things dirty, messy, foul, inconsistent. Having parents that are willing to kill to keep their bloodline pure is annoying. Knowing that she'll live a long, full life, produce more perfect children, and die unscathed is agonizing.
Bunni wants something to mourn.
We all know how this story ends.
Bosque is destined to die an agonizing death, alone on his family's land. He's watched everyone he loved and grew up with perish. Sometimes it was because of their disease. Sometimes it was because of the malice and hatred of others.
While he's absolutely withdrawn and satisfied with his life, Bosque has never had a chance to live it. He spends his days basking in the sun, bathing in wood baths, and contemplating the end.
Bosque isn't interested in joining the rest of the world. He'd rather die out, alone, where his family belonged.
Bosque wants to go peacefully.
But neither expected to meet each other one day in a supermarket. Neither expected to fall in love, lust, and every vicious and dirty thing between. Neither expected to be so right for each other, all while being wrong for everyone else.
You know the end of this story. Bunni lives, Bosque dies.
But maybe something will change.
My smaller titles, Bunni and Bosque /Aite and Jude, can be found at Maybe Trey .
Everything is always in progress because I never have time to sit and completely finish sites and ideas with all the work I'm doing to do them half-way.
The Business Plan
The initial phase of my business plan is to get the sites populated with ebooks and audiobooks for sale. I also have prints that can be sold. Right now, I am in the audience-building phase while I save up for editing the full fiction novels.
In terms of an actual business with which to publish the stories, I already have a registered publication company in Illinois: Wolfless Studios LLC. I took this step earlier this year with plans to self-publish Astrid and Vicious. So that is paid for and done.
I have also gotten initial editing done on the first six chapters of Astrid, though it will need to be edited from the beginning again once everything is said and done. I've spent over $1000 on that so far, and it would go a lot faster if I didn't need to save up to edit each chapter.
Astrid the Devil is fully plotted, outlined, and only needs the last three chapters. Bunni and Bosque and Vicious are newer, but plotted and already deep into character development (all being shared across social and Wattpad for audience growth). Aite and Jude and other shorts are plotted, and three other unshared stories are plotted and at the editing phase.
Other costs and ways I would use the funding (I would still put in my own money and do as much on my own as possible):
- $6000 - $7000 Line and Copy edits for Astrid (currently at 250000+ words/expecting over 300000 at $0.02 rate)
- $6000 - $7000 Line and Copy Edits for Vicious
- $3000 - $4000 Line and Copy Edits for Bunni and Bosque
- ISBN Purchases (Separate ISBN for each format for each book) - https://www.myidentifiers.com/identify-protect-your-book/barcode
- Covers for Astrid/Vicious/B&B Print Versions
- Site Hosting Costs and Maintenance for 2 Years
- Site completion for all stories
- Initial store and app development
40K - Marketing and Graphic Novels
- Full Promo Series and marketing campaign for Astrid
- Social, Print, and Web ads
- Email Marketing Campaigns
- Booths at Decatur Book Festival (depending on COVID)
- Initial Vicious Promo Series
- Social ads and promos
- Full Bunni and Bosque Graphic Novel
- 50 to 60 pages
- First two chapters offered as free promo with email sign-ups
- Full Audio Journal Series for Astrid/Vicious
- Audio journals for each character
- Situational audio journals
- Encyclopedia for Astrid (finishing up)/Vicious
- Custom App creation (an improvement on previous)
65K - Hires and Next Phases
- Ability to hire a Full-Time Editor
- Audio Series for each (professionally done)
- Vicious Graphic Novel
- Additional Title Added
- Short animations for both Vicious and Astrid (with plans to fund more with book sales)
- Fleshed out Story Sections (Novellas for each character of each series)
- Short comic series with Astrid and Vicious side characters
- Possible to plan out monthly subscription service with new stories and 'story package' deliveries
- Astrid the Devil Graphic Novel
- Vicious Graphic Novel
- Astrid the Devil Animated Short
- Ability to hire part-time Web Developer
- Additional bigger title
Anything Over - I ascend into pure light. And also, I can add titles, cover more mediums, and eventually expand my publishing to other black creatives.
From there, I should be able to handle the funding via sales of books, comics, audio, and more. Again, I will always offer mostly free content across the sites.
I believe in proof of concept, and I have diehard fans on my social platforms. With no outside funding, I've been able to a lot on my own. I'd love to expand my business into one that does the same for other black authors, artists, voice actors, and animators somewhere down the line.
Thank you so much for your consideration. I appreciate all my readers, present and future, and I appreciate any help! Your help would mean the world to me, and it would allow me to continue to expand and bring other creatives with me!
For anyone who donates over $50, get your choice of one of these prints sent to you (or a different one if you've had your eye on something)/two prints at $100 or more:
Thank you so much! I'll leave you with more example images:
- Jeannay Greene
- Samuel Robinson
- Kim Robinson
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