WHO I AM
Hello! Most folks reading this probably know me already, but for those who don’t: I’m Saladin Ahmed, fantasy writer and author of articles on geeky subjects, as well as of the odd twitter rant.
If you’ve enjoyed my novel, my FREE ebook of Arab/Muslim-themed science fiction and fantasy, my articles on race and geek culture, or my musings on twitter, please read on to learn how you can help keep me writing. If you’re not familiar with my writing, please check out the links above to see if this is work that you’d like to support!
WHAT I’M ASKING
I am writing this because I am in a very tough financial spot and have had success in the past using crowdfunding to convert reader enthusiasm into a means of keeping afloat financially as I write. I’m hoping to raise $5000 dollars to assist with childcare over the next six months. I am the primary caregiver for our amazing four-year-old twins. Between this, my day job as a freelance editor, and the incredibly draining time/energy-suck of severe Major Depressive Disorder (which I was finally diagnosed with this year, after decades of fearing/avoiding treatment), I have very little time for writing. Having the kids in preschool at least gives me a fighting chance.
WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU?
Some of the projects I will be working on over the next six months with your support:
–Finishing THE THOUSAND AND ONE, the sequel to my debut novel THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON, which won the Locus Award for Best First Novel, and was nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, Crawford, Gemmell, and British Fantasy Awards. I’d hoped to be finished with THE THOUSAND AND ONE by the end of 2013. Life with kids and mental illness, it turns out, has a way of destroying one’s best-laid plans. But I am close! About 75% of the novel is finished, and – if I’m able to focus on writing – I fully expect to have a polished draft wrapped up in the next two months.
As a sort of pre-teaser, here is a free short story featuring holy warrior-turned-renegade Layla bas Layla, one of the novel’s main characters.
–Writing an article on my great-grandmother Aliya Hassan. Aliya Hassan, daughter of some of the earliest Arab Muslim immigrants to the US, was an astonishing woman. A private detective in New York City in the 1950s. A friend of Malcolm X’s. A mostly-devout Muslim who was nonetheless an ace card player. A student of the martial arts. Co-founder of one of the largest social service agencies in Michigan.
She was also my great-grandmother. She named me, and she was the first person who told me stories from THE 1001 NIGHTS. I’ve been wanting to write about her for years. And with your help, I can!
–Writing an article on the politics of pre-Comics Code comics. Those who follow me on twitter have probably seen my tweets detailing the seemingly inexhaustible treasures of digitalcomicmuseum.org – an online archive of comic books from the 40s and 50s, eg:
These explorations have sparked some thoughts on pulp politics of race, gender, war, and patriotism. With your help, I can collect these thoughts – and some of these gorgeous old illustrations – into an article.
–Finally writing two short stories that have been knocking around in my head, one set in the CRESCENT MOON KINGDOMS world of my novels, one a historical fantasy about early 20th century New York City.
–Continuing my @tweetthenights project on a more regular basis. For those who’ve not seen it, this is my attempt to edit the definitive translation of the earliest extant 1001 NIGHTS manuscript into tweet-sized bites.
HASN’T HE DONE THIS BEFORE?
This is not my first time passing the hat online. I’ve done three fund drives over the past three years. I’m painfully aware that I’m going back to the well here. But each time I’ve closed a fund drive, several people have written afterward to ask if they could still help in some way. And I ‘meet’ new readers and friends online every day. While I could certainly use help from my diehard supporters (you know who you are!), I’m hoping this fund drive will also reach folks who are new to my writing and willing to help out.
HOW CAN I HELP?
The most effective means of helping out is via a donation to my Paypal account (email@example.com). I will post nightly totals on twitter, and will close to donations once I’ve reached $5000. I am currently investigating Patreon and a number of other crowdfunding tools, but Paypal is still the quickest, cheapest, and most efficient tool I’ve found.
I HAVE QUESTIONS!
Awesome! Please direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org. And thank you thank you thank you in advance for your kindness and generosity.