Cap in hand for A Hole in the Ground

coverI did something Tuesday that I’m not very comfortable doing. No, not that! Disgusting! No, I asked people for money. I’m normally much more comfortable passively hinting for money or sighing heavily about money until eventually people give me money to make me go away.

But Tuesday, I launched a Kickstarter campaign to ask people to help me affray the up-front printing costs for the publication of my debut novel, A Hole in the Ground. This is serious business. I know because I’m using business-y words like “affray” and “up-front.”

The novel, however, is not serious business. It’s about the fictional town of Beaverly, home of Canada’s deepest but least exploited sinkhole, and Mayor Conrad Lemon’s constantly thwarted efforts to get the town on the map. So when an emergency occurs, he’s determined to make the most of it. At his side (against her will) is Jemima MacNaught, assistant editor of The Beaverly Modicum, who is torn between her town and her career, though she’s not sure she wants to stick with either.

It’s a comic novel that I’m cheekily referring to as “Sunshine Kvetches of a Cranky Town,” which now that I think of it is not so much cheeky as shamelessly exploitive.

But don’t take my word for it, comic-wise. Have a look at these fake Goodreads reviews:

“This is the Great Turtle Novel the world has been crying for.”

“Stupid. Reads like ‘Parks and Rec’ fan fiction.”

“If you love ‘Parks and Recreation,’ you’ll love the hi-jinx of Beaverly!”

“The science in this novel is so preposterous that I can’t even bring myself to call it ‘science.’ I call it ‘scjsormbuncce,’ it makes so little sense. How dare the author ruin a whimsical, lighthearted story by not having a solid grounding in geology. And, yes, I just said ‘grounding’!”

“Is it literature? No. Is it entertaining? Yes. Is it a work of art? No. Is it a romp? Yes. Is it a box of saltines? No. Is it…”

“Boycott this book. It is mean to firefighters and Corey Hart.”

“There are at least five laughs in this book, which is more than I can say about Anna Karenina.”

“I read this book because the cover made me think it was about turtle hunting. It is not. It is exceptionally kind to turtles. If you are a turtle hater like me do not read this book!!!!”

“I ran several red lights reading this book.”

“If you read one novel set in a fictional Canadian backwater with a sinkhole and a swamped housing development, involving a reporter, a visiting biologist, a conniving mayor and somehow Tim Hortons, make it this one!”

“For the author’s sake, I hope writing this book was cheaper than therapy.”

Clearly, not all those fake reviews were flattering, but you can’t please all the fake people all the time.

What’s important is I’m happy with this book, and with no publisher coming forward to take it on, I decided to release it myself in the hope that my readers around the Townships and elsewhere might enjoy it too. So, I’ve arranged a small print run, and Townshippers’ Association has kindly agreed to launch it at Townshippers’ Day in Brome this September.

If only I weren’t broke.

Thus, the Kickstarter campaign. I hope to raise enough money to cover the cost of printing and other incidentals (business-y!). In return anyone who donates $20 or more (plus a shipping cost) will receive an autographed copy of the book. In hindsight, I should have added that if they donated $50 or more they would get a copy without me scribbling all over it.

As someone who doesn’t like parting with money, I felt weird asking others for it. It’s like calling up an old friend and saying, “I’m coming to visit you!” and then asking for bus fare.

But this is the age of social media and micro-funding, and Kickstarter is a way for people to have a stake in the creation of something. I hope people will feel that way about my venture, knowing that most of the work is done. I just need a little help to get it to the final stage. More of a Kickfinisher, really.

Begging for funding, though… ugh. I guess this means I’m really and truly a Canadian artist.

If you would like to support my campaign or read the opening pages of A Hole in the Ground, go to my Kickstarter  page or click on the icon at right. Like the T-shirt says: “Lose Your Soul in Beaverly’s Hole!”


About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
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29 Responses to Cap in hand for A Hole in the Ground

  1. Paul says:

    Love the scene where the Jem names the cows after hamburgers. Now that is reality. Ha!

  2. I’ve been looking for the perfect book to excuse all the red lights I’ve been running.

  3. pinklightsabre says:

    ….when you reach the part….where the heartache starts
    the hero would be me…

    Here’s to Canada, to artists, to you, to holes in pockets, stomach lining, plots, socks and souls. Congrats my friend, let’s get this party started RIGHT

    • rossmurray1 says:

      It’s stressing me out a bit. People are being truly kind and supportive, even though I have no record to go on fiction-wise. Feels a bit of a con job. I’m too Canadian for this kind of guilt.

  4. ksbeth says:

    sounds like a worthy project, nothing wrong with asking for help from your neighbors for a maple syrup tapping, why not a book?

  5. byebyebeer says:

    Some friends are worth the bus fare. I want to read this book! Best of luck to you.

  6. I’m in.

    I saw the widget in your sidebar the other day. This is exactly what Kickstarter was made for. How much of a donation for the audio book? How much for you to come to New Jersey and read in person to my wife and kids?

  7. pinklightsabre says:

    Reblogged this on Pinklightsabre's Blog and commented:
    Here’s a chance to support an indie artist and great guy, Ross Murray. It’s easy, affordable for most, and will make you (and Ross) feel good the rest of the day. Thanks for having a look. — Bill

  8. I’m waiting to be contacted about the recent ‘fraudulent’ activity on my credit card. I’ll just explain – “No, it’s legit. It has beavers!” Best wishes for your book, Ross!

    • rossmurray1 says:

      “It’s Canadian dollars; it means nothing!”
      Thanks, Michelle.

      • Karen says:

        Sheesh–I was just going to make a joke about “Is this 20 Canadian dollars or real money?” but as usual, I’m days late, and a (Canadian) dollar short.

        I’m a fan of the story, having read the excerpt long ago, and glad to help. I would like mine inscribed, “To Annie Wilkes, my number one fan.” And if I don’t like how the story ends, I’ll come up there and break both your legs and make you rewrite it.

  9. Two things. First of all, head isn’t spelled g-r-o-u-n-d.

    Second, those of us near Beaverton, Oregon, highly resent the blatant plagiarism of our neighboring town’s namesake. However, as reasonable proxy almost-citizens, we are willing to overlook this flagrant infraction for a little of that Kickstarter salad, say enough to cover three tanks of gas and a year’s worth of underwear. But the underwear has to be new and no tiger prints.

    • rossmurray1 says:

      Has Beaverton ever been refered to as a hole in the ground? If so, my apologies and my boxers.

      • (Shudders off mental image of dingy heart-print boxer short with suspicious tears in the seat.)

        Beaverton only has holes where they’re building. And they’re always building. California has Silicon Valley, Oregon has Silicon Forest: An ever-expanding industrial rash of brick buildings, parking lots so large you could land a 747 on them, and hordes of engineers twitching with Starbucks and Red Bull behind the wheel. If you want excitement, try driving through there during rush hour. Hell hath no wrath like a coder scorned.

  10. Ahdad says:

    Good luck on your first novel! May you make millions. Even if that’s not your primary reason for writing it…Ah.. who am I kidding. It’s the only reason why we write.

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