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  • Donald J. Bingle, Writer on Demand

Familiar Spirits Kickstarter Launches

I'm trying something new. No, not a Kickstarter. I've had one of those before, for Frame Shop, my mystery thriller about murder in a suburban writers' group. Instead, after getting somewhere around fifty short stories published, gathering and self-publishing my own tales in a series of Writer on Demand story collections by genre, and actively reviewing and marking up manuscripts of others for close to fifteen years, principally as part of the St. Charles Writers' Group, I've decided to go a step beyond and be both the editor and publisher for an anthology of stories by other people. That anthology is called Familiar Spirits and the Kickstarter for it is active now. Go check it out; I'll wait for you. Pretty nifty, huh? I hope you pledged while you were there or at least hit the button to share news of the anthology with your friends on social media, but if you didn't, don't worry. I'll give you the link again at the end of this blog. Familiar Spirits was commissioned by magician and storyteller William Pack. Not only does he do great magic shows, he does programs at libraries where he tells tales about Houdini, Edgar Allen Poe, P.T. Barnum, and The Great Chicago Fire. For those who want more--and people tend to get really interested in a topic when Bill is telling the story--he also sells non-fiction books he has written on such subjects. Bill also has programs where he tells spooky, creepy stories, sometimes combined with magic, so he wanted a book of ghost stories to sell at those programs, too. He came to me and asked if I would be willing to edit a book concentrating entirely on dark, creepy, unsettling ghostly tales. Since I am often dark, creepy, and unsettling, it was a good match. Here's the line-up of stories and authors: "The Cold Earth" by Sarah Hans "All I've Got is a Photograph" by Dolores Whitt Becker "Stepping into October" by William Pack "Green Lady" by Lynne Handy "What Happened at the Lake" by Wren Roberts "The New Girl" by Kate Johnson "Legend of the Sea Captain" by Ric Waters "Statuary" by TS Rhodes "Irene" by Melanie Waghorne "Cold-Nosed and Cold-Hearted" by Jean Rabe Plus, possible stretch goal stories from Cathy Kern, Daniel Myers, and Steven M Saus. Along with the usual stretch goals of additional stories and books, if certain stretch goals are met, all the authors get bonus payments. And, along with the usual reward levels, there are also rewards where you will be taught a magic trick, get a Tarot reading, get a presentation on pirates, and get a show from William Pack and/or a roleplaying game run by me, the world's top-ranked player of classic roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons for about fifteen years. Now you want that link again, right? I'll be promoting Familiar Spirits at GenCon this week, along with being a panelist on a variety of panels from the GenCon Writers' Symposium, including one on crowdfunding. Check out the news page on my website at for details about my schedule. Thanks for your support, past, present, and future. Aloha, Don

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