Star Trek author Michael Jan Friedman has begun a new Kickstarter campaign to finance his new novel featuring a young-adult superhero who is also a cancer survivor.
The campaign, which started last night, hopes to raise five thousand dollars.
The hero of veteran science fiction writer Michael Jan Friedman‘s new young-adult superhero novel, I Am The Salamander, is a cancer survivor.
“I didn’t set out to make Tim Cruz a kid who had cancer,” said Friedman. ‘But when you read I Am The Salamander, you’ll see why it makes perfect sense for Tim to have beaten that disease, and why he’s in a position to offer hope to real teens trying to beat cancer themselves. And let’s face it; hope is what superheroes do best.”
Why a book on a superhero? “I was raised on superheroes, and this book is about a most unusual one,” said Friedman. “As I note in the video, comic book characters have sometimes been inspired by yucky things, spiders and bats for instance. But a salamander? One of those slimy little lizards? Really?”
“I Am The Salamander is a project that’s been percolating in my brain for so long I can’t remember when it first occurred to me,” said Friedman. “I feel like I know Tim Cruz as well as I know myself, and I can’t wait to see him inspire kids the way superheroes inspired me when I was young, especially kids who are fighting for their lives, and are more in need of inspiration than the rest of us. Because part of what makes Tim unusual is that he’s a cancer survivor.
“I know nobody likes to talk about cancer, but I’m taking that chance here. When you read I Am The Salamander, you’ll see why it makes perfect sense for Tim Cruz to have beaten that disease, and why he’s in a position to offer hope to real teens trying to beat cancer themselves.”
I Am The Salamander is being funded by a Kickstarter campaign instead of going the traditional publishing route. “The publishing landscape has changed,” said Friedman, who has written over seventy books for major publishers. “It’s harder than ever to get publishers to take a chance on a story, especially a quirky one like I Am The Salamander. And when they do, the book’s shelf life is shorter than that of a jar of half-sour pickles.”
“I want I Am The Salamander to be around for a good long time,” he said. “That means I have to get it in the hands of readers on my own, and I have to keep it available to them.”
Don’t donate to the I Am The Salamander campaign “just because it’s a worthwhile thing to do,” said Friedman. “I’m asking because it’s also the best thing I’ve ever written, and because I want to get it out to readers the most direct way possible.”
The Kickstarter campaign for I Am A Salamander seeks to raise $5,000, which will to cover the cost of book design and printing. The book’s cover was rendered by up-and-coming Brazilian talent Caio Cacau.
The Kickstarter campaign for I Am The Salamander, which runs through November 16, is located here. Perks range from an e-book of I Am A Salamander, to a limited-edition sketch signed by artist Cacau, and to having a character in the book named after the donor.
Friedman is the author of almost three dozen Star Trek books, including the Star Trek: Stargazer series, featuring stories from four of the five televised series, . He also co-wrote the Star Trek: Voyager episode Resistance.