I'm K. Tempest Bradford, speculative fiction author, media critic, and freelance adventuress. I'm currently writing a historical fantasy series set in ancient Egypt. To research this book, I need to go to modern Egypt (unless someone has access to a TARDIS?). I've chosen a tour package that will take me to the specific sites related to my novels, now I just need the funds to go.
My goal is $5,000 (scroll for why), and donations of any amount are appreciated. Depending on how much you donate, there are some rewards (see below)!
This series is an AfroRetroFuturist take on ancient Egypt. In it, I'm crafting a dynastic Egypt that is unmistakably and unequivocally African because I'm tired of the media, racist academics, and the commenters on my blog whitewashing it. I'm also crafting an ancient culture that is matriarchal as well as matrilineal because I'm tired of narrow, inaccurate depictions of gender roles in historical fiction. Black women were at the center of everything in Egypt before the Greeks and Romans came, and the fiction I'm creating is designed to showcase and celebrate that.
The first book is in progress and takes place just before Egypt's 18th dynasty. I created a fun book trailer for it here: https://youtu.be/XUyrmB_WLXk
The second book centers on Hatshepsut, the female pharaoh of the 18th dynasty.
The third book centers on Nefertiti and Akhenaten, exploring the social and technological revolutions that led up to their spiritual one.
All of the books use the development and deployment of house-sized copper scarab beetle machines that run on steam generated by the sun as a framework to explore the cultural, social, and spiritual movements that follow in the wake of the upheaval, ethnic conflict, and technical innovation that characterized this time period.
With this series I intend to challenge ideas about gender roles in the ancient world and explore what a matrifocal, technological, and unquestionably African Egypt could look like. I intend to do it with characters that exist beyond binary sexualities and beyond binary genders, and whose problems don't arise from those identities. And I intend to do it with queer Black women as my protagonists.
For more details on the books and on AfroRetroFuturism, please see my page on Patreon.
My experience has taught me that in order to capture the sense of a place, a structure, or a monument in my writing I need to experience it firsthand.
In college I traveled to England for a class, and our teacher was able to get us special access to Stonehenge. We were allowed walk among the stones instead of settling for only getting tourist close. All my life I'd seen images of Stonehenge, heard from experts and visitors about how impressive an achievement it is, read about the height and weight and makeup of the stones. But it wasn't until the moment I was standing next to them, touching them, and craning my neck up to see the top that I grokked the magnitude of the accomplishment Stonehenge represents.
I had to experience the truth of those facts myself before I could begin to understand and then convey them.
The tour package I've selected costs $4,500, including travel, lodging, and food during the 2 week trip. This cost does not include airfare to Egypt, which will be anywhere from $500 - $1,000 depending on departure dates, sales, etc. I want to have access to about $500 more during the trip for extra food and emergencies. Overall, ~$6,000 total.
I need to pay the $4,500 to the tour company in early March.
I currently have about $1,000 set aside for this trip. I was counting on money from my ongoing supporters at Patreon to cover another $1,000, but given that company's recent changes, I don't think that I can :( And since I'm a freelancer, I don't know if I will have the ability to set aside any further funds for this (though all extra money will go into the Egypt trip coffer!). That's why my funding goal is now $5,000.
YouCaring doesn't have an automatic way to offer rewards at different giving tiers the way IndieGoGo, Kickstarter, and other sites do. However, I can offer rewards based on donation amounts myself!
$1 - $24 Donors
A Thank You email from me. Plus, you will be added to my mailing list and receive a newsletter each month for 1 year with updates on this trip and my progress on the books. (You may opt-out of this.)
$25 - $49 Donors
A 30-minute Ask Me Anything video chat session (you can gift this to someone else, if you like) + Thank You + Newsletter
$50 - $99 Donors
You get a piece of short fiction from me every month. It might be flash fiction, it might be longer! + Thank You + Newsletter (mandatory if you want the fiction)
$100 - $149 Donors
You get chapters of the draft in progress for 1 year (same ones I post to Patreon) + Monthly short fiction + Thank You + Newsletter (mandatory if you want the fiction)
$150 - $199 Donors
I will send you an eBook of any anthology where my fiction or non-fiction appears in 2018 + Work-in-Progress Chapters + Monthly short fiction + Thank You + Newsletter (mandatory if you want the fiction)
$200 - $499 Donors
I'll give you a full critique of a short story up to 17,000 words + eBooks + Work-in-Progress Chapters + Monthly short fiction + Thank You + Newsletter (mandatory if you want the fiction)
I'll give you a full critique of a novel up to 100,000 words + eBooks + Work-in-Progress Chapters + Monthly short fiction + Thank You + Newsletter (mandatory if you want the fiction)
If I am lucky enough to get to the $5,000 funding goal before March 1st, I have some stretch goals!
$6,000 - Extra Time in Cairo
I have a friend who lives in Cairo! And I'll stay with her a few days before or after the tour to get extra time at the museum there.
$7,000 - Europe First
I have friends who live in Paris who've invited me to stay, and with this extra money I can take them up on this offer and see the ancient Egyptian artifacts in the Louvre and potentially museums in Florence and Turin, Italy.
You're AWESOME. Right now I'm not sure how I'll be doing ongoing support with Patreon being up in the air. But if you give any amount, I'll add you to my mailing list and you'll know if I launch ongoing support on another platform.
Thank you to everyone who supports by donating money or just sharing this crowdfunding campaign with others. I really appreciate you!