If you’re a comics fan, you probably already know Kelly Thompson.
If the name isn’t familiar, just hop over to Comic Book Resources and read one of her weekly “She Has No Head!” columns, like this one on the spectacularly dense comment by Marvel’s Joe Quesada — at the height of the Avengers movie buzz — that he doesn’t think a movie with a female Marvel lead would work because no actress around right now could carry it, and none of Marvel’s female characters would work anyway. (This is Kelly’s graphic, too.)
She also co-hosts the wonderful podcast 3 Chicks Review Comics with Sue from DC Women Kicking Ass. The two chicks of 3 Chicks talk about comics from a woman’s perspective since they are, after all, women. And she writes, draws, and talks a lot of other places, too. Suffice it to say that Kelly is an entertaining and important feminist voice in the comics world.
So, when she sent me an email about her prose novel, The Girl Who Would Be King, I could hardly wait to read it. Except, of course, publishers don’t always know what’s good for them, and the major publishing house that almost picked it up decided to pass. Not because they didn’t like the book, but because they couldn’t figure out whether to classify it as YA, Sci-Fi/ Fantasy, or Literary Fiction. Apparently, a book with cross-market appeal is just too daunting. OK, it’s pretty violent, too, but that didn’t seem to hurt The Hunger Games.
The good news is that a little rejection didn’t stop Kelly. She decided to publish it herself, and took to the Internet to find a way to do so. She put a proposal on Kickstarter — hoping to raise $8,000 — and was fully funded in less than 30 hours. Go, Kelly.
The Girl Who Would Be King is the story of two teenage girls with superpowers. Bonnie Braverman is all about protecting other people and keeping order. She’s afraid of the power she knows she has, and when someone needs her help she has to decide whether to use it. Lola LeFever lives thousands of miles away and has just killed her mother in order to inherit her power. She’s all about getting what she wants and her powers are the way to get it. And she’s perfectly willing to destroy anything or anyone who tries to stop her.
What happens when Bonnie and Lola meet? Let’s just say it’s not for the faint of heart. Remember what I said about violence? Take heed.
Kelly’s Kickstarter campaign has been so encouraging that she just announced a stretch goal of $25,000 that will allow some serious upgrades in the quality of publication. And, as with all successful Kickstarter projects, contributors get great perks according to the level of donation. If I can ever get past the need to replace my computer, you can bet I’ll be trying to come up with enough to get a hardback!
Visit The Girl Who Would Be King‘s Kickstarter page to check out the project and pitch in whatever you can. Then come back and let us know what you think of the book.