Patreon For New Writers

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My Experience

I’m a writer with a day job, and my work experience covers digital marketing for small businesses/non-profits and database and gift management for non-profit organizations. That’s just a fancy way of saying that I help maintain an accurate constituent database and update their Facebook pages.

In fall 2015 I created a Patreon page out of curiosity. As a fundraising platform, it was still a new-fangled thing, and I was curious. My creator page did not actually go live with a proper “hard” campaign until January 2017, as several personal things affected my launch. After a soft and hard launch my pledges have stabilized, which allows me to pursue more creative projects I haven’t been able to do before! Continue reading

Servant of the Lesser Good – A Feyrlands Novel

Epic fantasy author Shaun Paul Stevens returns to the Feyrlands through the eyes of Mist, one of the main characters from Nether Light, in this short but fast-paced prequel book. This short novel focuses on Mist, a shadowy character who is directed to assassinate the High Mistress Talia, a beautiful but talented harpist set to marry the Count of Brecht. While Nether Light sets the stage for the future of magic, of the Faze, in the Ferylands, Servant of the Lesser Good narrows to show life in the Ferylands through the eyes of Mist, and hints of political scheming that may or may not affect the future of Sendal.

Although Faze is less prominent in this book compared to Nether Light, it is still clear that it is a magic that infuses every aspect of Feryland life. As Deliverance at Van Demon’s Deep hints at the brimming chaos of the Unbound (who are not “vaccinated” against the effects of a creeping pandemic that causes madness) and Nether Light delves into the magic users of the world, Servant of the Lesser Good takes a closer look at the politics and gender in the Feyrlands. Although the three books are separate and can be read independently together the three paint a picture of a looming disaster with the Faze and the world it infuses.

Servant of the Lesser Good is a fast-paced and yet intriguing look into the Ferylands through the eyes of two powerful women, a wonderfully refreshing story that ends with a crescendo of musical magic. Mist is undoubtedly one of the livelier characters from the sometimes very glum Guyen of Nether Light. Whereas Guyen strives to find his place in an unfriendly nation distrustful of anyone with Krellan ancestry, Mist knows her place in this world. She is confident and knows exactly what she needs to complete her mission.

The strong female characters contrasts sharply with the grizzled old Kiprick of Deliverance and the stereotypical young male hero Guyen of Nether Light. Mist and Talia are unafraid to embrace their sex, using it as a both a weapon and a means to fulfill their motives. The relationship between Mist and the High Mistress Talia brims with a delicious sexual tension that reeks of the power plays that politicians in this world, a relationship I thoroughly enjoyed as the tension came to a crescendo.

The 18th century Flintlock vibe rings true with duels and powdered wigs that I love so much and demand more of. Although neither Mist nor Talia are magic users there exists an almost Industrialist influence to a magic that suffuses the world. Magic and machine co-exist, a delightful change from most epic fantasy that tends to draw from Medieval culture and technology. Although I would have preferred a bit more magic and explanation of the Faze that was introduced in Nether Light I found this short book to be a quick fun read that kept my attention.  

Anyone who enjoys reading Flintlock fantasy novels such as the Powermage Trilogy by Brian McClellan and the Thieftaker novels by D.B Jackson will surely enjoy Servant of the Lesser Good by Shaun Paul Stevens. I’ll take more Flintlock fantasy with a cup of tea and a sniff of gunpowder, thank you very much.

Servant of the Lesser Good is the latest book by SPFBO finalist Shaun Paul Stevens. Set in his Feyrlands universe, this standalone story follows the deadly but delightful Mist (one of the main characters in Nether Light) in her covert mission to avert civil war by destroying an alliance between two of Sendal’s most powerful southern duchies.

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Patreon for Writers: Collaborate and Publish

You Did It!

Congratulations, you’ve officially launched your Patreon page! By preparing your launch you’ve set yourself up better than the majority of creators.  You launched your page, but so what? Launching your page alone won’t get you donations. According to Kickstarter, the first 24 hours of a campaign are the most important. With your lists in place, your emails scheduled, your social media shoutouts posted, you will have an initial surge of donations before they taper off. Here are three ongoing tasks that will always be a part of your fundraising efforts:

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You, Me and Gift Management

But wait a minute, I’m a writer, what do I have anything to do with gift management?? Doesn’t Patreon do that for me? And what exactly is “gift management”?

Patreon has the tools for relationship management and will be your gift processor, but the majority of gift management will fall to you.

I am a former professional Gifts Administrator. While I’m not moonlighting as a fledging Flintlock Fantasy Writer or spending too much time on social media, I spend my day processing checks, cash, stock, wires, and matching gifts for non-profits. Understanding where your money comes from, how to process it, and how to acknowledge those gifts can mean the success or failure of a Campaign.

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Nether Light by Shaun Paul Stevens: Book Review

Nether Light follows Guyen, a young biracial man who is shipwrecked upon Sendal shores. Upon arriving in the city proper, he and his twin brother Yemeylan are thrown into Sendal’s working caste system, where people are given employment based on their Talents. 

This oil-light epic fantasy series feels like walking through the world as Daniel in Frictional Games’ Amnesia: The Dark Descent. This dark world, lit by harsh sodalamps and adorned with the 18th century’s iconic tricorne hats, hosts a decaying magic. Citizens are inoculated with a Concoction at birth to Bind them against a creeping pandemic that causes madness and turns them into creatures (the Unbound) that resemble the Grunts that haunt Daniel so.   

Guyen, who is of Krellan and Sendali descent, struggles to survive in a country where his heritage is looked down upon. Upon getting his Binding tested to receive his Sendali citizenship, it is discovered that he is Purebound: he is naturally resistant to the maddenings. He is shipped off to the Devotions, where he studies to become a Bindcrafter and seek the cure for Yemeylan, whose Binding is weakening and risks losing his citizenship and mind. 

Magic system nerds will surely be intrigued by Faze, the magic Guyen stumbles to learn alongside his other studies. Although Nether Light doesn’t dive too deeply into a hard magic system, it is hinted that there is surely more to come in additional Bindcrafter books. 

Should you pick up this book? 

This book will delight those who love delving into a fantasy world, Nether Light will be sure to satisfy. It is a slow burn novel that takes its time to reveal the true plot, which binds Guyen into politics, fantasy science, and the fate of the Binding. It is a leisurely stroll through the world as told through the eyes of a young foreigner.

Readers who enjoy The Stormlight Archive and who long for additional Flintlock fantasy will enjoy Nether Light. The slow pacing and exploration of Guyen’s daily life early on in the book will deter some readers, however, through Guyen the reader learns of the world and what is at stake. 

Nether Light is a delightful independent book by Shaun Paul Stevens that catapults it above many other independent fantasy books by the virtue of its impressive worldbuilding. You can buy it here from Amazon.

For those who prefer a faster-paced story, but who are interested in the Bindcrafter universe, readers may check out Deliverance at Van Demon’s Keep, which follows a Ranker named Kiprick. Kiprick must rescue miners who are trapped with Unbound, who have infiltrated the mine.