I'm back with another awesome Kickstarter project, and once again, I'm working with illustrator Arnild Aldepolla! We're launching on February first!
How would you like to be your favorite Greek deity in our oracle and playing card decks?
We hope to produce two decks based on the gods, goddesses, heroes, and monsters of ancient Greece--one 54-card oracle deck and one 54-card playing card deck. We have already written the guidebook (it still needs the illustrations), created the design for the backs of the decks, and illustrated the face of one card: Themis, based on an image of the author--me!
By pledging at our top tier of $150, you (or someone you love) can be portrayed as your favorite Greek god, goddess, hero, or monster in our oracle and playing card decks.
Our illustrator, Arnild Aldepolla, will work from a digital photo that you provide and will draw your likeness into your choice of god, goddess, hero, or monster (see chart below for available characters). That illustration will be made into an oracle/tarot card and a playing card. So, you will be present in both decks (and in the guidebook and coloring book, too).
In addition, you'll receive the digital file containing the artwork (so you can print it on a poster, mug, t-shirt, or whatever you want--for personal use only), the 54-card oracle deck, the 54-card playing card deck, the illustrated guidebook, and a double deck box that will hold both decks and the book.
All Top Tier backers will also be listed in the back of the book, indicating which god, goddess, hero, or monster was illustrated in their likeness.
The choice of character you become will be on a first-come-first-served basis, so don't wait too long to make your pledge if you already have your heart set on being someone!
If you love the idea of being a deity in a deck of cards, but you don't love the idea of oracle cards, we've got you covered with the Top Tier Playing Card Deck Only at $99. At this level, you'll receive the custom digital art work with you drawn into the card of your choice, the playing card deck, and the deck box.
If you're more interested in using the decks than being illustrated in them, we've got you covered, too. Even though we'd love to have your beautiful face included in the deck, these cards are going to be something special, for they will be the faces of our Kickstarter community. Imagine the power of the ancient Greek gods combined with the energy from supportive backers in one powerful oracle deck. And this playing card deck with the ancient Greek pantheon will be one of a kind.
Our Double Decker Tier gets you both decks, the guidebook, and a box that will store all three.
The guidebook is a 4" x 6" glossy paperback with over a hundred pages of full-color illustrations and text. Here's a sneak peek of what's inside (only Themis has been illustrated, because we're waiting to create the others based on the images of backers like you):
If you're not into playing cards, we have a tier for you. The Oracle Plus Tier gets you the oracle deck, the guidebook, and a box to store them in.
Or, if you want to save a little money by forgoing the physical guidebook for a digital one, you can get the Oracle Tier--which includes the oracle deck and box.
If you're not into tarot and you just want the playing card deck, we've got a couple of options for you--one with a box (Playing Card Plus) and one with shrink wrapping (Playing Card Tier).
The Playing Card Tier (shrink-wrapped) is $25. Other tiers include a Daily Reading for $15 (we'll draw a card with you in mind and send it to you, along with a write up of the message) and a Digital Card $5 (your choice of any one card to print on whatever you'd like, for personal use only).
These are the 54 cards you'll find in both the oracle and playing card decks.
The backs of the oracle cards will look like this (we aren't sure whether they'll be round or square edged):
The backs of the playing deck will look like this (we aren't sure whether they'll be round or square edged):
The oracle cards will be turned into suits of hearts, clubs, diamonds, and spades like this:
The guidebook will be a 4" x 6" glossy paperback with full-color illustrations and text and over 100 pages. It's already been written (see the sneak peek above). We just need to add the custom illustrations.
You can also get a 6" x 9" hardback version of the guidebook and an 8.5" x 11" coloring book version of the guidebook as add-ons.
Additional add-ons include the inspiration behind the decks--The Underworld Saga, either as a digital box set, or as hardback volumes (one trilogy per volume).
Arnild Aldepolla is a Philippine based artist who works mainly in digital art. He holds a Bachelor degree in Fine Arts in Visual Communication from PWC (Philippine Women's College).
He works with authors and is known for turning a series into a coloring book. He has also illustrated several picture books and has created companion character cards for authors.
Arnild is a member of the Dragon Realm Press as the illustrator. You can find him at Instagram @fae_strike_project.
Here is a sampling of Arnild's work:
Those of you who follow me know that I'm a USA Today bestselling author of over thirty-five novels in multiple genres, including supernatural mysteries, thrillers, and young adult fantasy based on Greek mythology. I live in San Antonio, Texas with my husband of thirty years, two of our three adult children, and three rescue dogs.
I want to share something with you that I wrote in a previous post:
When I first began using tarot, I did not believe in their power to provide me with spiritual messages. I found them to be fun and entertaining. I eventually created my own deck to use as a tool to teach others about the gods, goddesses, and heroes of ancient Greece--characters that people my young adult fantasy novels. The cards served as flashcards and tarot, depending on the context.
I used them at book events to attract the attention of browsers by saying, "Would you like to hear a message from the gods of ancient Greece?" Most people would stop and say yes.
The more I used them, the more I came to believe in their power. There were too many superbly meaningful moments for them to be a "coincidence." It's uncanny how the right message is delivered at the right moment to strangers I know nothing about. Let me give you some examples.
Not long ago, I was selling my books at the Super Hero Car Show and Comic Con in San Antonio, when a young man in his twenties asked for a reading. He wanted to know if his current relationship was headed in the right direction. After I shuffled the cards, he chose Pontus, the embodiment of the sea, who represents the unknown. I told him the deck was refusing to answer about the relationship's outcome, but if he took a leap of faith and jumped into the sea, he would ride a thrilling wave that would eventually lead to land. The journey was more important than the outcome.
Intrigued, he asked to see the deck. A fan of Greek myth, he enjoyed looking over my homemade cards. When I asked him if he had a favorite, he said, "Hephaestus, but he doesn't like me."
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"He's the god of work, and I'm struggling with what to do about my career."
"Then ask the deck another question," I said. "Let's see what the cards have to say."
As I shuffled, he asked, "Should I stick with what I'm studying, or should I follow a new path that has stolen my heart?"
I cut the cards and fanned them out. I held two partial decks that together made nearly a hundred cards with no more than two alike in the deck. Out of all those cards guess which one he drew?
That's right. Hephaestus.
"I thought you said he didn't like you," I teased. "He's telling you to follow your heart. If you can make your passion your job, you'll never work a day in your life."
"Wow," he said as goosebumps crawled across his arms. "That's incredible."
I had chills, too.
And that's just one of dozens of similar stories I've experienced.
Like the woman who chose Chiron, the centaur, who represents healing. To her, I said, "You will soon be facilitating someone's healing, and it may be part of your own healing process."
Tears filled her eyes. "I'm on my way to give a talk on living with PTSD."
Then there was the man in his fifties who asked if the woman he'd been talking to online for three years was right for him. They still hadn't met in person, and he hoped he hadn't been wasting his time on something that would never be. After I shuffled, he drew Psyche, who represents sacred unions.
Of all the cards he could have chosen? Really?
"According to this deck, she's your soulmate," I said.
He broke into tears. "No one has ever understood me, the real me, like she does. I don't care what she looks like. I love her and want to meet her."
Then there was the police officer who saw my Medusa banner at another signing, and he came up to show me his Medusa tattoo.
"That's my daughter's face," he said of the tattoo.
"It's beautiful," I said. "Would you like a reading?"
Guess which card he drew?
This was a single deck of 70 cards with only one of each card in the deck. Out of all those cards he drew Medusa.
He couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe it.
"Medusa usually has something to do with forgiveness," I said. "Usually it means you have to let go of something, or your heart will turn to stone. But in this case, I think it has something to do with your daughter."
Tears filled his eyes. "I know exactly what it means, and my mind is blown."
"Mine, too," I said. And it was.
Although my fledgling homemade deck served a purpose, I've wanted to create a professional-grade deck for many years. So, Arnild, who has worked with me on other projects, has teamed up with me once again.
The cards for this Kickstarter project will be unlike any others in that they will be created in the images of people who support the production of the deck. I feel this lends an extra layer of power to the cards, because we have two paths into the universal unconsciousness—one through the ancient pantheon and another through the patrons whose energy is present in their images on the cards.
Each card in the deck bears a message. Although I describe them in the guidebook, you can understand a single card in isolation, or you can put several in conversation with one another. Choosing one card will give you a daily reading—a message that should guide you throughout your day. Creating a three-card spread will allow you to see where you’re at (first card) and what you need to do (second card) to get to where you’re going (third card).
You can also lay out six cards to better understand what chapter you’re currently experiencing in your life. Refer to the diagram below.
As you become more familiar with the beings represented in this deck, you will forge your own relationships with them and may no longer need my guidebook.
I hope you will consider backing this project, so we can bring a powerful deck of oracle cards and a beautiful deck of playing cards into being.