The Kickstarter for “Murder in the Mail: A Bloody Birthday” was fully funded, and the story will be officially launched (hopefully as part of an art exhibition) in August 2018.
After tossing around ideas and a lot of, “Wouldn’t it be cool if….”, it’s really happening.
Murder in the Mail is a story told through letters, objects, and artworks physically posted to the reader over the course of eight weeks.
The reader is a character in the story, invited to guess the identity of the killer each week. The Murder in the Mail forums are a place where readers can compare clues and insights, helping (or hampering) one another. Everything, including the art, contains clues to be unravelled.
The first story in the series is A Bloody Birthday.
(Like the logo? It’s by Publisher Obscura author Annabelle Lee.)
A group of art students gather at a birthday party where the guest of honour is murdered. One of them is the killer.
You ask the group of friends to write letters to you, talking openly about what happened, and sharing art works they’ve done in the period of time before, during, and after the party.
People say artists show their soul through their art. . . now it’s up to you to discover the darkness inside someone you trusted.
There are eight beautiful pieces of art included with this story, all made by Australian artists (almost all of whom I scouted out personally here in Canberra). Every character is written by a different published Odyssey Books author (including Tash Turgoose from the Publisher Obscura imprint). The objects in the story are chosen to involve all the senses, and the art was chosen to be (a) Beautiful (b) Varied in style and medium (c) Packed full of clues.
For example, this picture has five clues in it.
That beautifully intricate piece is by the artist Shauna O’Meara.
(Fun fact: This is not the final version of the pic. Can you spot the difference between this and the “real” one sent to readers?)
During the Kickstarter period, there were a range of unique items for people to purchase, such as premium versions of the story or custom-made art by the featured artists.
There will be a very special launch on 25 August here in Canberra.
If you want to know more, you can email MurderintheMailStories@gmail.com or visit the official forum at MurderintheMail.boards.net.
You can buy it through my store here.
Here is another one of the artworks that will be in the story:
It’s by Adam Lee.
Eight weeks is a long time to worry which one of your friends is a killer (even when the friends are fictional), and there are also some Easter Eggs and clues that are quite obscure. So go ahead and lurk and/or join the forum here. There’s lots of space to talk about other art and other types of stories. If you are an Australian or New Zealand resident and an artist, please share your style and details there. I will be actively scouting the forum for future stories.
I’ll be going to various conferences this year, and the first cab off the rank is Canberra’s biggest gaming conference, CanCon, in C Pavilion near the vast Games Library.
Feel free to come and chat, buy my books (or Annabelle Lee’s books), playtest some of my interactive fiction, and perhaps order a copy of Murder in the Mail for yourself or someone who would kill for it.
Oh, and there’s a facebook page here where at least one of our early reviewers will be sharing her first impressions.
Here’s the trailer:
Since the Kickstarter, I’ve been selling special box sets at all the conferences/fairs/etc that I attend, ie:
Sydney Supanova (June) in the Artist Alley stall “Publisher Obscura”
GammaCon Canberra (August) in Artist Alley
Canberra Launch (probably as part of the Canberra Writers’ Festival) August
Conflux Canberra (September-October)
Goulburn Waterworks Steampunk and Victoriana Fair (October)
There will be limited quantities of the packaged version, so email me in advance if you’d like to reserve one.