About a year ago, Jessie Kwak and I founded Four Windows Books over two strong cups of coffee and a mutual rediscovery of our love for writing and for reading exceptionally written fiction. We mused about the writers we knew who were talented but stilted by the bleak blank page. And we decided that we wanted to both animate and inspire those writers to produce great works of fiction. We did just that. We contracted four authors, asked them to set a work of fiction in one city: Seattle. We gave them quarterly deadlines, and we released each quarter serially as they were written.
Now these selections are being pulled together into novel form to be printed and promoted and sold. And to that end, today, we are launching an Indiegogo campaign to help us pay for the printing, promotion, and distribution of Trace, by Ian Smith, Neutraffic, by Andrew Gaines, School of Sight, by Alisha A. Knaff, and Shifting Borders, by Jessie Kwak.
These novels are a generous tribute to Seattle. Our four authors have poured their genius into these stories and created four engaging worlds where humans are leaving indelible emotional marks on the objects that share their space, the people they surround themselves with and into the future, on generations to come. They challenge the actions of past generations and scrutinize the ramifications of technological advancement. And they bring a critical editorial eye to their setting and to the characters that inhabit that space. Just like reversing the world via mirror genre fiction has always been a way for authors to talk about society by slant. Fantasy, science fiction, ghost stories, dystopian fiction all give just enough distance from society for an author to offer his or her audience a more objective eye to see themselves and their world through. Stoker, Shelly, Lewis, Tolkien, Huxley, Orwell–these are all authors whose names and masterpieces we know. Their work has shaped and challenged society. Their work is taught in literature classes throughout the academic world. Rushdie, LeGuinn, Gibson, and more continue the wonder of sharp witted, and intricately formed stories made to contour our existential and concrete place in the trajectory of time. Like the great genre fiction writers before them, Smith, Gaines, Knaff, and Kwak draw us in to fantastical adventure, high stakes relationships, violent technologies, and make us love characters we just can’t imagine living without, all while challenging our fundamental ideas. I am beyond proud to celebrate these four authors and their work.
For those of you who don’t know, Indiegogo is a crowd funding platform designed to give inventors, innovators, or entrepreneurs a place to ask for financial support from their communities and their communities’ community. The wonders of the Internet and the hard work of networking can bring a budding idea from possible to complete with ten dollars, 100 dollars, 500 dollars brought together from many different people to equal 50 thousand. For this Indiegogo our goal is 50 thousand dollars. You can give as little or as much money as you’d like. The biggest help for us would be for you to spread the news about this project and ask/encourage your friends, family, and contacts to chip in and spread the word.
Our goal for Four Windows Books is to become the leading publisher of diverse new voices. We want to build bridges between academia and genre fiction and we want to amplify the voices of marginalized people who are often underrepresented in the publishing world.
Christine Rene Smith and Alisha A Knaff