Introducing the Living Wild Side by Side Patreon!

When I first published Raccoon Rescue nearly two years ago, it was little more than a cute short story based on my experiences volunteering with raccoons at a wildlife sanctuary. I’d talked with a couple of people about making it a series, as well as about creating educational materials for it, but these ideas only went so far.

The series part: easy from a writing standpoint! Anthropomorphizing animals in a way that preserves their real-life characteristics (basically, setting dialogue to the things they do every day) is a lot of fun. From a publishing standpoint, though, well, additional books cost money to illustrate, lay out, and produce. I needed a way to fund this part.

In addition, I wasn’t sure about the educational materials. With zero experience writing curriculum or lesson plans, I didn’t want to commit to something that might be less than useful for teachers and homeschoolers, particularly those trying to adhere to Common Core or equivalent state standards.

But the idea stuck in my head for long enough to make me realize it was worth pursuing. 

Crowdfunding the project through Patreon

Though I explored the possibility of crowdfunding through IndieGogo, I was nervous about that method. Crowdfunding takes a lot of time and energy, and I find it challenging to switch mental gears between totally different projects.

I also wasn’t sure about Patreon. I knew I wouldn’t be working exclusively on new animal stories to the point of having something new to share each month, and anyway, I hate sharing rough drafts with people. Stories can change so much from draft to draft, it feels like cheating to set expectations too early.

On the other hand, there were those lesson plans. And once I got my head wrapped around the fact that I could work incrementally towards creating those and more fiction, “tier” everything so that only people at a certain dedicated level could see those excerpts, and treat the whole thing as a learning journey… Patreon looked far more attractive.

I soft-launched my Patreon last month, made some tweaks to this website, and am pleased to announce the whole thing is live!

I’m seeking patrons who:

  • Share my concerns over rapid land development and habitat destruction.
  • Have a soft spot for wild animals and even welcome them. If you feed wild families on the deck or call a rehabber when you find a injured or sick animal on the roadside or your own property, you’re one of my people!
  • Believe in the mission of preparing both kids and adults for what to do when they find wild animals on their property.
  • Agree that the way we relate to wildlife is a good indicator of how we relate to our fellow humans, and want to support a project that promotes empathy.

Coming in July

Here’s how your support will help this month:

  • I’m drawing up a contract and hoping to sign with my illustrator for the second book, Raccoon Retreat.
  • I’ll start to think about the extension activities that will go with Raccoon Retreat.
  • I’m also researching lesson plans: how they might support US Common Core and equivalent state standards, how to keep them engaging and effective, and, well, how to write them.

Want to be a part of this project? Pledge today!

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