It all began with The Wise Man's Fear. The book is the second in Patrick Rothfuss's fantasy series, and he completely botched it. He took the character I loved and turned him into an unrecognizable thief and womanizer. He filled an obscene number of pages with obscenities and completely random sex. The first book could be considered PG, the second was R, bordering on NC-17. Even the violence had suddenly crossed genres into horror.
WHY!? I asked myself many times. It could have been my new Harry Potter. I would've shared it with the world. (I already had shared Name of the Wind with everyone who would listen to me.) But this? How could Rothfuss think this was a sequel?
Over the years I'd searched for a eBook "clean-up" service akin to Clearplay (for DVDs) and been disappointed. It was Wise Man's Fear that clenched it for me. There needed to be a way for me to make the sequel into the book it was supposed to be. There had to be a way for me to clean up my favorite novels, so I could let my mom and little brothers read them (without losing their innocence.)
There wasn't. But there will be. I started my own development company. I've hired a team of programmers that assure me this can be done. On a small scale at first. IPad only, with file sharing on Dropbox or GoogleDrive. Then we'll branch out. We'll get our own servers and make sharing easy. I know it will change the way we read books. The only question is when.
If I manage to raise $15,000 in the next thirty days on Kickstarter, I'll add $1,500 of my own, then the app can be finished by May. It will be available free of charge for an extended period allowing the user base to grow quickly. More users mean more great filters, more ratings, more platforms.
But if my grassroots campaign isn't enough, it will take longer. I'll take out a loan. I'll have to charge for the app. The user pool will grow slowly. There won't be as many shared filters to try out. I'll become obsessed with creating the needed filters and neglect my family and job. I'll be fired, lose my home, computer, and most important, my internet access. The Story Surgeon General Blog will fizzle and with it, a dream that might have changed the world.
And so I ask for your help. Not to donate, (although do that if you want) but to spread the word. The most important thing is to get this to people that feel as passionate about it as I do. People that have been looking for a way to live in their favorite books, or to protect their kids from mature content in literature. You find those people and they'll make sure this happens.
Here is the Press Release
Here is the Kickstarter Campaign
In the meantime, I'll be the one trying desperately not to neglect his job and family.