The Phantom Forest

In a war-torn tribal city inhabited by mystical spirits, a young woman named Seicha is ritually sacrificed to a demon and must navigate the dangers of the Underworld to protect the family she left behind from beyond the grave.
A 344-page fantasy book
Author, screenwriter, tiny blind dog guardian.
Quill goal: 250 copies
funding
ends today
265/750
pre-ordered
About The Phantom Forest

About the Author

A graduate of the Department of Dramatic Writing at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Liz has a background in screenwriting and live theatre as well as fiction. Most recently, Liz was featured on the Tracking Board’s Young and Hungry List as one of the top up-and-coming screenwriters in Hollywood and her feature script PYONGYANG HOME VIDEO made the 2016 Hit List. She was a finalist for the Launchpad Manuscript Competition with her fantasy novel THE PHANTOM FOREST. Liz was selected as a 2015 writing fellow by NY-based media incubator Big Vision Empty Wallet, and participated in their lab in Costa Rica. She was also a finalist for the 2015 Lifetime TV Writers Project with her pilot, RISEN. Her play "...And Then She DIES at the End!", which she also co-directed, received an award-winning production at the New Ohio Theatre as part of the 2012 New York Int’l Fringe Festival, and she is currently workshopping two new plays in Los Angeles with theatre collective 125 & Laurel, where she also serves as Artistic Director. Liz is represented by Verve and Grandview and divides her time between Los Angeles and New York. She is the proud co-parent of two unruly small dogs.

Read part of The Phantom Forest
Excerpt
a 29 minute read

Prologue

As a pale, rosy dawn spread its arms wide across the Underworld’s violet night sky, Haben wondered, as he had every sleepless night since his arrival, why night and day were even significant in this place. A man, he knew, was required to count the days, to mark the seasons. It was how he might anticipate an event, how he might judge how long he had been in a place and when he ought to move on. But for Haben, there were no events to anticipate. And because he had already reached his final destination, there was no use judging how long he had been there and when he ought to be going. A man needed the warm light of day to tend to his duties and the dark shelter of night to shed his inhibitions and become who he truly was. Haben no longer needed these intervals because Haben was no longer a man.

“Time,” as Haben had once known it, was immeasurable when nothing ever changed, like floating along a vast ocean, looking out on the same horizon day after day. Motion was entirely imperceptible even if motion was occurring. It meant nothing. The years rolled onwards, like a tide he could scarcely detect. But at least he had his own company, his own cognizance. He delighted in the terror he felt each time a fragmented memory from Before resurfaced from the recesses of his ancient mind: bits and pieces of conversations, people’s faces, and distant places swam around in his head like a sluggish, primordial ooze. Nobody would ever hear his thoughts. The demons weren’t much for conversation. But that was all right. By now, he preferred the solitude. He preferred what he was accustomed to. The other demons probably did, too.

When he first arrived in the Underworld and was handed his eternal sentence, Haben had feared restlessness. He considered the eons of nothingness that awaited him and wondered what he would do to fill the endless hours. He didn’t realize that the thing he was about to become, the creature he was evolving into, had little regard for such concerns. The thing, the creature, wanted very little. When he was tortured, he wanted it to end. That was all. There was nothing else. He grew cold to the core and found himself unmoored from the world around him. The soul he carried in life began to decay inside his demonic new body.

And yet, he couldn’t shake the compulsion to emerge from the tunnels of the cave network at dawn each day to watch the sun come up. The ritual felt like a souvenir from the world he once knew, a world that had required him to rise when the sun did.

He peered over the cliff, not observing anything in particular because there was never anything new to observe. But he enjoyed this view of the Underworld’s landscape when it was bathed in early light. Even its darkest corners seemed a little warmer, though he knew better than to assume that they were.

The sun crested the hill along the western frontier, a mirror image of the morning sky in the world of the mortals. Its dusty violet, prismatic rays shone like a beacon across the...

Discuss The Phantom Forest with the Author.
Tal bio
Tal M. Klein · Author · added 3 days ago
Congrats! Are you going to push for full pub?
Ni svmyv
Liz Kerin · Author · added 3 days ago · 15 likes

Dear Readers,

It. Is. DONE! The Phantom Forest has reached its Quill publishing goal, which means the book will have a limited release in both print and digital! I’ve talked to a number of authors who have gone through this process before me, and the timeline is pretty similar to a traditional publishing calendar: there’s going to be an editing phase, beta-readers, design, and marketing planning, so the actual release date might not be for another 7-12 months, even though the manuscript itself is complete. But rest assured, as soon as I have an official release date, I’ll update everyone! You will have those signed copies in your hands and I will have callouses after signing all of them for you and I will love every minute of it.

Okay, so here is the part where I rattle off about a hundred thank yous... so sit tight!

I was fortunate to get an enormous boost this week from not one, not two, but THREE Inkshares syndicates! You’ll see little "medals" for each on the book’s main page - there’s the Staff Syndicate, which is run by members of the Inkshares team, then there’s the Fantasy syndicate, which backs that specific genre, and the Break the Bechdel Syndicate, which specializes in books with strong female leads. A huge, heartfelt thank you goes out to all the syndicate members who nominated the book and pushed it into the spotlight. You made a huge difference this week and helped it reach the tipping point!

Another thanks to the awesome folks who put together the book trailer for me, which made a major impact: there’s director David Diperstein, whose work you can check out here, and our lovely actress Jess Nurse.  I’m still so flattered that they made this beautiful trailer for me and I think it really helped to give everyone an idea of all the cinematic potential in this story. 

And then of course, there’s all of you, the readers! You thought you were just going online and buying some book you’d never heard of, but you also helped me accomplish a huge goal 5+ years in the making, you helped support an awesome new publishing startup, you graciously helped me raise money for the ACLU when I started feeling conflicted about the ethics of crowdfunding for a time, and you gave emerging filmmakers and artists exposure by watching and sharing our trailer and giving our cover artist the green light! 

Thank you, whether you’re an old, dear friend or a new supporter on the internet I’ve yet to meet in person. I can’t wait to start the next phase of this adventure! 

Love,

Liz

Ni svmyv
Liz Kerin · Author · added 11 days ago · 12 likes

We are now approaching THE FINAL WEEK for The Phantom Forest to hit its publishing goal! It is, as they say, the final countdown. We’ve had an awesome week with tons of orders coming in (THANK YOU to everyone who jumped on the wagon!), but we still need 59 more for Inkshares to pull the trigger! 

So please do continue to tell your friends, your book clubs, your Twitter followers, etc! If you’re already a follower of the book here on Inkshares but haven’t yet pre-ordered, I’d love your support this week. And of course, MAJOR THANKS to everyone who has nominated the book for syndicate picks thus far! That is huge, and I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed for good news on that front next week. 

This will be my final transmission until we hit the goal. So... GO TEAM! You know what to do!

Liz



Ni svmyv

As of today, we have just 14 DAYS REMAINING in the funding campaign for Phantom Forest! 87 orders still need to be fulfilled to reach the Quill publishing goal, which SOUNDS like a big number but I’ve done crazier things in far less time! Keep those recommendations rolling in. Every little bit goes a long way!

I’d probably be getting in right under the wire for this, but I’m once again asking anyone who’s a member of a syndicate here on Inkshares to nominate the book! We got a couple nods last month, so this time around it would be AMAZING to be the January pick (especially because there are oh-so-few days left and we’re oh-so-close!).

Hope everyone had a fantastic New Years and is ready to show 2017 who’s the big bad boss. I KNOW I AM.

Liz

Ni svmyv

Happy Holidays, readers! Before everyone jets away and shuts down for the next couple days, I’d love to share the beautiful book trailer we’ve just completed for The Phantom Forest. Here’s the link! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxpOzZEoi7U 

It’s also available to view on the book’s Inkshares homepage. It’s so exciting to get a cinematic glimpse into the potential of this book for the first time. 

I hope you all enjoy and have a wonderful, relaxing holiday! The campaign has just 25 days left to go, so please do continue to spread the word. :) 

Have a Happy Merry!

Liz

Ni svmyv

Hi Readers!

A few exciting updates for everyone. First of all, Phantom Forest has only **2 MORE DAYS** to qualify for the Launchpad Competition! Would love to get as many pre-orders as possible between now and the 16th, so tell your friends! Your book clubs! Your blogs! Whoever you think might enjoy the read! If I do not win the competition, we only have 30 days left to hit the minimum 250 orders for the Quill publishing deal. In a nutshell, we need another signal boost! The final 100 orders must be filled!

We also now have a cover artist and shot a book trailer over the weekend, which is very exciting! I’m really grateful to have such wonderful creatives in my midst who are loaning their time and energy to this project. The trailer and some art samples are coming ASAP, so be on the lookout!

Enjoy your holiday cookies, cocoa, tree decorating, and vacation planning this week!

Love,

Liz

Ni svmyv

Greetings, Readers! Today’s note is specifically for InkShares members, especially those who belong to a syndicate.  Having Phantom Forest be a syndicate pick for the month of December would be an AMAZINGLY helpful way to put us over the top for the Quill publishing goal. I’m afraid that a January nomination might not help me, as my funding ends on January 16th - so I’m making a pre-holiday push!

So if you’re enjoying what you see so far, head on over to your syndicate’s page and post a nomination for Phantom Forest! And if you’re not a syndicate member yet, it’s a really wonderful way to passively support books once a month and also meet fabulous new authors. 

Thanks again everyone! 

Liz

Ni svmyv

Hello Readers!

Today’s December 1st, which means we have only 15 DAYS UNTIL THE LAUNCHPAD CONTEST ENDS, and one month until funding ends. This means that it’s crunch time, and while I’m so thankful to have so very many of you supporting and reading, I definitely need a signal boost over the next week!

If every person who has pre-ordered can recommend the book to one other person (friend, mom, dad, significant other, roommate, any human anywhere!), we will be WELL within our goal! If you refer someone and they end up buying the book, shoot me a message or an email and you’ll be added to a list to receive PERSONALIZED ARTWORK from the book once it’s released, signed by our (TBA!) cover artist and I.

So let’s get those recommendations rolling in! I’d be so appreciative--we’ve come such a long way already! 

Lots of Love,

Liz


Ni svmyv

Happy Thanksgiving, readers! For those of you spending the day stuck on trains, planes, and automobiles, I’ve uploaded Chapter Five for your enjoyment. We’re now at 120 pre-orders which is really fantastic, just about halfway to the Quill publishing goal! If you are a follower who hasn’t yet ordered your copy, I’d be so excited to have your support this week. The Launchpad competition ends in about three weeks, and I’m back in 4th place as of this morning. This is clearly a marathon, not a sprint, but I’m still really psyched about the next two months! Thanks again for all. Wishing you and yours a wonderful, restful holiday! :)


Ni svmyv

Dear Readers,

As some of you might have noticed, I’ve recently gotten a little quieter on the crowdfunding front when I was previously very active. A lot of people have been riding a mental and emotional rollercoaster this week, and many in my creative community want to offer their time, money, and energy to a whole host of very worthy causes. I want to respect that sentiment. I want to show my solidarity. But I also don’t want to pull the brakes on this (so far) very successful crowdfunding effort and let the opportunity pass me by.  So after much deliberation, here is what we’re going to do:

The book will stay on the site and in the competition - but if the publishing goal is reached, I WILL DONATE 50% (OR MORE) OF ANY ADVANCE I RECEIVE FROM PRE-SALES TO THE ACLU. I think this is a solution that helps to settle my moral quandary about promoting and crowdfunding but still allows the book to be released to the world. I feel strongly that this is an important story with resonant themes that also provides the kind of escapism a lot of people are looking for at the moment.

So we’re back, with renewed purpose. Let’s do this. Thanks again for all your encouragement, understanding, and support. It’s meant so very much to me.

Liz

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