"Has all of the elements of a great children's book; adventure, an evil villain, a brave hero and even a cute animal sidekick. It also happens to have two male characters that fall in love." - Odyssey
“Promised Land” is a new children’s book with a gay storyline created by Adam Reynolds and Chaz Harris. The New Zealand-based writing duo are fundraising for the book through pre-orders on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter.
They have already raised around NZD $11,885 (around USD $8,000) of their target NZD $25,000 (around USD $17,000) to illustrate and print the first edition for a planned release on October 11, 2016 (coinciding with National Coming Out Day) with eight days left to go.
In “Promised Land,” a young prince named Leo and a farm boy named Jack meet by chance in the Enchanted Forest; their newfound friendship soon blossoms into love. However, things get complicated when the Queen’s sinister new husband seeks control of the forest the farm boy’s family are responsible for protecting.
Co-author Reynolds said he wanted to tell the type of story he never had growing up, “As a child, everything I saw and heard supported a traditional relationship between a man and a woman. Our hope is to provide a safe environment for children and parents to discuss the different relationships, and help foster acceptance from a young age.”
“So much of what we see through the media and our parents when we are children forms our opinions and attitudes towards others and, more importantly, our attitudes towards ourselves. The conflict in our story does not arise from the sexuality of the main characters; it is merely about two young men who meet, fall in love and find their relationship caught up in the middle of a turf war,” explained co-author Chaz Harris.
Speaking of why they decided to create the book, Adam and Chaz said that they wanted all children to grow up feeling that Happily Ever After is absolutely possible for LGBTI youngsters. By representing gay characters in this way, they hope it will open the door to more stories like it and help promote a more tolerant, diverse and accepting world for future generations.
Farm boy Jack
“We know that publishers see a book like this as risky, so we’re putting the project out for pre-orders to prove there is an audience for this book.” On being asked if there may be sequels involving gay parenting, Harris adds with a wry grin, “We can neither confirm nor deny that the Happily Ever After on our final page involves marriage and kids”.
To support “Promised Land,” you can order copies of the book along with some great additional rewards at the Kickstarter page here where it is available in both printed and e-book format. The intended release date is October 11, 2016, if the funding target is met when the campaign ends on April 14. Backers will be charged at the close of the campaign, and only if it reaches its goal. www.promisedland-book.com