Through a Field of Stars Trilogy

An action-packed medieval adventure set on the Camino de Santiago that reveals hidden wisdom from time immemorial... (Complete Trilogy)

Category: Creative Works

Funding Campaigns

Kickstarter - cover image final
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0

Brian is back with his 5th campaign to complete the Field of Stars Trilogy. Check it out. 

Ended
over 1 year ago

159%
$7,997
Raised
$5,000
Goal
View On Kickstarter
134
Backers
Completed
Status

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Community Ratings
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Comments

EMMANUEL C.
EMMANUEL C.
Sep 28, 2022

Good project

David L.
David L.
Sep 23, 2022

Oooh, tempting

Jerome R.
Jerome R.
Sep 23, 2022

good job

Campaign Info

 

Picture of all three books in the series

Picture of Brian John Skillen author of the Through a Field of Stars Trilogy

Hi, I'm Brian, the author of the Through a Field of Stars trilogy!

Welcome to the Through a Field of Stars trilogy! We are so excited to have you here! Home: Through a Field of Stars marks my third published book and my sixth Kickstarter. Thanks to the support of our Kickstarter backers, the first and second books in the series have become Amazon bestsellers in several categories, and we have also won an Eric Hoffer award—one of the most prestigious awards in the self-publishing world. We owe this success to our Kickstarter backers, and I am so grateful for all of your support!

Keep reading to learn more about the series, our Kickstarter rewards, and to see daily videos of our adventure as we walk 500 miles across Spain on the Camino de Santiago, which is where the series takes place.

About the Series: Through a Field of Stars

ADVENTURE — LOVE — SECRET CODES — HIDDEN WISDOM — A KINGDOM TO SAVE

The Through a Field of Stars trilogy is an action-packed medieval adventure that reveals hidden wisdom from time immemorial. The series is set on the Camino de Santiago (an ancient pilgrimage that stretches across Europe and ends in Spain) in 1306, one year before the Knights Templar mysteriously disappeared along with their treasure.

Pictures from the Camino de Santiago that inspired this novel

The first novel, The Way: Through a Field of Stars, follows Princess Isabella of France on a fictitious pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago as her father, King Philip, plots to disband the Knights Templar. Isabella and her companions must travel through foreign lands, unlock the Templar’s secret codes, avoid immortal Shadows, and discover the wisdom of the Camino de Santiago.

Winner of the Eric Hoffer Award for excellence in independent publishing in the Spiritual Fiction category.

In the second novel, Back: Through a Field of Stars, Princess Isabella of France must convince her father to give up his quest for the Knight Templars' most valued treasure and make amends with her enemy, Templar Grand Master Jacques de Molay, to save those she loves. 

With Isabella and Molay trapped, the weight of the world hangs on the shoulders of two unsuspecting nuns who must smuggle the key to the Templars' greatest secret across the Camino de Santiago. Will the wisdom they learn on the Camino be enough for them to succeed? Or, will they fail to deliver their message before time runs out for the Templars? 

In the third novel, Home: Through a Field of Stars, ...well, we don't want to spoil too much! But here's the first page to Home: Through a Field of Stars. (If you don't want any spoilers, then skip ahead!)

Sample of Chapter 1 of Home: Through a Field of Stars : Camino de Santiago, Knights Templar, Medieval Times, Historical Fiction,  Adventure,

COOL ASPECTS OF THE BOOK!

  • You can still walk the Camino de Santiago today to see all of the cities, cathedrals, and castles in the novel!
  • Since the series is a historical fiction, you'll meet characters who are based on historical figures. And most of the characters who aren't historical, are based on people I met while walking the Camino!
  • All the secret codes in the novel are based on symbols, ruins, and other things I saw on my own Caminos. If you join us on our Camino Adventure, I'll show you where you can see the markings that inspired the series. 
  • The historical events and characters are all noted in an Appendix. So, even if you aren’t a history buff of the 14th century, you can see how this story weaves into our reality and answers some great mysteries of the past.
  • This trilogy is wonderful for young readers and adults. You can read it for the pure enjoyment of the adventure or to find great hidden wisdom.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT THE SERIES...

"What this novel captures most brilliantly, the reason I personally could not put it down, is the essence of what the Camino de Santiago is... It is the epitome of a journey, full of trials and growth... Fall in love with the characters as you see them morph and grow as all do who walk the Camino." -  Culture Honey Magazine

     This book and the first in the series stick with you....weeks later I am reflecting on the lessons and how they apply to my life. The best kind of book!

Review: The love that the author has for the historic Camino of St James is evident through these two novels. There are literally hundreds of memoirs written about the Camino of St James in Spain, but not very many historical novels. The Camino of St James is a huge part of my life and my faith. I have hiked the Camino on five different occasions...

Rewards you can receive for backing out Kickstarter

The rewards are Kickstarter's way of saying, "what items do you want to receive?" Unlike buying a book on a regular online site, Kickstarter allows us to add extra bonus to each book that is purchased! For example... 

  • All books come signed!
  • All physical books come with a FREE e-book to ensure early access to the novel.
  • All e-books are DRM-free. This means that you can load them onto any device.
  • Your name will appear in the "Acknowledgments" section of the ebook! (you can opt out if you choose)
  • You will receive your copy before it's released to the general public!

Here are the rewards you can choose from...     

1st copy of Home: Through a Field of Stars paperback version

1st copy of Home: Through a Field of Stars Hardcover version

Camino Adcenture- join us for a literary tour of the Camino de Santiago and see the places from the novel series

Ebook available of Camino book The Way and Back: Through A Field of Stars

Once you know which reward is best for you, click on the ‘Back this Project’ button above, or select your reward from the sidebar to the right.  If you don't see the combination of books you'd like, for each reward, there is also an option to Add-On other books once in the check-out process. 

This is new/ add additional books to your order

Haven’t read The Way: Through a Field of Stars or Back: Through a Field of Stars?- we have you covered

While most of the reward levels revolve around our newest book (Book 3), there are options to purchase signed copies of books 1 and 2 as well! And, if you'd like to purchase multiples for friends or family, you can add these once you check out. This Kickstarter option for additional copies and copies of the 1st and 2nd books will be found in the ADD-ON section.  Add-Ons can be found after you have selected your main reward. Once you go to check out, Kickstarter will ask you if you want to ADD-ON, and this is where you can add extra books.  Additional items will be shipped along with your reward. (Note: If your main reward is an ebook, then you will not be able to add-on items that need to be shipped to a physical location.) 

 

Paperback books of the complete series- Through a Field of Stars ⭐️

Hardcover books of the complete series- Through a Field of Stars ⭐️

Audiobooks available for The Way: Through a Field of Stars and Back: Through a Field of Stars

See pictured from the  Camino de Santiago

The Through a Field of Stars series takes place on the Camino de Santiago which is an ancient pilgrimage that stretches across Europe and ends in Spain. The Camino is a real pilgrimage that you can still walk today! Our goal for this series is to inspire readers to have a life-changing adventure on the Camino de Santiago. Here are a few pictures from our past journeys that inspired the Through a Field of Stars trilogy. 

Pictures of The Arc of San Anton, Open Fields on the Camino and a bridge with two pilgrims on it

A picture of a shoe on the Camino de Santiago trail marking, Santiago de Compostela the destination of the Camino, and a castle along the Camino

Green Men found in the Cathedrals along the Camino de Santiago, Mountain along the Camino, and entrance toBurgos

During our Kickstarter launch we will be walking the Camino de Santiago. Each day, we will be posting a video of our journey and to share the places that you can find in the novels. 

 

Camino Adventure - Join us for a guided tour of the Camino with Author Brian John SKillen

Ready for an Adventure? Join us on a trip to Spain to hike the Camino de Santiago!

We're planning another trip to the Camino, and we’d like you to join us. Come see first-hand the inspiration for the series and have a life-changing experience on the Camino.

Path along the Camino de Santiago with a sun set

We will be hiking from Burgos to Astorga. A 10-day trip that covers 143 miles over rolling hills. We will be walking between 12.5 to 16 miles a day. That can seem like a lot, but when walking is the only big agenda for the day,  you will be surprised how much you can do.  With towns every few miles, we'll be taking plenty of breaks to grab coffee, tortilla (a Spanish egg breakfast), and fresh squeezed orange juice in the morning—but you'll want to be in good walking shape. That being said, there are always options on the Camino to send your backpacks ahead so you aren’t hiking with all of your things, and, if needed, you can taxi to the next town.

All participants must be 18 or older unless accompanied by an adult chaperone.  We will be sending out a packing list, helpful information, and will be available for questions as you prepare for the journey. And of course, we hope you have read the books before you come, so you can be on the lookout for all your favorite places.

We are planning this trip for September 8, 2023, to September 18, 2023. If for any reason the trip is canceled (ex. covid restrictions) then participants will be fully refunded. (minus the amount needed to cover their book purchases and shipping of those books) 

Pictures of the Camino de Santiago

Some of the places of inspiration for the book that you will experience are:

  • The Arc of San Anton: the location where The Way: Through a Field of Stars begins
  • Castrojeriz: the town that inspired the idea of the Knights Templar secret codes
  • Carrion de Los Condes: is where we will experience singing nuns.
  • The Meseta: is one of the most desolate and beautiful parts of the Camino. It is great for introspection.
  • Leon: is where the first code was found in The Way: Through a Field of Stars. We will spend the afternoon combing the cathedral for clues.
  • Astorga: is where the second code was found.

Each day during the trip, we will have planned start and stop points, and I will show you the spots that inspired the novel.  The reward level to come to join us is $495. This does not include any expenses for the trip. While I'll be there as a guide, and will help organize transit and accommodations - the expenses are on you.  While on the Camino, plan to spend about $50 a day for food and accommodations.  I would absolutely love to have you come join me on the Camino! If you have further questions, please email us at [email protected].

Meet Author Brian John Skillen

picture of author Brian John SKillen on the Camino de Santiago

I always say God has a sense of humor. I was overweight when I was younger and I became a professional dancer—I have mild dyslexia and now I’m an author.

I started dancing at the age of 15, teaching by 18, nationally by 20, and internationally by 22. Usually, I spend six to nine months out of the year teaching dance around the world.  On my dance tour in 2017, I took a side trip to hike the Camino de Santiago. This was a decision that changed my life forever. 

In the small town of Castrojeriz, I was told about a code of the Knights Templar on the Camino. As I left town the next morning, my backpack felt too heavy for the days of hiking ahead. I took out my dance shoes and left them at a second-hand store declaring to the universe: "I will trade these in for a story." After that, the things I saw, the people I met, and the experiences I had, all wove together into a perfect narrative for this series. Over the past five years, writing has become my new passion. Just like dance, I never expected this art form to become a great love of my life.

Since 2017, I have walked over 1,000 miles on the Camino de Santiago doing research for this series. My wife Chelsea and I are actually hiking the Camino again as we run this Kickstarter. 

Each time walking the Camino is a unique experience with new lessons to learn. My goal with this novel is to inspire readers to take an adventure of a lifetime— whether that’s vicariously through the characters in this series, or by taking a pilgrimage on the Camino yourself.

How does Kickstarter work for books?

In essence, Kickstarter helps people share and fund their projects. It provides a platform where communities can support projects and the people they love in return for a product (or as Kickstarter calls it – a reward). We are using Kickstarter as a launchpad to help us publish Home: Through a Field of Stars. We successfully launched our first and second books on Kickstarter over the last two years. We found it to be a great way to let people know about the book, and a useful tool to raise funds to help pay for the cost associated with self-publishing.

When you decide to support this project, you choose which reward level is right for you and send in a pledge of money for that reward level. You can always pledge more than the reward level, or just send us pledges without a reward. When the project succeeds in reaching its funding goal of $5,000, all backers' credit cards are charged after the campaign is finished. In this case, shortly after Oct. 6, 2022. If the project falls short and does not reach $5,000, no one is charged, and we’d have to find another way to get this book out into the world.

Once the campaign is over, the funds go to the production of the novel, printing the books, and shipping them out to you! We’ll be updating you on the progress of the novel along the way through Kickstarter Updates.

Stretch Goals for a book

We have our Kickstarter goal at $5,000, which is the equivalent of selling around 167 paperback books. This $5,000 would cover the basic costs of producing a novel and getting it shipped out to you. We would, however, love to reach our stretch goals – these would allow us to do things like creating an audiobook, getting artwork painted for the covers, and translating the books into Spanish. Reaching stretch goals also come with some fun perks – check it out below.

Once we hit the stretch goal for the Companion Guide, it will be available to purchase as an add-on as well.

Audiobook stretch goal for Home: Through a Field of Stars ⭐️

In previous years we raised enough to create a high-quality audiobook. Our narrator, Lessa Lamb, did absolutely amazing work and we hope to have her record this novel as well! Listen to sample of Lessa Lamb reading The Way: Through a Field of Stars 👇🎧

 

Stretch goal of $15,000 for cover art for books

As you'll notice, our books on Kickstarter are a bit more expensive than you may be able to buy at Amazon or your favorite bookstore after they are released. But, by buying your book through Kickstarter, you are actually allowing us to create a high-quality book and are helping us to share our story.  Over the last years, we've been able to fine-tune our publishing costs, however, there are still costs we will need to cover.

Budget for Home: Through a Field of Stars Kickstarter

Timeline for Home: Through a Field of Stars

Our timeline looks a bit different for this book from others we've launched on Kickstarter. The biggest difference is that we have our team in place and are ready to go! For this reason, we're going to be able to send you the ebook days after the Kickstarter is complete! The physical books will still take some time to print and get shipped, but they won't be too far behind!

Timeline of book production. Ebook sent October 13th, Books shipped October 18th, Book Launch toPublic Oct. 27th

We have no desire to make a profit shipping the books, so we have priced our shipping fees at cost. That said, shipping does add up, and here are some of the expenses.

Domestic Shipping cost of books on Kickstarter

Postage (utilizing the USPS) - It costs us around 4.16 per book for shipping in the U.S.

  •  Packing materials - This adds $0.75 to $1.75 depending on how many books are being sent.
  •  Processing Fees: When we charge $5 for shipping, we don't actually receive that amount because of the fees involved with running a Kickstarter. The breakdown of fees are 5% to Kickstarter, and 3%-5% for credit card processing. So that $5 results in just $4.50. To break even on shipping, we have to round up the shipping cost to cover those expenses.

International SHipping cost for books on Kickstarter

Overseas shipping is very expensive. For a paperback book, our shipping cost starts at $14.85 and go up from there depending on the destination. (Most are in the $16-$18 range for 1 paperback). The hardcovers are more expensive because they weigh more. There is also an additional cost for packing materials and processing fees. (see above). Because there are so many different variations of possible shipping fees for international, we have one set fee for all international destinations, per reward. We did our best to keep this price as low as we could for most people. For 1 paperback shipping international is $18, and for 1 hardcover shipping international is $20. This price increases the more books that are added to your order.  

Past Kickstarter Projects: WHere We Danced

Where We Danced

Besides being an author, I also direct and produce films. In 2012 I gained enough support on Kickstarter to create the documentary “Where We Danced”.

Here's the Trailer!

 

Where We Danced chronicles the evolution of American social dance. It tells the story of America’s dance through the lives of the dancers who shaped the art form as well as the places they danced.

The story begins on the plantations where African and Western European cultures collided to create America’s first dance craze, the cakewalk.

It continues through to 1930s Harlem showing how dance has helped to shape popular culture in America and around the world.

If you’d like a copy of the Where We Danced DVD or digital streaming, these can be added onto your rewards under Add-Ons.

 

Are you writing a book or planning to launch a Kickstarter?

Since launching our first book in this series, The Way: Through a Field of Stars, Chelsea and I have been on a publishing journey. We began learning everything we could about writing and publishing our own books, and through this process, we have gained a lot of knowledge in self-publishing. After launching our second novel, we had so many people approaching us to ask us questions about the publishing process and running Kickstarters, that we created a course called Kickstarter to Amazon Best Seller. (This course can be purchased here on Kickstarter in the Add-Ons section of the check-out process.) This course then turned into our publishing business called Publishing Hackers!

We created Publishing Hackers to empower and educate authors to share their stories with the world! There is a lot to know about self-publishing a book, and we want to give authors the confidence and knowledge needed for the publishing process.

If you are writing a book and need help with the publishing process, or are interested in having us consult on your Kickstarter, let's connect. We offer courses, 1-on-1 consulting, and personalized packages for your needs. 

 

Thank you so much for helping us to make this dream become a reality. With your support, we can inspire millions of people to take the adventure of a lifetime.  I hope you found all the information you needed. If you have other questions, please let us know. My email is [email protected] and either my wife Chelsea or I will get back to you.

With love and gratitude,

Brian and Chelsea Skillen