In case you’re wondering who we are, we may as well introduce ourselves, and as neither of us is more important than the other, let’s go with alphabetical.
We are Laz and Dawn Laker.**
We have both been writing forever (well, almost – we’re not that old) and though we don’t have any children, this is our baby, and we love it.
It’s been a long time in the making. It started off as an idea of mixing kung fu with science fiction, morphed into a NaNoWriMo novel and has developed from there. (We say “developed”, but “blown up out of all proportion” is more accurate, as it has taken on a life of its own.)
We run a writers’ circle called Brighton Plot Bunnies, where we and our members help improve each other’s work. The group has been instrumental in making Long Yu Stories as good as it is and, to our surprise, have even offered ideas for merchandise! (Plushies and remote control toys have been put forward as possibilities by our members, all of whom are – we promise – Real, Grown-up Adults™…)
Laz comes from a sciencey background and has read science fiction all his life. Dawn is a kung-fu practising hippy / sinophile who has been obsessed with China for as long as she can remember. Together, we inform and educate each other (you really don’t want to be party to some of the conversations we have) and one of the results of this collaboration is what you’re reading now.
We are both in our (shh!) early 40s, but don’t let that put you off, as neither of us has ever really grown up. We both love cooking, we both love spicy food and we both love Nature. (And it’s Nature who provides us with dozens of sloes each autumn, with which we make sloe gin.) Add in Formula One racing and, of course, the Muppets, and you have a fair idea of the kind of people we are*.
Originally, some of the stories on here were locked behind a paywall. Most of the content was (and will remain) free, but in order to have more freedom to write as much as we’d like, a Patreon-like arrangement would be good. We tried Patreon: set up an account, and everything. But as it’s a US-based platform, and there are two of us (we could be one person or a business, but not a partnership, apparently), we found it didn’t work for us in the way we’d have wanted it to. There were also US tax things to get to grips with. *shudder*
But we still think that our stories are worth paying for. Because they’re good. They’re fun to write, yes, and we’d carry on writing them anyway, but unless we have complete freedom to do that without having to worry about earning a more conventional living (i.e. jobs, freelance work), we’ll never be able to write as much as we’d like.
So, here’s our idea:
By giving us a small amount of money every so often, you’ll be helping us out enormously. Any creative will tell you that money is anathema to people like us. We don’t like to put a price on what we make / write / paint. The idea of asking for money makes us squirm. But we need to survive like everyone else, and so… we’re asking you.
If you were to club together and help us out, we could publish the stories independently, allowing us the complete freedom that the art deserves, and allowing you the satisfaction of knowing you helped us to do it.
The kind of people we’re hoping will decide to sponsor us are the kind of people who like things that are a bit different. A bit odd. And completely honest. We also won’t be surprised if some of you who sponsor us are here for the kung fu. That’s great, too, and you are all welcome. (There is lots of kung fu, by the way.)
In the meantime, we’d like to welcome you to our world. It’s a little odd, but certainly no more so than what’s going on in the real world, and sometimes, it may even be preferable. Reality is totally overrated.
You know how to get in touch with us: firstname.lastname@example.org – drop us a line and tell us how you think we could work together in a way that satisfies us all. Xie xie!
** This photo was taken in September 2017, by Dawn’s kung fu brother Werner Boye. We were at the party to celebrate Dennis’s 40 years teaching kung fu in the UK, and we were very proud! (You can find a short video of our performances here. Look out for Dawn, 5th from left, from 1 minute 10!)
The original artwork we’ve used here is by the fabulously talented Setareh Seto. She did it especially for us as a gift (thanks, Seti), so please don’t use it. Thank you for understanding.