Author Julian Gough is using Kickstarter to part-fund a writing research trip to Las Vegas.
The project, titled "The Las Vegas Postcards" was launched on Wednesday and has since raised $3,185 with donations from 102 backers, more than double the £1,500 goal.
Gough, who has previously won the National Short Story Prize and been nominated for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction, described the project as “a literary experiment”. The donations will fund his trip to Las Vegas this month (August), where his next novel Infinite Ammo is set.
Gough is offering each funder a PDF version of his as-yet-unpublished short story “Harvest”, which was shortlisted for the €15,000 Davy Byrnes Award this year. He will also provide updates on his travels via Kickstarter and send a postcard from Las Vegas to anyone giving more than $10, with a promise that “as the pledges get higher, the postcards will get more extreme”. Those who donate $40 or more will have the option to provide Gough with a key word, quote or image to inspire him. He has not planned what he will write on the postcards.
To explain why he is relying on a Kickstarter fund to make the trip despite being a critically successful writer, Gough said: “The economics of writing weird, interesting stuff are peculiar: I win a lot of status, but I don't actually make a lot of money”.
Gough has been working on Infinite Ammo, which he describes as a book about “computer games! masochism! teenagers! drones! pizza delivery! neuroscience! and the nature of reality!” for the past two years. He said he doesn’t have a PR budget or a big publisher behind the project as he “likes to write books in total freedom, then find them a home”.