Altered Perspectives: the awesome anthology I’m helping put together

I finished my book! Or at least the first draft, but still: I am very happy. And now that it’s done it’s time to move on to the next project, which is what I’m here to tell you about today.

My brother, the illustrious Robison Wells, was diagnosed a few years ago with a severe panic disorder, was has since blossomed (or perhaps ‘metastasized’ is a better word) into depression, agoraphobia, OCD, and a whole host of other mental illnesses that make it impossible for him to live a normal life. I could talk about this for hours, and in future blog posts I will, but for now I’ll limit it to two main points:

1) Rob’s illnesses have put him into a lot of debt. He writes books, and they are excellent books, but this is not exactly a lucrative profession, and a panic disorder does not work well in an office environment. Watching Rob struggle with disease and debt made me want to do something to help.

2) Mental illnesses are WAY MORE COMMON than most people think. In the US alone, statistics suggest that most of you know someone with a psychosis, and all of you know someone with depression. If you don’t, look harder–you probably know two or three. This is a big problem, and we as a culture and society are not doing nearly enough to help. An American with a mental illness is ten times more likely to be in prison than in medical care. This needs to change.

I wanted to do something about these problems, but I didn’t know what. It was Brandon Sanderson, a good friend of both Rob and I, who came up with the idea: “let’s do an anthology,” he said, “full of authors who know Rob, and use it to raise funds. First we can pay off Rob’s debts, and then if we get enough interest we can keep going and try to help other authors with similar problems.” I thought it was an awesome idea, so we did it. And we put a cool spin on it that I think you’re going to love.

I am proud to announce the science fiction/fantasy anthology ALTERED PERSPECTIVES, which is kind of like a bonus DVD full of deleted scenes and alternate versions of some of your favorite authors’ books. Check out this amazing list:

Ally Condie, the foreword
Dan Wells, the introduction
Annette Lyon, An unpublished chapter from her retelling of the Finnish fairy tale, THE KALEVALA
Aprilynne Pike, TBA
Brandon Mull, Deleted scenes from BEYONDERS 2
Brandon Sanderson, five completely rewritten chapters from THE WAY OF KINGS, where Kaladin makes the opposite choice of what he makes in the published novel
Bree Despain, an alternate ending to THE LOST SAINT, and an alternate beginning to THE SHADOW PRINCE
Brodi Ashton, the first chapter from her YA novel about an unwilling alien fighter who has to rescue the boy she loves
Claudia Gray, a deleted scene from A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU
Dan Wells, the original John Cleaver free-write that inspired I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER
Erin Bowman, a deleted scene from TAKEN
Howard Tayler, a creative non-fiction story about life with mental illness
J Scott Savage, three original chapters that led to writing FARWORLD
Jennifer Moore, a deleted scene from BECOMING LADY LOCKWOOD
Jessica Day George, a deleted scene from PRINCESS OF GLASS, where the main character plays poker with a witch
Josi Kilpack, the original opening scene to TRES LECHES CUPCAKE
Kiersten White, an original short story, set in a dystopian, sci-fi world
Larry Correia, a deleted fight scene from SWORDS OF EXODUS
Lauren Oliver, two deleted scenes from PANDEMONIUM, plus a hilarious scene about the plotting process
Luisa Perkins, a short story, “Seeing Red”–a modern-day retelling of Little Red Riding Hood.
Mary Robinette Kowal, deleted scene from VALOUR AND VANITY (the scene was cut because readers thought the scene was trying to depict depression)
Nancy Allen, bonus scene from BEAUTY AND THE CLOCKWORK BEAST
Robison Wells, an epilogue to FEEDBACK and the VARIANT duology
Sandra Tayler, a creative non-fiction piece called “Married To Depression”
Sara Zarr, a story featuring characters from one of Sara’s previously published novels
Sarah Eden, “Farewells” for LONGING FOR HOPE and HOPE SPRINGS
Seanan McGuire, The original opening for DISCOUNT ARMAGEDDON
Shannon Hale, “Ravenous,” a previously unpublished scifi short story
SJ Kincaid, the original first chapter of VORTEX, before it was entirely rewritten

You’ll also get to read personal essays and comments from each of the authors, explaining their own connection to mental illness and the many ways it’s changed their lives.

This anthology goes up on IndieGoGo on Monday, April 21, where you’ll be able to buy it in hardcover or ebook, along with a ton of extra perks like manuscript critiques, dinners with your favorite authors, and the ever-popular “die horribly in one of Dan’s books.”

We,re really proud of this anthology, and I’m incredibly grateful for the hard work and amazing kindness of the authors who helped make it a reality. I hope you love it as much as we do.

15 Responses to “Altered Perspectives: the awesome anthology I’m helping put together”

  1. Justin says:

    What a fantastic idea!

    Can’t wait to check it out.

    J

  2. Chris v says:

    There is such a stigma with the ‘idea’ of Mental Illness, but in reality what it means for me is: Hey, I struggle to function some days.

    It’s wonderful that you’re doing this! You and your brother are awesome.

  3. Tiffany says:

    This is a great idea. I too am one of those authors who struggle with a mental illness, it effects everything in your life. It is awesome for you to have the courage to do all this for him.

  4. Kathleen Allison says:

    Finally people are noticing the enormity of this problem. It is not a big Tabu . On the contrary. It affects so many people. Thank you for becoming involved in this. I am looking forward to April 21st!

  5. That is absolutely awesome!

  6. Aakash Bhardwaj says:

    This is a brilliant idea!!!

  7. It’s awesome of Brandon to come up with this idea, and of you to agree and contribute. May this project find great success!

    And congratulations on another completed first draft!

  8. Cindy B says:

    I had no idea Robison Wells was dealing with severe mental illness. We met him at a book signing where I had him sign a book for my teenage daughter who has similar issues. I wish I had known then! I would have loved to ask him how he was able to accomplish so much while he dealt with his illness. It is extremely draining on a family’s resources to be facing mental illness. Insurance doesn’t cover everything and there are LOTS of incidental expenses. I have 3 kids with various levels of mental illness plus my own depression and anxiety. It’s been a lifelong challenge. Good luck to him, and I can’t wait to buy this book.

  9. Kalyani Poluri says:

    I am a fan of yours, Robison’s books.. I would love to help in any small way I can to help.. It does not surprise me that Brandon came up with an excellent idea like this, him being the best and most noble human beings I have ever known.. I hope this anthology helps Robison and this idea will keep helping other authors.. All the best..

  10. This is an incredible idea for a powerful cause. Meeting Robinson and seeing him face these challenges head-on in public after his diagnosis was inspiring. And to put this forward in an avenue like this is for him and others, well… bravisimo. You can bet I’ll be there in a few days to support this. Thanks, Dan.

  11. Paul B says:

    Looking forward to it, and you newest works.

    Having dealt win undiagnosed anxiety for years before finding help, and the 5-year search for an effective therapy after, I completely sympathize, especially on hearing the additional challenges your brother faces. I hope this project will reduce some of his burden.

  12. Jaclyn Weist says:

    I’m pretty sure this is the coolest idea ever. I love that Rob has such an amazing support system. I know several friends and family members that have mental illnesses and seeing everything that Rob does to get the word out amazes me. He’s one amazing guy and I’d love to help him out!

  13. Chris Chapman says:

    Just a heads up, on IndieGoGo the book is listed as Altered Perceptions. Here Altered Perspectives. Made it tricky to find. I want more people to buy it so the typo needs to go

  14. A Questionable Kangaroo says:

    Could you add a little note on the campaign about whether or not you’re doing ebook bundling? I’d assume that the ebook would be part of any of the higher tiers or whatever, but that isn’t entirely clear.

  15. Thom says:

    Campaign is up, and off to a decent start. I’m in for a hardcover copy.

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