You can get the PDF now from my patreon.
A few thoughts:
Hat Trick has the same page count as Alphabeasts. But I will be able to sell Hat Trick for $4 whereas I have to charge $15 for Alphabeasts because Hat Trick is black and white, and Alphabeasts is color. This price difference makes me consider whether producing books in black and white isn’t the best plan for now. It’s pretty darn significant.
Hat Trick was never meant as Christian fiction, though I’m putting it in that category on Amazon. I’m putting it there because some of the characters are Christian, and Christianity is true in the world of Hat Trick as I believe it to be true in this world. And its truth matters to the plot because magic is a constant and tangible presence in that world, and so prayers and grace take on an equally tangible presence. But the purpose of the story isn’t to spread the faith nor to impart good morals. Hat Trick is not a tract. Crosses glow in the presence of vampires not because I’m trying to convert you, but because I think vampires and glowing crosses are cool.
“But wait!” you say, “isn’t Hat Trick set in a world of talking animals? How is Christianity a factor in a world of talking animals?”
Yes. Here are some spoilers about my world which I don’t mind sharing as they are not directly relevant to the plot.
In the near future, in my fantasy/sci-fi world, wealthy furries use gene therapy to transform themselves into their animal alter-egos. Their children and grandchildren, talking animals in a world of men that is growing increasingly intolerant of degeneracy (for a reason), build a generation ship, the Star Ark, and set sail among the stars in search of a world where they can live in peace. Hat Trick is set on that colony world, Ararat 2, hundreds of years later. The bunnies and bears and turtles you see are genetically 70-98% human. They retain human history and knowledge and human languages and human religions.
Now the creepy-minded or world-building or scientific-minded might ask, “okay, so if they are mostly human, does that mean e.g. a rabbit can cross-breed with e.g. a rattlesnake?” And the answer is “sort of.”
“Rabbits” on Ararat 2 do not correspond to any one specific rabbit species on earth, but on a variety of rabbit genes and non-rabbit genes that served to make a human look maximally rabbitlike. Colonists on the Star Ark were selected with a bias towards interfertility, and so for the most part if you looked like a rabbit and you married someone who looked like a rabbit, you could have rabbit children. As a general rule, people in the same kingdom, e.g. mammals, can have children together, but their offspring will be infertile, although rarely one of these “chimeras” will be mutually fertile with the right partner. As a general rule, people in different kingdoms, e.g. mammals and reptiles, cannot have children together at all, although there are rare exceptions, and these exceptions are almost certainly utterly infertile.
If you have read Hat Trick 1, you’ve already seen such a chimera.
The thriving cultures of Ararat 2 tend to strongly encourage people to marry in-species, as a culture cannot thrive if it does not produce plenty of children. Most of them straight up outlaw miscegenation, although many regard it as permissible, but shameful. Arthur and Rice, our heroes in Hat Trick, live in a waning, multicultural state where interspecies marriage is quite common, and birth rates are thus plummeting.
Hat Trick’s background is not a commentary on my part on race or on race relations on Earth. I am not trying to make any statements here. I am simply trying to work out how history would work on a world of talking animals who are 70-98% genetically human. All of which I need to know in order to draw the background of my story.
Hat Trick is not a parable about how turtles ought not to marry cats. Nor is it a parable about how turtles ought to marry cats. Hat Trick is an adventure story about a bunny fighting evil. I wanted one of the characters to be a Christian monk or priest so I could have evil enchantments blown away by consecrated swords, so the bunny had to be in some sense human. The rest followed from there.