Arts and Entertainment

Confronting the cost of comfort: Author campaigns Kickstarter for a book with a message

Bainbridge Island author Mark Bullard's new book "Pillows for Your Prison Cell" is about two brothers, Amir and Mamluk, a few bad decisions and a relentless prison sentence.

After losing their father, the brothers are faced with day-to-day survival to keep their family from going hungry. One day the two are caught stealing a chicken for food. Thdey are arrested and sent to the town work prison. Amir, the main conspirator, is sentenced to two years, and Mamluk, his accomplice, is sentenced to six months. The problem is, those who enter this prison, never come out.

Amir is placed in a cell with a stone wall, stone floor and stone ceiling. The only thing that fills the room is a work machine. Time passes this way, Amir and the machine.

Until one day he is given a pillow. A comfort in a place of no comforts. Amir gladly accepts the gift. But the comfort comes with a price.

"Pillows for Your Prison Cell" takes the reader into the mind of Amir. It scrutinizes comfort versus freedom and the imprisonment by decisions.

It asks, what is the cost of comfort?

The novel has been constructed entirely by locals. Bullard has enlisted a Bainbridge artist for the cover art illustrations, a Poulsbo publisher called PublishNext, Bainbridge High School graduates as interns in marketing and operations, a Seattle writer for editing and even his 7-year-old daughter to create an art project for 10 special editions of the book.

Since the start of writing, Bullard has intermittently published chapter excerpts of "Pillows for Your Prison Cell" as he has written them. It has allowed him to build awareness of the novel and establish accountability on his part. Over a thousand people have read excerpts from the story this way. Now, Bullard has began a Kickstarter campaign to finish the deal. He hopes the campaign will fund the printing of the novel and pay for the upfront costs. The Kickstarter will close donations at midnight Aug. 12. To support the project, visit

Upon the printing the of the book, Bullard will also launch a community oriented website dubbed "No More Pillows." The site will work as an open forum, where individuals can share and exchange their own stories of breaking free of the comforts that were their prisons, from debt and bad relationships to addictions and obsessions. "The main vision behind Bullard’s book is to create a movement of people who will stand up against the unwise decisions in their lives shouting, “no more pillows!”"

For more information, visit

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