Thursday, July 10, 2008

Philanthropic Reading

Boy, I hope everyone had as nice a Independence weekend as I did, minus the scorching, blistering sunburn. Hope no one else got one of those. You know that airplane rule? The one about making sure you put on your mask first before helping your child? Same rule applies to sunscreen. At least the toddler isn't burned, but still . . .

On to business.

The readers are coming back with opinions and corrections on The Best They Could (Book Two in the Emerson Series), and reviews are good. Very good (although my dad would say, "Never say very. Waste of a word. If you're going to say very, you might as well just say damn.) In the not too distant future, I'll begin querying it in earnest.

Today's topic: Philanthropic Reading.

Oprah and Bill Gates get a lot of press for their philanthropic givings (heck, Oprah even had her own show about it.) In our house, we try to give in little ways. The hubby and I bagged sand during the flood of '08, and gave to the Red Cross to make up for what we couldn't do. We help out when my sister Leah Runs for a Cure. We sponsor a child in the Philippines through Children's International.

We could do more. We've got a nice, comfortable life in a world where too many people go hungry or cold in the winter or die of heat stroke in the summer. The inequities of the world are unavoidable, and I'm not naive to think that I can save the world (Heck, Oprah can't even save the world, and she tries!).

But we could to more. So I'm going to advocate Philanthropic Reading.

As you may have gathered, I write what tends to be serious, even depressing stuff (See "Everyone Suffers, Everyone Wins"). Each book in the Emerson series deals with some horrible set of traumas that my people have to survive. The good news is that they do survive, and they do get to live happily ever after.

But first they suffer. In Marrying the Emersons, the first book in the series, Rose, my heroine, is stuck in a verbally abusive marriage and then savagely assaulted. In The Best They Could, Lily, Rose's daughter, is date-raped, and her husband Bobby suffers unspeakable horrors as a POW during the Vietnam war. And A Part of Her, the final book, with Mary Beth, Lily's daughter? Something is out there killing people while an evil man strips the land for uranium.

So here is my Philanthropic Reading plan. For Marrying the Emersons, I plan to donate either a lump sum or percentage of the profits to Quanada, our local Rape Crisis center. For The Best They Could, I'm going do the same for an organization (to be named later) that works with homeless veterans (because, sadly, those numbers are only increasing). And for A Part of Her, I'm going to donate to the Lakota tribe. I'm thinking about the Link Center, which helps pay for heat for elderly members of the tribe.

Now, I admit, part of this is selfish. I have to sell books to have the extra money to donate. Perhaps more people would be willing to plunk down the money for a book if they knew they were helping a pet cause. I sell more books, make a larger donation, and also make more money.

But this is my public pledge that some of those profits - profits on my end, not the publishers - will go to worthy causes. It would be nice if a publisher wanted to jump on board with that, maybe put the cause on the back of the book, but I can't control that. Heck, let's not forget that I'm not even published yet. Right now, this is all a nice plan and not much more.

But I have faith that one day, I'll see my books in print. And when I do, I'll share the wealth.

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