The First Amendment Project is an organization that, among other things, provides funding for legal representation for individuals fighting for First Amendment issues, such as reporters. As writers, the First Amendment should be important to us, because it grants the rights that prohibit censorship and book banning, and allows us to demand the entire truth from the press, without them worrying about being sued or incarcerated. Just think if we had to limit everything we wrote for fear of going to jail for expressing our opinions.
As part of a fundraising effort, the FAP is hosting an auction at ebay, where writers are auctioning off the naming of a character in an upcoming published work. I am auctioning the naming of a character in my upcoming Jambalaya Justice, with six to choose from, three males and three females. The winning bidder may choose from females- a dead hooker, a spirited stripper, or a sensible prosecutor. For male names, the choices are a kindly old judge, a spineless judge who used to date Ryan Murphy, my protag, or a butt-ugly pimp with a lengthy criminal record who is a murder suspect.
I am also including a signed copy of Jambalaya Justice when it comes out, and either a phone call, or, within the next year, an evening of free drinks in my metropolitan New Orleans bar, drinking with me and a real-life character from Gumbo Justice and Jambalaya Justice, Big Who. The Big Who in the novels is a pawnshop owner and owns a Bourbon Street strip club; the real life Big Who used to work in a pawnshop and owns the bar with me. Other than that, the character is essentially the same.
There are many other auctions as well- a children's book writer is auctioning a name in one of his books, which is a nice idea if you want your child to be a character in a book, and a graphic novelist is basing a character on the winning bidder. Phillip Margolin is arguably the best known writer in the group, but you may recognize others.
One set of auctions ends tomorrow, the other, which I am included in, ends on 12-20-10. I realize most people who subscribe to this post can likely name their own characters in their own novels, but it is for a good cause, even if it's not cheap--bidding starts at $100.
Here is the link to all of the auction listings, http://donations.ebay.com/charity/charity.jsp?NP_ID=6948.
The proceeds all benefit the First Amendment Project and the writers do not receive any compensation, but as I mentioned, it's worth it to support a cause that ultimately benefits us all.
Jambalaya Justice coming 2011