Thursday, January 15, 2009

“Immortality” for a Good Cause

I have long admired writer Ann Cleeves, winner of the 2008 Duncan Lawrie Dagger, not only for her crime fiction but also for her work with libraries and literacy initiatives. She helped to bring more translated fiction to British shores and championed Scandinavian crime authors during 2003’s inaugural Harrogate Festival, introducing me back then to the work of Karin Fossum (whom she then interviewed on stage as part of 2008’s CrimeFest in Bristol). Last fall, during Bouchercon in Baltimore, Cleeves participated in an international reception for Icelandic author Arnaldur Indridason.

Now, Cleeves (who’s supposed to have a new novel out next month called Red Bones) is offering crime-fiction readers an intriguing opportunity, joining fellow novelist Ian Rankin in their assistance to others. Reports Deadline Scotland:
Fans of crime fiction are being invited to buy their way into a starring role in a new novel--and help a cancer charity in the process.

The winner of author Ann Cleeves’s online auction will see themselves immortalised when her new book is published in the U.S.

The money raised will go towards the Vaila Fund--set up in memory of 16 year-old Vaila Harvey, from Shetland, who died of cancer last year.

And the novel idea has been backed by fellow crime writer Ian Rankin who said it is “good fun and a great way of raising money”.

The real-life literary character will appear in Cleeves’ fourth installment of her quartet of Shetland-based books. ...

Along with her two sisters, Vaila had appeared in the first novel in the series, Raven Black [2006].

Ms. Cleeves says she usually puts real people’s names in books to thank them for helping her during the writing process, but this time has launched a bidding war to raise money for the cancer charity.
The full story can be read here. And for more details on how to bid for a place in Cleeves’ next novel, click here.

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