Nepal earthquake appeal: win signed books and literary immortality!

UPDATE: The auction has been won by the wonderful Beatrice Phan, who donated an incredible $625 to the Nepal fund, and whose doppelganger will be kicking arse and taking names in The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal, out in June.

Nepal is in desperate need still. I’m running a fund here for the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal with an exclusive Think of England story as bribe!

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The death toll from the earthquake in Nepal stands at 3200 today, and will only rise with aftershocks, injuries and privation. This is one of the poorest countries on earth, its capital city and major sources of tourism income have been devastated, and it needs help. The fantastic Tiffany Reisz is running an auction here (seriously, she’s great) and this has inspired me to chuck in my own tuppence worth.

So, here we go:

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I’m offering a signed set of print copies of my Charm of Magpies series (The Magpie Lord, A Case of Possession, Flight of Magpies, Jackdaw)

PLUS

Your name, or that of a friend as you prefer and with their permission, to appear as a character in a forthcoming book (either The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal Victorian Gothic, publishing June 2015, or A Fashionable Indulgence Regency, publishing August 2015, both queer romance). There may well be an option for your namesake to die horribly, if you like that sort of thing. The name is going to have to fit with a Victorian or Regency setting, but I’ll work with you on that.

Please bid in the comments (on the WordPress site – this blog publishes to Goodreads too, but I need to keep it in one place for sanity’s sake. Visit here to bid if you’re reading this on Goodreads.) Just make a comment with your bid and don’t forget to include your email address (in the login thing is fine, I can see it there).

The winner will need to Paypal me the money, and I’ll send you the receipt of the donation made to Save the Children’s Nepal Earthquake fund.

The auction runs until Monday 4 May, because we need to get money over there promptly. Please share this and bid generously! And if you don’t win, please consider donating anyway, to a country in desperate straits.

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Edit: I didn’t think about currency, duh. For ease of auctioning, please could you bid in US$, and we’ll convert if need be?

Edit 2: OK, this is going startlingly well. Allow me to throw in a copy of the Secret Casebook, and a dedication, because seriously, I love you.

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How Not To Be Listened To

I got an email today.

Dear KJ

I’d really like you to write about different subjects. I know you mostly write historical queer romance but I preferred your contemporary m/f action thriller and I’d love you to write more of that instead.

Obviously, historical/fantasy romance is where you write and sell the most books, so I’m asking you to move away from your core readership and the stuff you most like writing. And I should admit that I never buy books, so I won’t pay to read your books, or anyone else’s. Also, if you do write another book of the kind I like, I won’t tell anyone about it: I never discuss books online or with friends, I don’t have a blog, and I don’t review on Goodreads or Amazon or anywhere.

Nevertheless, please take my opinion into account and change the way you do things. Thanks!

Now, I liked my action thriller, and so did a few readers, and I’d gladly write more given tangible encouragement. But this guy…you’re not offering me any sort of inducement to listen to you but you want me to move down a path that I don’t trust to do well? Wow, why not just head the email, ‘Please ignore me’?

***

I think you’ve probably worked out that wasn’t a real email.

Today is the last day for Brits to register to vote in the forthcoming election. There may be 7.5 million people unregistered to vote. POC, women, the disabled and young people are disproportionately represented in the non-voting. And with an election this tight, this unpredictable, those votes could make a massive difference.

I know people are apathetic, disillusioned, unrepresented or frankly repelled by the current state of politics. Believe me, I know. I look at my choice for 7 May and it makes me feel slightly ill. And I know it doesn’t feel like politicians give a damn, or that one vote makes a difference in the tide of slurry.

But if you don’t vote, your opinions don’t count. If you don’t give the politicians a reason to give a monkey’s about you, they won’t.

In the last election, 80% of over 65s voted, and only 47% of 18-24s did. Amazingly, our government has been more interested in pensions and inheritance tax than in tuition fees or tackling the housing crisis for the young. The LibDems made promises about tuition fees in the hope of getting the 18-24 vote; they dropped those promises like a hot rock because they didn’t feel young people made it worth their while to keep them. Groups that don’t vote don’t get represented by politicians to the same degree as those that do. Well, why would they?

Register to vote, please. Encourage others to register. Spread the word that today, 20 April, is the last day to register online. It takes five minutes, and you don’t need your national insurance number if you don’t have it to hand.

And remember that not registering, not voting, is a message to politicians too, and what it says is, ‘Please ignore me.’