CASH FOR CHARACTERS
I very much wanted to continue my writing ‘career’, following the runaway success of MUDDY WATER. But the question was how could I afford to? After all, the mortgage still needed to be paid and food put on t’table.
But I do believe that every solution is born from necessity. For me, I found it necessary to continue writing. I had discovered that it was in my heart as much as in my head. What to do, what to do? How could I balance my financial books? Then I hit upon the genius idea… CASH FOR CHARACTERS!
It may have been done before. Who knows? Who cares? Not me. What I cared about was that the wizard wheeze might potentially enable me to follow my heart.
Just as in MUDDY WATER, I offered folks the opportunity to have themselves written into FLORIDA KEY, my second book, for a princely sum. This time I made it clear that it wouldn’t be for charity – it would be to help fund some of my writing time. I was rather doubtful that anyone would be keen to hand over cash for their character – but it was worth a punt.
But lo and behold, I was inundated with requests – and who was I to turn them down? That would have been so rude of me!
As well as the practical benefits of having a few pennies thrown my way to help finance the writing, I discovered that it actually enhanced the writing process. It certainly got my creative juices flowing.
How lucky I was that publisher, editor, designer – and now great friend and wine-drinking partner – David Roberts was still happy to work with me on FLORIDA KEY, and that it would once again be published by Hornet Books. His condition? To design the cover. With me on it. I readily agreed.
Why would David want to continue along this thankless path with me? Maybe it was my continuing offer to share wine and food every week during our now notorious ‘Book Club’ evenings aboard my Boat For My Potplants – now aptly re-named ‘MISS BAUDET’ – after the very first MUDDY WATER cash-for-character to delve into her handbag in search of her chequebook to buy their way to stardom!
They say it’s unlucky to change a boat’s name. I say it’s brought me nothing but good luck.
“CAN I HAVE A WORD?”
Q * “Can I Have a Word?” What the heck is that all about, you might ask? And right you’d be to do so.
Answer: Well, it’s like this: YOU think of ANY word that you’d like ME to incorporate into the text of my book.
In return for a huge sum of money (£10), you will then see ‘your’ word listed against your name in the book’s index, alongside our definition of said word, and what page number it appears on.
Q * Can you show an example of how the listing would look?
Answer: Sure thing. Here:
Q * W.I.I.F.Y? (What’s In It For You?)
Answer: You have the fun, the kudos, the craziness of seeing your word(s) and your name in print (and on Kindle). And not only that, see how I (with the help of my Editor, David Roberts) I’ve managed to slip your chosen word into the story in a way that it makes perfect sense.
Q * W.I.I.F.M? (What’s In It For Me?)
Answer: Apart from the obvious tenner that goes towards the humungous cost of writing and producing a book, it actually helps with the creative development of the plot – it makes me think outside the box in a way that, in my opinion, enhances the story, and hopefully your reading experience.
Not only that, if only you could know the laughs that David and I have had in working in some of these words! Well, you could knock me down with a feather – it’s been a blast. And long may it continue with future books.
Q * Who can submit a word?
Answer: Anyone. Male, female, young, old, gay, straight – I don’t care. It’s the word that counts.
Q * Are there any rules?
Answer: Of course!!! It can be a real word, or a made-up one. It can be a place or a person’s name. It can even be a soft swear word – BUT NOT anything TOO STRONG! So ‘DRAT’ or ‘DAMNATION’ is fine, but not anything like ‘CULT’ or ‘BILLHOCKS’. Get the gist? (I don’t really mean ‘cult’ or ‘billhocks’ – you know what I’m saying! And I get to make any final decision!
Q * Is this madness limited to just words?
Answer: No. You can ‘buy’ any PUNCTUATION MARK you like that will appear somewhere in the book, and it will be listed in the index, alongside YOUR name. That’ll set you back a cool fiver.
And, how about this?: You can also ‘buy’ the very FIRST or the very LAST word of the entire book. For example, the word ‘ONCE’ as in Once Upon A Time, or the word ‘END’ as in The End. The sky’s the limit, the world’s your lobster!
This could be your chance to not only get your name in print, but to literally have the last word.
Q * And how much would that set me back?
Answer: Only a hundred quid.
Q * BLOODY HELL!!! HOW MUCH???
Answer: You heard. This is a much coveted position of great importance. And when the book becomes an international best-seller you can point to your name in it and amaze all your friends. Either that or they’ll think you’ve gone bonkers. It depends on your sense of humour.
To submit your chosen word, punctuation mark, or to reserve the much coveted first or last word, click here.