Sixty nine best-selling authors are offering fans the chance to appear as a character in their books in a fundraising campaign for CLIC Sargent, the charity that supports children and young people with cancer.
Authors such as Lee Child, Katie Fforde, Lisa Jewell (all three pictured above), Nicci French, Peter James, Julie Cohen and former SAS soldier Andy McNab, are offering fans the opportunity to have their name appear in their forthcoming novels.
The 10-day Get in Character auction launches today at 8pm on eBay. The highest bidders for each author can have a character named after them in their next book, or can choose to have a character named after a loved one.
Bid for authors’ advice
CLIC Sargent’s Get in Character auction offers other prizes, including the chance to have lunch with Lee Child or afternoon tea with thriller writer Amanda Jennings.
Aspiring writers can bid on the opportunity to have their work critiqued by other top authors including Alison Bruce, Claire Dyer, Eve Seymour, Kate Rhodes, Karla Brading and Colette McBeth.
Sunday Times Bestseller Lisa Jewell, who also supported the CLIC Sargent auction last year, said:
“The Get in Character auction is great fun every year, and I’m proud to be supporting CLIC Sargent and the children and young people it works with.
“I don’t have a particular character in mind for this year’s winner yet, so they’ll have to wait and see! But last year’s winner Adele Howes features as a married mother of three teenage daughters in my new novel The Girls which comes out in July… ‘My’ Adele is grounded and loving and generous and I hope the real-life Adele approves of her!”
How to make the most of an eBay auction
UK Fundraising asked Kate Apperley how the event had developed. She said:
“This is the second year we’ve run the Get in Character auction. Last year we ran it as a pilot, 27 authors were involved, and we managed to raise £3,500.
“This year it’s bigger and better and we’re hoping to more than double the amount raised.
“I think what makes this auction successful is that the idea of being a character in a book really does capture people’s imagination.
“We’re also lucky enough to have the support of some wonderful authors, many of whom have been touched by cancer in their lives and want to make a difference to the children and young people that we support.
“My advice to people about running a successful eBay auction is to focus on something with a wide appeal, and what we love about this auction is that’s there are so many authors with different genres taking part there is something for everyone and every pocket.”
The Get in Character auction runs from 8pm on 26 February to 8pm on 8 March 2015.
Auctioning characters’ names for charity
Other charities have raised funds from auctioning characters’ names in forthcoming novels.
- Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture’s Immortality Auction raised £25,000 in December 2000.
- Ian Rankin supported The Independent’s Christmas Appeal in December 2001
- London’s Air Ambulance raised £30,000 when Sir Anthony Horowitz OBE auctioned a name in the next James Bond novel in December 2014