Tuesday, September 15, 2009

How Authors Help

Even though I'm blogging at Love is an Exploding Cigar today for the 2nd day of the 12 Days of A CHRISTMAS BALL blog tour, I wanted to continue offering my readers interesting things here at my blog as well.

Please welcome Ashlyn Chase! She's the president of the New England Chapter of RWA (and my critique partner!). She's talking about how authors give back. Take it away, Ash!


Romance authors are some of the most generous people on the planet. Not only do they offer their knowledge, time and even money to fellow authors, but they reach beyond their own local friends and help people they’ve never met.

Brenda Novak is one notable example. She started an auction to benefit Diabetes research—a cause close to her heart. This little auction has taken off over the last few years and is now a huge event. Everyone in the industry offers whatever gifts they have that others might want to bid on. An agent might offer a critique. Even a busy editor might offer to read the first chapter or two. And authors donate all kinds of things! Baskets filled with bath goodies, gift bags filled with books, percentages of their royalties, and even their writing talent when asked.

I’m one of eleven authors participating in a fundraiser to help a family who lost their nineteen year-old daughter in a fire. The hospital bills for two weeks in the ICU and then a funeral were astronomical. My story is called Giggles by Gabby, release date 9/15. That’s today! It’s in the Lara series. http://www.jasminejade.com/s-282-lara.aspx Please check out all the books in this fundraising project!

I also just sent off a check to the National Arbor Day Foundation, which I do on a regular basis from my print book royalties. They use the money to plant trees in areas that need reforestation, as well as to educate our young people about the importance of trees to our planet. They clean the air, help stabilize the earth, and are important in building and, of course, paper.

Events like romance conventions or conferences share profits from their huge book signings with the foundations for literacy. Since 1991, RWA (Romance Writers of America) has donated more than $600,000 to literacy charities. The authors receive no royalties for these donated books.

Most of the time, the beneficiaries will never know who they are. But that’s not why romance authors give. Most of us are very fortunate. I consider myself lucky to be able to spend my spare time doing what I love. I’m certain many authors feel the same way.

And just because I must also pay the bills, here’s the info about my next release which will earn royalties. My novella Oh My God is a modern day erotic comedy about the Greek God Dionysus in New Orleans. http://www.total-e-bound.com/ It will be released 9/28/09. This story is a rewritten and expanded version of one that was nominated for a CAPA (Cupid and Psyche Award, a reviewer’s choice contest) and in this incarnation it was published in an anthology and was nominated for an Eppie. On 9/28 it will be available as an individual download from my British publisher.

For a look at all of my available books, visit my website: www.ashlynchase.com
Please support the arts! Without you buying our books, we couldn’t afford to write them.

Thanks for stopping by today, Ashlyn. (We're good to go for critique next Tuesday, right?)

It's not exactly a charity, but Alissa Johnson and I are giving away one of our backlist to someone who leaves a comment at Love is an Exploding Cigar today. So please let us know you visited us there.

Of course, I love to hear from you here too! Please share the causes you like to support with your time, talent or money.

13 comments:

Dalton Diaz said...

Happy Release Day, Ash! You are one of the most generous people I know, always there to lend a hand in every way possible. Even to hold a paintbrush!

Anonymous said...

HAPPY RELEASE DAY ASH,

i hope you are having a marvelloud day.



Monica

EmilyBryan said...

Marveloud? I like it!

Ashlyn Chase said...

Thanks everyone!

I'm really excited about Giggles by Gabby. (big grin)

Ash

EmilyBryan said...

Here's a good example of how giving, Ashlyn is. Today for our critique, she only had a scene since she's working on revisions for previously submitted books. I however, had 3 chapters of STROKE OF GENIUS to work through and, bless her heart, she went through them all with me without a fuss! Thanks, Ash!

Ashlyn Chase said...

Emily,

It's never a chore to read your awesome books and make a suggestion or two.

And you make my efforts so much better, I'm benefitting whether I have loads of pages or not.

Ash

EmilyBryan said...

You know, I've always been fascinated by the way you and Dalton co-write. How does that process work, BTW?

Ashlyn Chase said...

It really helps that our styles are similar, yet different. LOL. What I mean by that is, our voices are similar, but our writing style is different.

Plus, she's really good with the male point of view and I'm better with the female POV.

I'm a linear writer. I start with Chapter one, page 1 and write in order--page 2,3,4,5...all the way to the end.

Dalton is what's called a "puzzler."
She can drop in at any point and pick up where I leave off or add to and improve upon what I've already written.

I've been really mean at times, putting our characters in an impossible predicament and then handing it to her saying, "Here! Your turn." LOL. But she gets them out of it!

Also, I sometimes burn out on writing sex scenes. (I know, doesn't seem possible, right?) LOL.
But she loves writing those and she makes them hotter than I could!

Sandy said...

I agree with you about our RWA literacy program and I've bid at Brenda Novak's fundraising for juvenile diabetes the last few years. Never could afford what I wanted, but at least I helped raise the bid. lol

Good luck with your sales.

EmilyBryan said...

The RWA literacy signing is always a delight to participate in thanks to the generosity of our publishers. All the books are donated, so the publishers are giving as well as the authors.

Literacy is a subject near and dear to my heart since I used to teach 2nd grade. It's so crucial for everyone to read well.

A couple years ago, the literacy project being funded by RWA was targeted toward women's literacy in the 3rd world. It's a sad fact that the majority of the illiterate people on the planet are women. If we are forced to live only by our own thoughts or by what someone else tells us, our choices are so limited. Reading opens us to other ideas, other minds.

Ashlyn Chase said...

Yes, literacy is crucial for women to make it as equals in this world.
And in some cultures, oral tradition is all they have.

I wrote a book in which the hero was an Eastern European Rom (gypsy.) There was a dearth of information and I found out that's due to widespread illiteracy.

I had to rely on my m-i-l's info since she grew up in Slovania and the Rom camped near the edge of her village. She said they rarely attended school.

Ash

Patricia Barraclough said...

Brenda Novak's auction is one of many things authors do for their readers and communities. I just discovered it this year and will be back and bidding again next year. The little ways are important too, like Ashlyn donating to the National Arbor Day Foundation to replace trees. You authors are generous with your time and resources. Part of it is for publicity to sell books, but the talks to group, book marks and book plates to book clubs, blogs or chats to different groups make a big difference. It is nice to be acknowledged as a fan.
Keep up the good writing, Ladies and we'll keep reading your wonderful books.

Patricia Barraclough said...

Forgot to mention I did go to Love Is An Exploding Cigar and leave a comment.