Wednesday, August 10, 2005

This September, Your Name Here...

It's nice -- and that's an understatement -- when something good done in this blog has repercussions. You may remember that back in March I auctioned off the name of a Cruise Ship in ANANSI BOYS for the CBLDF. And we made $3,533 for the CBLDF. And that happened around the same time that Michael Chabon used this blog to mention to the world that the First Amendment Project was running out of money having used most of it up defending Freedom of Speech issues (and many of you went and made donations). So I suggested to Michael Chabon that we might want to try something similar to what I'd done with eBaying a name in a book, only bigger.

Michael and the FAP folk went away and did lots of work. And now it has borne cool fruit...

Have you ever wanted to be in a Stephen King book? (You must be female in order to die, though.)

Stephen King

What he's offering:
"One (and only one) character name in a novel called CELL, which is now in work and which will appear in either 2006 or 2007. Buyer should be aware that CELL is a violent piece of work, which comes complete with zombies set in motion by bad cell phone signals that destroy the human brain. Like cheap whiskey, it's very nasty and extremely satisfying. Character can be male or female, but a buyer who wants to die must in this case be female. In any case, I'll require physical description of auction winner, including any nickname (can be made up, I don't give a rip)."

When you can bid:
September 8-18

Or a Lemony Snicket book?

Lemony Snicket

What he's offering:
"An utterance by Sunny Baudelaire in Book the Thirteenth. Pronunciation and/or spelling may be slightly 'mutilated.' An example of this is in The Grim Grotto when Sunny utters 'Bushcheney.' Target publication date is Fall 2006."

When you can bid:
September 8-18

or a Jonathan Lethem-written Marvel comic?

Jonathan Lethem

What he's offering:
"I need the name of a Columbia University professor for a comic book I'm writing for Marvel. It can be your name or the name of a friend -- but if it's a friend, I need to hear from them with their permission."

When you can bid:
September 8-18

While I am promising to put your name onto a gravestone in my next children's novel, THE GRAVEYARD BOOK.

Anyway, the schedule (and the complete list of authors) is as follows:

September 1-10: Michael Chabon, Amy Tan, Peter Straub, Andrew Sean Greer, Karen Joy Fowler

September 8-18: Stephen King, Lemony Snicket, Dorothy Allison, Jonathan Lethem, Ayelet Waldman

September 15-25: John Grisham, Nora Roberts, Neil Gaiman, Dave Eggers, Rick Moody, ZZ Packer

And all the information is up at (or at It's a perfect birthday present, graduation present, retirement present, way to impress a boyfriend, girlfriend, parent, child. And it's for an extremely good cause.

Spread the word.

Stick the info up on your blog or journal. Put it in your newspaper or magazine (if you happen to write for one). Print out the page ( at present) and pin it up on your office bulletin board. It would be a good thing if, when September starts, everyone who wants to be in a book by any of the above people knows that this is their chance.