I haven’t blogged for a while (surprise, surprise). My excuse? The same excuse most people have for not doing the things they enjoy—work. For me, that means editing and proofreading. That is a good thing…no, that’s a great thing. I enjoy doing what I do and I love the people I get to work with.
If you didn’t already know this, the independent author community is filled with some of the most generous, kind people I’ve met. Ever. Sure, there are a few bad apples in the barrel, just like in any community, but I won’t go there.
Tonight, I’m going to focus on some good ones…specifically, the ones who gave their time, creative talents, money, and support to a project designed to help a friend, whose daughter needs heart valve replacement surgery.
The friend: A supporter, provider of encouragement, friend, and promoter of many independent authors who write dystopian and post-apocalypse fiction. This beautiful woman goes out of her way to help others when needs arise. She has organized auctions, online fundraising, and gives financially when she can. She is a generous soul.
The reason: Emalee.
She is Mysti’s thirteen-year-old daughter. Em has an extra chromosome. That means she was born with Down Syndrome. Em has had several surgeries in her young life and will soon be going through one of the most important surgeries of them all. She needs her heart valve replaced. As we all know, not all medical expenses are covered through insurance. There are many expenses that those with a chronically ill child pay out-of-pocket: second and third opinions, specialists, travel…just to name a few.
Almost everyone needs help at some time in their life. This is one of those times for Mysti and her family.
The Background: This all began from a casually tossed out idea on Facebook. I used my author page to start a conversation about zombie fiction for kids. I was lamenting the lack of good, age-appropriate zombie books for my sons and former students who love zombies. A friend and fellow author…we’ll call her Lori (cuz that’s her name) threw out the idea of putting together an anthology of zombie stories for kids.
I must have been in my I-can-conquer-the-world mode, because I thought it sounded like a great idea. But only if the money—assuming the book would sell—went to a kid-related charity. But which one? Who would be the beneficiary of our vast wealth? Who could use a whopping five bucks?
Lori suggested Mysti. It was one of those moments when you say, “Of course! Why didn’t I think of that?” Emalee and her brother, Mason, love zombies. It was meant to be.
Then I put it on the back burner. Exit: I-can-conquer-the-world-and-everyone-in-it mode; Enter: I-want-to-hide-from-the-world-and-live-in-a-dark-cave mode.
Fortunately, Lori, a dynamo of a woman, wouldn’t let it go. She got the ball rolling and I got excited about it again. I envision it like this: Lori packed a fistful of ice, rolled it over one author, who said, “Heck ya! I want to be a part of this!” She grazed it past another author, who also said yes! Those authors rolled the ball over more authors who wanted to help Mysti. And it grew. It…ready for this?…it snowballed. I’m a So Cal native; humor me while I talk about something I know nothing about.
Before we knew what was happening, more authors stepped up, wanting to be a part. Why? Mysti; that’s why.
I’ll spare you all the wonderful details…the contracts, the editing, deciding on a title, working with the cover artist, etc. The bottom line is, we ended up with thirty-four awesome zombie stories. Each one is unique. All of them are appropriate for middle school-aged kids. The quality of the stories make the book appealing to all fans of zombie fiction.
All profit goes to Mysti to help with Emalee’s health- and surgery-related expenses.
The contributors: From three different countries, all different backgrounds, and with different takes on the zombie apocalypse. One common goal: to help a mutual friend in need.
W.J. Lundy, Shawn Chesser, Armand Rosamilia, Ted Nulty, Michael Robertson, Heath Stallcup, Saul Tanpepper, Mike Evans, Brian Parker, J. Rudolph, T.W. Piperbrook, Veronica Smith, Jack Wallen, A.R. Shaw, John Gregory Hancock, William Allen, Michelle Bryan, P Mark DeBryan, S.G. Lee, James Dean, Shannon Walters, Shaun Phelps, Joseph Cautilli, Marisha Cautilli, Edward P Cardillo, Adrianne Lemke, Toni L.H Boughton, H.J. Harry, Jeffrey Clare, Chris Bostic, Rich Baker, Cedric Nye, Greg P. Ferrell, Allen Gamboa, Lori Fontanez, E.S. Oakes, Andrew Kish, Torchbearer Editing Services