It seems to me the world is in a bit of mess right now – and (without getting all preachy on ya!) it doesn’t have to be that way, amigos! It really doesn’t.
In fact, I believe we should all be actively involved in trying to make this world a better place – for everyone and everything in it. Accordingly, I like to donate a percentage of my author’s profits (such as they are!) to a cause that is trying to make a positive difference – often against the odds. So I thought I’d blog about the two causes I have chosen to benefit from my first two books currently surviving out there in the big bad world.
For each of my novels, I have tried to pick a cause that is somehow reflected in the central themes of that particular book. One is pretty obvious (as you’ll see) and the other is possibly a bit oblique.
In the case of RUDE BOY I have decided to donate a percentage of my profits to Centrepoint – a charity for the young homeless of London. Homelessness is something I feel strongly about and is a terrible plight for anyone of any age. It leaves you vulnerable, lacking in opportunities and more likely to be a victim of crime than any other section of society.
There are lots of homeless charities out there. So, why choose Centrepoint? Well, one reason is that, back in 1986, when I was a drummer in a band, one of the bands I was in (Secret Purple Monkeys) played a gig at the main Centrepoint shelter in Leicester Square – so the connection between us goes back to those days. Also, youth homelessness (and life in squats) is a central theme in my London-based novel, RUDE BOY – so it really makes perfect sense.
The cause I have chosen to benefit from a percentage of LOVE, GUDRUN ENSSLIN profits is perhaps not immediately suggested by the book – although it will still make sense to those who correctly understand the novel’s central message as one of overcoming ideological divisions between people and recognising our common humanity in order to build a better future for all. With that in mind, I thought I’d advance the concept one stage further – and eradicate the sense of difference between humanity and animal species. We all share this planet, we are all forms of life and thus we are all in this thing we call ‘existence’ together. As such, I thought I’d try to do something for a cause that promotes and defends animal welfare.
There are many such organisations of this nature too. So why CHAT – the Celia Hammond Animal Trust – in particular? Essentially – because it’s a hands-on outfit often working in difficult and distressing conditions, because it has a non-destruction policy, because it deals with those companion animals (cats and dogs) most of us tend to love, because it represents a rare instance of civilised values in an uncivilised world and because I admire Celia as a person (and the selfless dedication she has exhibited to her chosen cause over several decades).
I thought long and hard about making this blog post. I know the mean-spirited and cynical-minded out there will see it as little more than a sly (and cheapo) promo for my books. I have no defence against such allegations beyond saying that it isn’t! I will be quite happy if you happen to donate directly to these two causes and go nowhere near either of my books! I also acknowledge the essential truth in the notion that the greatest form of charity is anonymous and seeks no plaudits. However, that’s not the idea here. I’m not seeking a pat on the back amigos – I’m simply promoting a pair of organisations I happen to believe merit our practical support.
Plus, what I’m really hoping is that, if you’re a writer/artist/musician yourself, then you too might also adopt the practice of donating some of the profits of a particular artwork of yours to a good cause (of your own choice) that also needs assistance. In this way, and by such small steps can we – the people – build a better world (and do so in the face of weak and apathetic government and ever more rapacious corporate exploitation). Anyway, here endeth the sermon – and the disclaimer! Go spread the lurrrrrrve amigos!