The Sexorcist & Books of the Heart
Posted by Vivi Andrews/Lizzie Shane Apr 27 2010, 12:03 am in Brenda Novak Auction, new releases, The Sexorcist, writers giving back
When I was in college, I became involved in a student philanthropy called Dance Marathon. Two hundred couples, thirty straight hours of dancing, a casino, celebrity alumni donations – the whole nine yards. All for one great cause. Through Dance Marathon, hundreds of thousands of dollars are raised for wonderful charities every year. To this day, DM remains one of the most exhausting, thrilling, amazing experiences of my life.
Each year the DM chairs select a new worthy charity to be the primary beneficiary of that year’s marathon. The student participants not only raise money for those charities, but often become involved on a much more personal level. It was through DM ’99 that I first became aware of an organization called the Children’s Heart Foundation. This Chicago-based charity funds research for congenital heart defect treatments and provides information for families with children struggling with serious heart conditions. It amazed me how many of those families maintained a stalwart optimism in the face of such terrifying odds. Odds they were determined to change with new medical research.
The memory of that hope, determination, and optimism has stuck with me for over a decade.
Last year, when I sat down to write The Sexorcist, as I was trying to get a handle on my heroine, I remembered the Children’s Heart Foundation. What kind of woman would a girl who survived a serious congenital heart condition grow into? How would that determined hope translate into her adult life? Would the shadow of her former health issues continue to affect her even years after surgery had changed her life? Or would she live life to the fullest, reveling in each new experience?
I had some insight into the possible answers to these questions through one of my dad’s sisters. My aunt was born with a heart condition that prevented her from being able to perform many physical activities. After her heart surgery, she became a runner, thriving on her new athleticism. A new possibility had opened up to her and she made the most of it.
And that is exactly who my heroine became – the woman who savored every new opportunity because she knew better than most how valuable each second is.
When I hear authors talking about the books of their hearts, I know they mean the books they wrote simply for the love of them, sometimes in spite of their questionable market appeal. They are the books you have to write, even if it will be a battle to get them into print. The ones that really sing to you.
I’ve never really thought of myself as having a book of my heart. There are too many book ideas whirling through my head for any one of them to get a complete lock on my heart. No one idea ever seemed more brilliant or special to me than any other. I figured I was too cynical to have a book of my heart, but maybe I was just looking at it the wrong way. Perhaps The Sexorcist, this book with so much heart, is the book of mine. I didn’t feel compelled to write The Sexorcist (by anything other than a deadline), but it does feel special to me. And I hope readers feel the same way.
And so, in keeping with the heart-felt theme, to promote the release of The Sexorcist, I’m doing something a little different. From now until July 31st, 2010, readers can help me support children’s heart health just by buying The Sexorcist. Email me a copy of your receipt at firstname.lastname@example.org, showing you purchased The Sexorcist and I’ll donate 10% of my royalties from that sale to the Children’s Heart Foundation. If you’d like to learn more about the charity or donate directly, you can visit their website at: www.childrensheartfoundation.org.
Also, if you love good books and good causes, don’t miss the Brenda Novak Auction all through the month of May. You can bid on fabulous prizes to benefit Diabetes Research – including a Ruby Slippered-Sisterhood basket & my own Alaskan Experience Goodie Bag.
Do you have a book of your heart? Have you ever found inspiration from a real life struggle or success story? Do you have a favorite charity that tugs at your heart-strings?
Just a reminder: Five more days to enter my ereader contest to win a shiny new Sony Pocket ereader of your very own! Details at www.viviandrews.com/contest.html. Good luck!