Just a reminder to those of you in the UK with money to burn – Philip Pullman, along with 30 other top authors, with be auctioning off the right to name a character in his next book, Tuesday March 30th, at the Groucho Club in London, to support The Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture. The evening will begin at 6.30 with a reception before the auction starts at 7.30. Guests who wish to bid will need to register with the foundation prior to 7.30. Read More.
We've just been updated with more information on the whole bid-for-a-character's-name auction:
Twenty leading international authors have agreed to donate character names from their forthcoming novels to the highest bidder. We will be auctioning these as-yet-unnamed characters on Tuesday 30th March at the Groucho Club, 45 Dean Street Soho – London. The highest bidder will be able to choose the name of the auctioned character: it could be the bidderâ€™s own name, or the name of a friend or family member! The highest bidders may also be given the opportunity to attend the official launch of the book, as well as meeting the author to discuss their character.
As you may know the authors taking part in this auction are: Joan Barfoot, Maeve Binchy, Tracy Chevalier, Jonathan Coe, Martina Cole, Esther Freud, Michael Gerber, Robert Goddard, Joanne Harris, Alan Hollinghurst, Robert Jordan, Marian Keyes, Toby Litt, Adam Mars-Jones, Philip Pullman, Will Self, Sue Townsend, William Trevor, Penny Vincenzi, Sarah Waters. Some of the authors will be attending the evening and will be available to talk about the characters they are auctioning.
The evening will begin at 6.30 with a free drink's reception before the auction kicks off at 7.30. A professional auctioneer from Christies will be performing the actual auction. Guests who wish to bbid will need to register with the foundation prior to 7.30 (this consists of passing on name and address and contact number. This can either be done on the night or prior by phone, fax or email. (A registration form can be sent if required).
There is also the opportunity to make absentee bidding, if you are unable to make the actual event. I would be happy to send you a form which you can either send or fax back to me at the Medical Foundation, 111 Isledon Road, London, N7 7JW, 0207 697 77 99. This is an extremely easy way to secure a bid and no money will be taken from your account without your permission post the event. Forms must be returned by Monday 29th March at 12 noon.
A catalogue has been produced for the evening, which is free (although a suggested donation of Â£2 towards the cost of printing would be very much appreciated), outlining the evening and giving more information about each author and the conditions of the auction. You can just turn up on the night, but booking is advisable if you would like a seat.”
Debra from the ” Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture ” has sent a lot of us an e-mail (the standard e-mail can be read here) about an event where Philip Pullman will supposedly be auctioning the opportunity for fans to bid on a character's name in Pullman's next novel (presumably the Book of Dust). She sent a slightly more detailed version of the note to me, saying:
“I was hoping you might be able to help me advertise an event/opportunity that Philip Pullman is taking part in for Charity. On Tuesday March 30th Philip will be auctioning the opportunity for fans to bid to have their name appear as a character in his next novel. This event, which is taking place at the Groucho Club, Soho, London, is free to attend and the highest bidder will get to choose the name of the character – it could be their own name, or that of a family member or friend. Bidding will start from as little as a Â£100 and the highest bidder could have the possibility of meeting the author, attending the book launch and even possible TV interviews.
Absentee bidding is also available for those unable to attend and all proceeds go towards funding the vital work of the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture a unique charity working with thousands of torture survivors from 90 countries around the world including Turkey, Iran and Iraq. Along with Philip 19 other leading best-selling authors will be up for auction.”
BttS will keep you updated on this, and try to confirm it further, though it looks legitimate. You can visit the website for the foundation at www.torturecare.org.uk.