Shopping for a Good Cause

Oh god, I said to myself, eating dinner and exhausted from a full day of writing – I have a BVC blogpost due in the morning. Must come up with something brilliant, scintillating…

I searched for a topic that hadn’t been covered already. I could, I supposed, talk about the joys of trying to write while a gaggle of teenagers take over the table in the Starbucks next to you – making a distraction into inspiration. Or the fear that comes when you’re hip-deep in a story and your editor tells you that the copy-edited manuscript for another book will arrive next week. Or the story of “grist for the mill and gristle for the crows.” (that will be another post, actually). But then I thought – in these uncertain days, maybe what we need is something hopeful and fun, interactive and… shopping! I can talk about shopping! But not just shopping – Shopping for a Good Cause!

Yes, this does all tie into writing. Come, follow.

Being a writer, you sometimes get the chance to change someone’s life, to make a difference. Sometimes a character speaks to a reader, or a plot hits home, or something you didn’t expect or plan triggers a realization… Sometimes you never know about it… and sometimes you do.

And sometimes it’s not what’s in the book, but what you do with it. Let me ‘splain…

There’s a phrase that gets thrown around a lot – pay forward. In the writing community it means that if you got mentoring from an established writer, you don’t feel indebted to them – you mentor someone else. You help raise the next generation.

But writers get to help out beyond our community, too. We may not have the cash to donate, but charity auctions – be they for the benefit of one person fallen on hard times, or a cause – a conference scholarship, a landmark in need of saving – are always in need. Even those of us with a relatively small readership can leverage that into a donation.

Ah-hah, you say. I follow you now, Gilman. You’re going to pitch a charity auction, aren’t you?

I am. Because sometimes, when the entire publishing community comes together, magic happens. That magic is Brenda Novak’s On-Line Auction to Benefit Diabetes Research. Last year the auction – everything from advance reading galleys to once-in-a-lifetime trips and experiences – raised over $250,000. A quarter of a million dollars, that went directly to helping others in need.

As the Prez says – Yes We Can.

Check out the auction at See if anything catches your eye. Register and bid. Bid early, and bid often. Give for someone else…and get a little something for yourself, too. Everybody wins.

(but paws off that trip to Tuscany. That’s mine, you hear? Mine!)

For those interested, I have two offerings up:

1: the full set of “Retrievers” books (6 in all) in trade paperback, packed with a beach towel and water bottle in a reusable tote, suitable for lazing about pool or beach, or in your back yard, for a summer reading getaway.

2: an ARC of my forthcoming hardcover fantasy novel, FLESH & FIRE: BOOK 1 OF THE VINEART WAR (October 2009), with a pair of wine glasses with stem-charms

And yes, the books can be personalized. 🙂

Laura Anne’s BVC Bookshelf


About Laura Anne Gilman

Laura Anne is a recovering editor-turned-novelist, with an Endeavor Award, a Nebula nomination, another Endeavor award nomination and a Washington State Book Award nomination under her belt. Her most recent series is the award-winning "Devil's West" trilogy, starting with SILVER ON THE ROAD, and her same-universe story collection, WEST WINDS' FOOL, AND OTHER STORIES OF THE DEVIL'S WEST. The novella GABRIEL'S ROAD was published by Book View Cafe on April 30th, 2019. Her Patreon, featuring original fiction, writing advice, and original Rants, is at Learn more at, where you can sign up for her quarterly newsletter.

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