I read this article over the weekend about the charity auction for the First Amendment Project. If you haven’t heard about this, the deal is that 16 authors (ranging from Stephen King to ZZ Packer) will be auctioning off the chance to appear in an upcoming book, in a variety of ways. The auctions will take place September 1-25. The offerings range from lukewarm to somewhat interesting. Like this bit from Stephen King:
“One (and only one) character name in a novel called CELL, which is now in work and which will appear in either 2006 or 2007. Buyer should be aware that CELL is a violent piece of work, which comes complete with zombies set in motion by bad cell phone signals that destroy the human brain. Like cheap whiskey, it’s very nasty and extremely satisfying. Character can be male or female, but a buyer who wants to die must in this case be female. In any case, I’ll require physical description of auction winner, including any nickname (can be made up, I don’t give a rip).”
Or this one from Lemony Snicket:
“An utterance by Sunny Baudelaire in Book the Thirteenth. Pronunciation and/or spelling may be slightly ‘mutilated.’ An example of this is in The Grim Grotto when Sunny utters ‘Bushcheney.’ Target publication date is Fall 2006.”
Other participants include Dave Eggers, Amy Tan, Rick Moody and Jonathan Lethem. You can check out the full list here.
Maybe none of these auctions interest you … are there other authors whose books you’d bid for a chance to appear in? If you’re a writer, would you offer up a “cameo appearance” in your writing, or do you feel you need to have control over the naming of your characters?