March 1st sees the launch of The Clearing, the debut supernatural thriller from author Thomas Rydder, who has decided to donate a portion of his royalties to a local animal welfare organization.
As a consumer of books, music, and other art, I’ve grown to be cynical about the reasons why some artists get involved with charities. But Thomas is different; I know him well enough to trust his motivation. Here’s Thomas’s explanation for why he’s doing this:
Awhile back, I posted an article about an organization with which I’ve started to volunteer, the Feline Freedom Coalition. You can read that article by clicking HERE. In case you don’t have time for that, I’ll just say that the FFC is a non-profit group that operates in the Charleston, SC area, and rescues feral cats, caring for them throughout the rest of their lives, and with some of the tamer ones, attempts to place them in a good home. It’s the type of cause I believe in, wholeheartedly.
For that reason, I’ve decided to donate 25% of my royalties from the sale of “The Clearing” to this fine organization.
Now, some of you are going to look at that and wonder why the FCC, and not another one. After all, there’s a whole mess of human suffering – why not one of them? The answer? Because the kitties can’t fight, speak, or in any other way improve their plight. They just survive the best way they know how. They are representative of just another way man has screwed up our lovely home, and at least a little of it has to be set back right.
And. Not to fear, because – and I decided this long ago – each of the books I write will have a similar amount sent to a charity of my choice.
Know why I’m telling you this? To sell books, right? To tug on heartstrings in a shabbily disguised ploy to line my pockets, right?
Look around you. Look at the war, the poverty, the disease. That’s our world, ladies and gentlemen, at least the tragic part of it, and we, as writers, have both a gift, and a responsibility. The gift is the ability to put pretty words in fetching fashion on a piece of paper. The responsibility is to take our gift and use it to improve the plight of our world. I attended a motivational seminar once, and the keynote speaker, Mr. Brian Tracey, said one thing that evening that has stuck in my head for 25 years.
“You are here to contribute!”