It is Charity Red Shirt time again!
That is where if you donate enough money to a specific cause, I will use your name in a book. Details are below.
This time we are helping my friend Mitch with his medical bills. I’ve known him for about 20 years. Mitch suffers from spina bifida and has gone through a bunch of surgeries. This is to help him climb out of the hole. Here is the link.
Let me tell you a little bit about Mitch. If you don’t care about the mushy bits about why I like the guy and just want to get redshirted, you can skip to the next section.
I got to know him back at Utah State. Despite having a serious medical condition he never let it get in the way of living life. He’s perpetually upbeat, obnoxiously honest, and just a really straight forward kind of dude. He’s doing standup comedy now, and yes, he is aware of the irony.
We used to paintball together and had a pretty good system. Because I was the strongest, Mitch and I were a team. We’d get a five minute head start before the match started, and then I’d carry him piggy back into the forest, find a good spot, and then drop Mitch on the ground. Dude could go low prone ninja crawl ambush with the best of them. Keep in mind this was twenty years ago, so if we tried that now, we would both probably die.
Back then Mitch did wheel chair racing. A racing chair is like this low slung, light weight, death sled. A few times Mitch decided to see how fast he could gol, and if you’ve ever been to Logan, Utah, you know there is a mountain pass called Sardine Canyon, and on the way out is a steep downhill slope that goes forever. Only a madman would want to ride a wheelchair down it. So obviously, Mitch did.
Because a racing chair is so much lower than a bicycle, cars tend not to see you until the handicapped guy is stuck in their grill. So if you’re going to fly down the shoulder of a highway in one of these things, it makes sense to have somebody right behind you in a vehicle, basically serving as your blocker. I volunteered to be the blocker.
So we’d take his truck to the top of the canyon, unload the death sled, Mitch takes off, and I’d follow (and apparently I was a better blocker than his roommate, who tended to tail gate, which I suppose is kind of terrifying). Best part, as I would be going 40 down the right lane of a two lane, other drivers would pass me in the left lane, always grumpy and scowling, like look at this slow ass jerk going slow on the downhill stupid ass—and then their expression would change when they realized I was protecting a guy in a wheelchair to—OMG I’m the worst person ever and I hate the handicapped I’m so ashamed. Okay, I didn’t do that for Mitch. I did that to watch the other driver’s reactions. It was awesome.
Mitch was always so upbeat and can do about his health issues that his insensitive loutish friends would sometimes forget he had them. One time we drove my car up to the USU library. When we got to the parking lot, I drove right past all the handicapped spaces. Mitch says “Hey, Larry, just park there. I brought my placard.” And my response as I absent mindedly drove to a space on the far side of the lot was “I can’t do that! Those spots are for the handicapped.” And he’s pointing to his legs like “Dude.”
He’s a good guy who has spent his life helping others, and now I want to do something nice for him. Medical bills are expensive and Mitch has been through the wringer for years. Our mutual friend Dave set this up when he found out how far in the hole Mitch is.
This is not tax deductible. This isn’t through a 501c3. It is just a couple of guys raising money for their buddy.
Rules of the Red Shirting
If you donate $150, or you donate less but win the raffle, then I will use your name in an upcoming novel. (You can donate more too if you like, because Mitch will just use it to pay off bills).
When you do this, you’ll need to provide some information. At minimum I need your name. If you would like to include a brief bio and description, that’s awesome too. On that info, and this is super important, I can’t promise what will or will not make it into the books. I can’t promise which book you will appear in. I can’t promise how long it will take. All I can promise is that your name will appear.
A few years ago I raffled off a bunch of charity red shirtings to pay for a local kid’s kidney dialysis until he could get his transplant. We got so many that it took me almost five years to get through all of the names. The reason I can do this again now is that the last of the charity redshirts from last time will be appearing in Monster Hunter Siege (and David Gerecht turned out to be a bad ass Monster Hunter from Maccabeus Security).
Other questions, are you willing to appear in any of my books, or do you want to hold out for Monster Hunter? If you’ve got a specific universe you love that you want to hold out for, that’s cool (Dead Six is done, but there is another Grimnoir trilogy planned. Somebody asked about being one of Madigan’s Malcontents, yes, there is one more of those planned but your name would have to fit that universe’s style. If your name is Johnson I probably can’t fit you into the sequel to Son of the Black Sword, but if your name is Chandrasekhar we’re good to go). I know everybody would love to be a heroic badass with lots of speaking parts, but that isn’t going to happen. You could be Fry Clerk #3 and die poorly.
I tried to gauge interest for this project the other day, and lots of people were setting conditions. Nope. So I posted the following on Facebook to try and explain how this works:
For the people saying they’ll donate X if I do at least Y… Ain’t gonna happen. All I can promise is that your name will be used for a character. I’ll try to work in requests, and I’ve done pretty good in the past, but I can’t write books based around the personal wishes of a hundred people.
That said, I do try. And quite a few pivotal characters over the years have been for charity redshirts. Some got recurring speaking roles. Others got big scenes where I worked in how they actually look and things they like. The new head of the MCB and STFU were both charity redshirts. Several recurring members of MHI were charity redshirts. All of Briarwood were chairity redshirts (and Lococo ended up coming back for more books)
Others, they were mentioned once and then got hit by a truck. Or they were mentioned once, and got eaten by a werewolf.
This may also take a while. The last time I did this was leading up to Monster Hunter Nemesis. I got so many charity red shirtings that we paid for a kid’s kidney dialysis until he could get a transplant, but I didn’t get to the last charity redshirt until Monster Hunter Siege, which I’m working on currently.
(this would have gone faster if some of you had Indian names for Son of the Black Sword, but oh no… I had to figure out how to stick eleven white guys named David into one book).
Yes. This writing thing can be challenging. And rule #1 is the books have to be awesome, so that comes first.
Sometimes your name just doesn’t fit, so I’ll have to wait until it does. Names have to sound right for corresponding characters. Other times your scene will end up on the cutting room floor (which is what happened to the guys showing up now in Siege, because I couldn’t fit that extra scene into Nemesis for Franks to kill them)
If you specifically want to wait for MHI, you’re going to have to wait longer. If you’re willing to be in any of my books… Who knows. Beats me. But most of the English speaking supporting cast of the later Grimnoir novels were charity red shirts. Including most of the OCI staff who got murdered by Heinrich. Great death scene… And others got mentioned once and then fell off a blimp. So no promises.
And let me add, I’ll also reject any really stupid made up names. Because I know how you guys operate. Though come to think of it, there is always Tom Stranger…
So there you go, charity redshirts for a good cause.