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Writing for a Cause

Writers are a passionate bunch. We spend years of our lives dedicated to writing, re-writing, editing, re-editing, and marketing our stories, with little expectation of a significant financial return. We love it, even though at the end of the day most of us are probably making about two cents per hour! We write because we just can’t contain our imaginations, and the worlds and characters welling up inside us need a place to go. It gets unbearably crowded in there otherwise. Sometimes writing is our best form of self-expression, too, and through our stories we learn how to deal with our own internal conflicts.

There are also times when we write for a greater cause—a meaning that extends beyond our creative passions and into the real world. For the past year, 10 writers have been working hard to put together a fantasy book called The Realms Beyond, hoping their stories will help raise money for the June E. Nylen Cancer Center in Sioux City, Iowa.

The project was envisioned by a young, upcoming author, KJ Hawkins, who had just lost her grandmother to pancreatic cancer. When I asked her how the idea for the book came together, she replied, “In many ways I felt like I needed to do this to help with my grief, but realized that my grammy would have wanted me to use what I was good at to leave a mark on the world. And I couldn’t think of anything better than to help those families fighting for their loved ones by putting together a book with the sole purpose of bringing them aid.”

When KJ Hawkins asked me if I’d be interested in participating, I was happy to say yes. My own grandfather died of pancreatic cancer, and other members of my family have been cancer survivors. I can imagine that all the participating authors share this connection in one way or another, and that many of the readers will too. Today pre-orders for the book have started, with the official release date scheduled for April 2017. It’s a project I’m thrilled to be a part of, and I hope that through it many lives will be touched in a positive way, readers and beneficiaries alike. Ten of us have come together to write for a cause—you can help too by reading for a cause. All of the proceeds from the book will go to the June E. Nylen Cancer Center.

realms-beyond-coverParticipating Authors and Included Works/Sub-Genres:
Allison D. Reid — Into the Shadow Wood (Christian Fantasy)
Ali Cross — Blood Crown (Sci-fi/New Adult)
Artemis Crow — Leona’s Descent (Fantasy)
D.B. Mauldin — The Chosen One (Young Adult/Fantasy)
Fiona Skye — Tools of the Dragon (High Fantasy)
KJ Hawkins — Half-Blood Academy Short Story Collection (Young Adult/Fantasy)
Melissa Barker-Simpson — Badge of Honor (Adventure/Fantasy)
Renee Scattergood — Makari’s Mission (Dark Fantasy)
Samantha Bryant — The Good Will Tour (Superhero/Fantasy)
V.L. Holt — 97 (Young Adult/Paranormal)


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