Category Archives: Call to Action

The Strangers’ Case

There is much in the news and elsewhere currently about refugees and how we should respond to them and treat them.  If you follow me on social media (or if you know me) you probably know where I stand already, but I’ve decided it’s important to take action as well as say nice things.

So here is a thing that I can do.

For the next month (actually up until March 3rd) I am donating all of my royalties from sales of Bonhomme Sept-Heures and The King in Darkness to the Canadian Council for Refugees.

You can support people who are in desperate need of help and somewhere safe to go and also reward yourself with a story I think and hope you’ll enjoy at the same time.

I would be delighted if you would join me in offering a welcoming hand to some people who could not need it more, and a kinder response than they are getting from many quarters currently.

edit to add:  You might remember I did this last year for Fort McMurray relief and I was really pleased by the response.  I hope we’ll do as well again.

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In the past, I’ve written about post-apocalypse and disaster fiction and why we like to read stories where asteroids hit the Earth or zombies rampage everywhere or some similarly awful thing happens. There’s a new series on TV right now about a plague striking the United States.  (It’s kind of all right)

In part I think this is because you can tell compelling stories about these kind of scenario, and there is also a strange kind of thrill you get from experiencing danger when you know you’re really safe. That’s kind of what the horror genre subsists on, and part of why (I think) people in so many times and places have enjoyed scary stories.

Right now, though, there are people here in Canada experiencing a real life disaster movie. The city of Fort McMurray, in Alberta, has been evacuated due to a massive wildfire. You may have seen the footage of people driving out of the city with towering flames on both sides of the road, and glowing cinders raining down from the sky. Some people got evacuated twice, when the place they were first sent to turned out to be in danger as well.

It’s a truly terrifying scenario, and I say that watching it from a safe distance. Far too many people are living in doubt and danger and facing up to the prospect of perhaps losing everything they had and was dear to them. If this was a movie, this is exactly the kind of situation when our fictional heroes would swing into action and fix everything with superpowers or a cunning plan. Unfortunately, this isn’t a movie.

There are, of course, real life heroes at work. The first responders who are fighting the fire and caring for the evacuees could not be more heroic. There was also a lovely story this morning about families in Calgary who just arrived in Canada as refugees from Syria who are now donating to help the people of Fort McMurray. They say Canada gave them everything. I say no: Canada gained people like them.

Anyway, all of this is to say that while lots of people are doing everything they can to help others who are living through a real life disaster, there is more to be done, and will be for a long time. Anything we can do to help will be very gratefully received.

Here’s what I’m doing, and the real reason I wrote this blog. For the next month (at least), I’m donating my cut of every copy of The King in Darkness to the Red Cross to help the people of Fort McMurray. You’ll get a story that I’m really very proud of, and you’ll help people in need at the same time. If you buy the book from Renaissance Press this will happen automatically, and my publishers have committed to matching my donation out of their own profits. If you buy via Amazon or other online retailer, send me a screenshot of your purchase via Twitter or Facebook or however and I’ll do the donation myself. If you get the book ordered into your local bookstore, take a picture of the receipt and send that.

But Evan, what if I already bought your book? Well, of course I think what you should do is buy a copy for someone else, but if (for some reason) you don’t want to do that, I’ll also do this: send me a picture of yourself with your King in Darkness, and I’ll put another $2 on the donation pile.  If you bought the e-book, take a picture of your screen and that’ll work.

I’ll let you know how this whole thing goes. Thanks for your support, if you can give it. We can be heroes.

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