I considered giving away a netbook. I really did. After all, they have become quite affordable. I actually type my stories on an ASUS 1000-HE running Ubuntu Linux Netbook Remix, and it is awesome.
Then I thought about giving away an iPod. But everybody does that. It seemed much too generic.
After discussing my options with my publisher and peers at the training I went to last week, I have come up with something far better. My hat is off to BJ Rowley of Valor Publishing Group for getting me started on this exciting idea!
First of all, the prize…
Now, I realize there are quite a few fellow authors who will be reading/reviewing my book (several already have), so this prize might not excite them. If they, or any other contest winner would rather have a $25.00 gift certificate to Amazon.com so they can feed their book habit, I can make arrangements for one.
On to the real prize…
One lucky contest winner will get to collaborate with me, the author, on a character in the second book of my series “The Chronicles of Gan”. Currently, that book is called “Heaven’s Garden”. The winner will be able to help me choose:
1. The description of a new character in “Heaven’s Garden”. The physical description of the character could be similar to the contest winner, if the winner desires.
2. The tribe to which the character belongs. Read “The Thorn” and you will know what the three choices are. Or are there four? 😉
3. Whether the character is a “good guy” or a “bad guy”.
4. The occupation of the character, if any. What will they be? A potter? An astronomer? A miller? A horse-trainer? A soldier? A mother? A gardener? A shipwright? A printer? Help me out here!
5. The name of the character. (Caveat: The name will have to be an Old-Testament or Hebrew name in order to conform to the rest of the series. If your name is a Hebrew name, just count yourself as extra lucky if we can use it.)
6. Other ideas? I am open to suggestions for minor additions to character background, etc.
Just to be clear, I reserve the right to edit and modify whatever name, occupation, description, background, or traits the winner suggests, but if the winner truly gets a feel for the tone and spirit of the book, this could be a really cool opportunity for them. And I will mention their involvement in the acknowledgments! (That way they get to have their REAL name in the book too).
Now for the puzzle…
It is really quite simple. At the front of the book, “The Thorn”, there is an extensive glossary with names of all the characters in the book. Every single character ever mentioned is on the list. With the exception of one. One name is a name the careful reader will not recognize. It is a name of a character who will be in book two, but is never mentioned in “The Thorn”.
Read the book. Take notes. Figure out which name in the glossary is never mentioned. Then come to my website and fill out my mailing list form so you can get my quarterly newsletter. There will be an extra field labeled “Contest Entry Code”. Put the name of the character there when you submit. All correct entries will be tallied, then a random name will be drawn. I will notify the winner by email, and we will begin to create the character!
More of the prize…
In addition to being mentioned in the acknowledgements for book two, the winner will ALSO win a personalized copy of “Heaven’s Garden” when it is released, and their picture with me at a book signing (if the winner is able to attend).
What do you think? Excited?
One last note: Please don’t post the answer to this puzzle online where others can find it, or you will ruin it for everyone. You will also severely limit your own chances of winning the prize, because other folks who have not taken the time to solve the puzzle can then simply use your answer and enter the contest on the mailing list.
Savvy? (I love it when Jack Sparrow says that… since we are talking about Captain Jack, here is one of my favorite quotes from the movies: “Trust me on this. You can mistrust me less than you can mistrust him. Trust me.”)
My book won’t be available for a couple of weeks, so that gives me just enough time to get my mailing list ready on my website. I will let you know when it is ready to go! In the meantime, pre-orders are open for my first book, “The Thorn”, which you are going to need in order to play (and to make the contest lawyers happy, no purchase is necessary… go to the library if you would rather not purchase).
You may pre-order the book here: Valor Publishing Group
This contest will end when I draw for the winner on May 1st, 2010. Happy Hunting!