Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Book Bomb For Ben Wolverton

I'm about to mix up two of my worlds here. My first blog entry talked all about the privacy afforded to me by my pen name, and I'm going to share something pretty private.

Deep breath.

For two years, my family has been engaged in a hard battle. My 5 year old son is fighting leukemia. He was 3 at his diagnosis. It's been a long, hard road, and we aren't the same people we were before, but we're stronger and braver now, and most importantly we are all more compassionate. I am especially proud to see that in my children. 

This calls to me today because in my circle of writing friends online, there has been a call to help a family experiencing medical crisis. It speaks to my soul and I want to help. I hope that the people who are interested in reading what I write will also be stirred with a desire to help. (Besides the fact that we're talking about awesome books....)

What happened?

Ben Wolverton, who is 16 years old, had a major longboarding accident last week. If you don't know what longboarding is, check out this video:

As you can see, these kids get going really fast, and they get pretty tricky. As I understand it, like skiing, if you do it properly, with proper equipment, it's relatively safe. But an accident is an accident, and when they happen, they happen on a big scale. That's what happened to Ben. 

His injuries are extensive, but to name a few, he has had trauma to his head, causing him to remain in a coma, and he has burned his lungs, he is covered in road rash, he has broken eardrums, and he has a broken pelvis and tailbone. His recovery will be a long one. 

I can picture them looking back on this day, two years from now, and being grateful for the compassion that they learned from the compassion that people showed them. That's how it works. People pay it forward.

His dad is a well-known author, named David Farland. He wrote the Runelord books, which have seen lots of popularity, and he has been a mentor to many of the people I, personally, look to as mentors. His books continue to win awards. Unfortunately, right now, his family has no medical insurance. Ben's medical bills are expected to rise above $1 million. 

Medical crisis is hard. It makes it feel particularly unfair when it buries you in piles of bills. I can empathize with that, and we were relatively well insured when my son got sick. My heart hurts for what this family must be feeling right now. The worry they must be feeling. In the midst of the crisis, the only thing that matters is the safety of your child, but the reality is that somehow, you still have to feed your family. 

What can you do?

The writing communities I belong to came up with the idea of using a book bomb to help. I did a little bit of research on a book bomb, and the gist of it is this: if lots of people band together to buy a single book on the same day, it will boost the sales figures. The rest seems intuitive, but I'll say it anyway -- if the numbers are boosted, that book will appear at the top of the book lists, therefore recommending it when people are searching for a new book to buy, and therefore further boosting that book's sales. Pretty brilliant, if you ask me. A chain reaction that will continue to bless this family during their time of need.

They chose two books for the bombing. Personally, I'm going to buy them both. 

The first book is Nightengale:

Here's the book description (it looks AWESOME!): 

"Some people sing at night to drive back the darkness.  Others sing to summon it. . . .

Bron Jones was abandoned at birth. Thrown into foster care, he was rejected by one family after another, until he met Olivia, a gifted and devoted high-school teacher who recognized him for what he really was--what her people call a "nightingale."

But Bron isn't ready to learn the truth. There are secrets that have been hidden from mankind for hundreds of thousands of years, secrets that should remain hidden. Some things are too dangerous to know.  Bron's secret may be the most dangerous of all."

The second book is Million Dollar Outlines:

Here's the book description:

"Bestselling author David Farland has taught dozens of writers who have gone on to staggering literary success, including such #1 New York Times Bestsellers as Brandon Mull (Fablehaven), Brandon Sanderson (Wheel of Time), James Dashner (The Maze Runner) and Stephenie Meyer (Twilight).

In this book, Dave teaches how to analyze an audience and outline a novel so that it can appeal to a wide readership, giving it the potential to become a bestseller. The secrets found in his unconventional approach will help you understand why so many of his authors go on to prominence."

If you're a writer, you should consider buying them both, too. Both are award-winning books, with loads of praise. 

If you happen to have both, or don't want or need either one, you can also donate directly to the Wolvertons at

In the beginning, help comes in like crazy. After some time, it wanes. My hope is that since this is the first big push for help, it will be wildly successful. Trust me, it always feels good to help a family in need! And this time, you get a great book or two out of it.