Regular Muskoka Novel Marathon participant Pat Flewwelling is allocating 100 per cent of the earnings from her film-noir science fiction novel The Obliteration Machine to the marathon’s beneficiary, YMCA Literacy Services in Huntsville.
“Back in high school, I decided I would give 10 per cent of all profits from my first book away to charity, because it seemed like a good way of giving back to society,” she says. On publishing her first novel twenty years later, she realized 10 per cent didn’t amount to much. “I decided to up the ante and give 100 per cent of the profits from the next book I published.”
Flewwelling, who hails from Montreal, was undecided on which charity to donate to until she first participated in the Muskoka Novel Marathon in 2008. “Because I’ve since been able to see proof-positive results of our fundraising efforts, I’ve decided to make YMCA Literacy Programs the charity I support.”
The marathon, which takes place July 12-15 in the Huntsville Civic Centre, has raisedclose to $65,000 since it began in 2002, including a record-smashing $15,000 last year. These funds have enabled the Y to initiate new programs including its Computer Savvy Seniors classes. This year, writers were so keen to participate that 35 spots filled up in 16 hours.
The Obliteration Machine, which Flewwelling wrote during last year’s marathon, is the first of aseries entitled The Fog of Dockside City. It launched on June 21 as an independent publication, and the author plans to donate its earnings in perpetuity. “If the whole series is picked up by a large publishing house, the same rule applies,” she says. “So here’s hoping for a big-figure advance!”
For this year’s marathon, Flewwelling will act as mentor to Nora Bartlett, a student of the Y’s literacy program who discovered such a love of writing that she decided to join the Marathon this year.
“It’s hard enough for people to overcome the stigma of illiteracy, let alone to deal with the consequences of not being able to read,” Flewwelling explains. “It takes an incredible amount of courage to ask for help, and an extraordinary amount of patience and humility to start over, learning the basics of reading. Those are the kind of people I want to support. And if you help people improve their employability and standard of living, you help to improve the overall economy. You can either complain about a troubled economy, or you can pitch in and help.”
The prolific Flewwelling—she is a four-time winner of the marathon’s Most Prolific Award, cranking out upwards of 55,000 words in 72 hours each year—will soon join the exclusive club of writers who’ve gone on to publish Novel Marathon projects. The book she wrote at her first marathon in 2008, Helix, will be published by Tyche Books next year.
“What better way can I say ‘thank you’ than by supporting everything the MNM stands for, any way that I can?”
The Obliteration Machine is available at CreateSpaceeStore and Amazon.com.
Pat Flewwelling: firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Wehrstein – Co-Convenor, Muskoka Novel Marathon: 705 789-7497 email@example.com ~ www.muskokanovelmarathon.com