For the past few weeks, I have been shocked and horrified by the events unfolding in Ukraine. I have personal friends and business colleagues in Ukraine, sheltering for the lives and fighting for their very right to exist.
At the same time, I’m supposed to be gearing up for the book launch of the second Dino Knights book, which should be a fun and joyous time to talk about the novel, go on book tour, and connect with fans and new readers.
But the book’s actual title is Dino Knights: Invasion. It’s about what happens when a peaceful state is ruthlessly attacked and invaded by a powerful neighbour bent on occupation and subjugation. The heroes in the book take a stand, risk their lives, and defend their homeland.
I wrote the book last year but I’m unnerved at the parallels between my fiction and today’s reality. It doesn’t feel right to profit from a story that so closely mirrors the horrors that millions of people are facing today.
And so, I’ve donated 100% of my publisher’s advance to a humanitarian fund that’s administered by the Ukrainian Embassy in the UK. It’s called WithUkraine.org. The fund quickly and efficiently flows money to the people who need it most in Ukraine, and it’s vetted by people I know and trust personally. I will also donate 100% of the royalties of the book to this fund, so that every time someone buys the book the royalties flow from the realm of fiction to the grim reality. If for whatever reason, this funds stops in the future, I’ll switch to Unicef, an organization I know and trust.
The novel is about bravery in the face over overwhelming malevolence. And whilst it’s a children’s book, it contains important lessons that the brave people of Ukraine are teaching the world in real time.
I’m very aware that in the grand scope of this terrible conflict, my efforts are a very small act, but it’s something I can do, and I hope you may consider donating to WithUkraine.org as well.