Let me explain….
In April 2015 a catastrophic earthquake hit Nepal. It killed over 9000 people and injured 23000. We watched the news in horror but I was also filled with gratitude because my daughter had spent the previous summer working at a school in Kathmandu and she was home, safe, with me. I wanted to do something to help those who hadn’t been so lucky and so did a lot of other writers. Julia Williams set up Authors for Nepal and was inundated with donations.
My book wasn’t out so I offered to name a character in More of Me in return for bids. My small offer flew, as did many others, and Leah Bradley was the winner of that auction. She also happens to be my friend and neighbour, the lovely woman, so I asked her why she got involved:
Thank you so much for bidding on the Authors for Nepal auction – you bid quite a lot of money! Can I ask why?
I really wanted to win! Seriously the money I bid is a drop in the ocean when you consider the needs of the Nepalese people at this time. I cannot begin to imagine the trauma these poor people have gone through, and will continue to for some time.
You won this auction as a gift for your mum, Paula Houldin. Now I’ve known you for quite a long time, and I know you are always trying to think of new and surprising ways to delight your mum – why do you think she’ll like this ?
Mum loves to read and I just think it would give her a real buzz to see her name in print.
What’s the oddest thing you’ve ever gifted anyone?
More unconventional rather than odd. I gave Hubby a small airplane flight experience which turned into a flying lesson because the instructor was late. And I paid a friends livery bill for a month when her horse broke her!
You give the best presents! What about you, what’s the strangest gift you’ve received?
A 4.5 ton Horse box. I really wanted it, and Hubby had saved to do a romantic trip to Vienna to see the Spanish Riding School but I really wanted the horse box.
Why am I not surprised? You rode the South downs’ way for charity didn’t you? I remember you kept a funny and interesting blog on the way – do you have urges to write a book?
The South downs’ ride was a challenge I had set myself, the blog was about keeping motivated and hopefully to encourage donations. I have thought about writing over the years but cannot imagine that anybody would be very interested in anything I had to say. Lacks confidence maybe.
Well I loved your blog – it was great reading about your adventures! And you raised a lot of money for St Wilfrid’s hospice when you did your ride. Why did you choose that charity?
St Wilfrid’s offers a fantastic service to local people. There always seems to be a misconception about what hospices are about. Go along to one of their open afternoons and see what goes on. The amount of money needed to keep running just for a year is over £6 million, most is donated as there is very little government funding. I really would like to see this sort of service continue, and they can only do that if people keep giving.
So, do you want to know how used your mum’s name? It can be surprise for you both if you like…
Leave it as a surprise then we will both get the thrill of finding her in the book, and as her surname is my maiden name we both get a mention.
Not long to wait now! I hope you both like it!