So, last year a thing happened. A thing I was — and am — not happy about. If you’re reading this, I imagine you feel the same because the people who read my books generally seem to be cool like that.
What can I do about this? has been a pretty common refrain since the election. And the good news is that there’s a lot we can do, both collectively and individually. I’ve been donating money to worthy organizations and keeping on top of my elected officials, for example.
But I’ve wanted to do more. I’m not a politician or much of an organizer, but I’m a writer. So I figured out a way to make writing be my way of “doing more.”
For every month in 2017, I will publish a different short story. Some of these stories will be short. Some will be long. Some will be old. Some will be new.
They will all cost $1.99.
And every cent I make will go to the American Civil Liberties Union.
The stories will only be available for one month each. If you miss the January story, well, it’s gone. I’m hoping this imposition of a form of scarcity will motivate people to buy.
Let me be clear about this: I’m not keeping your money. I’m not taking a single penny for myself. You’re handing money to me so that I can give it to the ACLU. (If you want to just give money straight to them or donate directly to them as well, don’t let me stop you!)
Do I expect this to make a difference? Beats the hell out of me. Look, if this crazy thing of mine spreads and gets lots of attention, it could end up being a significant chunk of change. If not, well, I guess every penny helps, right?
Please tell everyone. Please tweet it and Tumblr it and Facebook it and Snapchat it and Instagram it and do whatever else. Heck, you can even tell people about it face-to-face. (I know — crazy, right?)
The first story is already up. It is titled “The Ghosts at 95,” and you can see the cover and description below. It will come down late on January 31/early on February 1, depending on where you live. The clock’s ticking. Go buy it.
ALL PROCEEDS FROM THIS STORY BENEFIT THE AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION!
The year is 2006, and Jeremy Castle has it pretty good. His girlfriend has left him, true, but he has a job at a top downtown financial firm that has made him pretty rich. From his new apartment, he can see the Statue of Liberty and the construction at Ground Zero. If only he could figure out the meaning of the lights that only he can see. And those voices… Why does he keep hearing those voices…?
In “The Ghosts at 95,” Barry Lyga tackles the themes that made his reputation: Isolation, being an outcast, and the fear that your best self and your worst self may be one and the same.