Short version: I’m going to be drawing a bunch of names to adapt for use in A MEMORY OF LIGHT. To add your name to the pool, donate here. — EDIT: The donation period is over, now! Sorry. We will do something like this for future books, but this particular drive is over. Sorry to those who missed out! — There will also be an auction for a more important character name in November.
Long version: If you were following me on Twitter and Facebook early last year, you saw me mention a large number of readers whose names I was adapting to appear in TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT. The most common question I got in response was, “How do I get my name on that list?!” My response was that you had to have contributed to a fundraiser that TarValon.net ran back before THE GATHERING STORM came out. But I let people know there would be another chance to get your name into the final book in the series, A MEMORY OF LIGHT.
Each Wheel of Time book has around two hundred new character and place names. When I was writing THE GATHERING STORM I tried inventing names the way I usually do, and I found that some of them didn’t blend so well. So I decided to move to the method Robert Jordan used: He picked many names by altering ones that appear in our world today. This fits with the way he constructed the world of the Wheel of Time, as that world is both our world’s distant future and distant past, and our legends are based on events from that world and that world’s legends are based on events from our world. Picking names that way for TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT resulted in ones that blended in better, with the happy bonus that a lot of fans who had contributed to the fundraiser but not won the contest for the three individual name winners at the time were still able to have their name appear in the book as a minor character (or location).
Auctioning off naming rights was something I started doing even before I had the opportunity to work on the Wheel of Time. I spoke some about this in my original post on the subject back in 2009. Well, in April this year, we did another auction to appear in the next Stormlight Archive book. That auction benefitted a local Utah not-for-profit corporation for educational, literary, artistic and charitable purposes, with primary interest in science fiction and fantasy. They in turn donated the funds to BYU’s volunteer-run science fiction and fantasy symposium, Life, the Universe, and Everything. The symposium was a great help to me back when I was an aspiring writer, and supporting something like that is a cause I can get behind completely.
So we’re doing something similar this year for names in A MEMORY OF LIGHT. The process is being run by JordanCon, the not-for-profit fantasy literature convention that was founded in honor of Robert Jordan. I’ve been to three JordanCons now, and it is a great convention. Proceeds from this fundraiser will benefit both JordanCon and the Mayo Clinic.
For the details, I’m just going to quote their news release in full.
The Robert Jordan estate, Brandon Sanderson and JordanCon, Inc are pleased to announce a joint effort to raise money for two incredible not-for-profit organizations and offer fans the chance to become a named character in the final installment of A Memory of Light .
Fans will have two opportunities to participate in this fundraising effort.
The first option will be a highest-bidder auction through eBay’s eBay Giving Works. The highest bidder in this auction will be memorialized as a character (physical description, name within guidelines) in the final installment of The Wheel of Time. This auction will run from November 1 to November 10.
The second option is through a drawing. Fans who donate $10 will have their names entered into a drawing to included in the final installment of A Memory of Light. The final number of names drawn is determined by Brandon Sanderson as dictated by the needs of the story. Donating is not a guarantee that you will be included.
The Mayo Clinic, a non-profit organization and premier medial research center; as well as JordanCon, a literary convention and non-profit organization based in Atlanta, Georgia are both set to benefit from this fundraiser.
WHAT IS JORDAN CON?
JordanCon is a fantasy literature convention founded in honor of the late author, Robert Jordan. Jordan was the author of the best selling The Wheel of Time series. JordanCon features four tracks of simultaneous programming, a Dealers Hall, and charity events benefiting the Mayo Clinic. Past guests have included Harriet McDougal, Brandon Sanderson, David Wong, Jana G. Oliver, David B. Coe and Eugie Foster.
New to JordanCon this year will be the Art Show featuring art from a variety of fantasy and sci fi artists. Guests this year will include author Mary Robinette Kowal, artist Sam Weber and Toastmaster Melissa Craib Dombrowski.
Please note that JordanCon, Inc has applied for tax-exempt status as a 501(c)3 corporation. While we are awaiting the final verdict from the IRS, we are allowed to begin soliciting donations. Our tax-exempt status will be retroactively applied to the day of our filing.
WHAT IS THE MAYO CLINIC?
For more than 100 years, Mayo Clinic has inspired hope and contributed to health and well-being by providing the best care to every patient through integrated clinical practice, education and research. Today, your generosity is at the heart of sustaining Mayo’s mission.
As a not-for-profit organization, Mayo Clinic reinvests all earnings into improving patient care. Yet philanthropy provides essential support as we develop better methods to understand, predict, prevent, diagnose and treat disease, and train the next generation of physicians and scientists.
Mayo Clinic has more than 3,300 physicians, scientists and researchers from every medical specialty. They work together with 46,000 allied health employees to care for more than half a million patients each year, from every U.S. state and many countries.
In 2006, Robert Jordan was diagnosed with cardiac amyloidosis, which is a rare blood disease where abnormal proteins form in the bone marrow and become deposited in the patient’s heart. During his illness Robert Jordan received treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and encouraged his fans to donate in support of the clinic. JordanCon is proud to continue to honor that request each year through various charitable fundraisers at the convention.
Q & A
If I donate, What happens to the money?
All funds received will go directly to JordanCon with 10% of the proceeds going to the Mayo Clinic.
May I participate in both?
Yes, you may participate in both the General Auction and the Drawing. Please note you cannot win more than one character named for you.
Please follow these instructions! In the notes section, include your full name, and email address.
What are the rules for naming characters?
You may use your name or an appropriate name of your choice, but the author reserves the right to approve it or change it to fit the type of character created. A physical description of yourself may be used.
How long is the Fundraiser and when will winners be announced?
The fundraiser will run from October 1 to December 1, 2011, and winners will be announced at www.jordancon.org. The auction will run from November 1 to November 10. We will announce the winner of the auction and the first name drawn by Brandon Sanderson. All future names drawn will be announced via Brandon’s website.
Can I be entered multiple times in the General Drawing by giving several donations?
Yes! For every $10 you donate, you name will be entered into the drawing. If you donate $100, your name will be entered 10 times. However, your name can only appear once in the story.
I am trying to donate to the General Auction or enter the Drawing, but have difficulties. Who do I contact?
You must contact eBay for issues regarding payments. They are our vendor handling all the transactions. If you are having an issue with the drawing, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
May I pay by check or cash?
At this time we are only able to accept credit card, debit, or PayPal as methods of donation.
Who is eligible to win?
All fans are eligible to win with the exception of members of JordanCon, Incorporated’s board of directors and their immediate families.
I have questions about my privacy
All donors give consent to have their names published publicly. This is done to ensure fairness and so you may see that your name did go through before we randomly draw the winners for the Drawing. All winners, including the General Auction winner, further agree to allow us to use their names to announce them as the donors selected to be use in A Memory of Light, including use of their names in any publicity associated with The Wheel of Time in this regard.
Private information such as contact emails and phone numbers will be given to Brandon Sanderson in case he chooses to use additional names at a later time. All other copies will be destroyed.
What if I have more questions?
Please send them to email@example.com with a subject heading indicating your question. We will get back to you as soon as we can!