Bestselling authors give fans character naming opportunity in cancer charity auction

A host of hit writers are offering fans the chance to be immortalised as a character in their new books as part of a charity auction.

More than 60 authors will take part in this year’s Get in Character eBay auction, an annual fundraiser organised by CLIC Sargent, which provides support for children and young people affected by cancer.

Bestselling authors give fans character naming opportunity in cancer charity auction

The 10-day auction takes place from 8pm on Thursday 25 February. Participants will be able to bid for the opportunity to have a character named after them, or a loved one, in their favourite author’s new book.

Emma Donoghue, whose bestselling novel Room has recently been released as a critically acclaimed and Oscar-nominated film, is joined by dozens of authors including The Girl on the Train writer Paula Hawkins, Jane Fallon, Simon Kernick, Katie Fforde, RJ Ellory, and Santa Montefiore.

Authors including the creator of the hit Jack Reacher series Lee Child, Mark Billingham, Fault in our Stars author John Green and Linwood Barclay are donating experiences including a meet-and-greet, a critique of a budding writer’s work and signed book bundles.

Anouska Knight, author of bestseller Since You’ve Been Gone, has a personal reason for supporting the cause, following her 19-year-old sister Mena’s cancer diagnosis 10 years ago, for which she was successfully treated. 

She said: “A few months ago, Mena’s cancer came back. Apart from being reminded what a tough cookie she is, the rest of us have been reminded how utterly useless cancer can make a family feel.

“We can’t cure Mena’s illness. We couldn’t stop her hair from falling out, or her kidneys failing under the pressure of chemotherapy, or the endless stays in hospital.

"We can’t even donate anything that might help her body to cope. We can only offer her as much emotional and practical support as possible, something CLIC Sargent understands the importance of and is providing for families every day. 

“As dreadful as it is watching my brilliant sister go through her ordeal, I have three children of my own and can only imagine how harrowing it is to watch a child or young person deal with this disease and I’m thrilled to have been asked to take part again in supporting the wonderful work CLIC Sargent do in supporting children and young people with cancer.”

Paula Hawkins, who describes her new character as a mysterious figure with possibly psychic powers, said:  “CLIC Sargent does invaluable work helping children and young people coping with the most difficult of circumstances.

"It’s an honour to be able to help out with a donation of a character name for my new book.”

Emma Donoghue said: “The Lotterys Plus One is my first book for young readers, and if I can choose a character’s name in a way that helps raise funds for a young people’s cancer charity, what could be better?” 

Julie Cohen, whose novel Dear Thing was a Richard and Judy book club selection, said: “I’ve participated in the Get in Character auction for three years now and I think it’s a wonderful way to support a vital charity, by offering readers something special and personal; a chance to be in their author’s favourite book.”

Since it was launched in 2014 the auction has raised more than £18,000 for the charity.

Clare Cox, eBay Coordinator at CLIC Sargent, said: “We have a fantastic array of authors taking part in this year’s auction, ranging from romance, to children’s books, to hard-boiled thrillers.

“We are hugely grateful for the support of these authors, who are giving their fans a fantastic opportunity to become a part of one of their stories while also raising vital funds to help CLIC Sargent provide practical, emotional, financial and clinical support to children and young people with cancer, and their families.”

To follow the auction visit:

Notes to editors

For more information, an interview or images please contact Nick Edmondson on 020 8752 2856 or email Outside office hours please call 08448 481189.

Full list of authors offering character names:

Alex Shaw, Ali McNamara, Anthony McGowan & Jo Nadin, Anouska Knight, Catherine Alliott, Clare Donoghue, Denise Mina, Elly Griffiths, Emma Donoghue, Emma Hannigan, Holly Martin, Jane Fallon, Jodi Taylor, Julie Cohen, Kate Ellis, Katie Fforde, Katy Regan, Lisa Jewell, Luca Veste, Lucy Clarke, Paula Hawkins, Renee Knight, Roger Ellory, Santa Montefiore, Sara Gruen, Sarah Hilary, Sarah Morgan, Simon Kernick, Stephen Edgar, Steve Robinson, Tim Weaver, Tammy Cohen.

About cancer in children and young people

Every day, 10 children and young people in the UK hear the shocking news they have cancer. Treatment normally starts immediately, is often given many miles from home and can last for up to three years. Although survival rates are over 80%, cancer remains the single largest cause of death from disease in children and young people in the UK.

About CLIC Sargent

CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, and their families. We provide financial, practical, emotional and clinical support to help them cope with cancer and get the most out of life. For more information visit 

Note to sub editors

Please note that the name ‘CLIC Sargent’ should not be abbreviated to CLIC, and that the word ‘CLIC’ should always appear in capitals, as above.