Malachi held my gaze for a moment, then looked away. “I’m sorry to tell you this, but you’re on an impossible mission. Three thousand people arrive at the Suicide Gates every single day. Haven’t you noticed the size of this city? You could wander for years and never find her ...When we were preparing to go on sub with this book, my agent flagged this part, wondering if my numbers were accurate. Three thousand people a day??
Here's how I got that number: The World Health Organization estimates that over a million people in the world commit suicide every year (with estimated annual fatalities rising to 1.5 million by 2020). Suicides account for half of violent deaths in the world, more than the number from murders and war combined.
Suicide kills more people than wars.
In the United States, every year, over 35,000 people kill themselves. And if you consider the fact that, for every completed suicide, there are about 10-20 attempted suicides ... that's heinous. That's tragic. That's an epidemic.
When I was in college, I worked for a local helpline, and I took a lot of calls from people who were considering ending their lives. It was an up-close introduction to the anguish some individuals experience--and the need to provide them with support and help that keeps them here with us in the land of the living.
Probably that experience was, in part, why I wrote Sanctum. It's about Lela, who is given the opportunity to rescue the soul of her best friend, Nadia, who committed suicide. But in real life, none of us have that chance. Once a friend or loved one has committed suicide, we are left here to mourn. And to try to keep anyone else from leaving this life because it was too painful to continue living it.
When I got my first advance check for Sanctum, I donated a portion of it to The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, because people who are in despair--who feel alone--need to connect. It saves lives. And when my friend Justine Dell came to me and asked me if I wanted to help her raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, there was no way I was going to refuse.
All next week, Justine and I are going to be raising money for this cause. I'm really hoping you'll help.
We're making it easy. And fun. Worth your while.
On Saturday, October 6th, we're going to have an auction. Every dollar raised will be donated to the AFSP. You'll be able to bid for things like book prize packs and agent query crits. For a rundown of some of the prizes, check out Justine's blog.
We need your help spreading the word, though (and to give you the chance to raise money even if you can't bid in the auction on Saturday). Starting Monday, October 1, we'll have a Rafflecopter giveaway of prizes here. You'll get entries for spreading the word about the giveaway and the auction.
And even by doing that, you'll be raising money, because the more entries we get, the more I am personally going to donate to the AFSP. More details about that on Monday.
Plus, if you donate directly to the AFSP and send us your receipt, you'll be entered in a special drawing to win some especially cool stuff.
How does that sound? Would you like to join us in raising money to help stem this epidemic?
Please check out our donation page--that's the place to start if you want to donate to the AFSP's fundraising arm, which sponsors the Out of the Darkness Community Walk that Justine's going to participate in (you can also donate directly to the AFSP here if you prefer), and remember that there will be a cool drawing just for those who do that and email us the donation receipt--one entry for every dollar donated.
Also check out Justine's FB page for this event. She's having it in conjunction with her launch party for her debut novel, Recaptured Dreams.
And please, please: come back Monday to enter to win prizes, help us raise money, and spread the word!