Briefly before we went into full editing and publishing mode for Hearts & Other Dead Things over at Cake & Quill, we got a last minute submission. I wasn’t quite sure it actually fit the theme – the whole book is full of rather thoroughly broken hearts and sarcasm and that story was surprisingly full of hope – but the writing was so beautiful, no way could I have said no. So I met Mandy, and as it is with writers, you connect, and you learn a bit about each other.
Mandy faces quite a few struggles. Her husband and son have Aspergers Syndrome (for details about that, look here), her husband additionally suffers from spinal problems that might land him in a wheelchair. Of her two daughters, one might have Aspergers as well, or a related issue. The house they’re yet living in is actually too small, plus their landlord makes Ebenezer Scrooge look like Father Christmas – not making necessary repairs like fixing the roof until wet rot had set in, fungus were growing in the kitchen, and the Environmental Health people had to be called in. They wrote a report – which promptly served to make the landlord issue a Section 21, which is a notice terminating a rental agreement.
Mandy had two months to find a new home. And here’s the fun fact that’s not funny at all: Most landlords don’t take on tenants on disability benefits (you know, those ridiculous amounts the British government saw fit to cut down further a while ago), because their insurances tell them not to. I don’t know how that’s even legal, it sounds like discrimination to me, but apparently that’s how it is. So in terms of finding a place to live, Mandy isn’t exactly spoilt for choice, and what offers she got were way above her budget.
No, Mandy isn’t lazing around on benefits hoping for her book sales to soar and herself to become the next JK Rowling. But with a disabled partner, three children with various needs and all the emergencies that might result from that, you don’t have enough savings to easily afford something around £300 in non-refundable agency fee plus references, a deposit of around £1000 and £800 in advance for the first month’s rent, not to mention all the other more or less well hidden costs that come with moving houses.
The two months are up in a little over a week, and Mandy needs a miracle. There are two ways you could help her.
One – donate a little money. Mandy has a page on GoFundMe. You’ll find the whole story there.
Two – buy her books. She writes excellent fantasy under the name of Kira Morgana and creepy horror stuff as A.E. Churchyard. For $8 for instance, you get her complete Tower of the Eye series, five books in one.