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Your name in a Hiaasen novel? Bid now

Lorrie Moore, Edward P. Jones also offer naming rights at a nonprofit auction.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Buoyed by last year’s success, the First Amendment Project will again auction off character-naming rights in new books by prominent authors including Carl Hiaasen, Lorrie Moore and Pulitzer Prize winner Edward P. Jones.

The 2005 online auction raised $150,000 for the nonprofit organization devoted to protecting freedom of information, expression and petition, and thrilled nearly two dozen fans who paid to see their names in print, according to David Greene, executive director.

Linda-gail Case, 52, a self-proclaimed “tried and true” Nora Roberts fan, spent $6,800 last year to see her name in Roberts’ latest novel, “Angels Fall.”

For Case, it’s been “a hoot” reading about Linda-gail, a waitress who has a crush on the town’s bad boy. Case said that seeing her unusual name in print is distracting and she often needs to reread chapters.

This year, novelist and columnist Carl Hiaasen, Moore (“Birds of America”) and Jones (“The Known World”) are among the 14 authors who will promise to include a name selected by winning bidders in a forthcoming work.

Hiaasen said his winner’s name will “appear at least once as a taxidermied rat in my next children’s novel.” He also will talk to the winner by telephone and sign a first edition copy of the book.

Comic book artist and cartoonist Chris Ware said he will include the winner’s name and “approximate drawn likeness” in an upcoming serial comic strip.

The auction will run on eBay from Sept. 7-23.

As for Case, was last year’s money well spent? Absolutely, she says.

“I don’t want a Lamborghini. I don’t want Prada. None of that means anything to me. I love to read,” she said. “And for me, Nora Roberts has always been my favorite.”