During the 2021 calendar year, I’m donating all royalties from my novels to charitable organizations. Priority will be given to organizations that support conservation and sustainability, women’s education and leadership, and peace and nonviolence. Recipient organizations are currently under consideration. I would be more than happy to receive suggestions from my readers. My goal is to spread the love as much as possible, depending on available funds.
I made this decision out of a deep sense of gratitude and the desire to reciprocate for the gifts I’ve been given. First and foremost, I’m grateful for The Silver Web Trilogy, for the experience of writing these novels, and the incredible circle of friends that came to me as a result of them. 2021 has brought a sense of gratitude for other reasons as well. Gratitude for my health and well-being, and that of my family; gratitude for successfully navigating some very difficult years (and no, I’m not just talking about 2020). I’m grateful for the privilege that allows me, because of my “day job,” to set aside royalties for causes I believe are important – causes that my main character, Eolyn, would honor as well.
Throughout The Silver Web, the theme of nature as a source of all power and magic is emphasized. Eolyn learns her craft in the wild. Separation from or destruction of wilderness undermines the source of magic. Creatures of darkness and powerful curses cannot be overcome except through reconnection to and reconstruction of the living world. So much of Eolyn’s story was inspired by wilderness, and for this and many reasons, half of all royalties will be donated to organizations that support conservation.
Because Eolyn’s childhood home was modeled after the highland forests of Costa Rica, the country that gave me a home during the early years of writing the trilogy, this year I intend to prioritize foundations in Costa Rica that promote community-based models of sustainable living.
Why Women’s Education and Leadership?
The right of women and girls to access education, as well as positions of leadership, is another ongoing theme of the trilogy. Eolyn and her allies struggle against a deeply entrenched patriarchal society. When the trilogy begins, girls like Eolyn are not even allowed to read. This power struggle started before Eolyn was born, and often manifests itself in violence. Not until the third novel, Daughter of Aithne, do the women of Eolyn’s world begin to come into their own and assert power in ways comparable to their male counterparts. The road to those achievements comes with heart-wrenching decisions and terrible sacrifices. Errors are committed, bitter enemies made, and yet through skill and perseverance, the women prevail.
To honor the fight that Eolyn and her cohorts took up, a portion royalties from Eolyn will be given to organizations advocating for girl’s and women’s education. A portion of royalties from Daughter of Aithne will be given to organizations supporting women in leadership worldwide.
Why Peace and Nonviolence?
The darkest novel of the trilogy is Sword of Shadows. In this book, war lays bare the most violent and twisted aspects of Eolyn’s world. Caught in a ravaged landscape, Eolyn, her small coven, and everything they struggle to maintain are threatened with total destruction, either through death or through surrender. This was the most difficult book of the trilogy for me to write. In some ways, it is still difficult to read. Yet the characters desperately wanted to tell this story, and as an author, I could not stand in the way. The intention is not to advocate for violence, but to show how truly awful the path of violence is.
In memory of the characters who sacrificed their lives during Sword of Shadows, a portion of royalties from this novel will be given to organizations that work toward peace and nonviolence. As Eolyn’s tutor, Ghemena, often said, we always have a choice. Like Ghemena, I believe nonviolence is always the better path.
Thank you very much for visiting this page, and for your interest in this effort. Wishing you a year of peace, prosperity, and gratitude.
– Karin Gastreich, March 2021