Writer gives away e-books to raise money for charity

Willie Spence died of myeloma last year and his writer daughter is raising money in his memory with a book giveaway.
Willie Spence died of myeloma last year and his writer daughter is raising money in his memory with a book giveaway.

A writer hailing from Unst is giving away copies of her Kindle e-books, in order to raise money for Myeloma UK after her dad died last year of the disease.

Yvonne Spence said her father Willie Spence suffered from the bone marrow cancer for nearly five years, before his death in August, aged 90.

Tomorrow is his birthday and to commemorate him, as well as to raise money for the charity, she is giving away a collection of short stories – Looking for America, based in Shetland, and in part inspired by her father, and the novel Drawings in Sand set in Aberdeen, with some Shetland scenes, and dedicated to her dad.

Writer Yvonne Spence.
Writer Yvonne Spence.

Yvonne has set up a justgiving page for people to make donations to the charity when downloading the books. The page also has details of where to find the books.

“My dad was very supportive of my writing and really liked my novel so it seemed like the best thing to do to remember him,” said Yvonne, who now lives in Edinburgh.

The majority of the short stories have appeared in print, including one tale which has featured in Shetland Life.

A story about an old crofter was inspired by her father, she says and her short stories have been described as having “gentle humour”, which fits with the Shetland landscape.

Yvonne says myeloma is the 17th most common cancer in the UK, with a relatively high incidence in Shetland.

There is no cure, and Yvonne said they had not heard of the disease until her father’s diagnosis.

Yvonne added although her dad lived a long life, cancer takes a hard toll at any age and damaged Willie’s bones, causing him constant pain.

Willie was very well-known in Unst, she said and was born in Shetland where he lived all his life.

As a teenager he worked as a plumber during the construction of the radar station in Skaw during World War Two, having to hide in the cliffs during bombing attacks.

Afterwards he worked at RAF Saxa Vord as a foreman.

The health of those suffering with Myeloma varies enormously, said Yvonne, but the vast majority with the disease die within five years.

Myeloma UK supports those with the illness, as well as being at the forefront of research for causes and cures.

The giveaway runs until Monday.


Add Your Comment
  • Yvonne Spence

    • May 2nd, 2014 22:53

    Thank you Adam and the Shetland Times for doing this post. It made a great difference to the success of the giveaway with several donations coming from Shetland. We’ve raised £205.95 so far. The giveaway is over now, but the JustGiving page is still open if anyone else still wants to donate.
    Thanks again!


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