Open Links, by stand-up comedian and writer Dominic Holland, is the first ever e-novel to be published by a charity. One hundred per cent of the proceeds from this innovative celebrity and charity collaboration will go to Anthony Nolan, the UK’s blood cancer charity and bone marrow register.
Set on the final day of the British Open, Open Links is a life-affirming story of hope, family and endeavour; a fairy-tale that will resonate with everyone, but particularly those of us who still dare to dream.
It took author Dominic Holland more than a year to write – but he is kindly giving 100% of all proceeds to Anthony Nolan, a charity which has been curing people of leukaemia, lymphoma and other blood cancers for four decades.
“I conceived the story and started the manuscript always with a charitable angle in mind,” explained Dominic. “Open Links and Anthony Nolan are a perfect fit for this innovative publishing enterprise, and I hope the novel will strike a chord with anyone who believes in the kindness of strangers and the potential every single one of us has to wake up one morning and do something extraordinary.”
The story features cameos from Ryder Cup star Justin Rose and broadcasting legend Peter Alliss, but the hero of the book is fictional golfer Ricky Randal, who has an accident with a pair of trousers ahead of a dramatic final round, a situation that European Tour star Chris Wood understands well.
The 26-year-old has not only twice finished in the top five at the British Open (once as an amateur), but also, at this year's US PGA Championship, he split his trousers and had to change them on the course.
“It's the most embarrassed I've ever been on a golf course,” the Bristol golfer said with a laugh. “They tore right where you don't want them too so I certainly appreciate Ricky's dilemma!
“I also know all about the drama and inspirational nature of the last day of the Open. It's a brilliant stage for a story like this and a great cause too!”
Dominic added: “Anthony Nolan is a remarkable organisation. Blood cancer is indiscriminate and today it could affect me or any member of my family - leaving us to hope and pray that there is a match out there and that Anthony Nolan is able to find them on the register."
Open Links is available for just £3.99 on Kindle, with Anthony Nolan receiving all of the profits. The charity must raise £100 for every person it adds to its bone marrow register, so every book counts, explains Henny Braund, Chief Executive of Anthony Nolan.
“It is a simple equation; the more people who read Open Links, the more lives we can save,” said Henny. “Every 25 e-books sold will enable us to pay for a further person to join the Anthony Nolan register. A person who could be the lifesaving match that one family are desperately waiting for. It’s that straightforward - read a book, help save a life.”
Dominic hosted the Anthony Nolan Supporter Awards earlier this year and was deeply moved by some of the people he spoke to on the evening. “Meeting families who are coping with such difficult circumstances was a humbling experience and has reaffirmed to me exactly why donating the proceeds of Open Links to Anthony Nolan is the right thing to do,” he said, visibly affected by the stories he heard on the evening.
The novel is short and takes only 4 to 5 hours to read – incidentally, the same amount of time it usually takes to donate your stem cells or to play a round of golf. “It’s quite amazing to think that, in the time it takes to read Open Links, you could donate lifesaving stem cells and cure someone of blood cancer. Being able to save someone's life is remarkable and a privilege and that’s why Anthony Nolan deserves our support and our thanks," Dominic commented.