So finally...some figures. Until 31st March 2013, Tout Soul had sold: 3183 print copies; 3460 ebook copies – a total of 6643 copies since its launch in March 2012 (February 2012 for the ebook).
This means that the total amount raised in the book’s first year (or just over a year) for brain and spinal injury charities, at a donation of 50p per copy, is £3322.
The other £1661 has been donated to the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at King's College, London, which carries out pioneering academic research into stem cell therapies for repairing damaged brains.
The research team works closely with King's College hospital, which is one of only four major trauma centres in the UK, dealing on a daily basis with patients who have sustained life-changing spinal and brain trauma injuries.
Although the King's website chiefly mentions damage to the brain caused by strokes, the research will also help those who have sustained serious brain injuries and spinal fractures as a result of road traffic accidents and other traumatic incidents.
I am especially pleased to be able to donate to the King’s College research as it is my former university. And because the donation is over £1000, Luis will receive a special mention on the King’s website as part of the ‘Circle donors’.
In both cases the money has been paid directly to the charities, rather than via an intermediary website, which means they will receive the full amount. Letters of acknowledgement from each charity will be posted here in due course.
Thank you to everyone who bought Tout Soul and made this possible.
A great many readers have written privately to thank me for writing the book. Some sent emails to say that despite his flaws, they too had fallen in love with The Lion, felt as if they knew him personally, and were devastated by news of his death.
But the most important question is: would Luis have thanked me for writing the book?
I will never know for sure, but from what I knew of his character the answer is almost certainly ‘yes’. He had a big personality, liked to be the centre of attention and would not have been averse to the idea of complete strangers falling in love with him.
By contributing to pioneering brain research, Tout Soul will hopefully help others with traumatic brain injuries. Deep down, Luis was an intelligent, generous and graceful soul, and I'm quite sure that he would have wanted that.