Horror impresario Stephen King is offering one lucky bidder the chance to have a character named after them in his next spine-chilling book - but he warns that the story will be particularly gruesome.

King has joined a bevy of writers, including John Grisham, selling the right to star in a novel on internet auction site eBay.

Proceeds from the sale, which takes place next month (SEPT05), will go to non-profit organisation The First Amendment Project - a group which champions freedom of speech.

King will include the successful buyer's identity in a work called CELL, but he insists, "(The) buyer should be aware that CELL is a violent piece of work, which comes complete with zombies set in motion by bad cell phone signals that destroy the human brain.

"Like cheap whiskey, it's very nasty and extremely satisfying."

King's only other stipulation is that bidders keen to die a grisly death in his upcoming effort must be female - although anyone is free to bid for a part in the book.