An author’s reward

I so enjoyed being interviewed by the company, Nurture Your Books; they were very accommodating and generous to offer this opportunity to authors such as myself. Being able to talk about the inspiration for my novel and my writing process is such a gratifying experience. Be sure to check out the interview that took place on September 15th.

I do not have a publicist, nor do I have an agent. I do 99.999% of my book’s marketing. Paying for a review service, such as Kirkus Reviews, to read and provide a book review is not in my budget. I am constantly on the lookout for free opportunities to spread the word about Requiem for the status quo, a novel that has already proven to benefit those who have honored me by purchasing a copy. (I will post a few Amazon reviews at the bottom of this piece.)

The life and times of an author – especially one on contract with a small, independent publishing house – are not the most enjoyable times in a writer’s life. To be quite honest with you, they’re pretty darn stressful and for the most part, very unsatisfying. But I am so very grateful that my publisher chose to publish my debut novel. Black Rose Writing goes out of their way to publish up-and-coming authors so I owe them a debt of gratitude for including me as one of their clients.

It is my passion for the story – for my father’s story – that keeps me pounding the pavement/keyboard to drum up attention for the heroes of the 21st century: family caregivers for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementia. Yes, it’s true, my book is fiction, but one doesn’t live through a multi-year caregiving experience without including personal episodes into the body of the novel – and I did.

I survived the experience, but many caregivers are currently right in the thick of it. I recently received an e-mail letter from one of my readers whose mother died just a few weeks ago from Alzheimer’s complications. This reader said, “Thank you so much for writing this book.  I didn’t belong to a support group and wish I would have found this book when I started the caregiving process…I do wish I’d found your book at the beginning of my journey.  It would have been a big help.  Anyone going through this experience definitely needs a cheerleader in their corner.”

That is what I have tried to do. If you’ll return to this site on Sunday of each week, in Readers Corner at the bottom of each web page, you’ll see I’ve posted encouraging words for those out there needing a little extra TLC for their day. I hope you’ll revisit my author site each week to catch a glimpse of that encouragement.

And now for a few reviews:

Poignant, agonizing, funny, all-consuming, It is a distinct honor to be the first to rate this outstanding, but heartbreaking, tale of a devastating and progressive health condition, and how deeply it touches those it enfolds. The author, who has closely experienced the cruelty of Alzheimer’s in a loved one, has shown a great deal of courage and consummate determination in writing it. This well-paced and brilliantly written story is at once poignant, agonizing, funny in places and all-consuming. The reader will have difficulty putting it down but had best keep a box of tissues at hand. It made this hardened, former combat soldier weep like a schoolchild through much of the second half. But I feel I have emerged from this novel with greater sensitivity to the whole continuum of dementia and its emotional impact on those who must find a way of dealing with its encroachment on their lives. There are not enough superlatives in the English language to give justice to a description of this debut novel by an obviously compassionate, energetic and witty author. It is worthy of six stars. – R. Bruce Logan, author of Finding Lien

Helpful and Hopeful. Such a relevant read. Whether you’ve encountered Alzheimer’s directly or are fearful of when it may enter your life, do yourself a favor and read this book. It’s a quick read, and in story-telling format, this novel makes it clear that Alzheimer’s and dementia can appear in a variety of ways. It also makes it clear that there are many tools to help. My family has seen a couple different manifestations of the disease. If we had had a book like this ahead of time, we could have been better prepared. Although written as a novel, I view this book as a great tutorial on how to work through the emotions and surprises that come along with Alzheimer’s. – Amazon Customer

Heartfelt and touching story. This is such a beautiful, heartfelt, and touching book and story. The author shares so clearly and bravely the trials of dealing with all of the decisions that have to be made in every stage of dementia or Alzheimer’s for each phase your loved one is going through. The unknowns of what your loved one is going through is heartbreaking to watch, but she shows that love can trump these unknowns with laughter, humor and the help of family and friends. No one expects this disease to touch their families, but it does inflict itself onto her father. The love that she shares with her dad, her sister, and eventually her brother who has been in denial shows us that the needs of someone with Alzheimer’s disease can be met with dignity and care. I highly recommend this book for anyone who has dealt with this disease, for anyone who is dealing with it right now, or for anyone who might have to deal with it in the future.  – Bruce Milnor

And that, my friends, is all the reward I need.

    Dad & me, February 10, 2000




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