Friday, January 18, 2008

The Liar's Diary

Recently, I have seen the word cancer far too often. My best friend Kim, successfully battled Hodgkin's with a long, difficult regimen of chemo and radiation. My father in law, Roger got the diagnosis of cancer last spring and spent the remainder of the year undergoing surgeries, chemo and radiation. He is now doing well, but still suffers side effects of the treatments. Then my father was diagnosed in November and is STILL undergoing testing. Today is hopefully the last and final day of testing. Do we hope for a answer finally? Well, that is a bit difficult to say. You don't want them to find anything, but then again you KNOW it's there somewhere and in order to treat it, it must be found.

I should mention too that because of how cancer has touched our lives this year, Tom ran a promotion at the studio at Christmas time to raise money for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Over $500 was raised for this worthy cause.

In the midst of this, I wrote a book about a family who is dealing with a cancer diagnosis. This was before my dad was diagnosed and was partly inspired by Kim and my father in law. As irony would have it, it's about a woman who lives on the east coast and has a successful career and gets a call from her sister telling her that her mother is sick. I got that call too after the book was written. My mom was sick as well. . .with a brain malformation (NOT cancer), while she was having brain surgery my dad was admitted to the hospital and that's when the cancer was found. That's where the parallels end. I do not have to deal with the demons that my character Anne does. She came from an abusive childhood and had to go through a lot of forgiveness before she could really help her mother. My childhood was far from that. (Ok, ok, so I did grow up next to three rowdy boys when we lived out in the country and we had many adventures. . .but THAT'S where the parallels end!).

As I was surfing my favorite blogs one day, I ran across a blog from a local writer, Patry Francis - author of the Liar's Diary - whom I have corresponded with in the past. I was upset and shocked to see that she was diagnosed with cancer a few months ago. She is still recovering from surgery and had a recent doctor's appointment. Her blog postings always intrigue and fascinate me, probably because she is such a wonderful author, but also because she has an amazing insight into a writer's mind. As I was reading her posting about waiting in the dreary doctor's office and her grandson lighting up the quiet room, I was struck with another irony. This is what I wrote about. . .a child bringing hope and life to a dismal setting. That parallel inspired me to contact her again and in doing so, I have now learned of a campaign to help her. Since she has always been so gracious to give me advice and respond to my emails, it's the least I can do.

Patry has developed a strong and wonderful circle of friends who are rallying around in her in support. On January 29th, her book, The Liar's Diary comes out in paperback. On that day writers from around the country will be promoting her sales. On the 29th I will be doing the same. . .today is just a preview. For more information about this promotion you can see it described on Litpark and even sign up to help promote it yourself.

The Liar's Diary is a powerful and poignant book that I couldn't put down when I read it. If you enjoy my novels you will enjoy her book. She is an amazing writer who was one day where I am now. . .wishing and hoping for success. Now she has success, but she also has an illness that we as writers can't cure. . .but we can sure write about it and get the word out.

1 comment:

Patry Francis said...

Thanks for the inspiration your family provides--and for all the support. It's great to have a fellow-writer so close by! When I'm well enough, we'll have to get together for coffee.