Allow me to reintroduce myself:
My name is Irene. I am the author of the upcoming novel Requiem for the status quo.
Some of you know me as a family member, friend, or casual acquaintance. Others are familiar with me as the author of this blog, a writer who has posted hundreds of articles over the past several years. Still others know me because of my professional connections as a volunteer advocate for vulnerable adults living in long-term care (LTC) facilities, or because of my years as an Alzheimer’s Association support group facilitator.
“Oh my gosh Irene, I didn’t realize your book was already published!”
It’s not, but I’m actively pursuing agent representation by contacting several agents per day until I no longer need to.
“Why should people be interested in your book?”
Because I have an engaging way of writing about Alzheimer’s disease – a disease that will affect each and every one of you because until a cure or vaccine is developed to eradicate it, this disease is here to stay. Whether a person’s diagnosis falls into the actual Alzheimer’s category, or into one of several other dementia such as: vascular, lewy body, frontal temporal, Parkinson’s, or dementia resultant from a traumatic brain injury (TBI), there’s no escaping its effect on the unpaid caregiver (that’s you and me) and the person being cared for (spouse, partner, mother, father, brother or sister).
And here’s a fact of which some of you may not be aware: Alzheimer’s is not just an older person’s disease; an increasing number of people are being diagnosed well-before the age of 60.
“Say it isn’t so, Irene.”
I can’t do that. What I can do, however, is tell you a wee bit about my book:
Requiem for the status quo (65,000 words) is my first novel. It will appeal to readers of Lisa Genova’s novel, Still Alice. There are always two sides to every story and when it comes to dementia there are also two victims: the caregiver and the patient. Requiem provides an intimate foray into what it’s like to disappear – and what that looks like from the perspective of both the caregiver, and the person being cared for.
A recent Alzheimer’s Association report stated that 65% of caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease are women. Colleen Strand is one of them. Six years after the death of her husband, Colleen has finally found her own footing. She has a job she loves as a bridal consultant, and with the encouragement of her best friend she is finally testing the previously formidable dating waters, eager to attain the joy and stability she craves. But when her father’s senior moments turn more acute, his unpredictable behavior puts her ability to balance work, a newly-blossoming personal life, and her father’s care needs to the test.
When an emergency arises, Colleen reaches out to her older brother, Jonathan, hoping for the start of a supportive sibling care partnership. Instead, her brother is surly and offensive towards her and her father, criticizing Colleen at every turn. Suddenly she is the only family member on whom their father can rely. Colleen must assess her priorities of family and love to decide what she is willing to sacrifice to get what she needs for herself, and for those about whom she cares the most.
Connected tenuously to a father who barely remembers her and a brother who has become an enigma, Colleen faces the moving target that is Alzheimer’s disease, determined not to let it get the best of her or the true essence of her father.
I sat down to write this novel two and a half years ago: the same year my sister-in-law died from Alzheimer’s, and five years after caring for my father who also died from the disease. Since that time, many beta readers who were committed to the success of my manuscript provided valuable input – input that has finally brought me to this point in my writing quest. I covet your encouragement – and advice – as I start pounding the pavement, so to speak, in my effort to become a published novelist.
This entry was posted in 21st Century Living, Alzheimer's/Dementia, Caregiving, Family issues, Health & Wellness, Novel Updates, Personal Struggles, Quality of Life and tagged Alzheimer's, Alzheimer's Association, Alzheimer's caregiver support group facilitator, author, dementia, frontal temporal dementia, lewy body dementia, long-term care ombudsman, ltc ombudsman, Parkinson's dementia, Requiem for the status quo, TBI, traumatic brain injury, vascular dementia.