Writing to make a difference, one person at a time

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February 10, 2000, four years before diagnosis
Writing a novel just for the hell of it isn’t what I did when, on December 29, 2012, I started to write REQUIEM FOR THE STATUS QUO.

First and foremost, I sat down at my computer because I had something to say about how Alzheimer’s disease affected my father.  Additionally, having graduated from the unofficial school of family caregiving, I figured someone just might benefit from the good – and the not-so-good – ways in which I managed my father’s illness.

Now thirteen years after my father’s initial Alzheimer’s diagnosis, my novel will hit the virtual and brick & mortar shelves of bookstores. It will also make its way in person to a number of  senior centers and senior living communities in my area. As an event on their activity calendars, I will read passages from my novel that might just ring a bell in the minds and hearts of those gathered to listen to what this Baby Boomer has to say. Maybe what I share will inspire them to purchase REQUIEM which I will gladly sell to them at a highly-discounted price. And once they’ve read my novel, perhaps they will share it with someone else, and so on down the line.

Is REQUIEM about Irene Frances Olson and her father, Don Patrick Desonier?Absolutely, but exercising great literary license, I altered many of the situations so that the storyline would reach a broader audience. You see, relatively speaking, I had it easy because I didn’t experience what Colleen, the protagonist in my novel, went through. She received very little support from family members; fortunately, that was not the case for me.

Yes, all things caregiving fell to me. I was the long distance caregiver/care manager for my father, a role into which I slipped quite readily because I was very much prepared for its requirements. I worked in the long-term care housing industry for several years and had hands on experience, and bold-faced exposure, to what Alzheimer’s and other dementia look like. I knew how it acted, I knew how unpredictable it was, and although nothing could have prepared me for the ongoing interaction with my father and the professionals who provided his care, I at least had an inkling of what to expect.

But most people are thrust into the caregiver role blindsided by all that is required of them.

That’s where REQUIEM FOR THE STATUS QUO comes in. I fully expect that my sales numbers won’t accurately reflect the success of my novel. For me, success equates to readers feeling encouraged, feeling they are not alone, and perhaps finding vestiges of hope in the stories of my characters. That won’t show up on the Amazon book rankings, but as long as some readers receive benefit, I will consider my novel a rousing success.

Requiem for the status quo is currently available for preorder at Black Rose Writing; enter discount code PREORDER2017 before July 20th for a 10% discount. You can also preorder Requiem at Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Be sure to shop around for the best price, you won’t be sorry you did. And for those of you with eReaders, the eBook will be available at most online book retailers on, or about, July 27th.


3 thoughts on “Writing to make a difference, one person at a time

    Jill Weatherholt said:
    June 28, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Your father would be very proud, Irene.


      Irene Olson responded:
      June 28, 2017 at 9:21 am

      Oh, Jill, thank you. Your comment made me cry, but in a good way. He was such an extraordinary man; he should have never had to deal with the disease that robbed him of quality of life in his later years.

      Liked by 1 person

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