November 28, 2016, by Todd Neva
Since she was a child, she’s wanted to be a writer — an author — and not just an author of a memoir, but an author of the likes whose books she loves to read. Jan Karon. Karen Kingsbury.
Three years ago, she pushed her dream along by participating in National Novel Writing Month. The goal of NaNoWriMo is to crank out 50,000 words without worrying about structure or quality. Just write.
She turned it over to me to evaluate. I read the first chapter and thought she had some legs to the story.
Then I read the second chapter. Oh, boy!
But after three years of hard work — with lots of learning, small victories, setbacks, and reworking and reworking and reworking — she’s produced a piece of art that I dare say borders on literary quality. If literary means hard to read, then it is certainly not that. It is a fast-paced story with enough twists to keep you turning the pages.
Snow Country is not just a romance. (Even her men beta readers loved it.) It’s a story about family and faith. It is sweet, funny, sad (at times), and insightful.
The beautiful cover and typesetting draws the reader onto this fantastical snowy island where the characters are lovably flawed.
You may have heard the phrase, write what you know. Knowing my story of having ALS, you might not be surprised by one of the twists.
Oddly, it might’ve been my paralysis and the need for nearly 24-hour caregiving that helped her dream come true.
She really can’t work outside the home. She must be here for me during the day, so she spends part of it writing. I’m here to help her think through plot lines and to critique her work.
And she was motivated to generate income to help with caregiving. The average pALS spends $250,000 out-of-pocket as a result of this disease for home renovations, equipment, and caregiving. Perhaps still a dream, but we hope Snow Country can help close that gap.
Every book sold pays for almost 15 minutes of nighttime care so I can sleep. And if I sleep, then I don’t torture her by waking her up every hour to turn me.
And who knows, maybe the dream can get even bigger — this can take off and we can be in a position to help others. There’s been some big successes through word-of-mouth.
Would you help us promote it? Order it on Amazon. Buy it for a friend. Read it in book clubs. Tell our story. Share it on Facebook or other social media.
Let’s dream big!
Now on Amazon:
* Available now for preorder and delivery December 3.
Will be available in other online e-book stores soon.