Except… that’s not entirely true. I couldn’t write, but I could think. And I did, at length while I fought nausea and horrid side effects. A couple of novel ideas came to me, complete, like a little acorn gift, waiting to be planted in the soil of Microsoft Word.
I noted these down, ideas, possibilities, things that made me think. I simply had no ability to follow through. Chemo came to an end in May 2013. My brain slowly began to reconnect and the urge to write, which never left, but was simply dampened, came at me like an unfulfilled addiction. The odd thing was, I didn’t revisit any of my stored acorns. I set myself a goal of 500 words a day. In June I started, reacquainted myself with ABCtales and to begin with, those 500 word stories were few and far between. They were hard to write, I sat at the computer desperate to distract myself with Facebook or the news or Googling stupid stuff.
But each week I did a little better. It became a little easier to put the words together. Then it happened. I got that itch, that inkling of an idea, a starburst of inspiration, and I began a new novel.
The last novel I wrote was Plague. I wrote it in 2011. I published in December that year. I started polishing an older novel for publication in the summer, then I got sick and nothing else happened. I stopped editing. I stopped writing. I stopped caring, and it didn’t even bother me that I’d stopped caring. Usually I’m a non-stop conveyor belt of writing. I love it. I need it like I need air. Suddenly, at the very end of June 2013 I found myself back there. And I loved it.
My initial goal of 500 words, that was so hard to begin with, became easier. The chapters started to build up, and although I knew how I was going to end the story, I didn’t know how I was going to get there. All of July I wrote. In August I took time off, it was the summer holidays and I spent my time with the kids. Then I had SIRTs, a type of internal radiotherapy. Come September, my youngest son was back at school, and despite still being in recovery from SIRTs I was writing again. The train had left the station, there was no stopping me. 500 words in a morning became 1000, then 2000. Towards the end I could do almost 5000 words in the same 1-2 hour slot I’d previously been struggling to write 500 words. Then at the end of October I was finished. The first draft of That Elusive Cure was complete.
I know my health is precarious, and this wasn’t the time to stuff the book into a drawer and let it mature for months. I gave myself a few weeks and then got my editor, John Hudspith on board. By the end of the year we were done. Next was getting JD Smith in to do the cover design. She came up with a brilliant eye-catching cover that emanates the feeling of hope and peace I hope readers will come away with after reading my novel.
Less than a year after I wrote the first words, That Elusive Cure is published. I’m proud of the book, and I hope as a reader you can come away with some inspiration to live your life in the moment. Have hope, there is magic out there just waiting to be mined.
From the back of the book:
Kathy is going to die. All that’s left to do is prepare for the end.
While waiting for her chemotherapy session, a woman called Janie approaches Kathy, offering a revolutionary treatment for cancer. Janie pitches the cure like an expert and what does Kathy have to lose? The doctors now measure her life in months, not years.
Kathy follows Janie to an abandoned church where a futuristic machine is hidden. Made of silvery metal, long, and with rounded edges, the pod is like nothing Kathy’s ever seen before. Janie encourages her to climb in telling her the process is painless and quick. A few sessions are all she’ll need to be cured. Despite serious reservations, what does she have to lose? She gets in. And the results are miraculous.
A few days later, when the wonderful sense of well-being she experienced begins to ebb, all she can think about is having another session. In spite of the apparent improvement, Kathy’s renewed energy is soured by doubt. What exactly is this machine? What if none of this is real and the next MRI shows all the tumors are still there? Time is so short…
THAT ELUSIVE CURE is about facing up to illness, both mental and physical, of family struggle and above all, the amazing power of hope.
You can purchase That Elusive Cure on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.