A Book That Changed My Life

 

This month marks the third year anniversary of Dawn of Rebellion and I’ve been trying to figure out what that means to me as the book’s author.

As authors, we take pride in everything we write. The time and commitment and hopefully the skill that is put into our books gives us a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. The day the proof copies of our newest book show up in the mail is like Christmas.

Dawn of Rebellion was my first book and I experienced all the normal emotions, but it wasn’t normal for me. In order to try to explain what I mean, I have to get personal. I’ve never been shy about talking about my disability. It’s not something I’m ashamed of, it’s just something I have to live with. I have episodic ataxia. Now, I highly doubt most of you have heard of it. Not much is known about it. There’s no cure and no treatment. Think of an advanced case of untreated MS.

I’ve struggled with varying degrees of the illness for most of my life, but when I was eighteen, it disappeared. It felt like a miracle. I’d get to live a normal life. I went off to college and enjoyed the best four years of my life.

About six months after graduation, I started having frequent episodes again. For the first six months, I could hardly get out of bed. I was shattered to say the least. Here I was, twenty-three-years-old and suddenly disabled – even worse than I had been when I was younger.

So I started to write. It started out of boredom. There’s only so much Netflix you can watch. I never expected to finish a book, let alone have it be any good, but I did. All of a sudden, I had something to look forward to again. A belief that I could still do something worthwhile. I think we underestimate the importance of that. Of productivity. Of having something you love to do.  

Most people have told me that the writing gets better in each subsequent book, which would make Dawn the roughest, but it will always be my favorite. Gabby and Dawn, our adventurous sisters, got me through the hardest time in my life. They’re family.

I’ve said before that Dawn of Rebellion saved me, but that seems too dire. So, for now, we’ll just say that it changed my life. It taught me the greatest lesson I could have learned. Disability doesn’t mean I can’t dream. It just means I have to redefine what those dreams are. 

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