The Doorknob Society and a Brain Tumor
This originally appeared as a guest post on Pure Textuality in February of 2012. My update follows at the bottom.
“It’s a brain tumor.”
You might be wondering what that sentence has to do with creating the Doorknob Society, everything really. The idea for DS came about a few years ago when I was annoyed with the choices I had for my daughter regarding female characters in books. I wanted her to have someone she could identify with and experience wonderful journeys alongside. So Chloe Masters, was born and from her the Doorknob Society.
As for the brain tumor, it was a little over a year ago when my doctor gave me that diagnosis. It is inoperable but not the kind that kills you fortunately, though it is the kind that makes you go blind or gives you a stroke. If you die from the stroke that’s what kills you not the tumor, somehow I always felt that was splitting hairs. My life screeched to a halt as I began treatment, on sick leave and between doctor visits, hospital stays and growing accustomed to my medication ( A misnomer really as the medication made me even sicker) I was pretty useless. One day between being sick and feeling miserable I decided to try and write to take my mind off of it. I’ve always been a writer at heart, scribbling on bits of paper or writing stories in school. I’ve had a few comic books published and was always working on something, but novels always seemed to allude me. I would start and never finish them.
Yet something had changed, my life was upside down and I found myself day after day writing about Chloe Masters and the Doorknob Society. It gave me a reason to get up in the morning and when I was up late at night sick with nausea it gave me something to concentrate on.
I took comfort in Chloe Masters strength and resolve as she lead me down the path to telling her story. I was introduced to a strange and enticing new world of secret societies and intrigue. The strength of character and friendship that was present in the story made me feel better at the end of the day. I can say without a doubt these characters kept me going and I hope that shows in the pages. They helped me through one of the worst years of my life and I can only hope that they have the slightest impact on anyone else who encounters them.
Finally I’m proud to present to you the book that saved my life, The Doorknob Society. Enjoy it I know I did.
It’s been slightly longer then two years and several more books since this post and I am still working through my illness. I have experienced both of the outcomes that were mentioned above as I had TIA’s (mini-strokes) and lost partial vision in one eye. Though I am not puttering around half blind or unable to move, I am doing quite well. At this point I am in something of a holding pattern while they try to mitigate the side affects of my tumor. I am doing far better than I was and am enjoying every minute of my journey as a writer and someone who is dealing with a catastrophic illness.
I decided to update the post because I have had numerous people come to me over the years with their own illnesses and wanted to let everyone know how I was coping. It is rather comforting I think to talk with other people who have been through something similar and come out (even partially) on the other side.
For anyone who may be experiencing something similar I urge you to visit the Brain Tumor Society, they are a great organization and helped me tremendously.