The first photo is me, holding my fifth book in my Grape Series, My Grape Paris, on April 1, 2018. If you are not overly squeamish, click on the arrow and see the second photo…also me, just a year earlier on March 23, 2017, in the ICU after undergoing a life-saving liver transplant.
Yup, I have been through Some Stuff.
My writing career sprung to life in 2012, the morning after I was diagnosed with a rare, untreatable, and often terminal auto-immune disease of the bile ducts and liver (called Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, or PSC for short). I sat down at my computer to find that all the anxieties of judgement and failure that prevented me from finishing my previous writing projects had evaporated overnight. It was replaced with one overarching fear – the fear of dying with my words still inside me.
I picked up a post-it pad from beside my laptop, scribbled “F-ck you, I’m not dead yet” on it (but with a “u” instead of the -), slapped it on the side of my computer screen, and began writing My Grape Escape.
Even with a full-time job, three daughters, four vacation rentals in the vineyards of France to manage with my French husband and a degenerative disease to manage, I didn’t stop writing until I finished and self-published it in 2013 (I didn’t have the patience, or possibly the time left on earth, to wait on the schedule of a traditional publisher).
There began my motto of Write.Finish.Share.Repeat. I received a life-saving liver transplant in March 2017 when my heroic friend Nyssa donated over 70% of her liver to me (Livers grow back! Surprise!). I’ve now published five books in the Grape Series – all bestsellers - and am almost finished my first novel “A Vineyard for Two”, a romance set in the Burgundy vineyards of an inheritance gone awry. My husband manages the vacation rentals and helps countless guests enjoy the boundless pleasures of Burgundy.
Consider this your invitation to come and hang out with me. Let’s talk about writing, France, love, courage, and moving towards LIFE, no matter what.