This post is part of a blog hop for #PitchWars and will be hosted by the C.M. Franklin.
Why did I write Walking After Midnight? Because I couldn’t not write it, which is an oversimplification, for sure. The idea was gnawing at me, wouldn’t leave me alone. Characters spoke to me at the most inopportune times, like in the shower or in the middle of the night. Eventually I gave in and started jotting down ideas.
I’ve been a writer for the past twelve or so years, but a journalist. Not a novel writer. Not a fiction writer. Even as friends and family encouraged me to write a novel over the years, I dismissed it. What did I know about writing fiction? Nothing. And aside from that, I had no ideas. No characters. But over the years, I allowed myself to accept the possibility that I may want to try it someday, and slowly, those story and character ideas started eeking into my brain.
But it wasn’t all-consuming until a friend of mine went through a life-altering experience. Shortly after being married, shortly after becoming pregnant with their first child together, her husband was diagnosed with congenital heart disease. Just as they were beginning their lives together as husband and wife. I was constantly moved to tears as I read her Caring Bridge posts, learning about all of the trials and tribulations they faced together as a couple. Beyond pregnancy tasks like ultrasounds and preparing a nursery, they were dealing with his heart shutting down. First the left side. Then his right. Their son was born and not long after he needed a total artificial heart replacement. He remained in the hospital with an entirely artificial heart keeping him alive as he awaited an organ donor. I didn’t even know that was a thing.
Just over a year ago, he had a heart and kidney transplant and now he’s back to life as usual, as much as one can following this type of surgery.
Their story has a happy ending. Thankfully. But I had this nagging question in the back of my brain: if they’d known all along that he had congenital heart disease, would they have done it all the same? Would he have allowed himself to be in a relationship knowing he could die? Would he have kids knowing he could pass along a hereditary condition?
I wrote Walking After Midnight to answer those questions, more for me than for anyone else.
Here are the rest of the participating blogs:
Tracie Martin: WILD IS THE WIND