It’s all material….
|image courtesy of WikiHow|
It had to happen.
After all, romance author is probably the only career—except maybe soap opera star—where experiencing an episode of amnesia is a professional resource. I was bound to do an amnesia story one of these days. And this year, A RANGER FOR THE HOLIDAYS (November 2015) is just that.
In June of 2010, I woke one morning with no ability to retain short-term information. I remember only glimpses of this, but my son CJ tells me I recognized him and all our family, but not that my daughter was at camp or the things we had bought the day before. Now, CJ is no stranger to medical crises, so he wisely asked me things like what day it was, etc. I could not answer any of them. Smart kid, he sat me down on the couch with my dog, said “here, pet Bella while I call Dad.” CJ and Dad decided it was time to call an ambulance. CJ was in cancer treatments at the time, so the immediate theory was that I had suffered a stroke from the stress of his illness.
I remember none of this. I don’t remember the ambulance ride nor most of my days in the hospital. Evidently, I asked the same 12 questions over and over (think “50 First Dates” only nowhere near as charming) and gave identical responses to the answers. Can’t you just see the headline now? “Teenage cancer patient calls 911 on amnesiac romance author mom”
It’s almost amusing now that everyone is okay. CJ is healthy and in very successful remission, our house is not in any medical chaos whatsoever, and my doctors tell me that I experienced not a stroke but Transient Global Amnesia—a once-in-a-lifetime vascular phenomena known to happen to migraine patients and people who take cholesterol drugs (I am both). And, it makes a fascinating story.
I don’t recall many facts, but the emotions are still vivid for me. Feeling like a freak, feeling as though your missing memory is stalking you, the desperate need to feel safe, all these things were useful to me as I crafted Texas Ranger Finn Brannigan. And now I really can say, “It’s all material…”
If the story is vivid and compelling to you, now you know why.