Friday, February 22, 2013
Playing the Genetic Lottery by Terri Morgan - Excerpt and Guest Post!
Today is the last day of Morgan's Excerpt Tour. Portions of her excerpt have been posted on many blogs in the last few days, and I'm honored to be hosting the culmination:
"I cast off the name on my birth certificate for the new one in hopes of casting off the madness that was my family."
Summary: Caitlin Kane knows more about the impact of schizophrenia than most people could imagine. Both her parents were afflicted with the devastating mental illness, a disease that tends to run in families, and Caitlin and her brother grew up trying to navigate the chaos of living with two schizophrenics. Her tumultuous childhood left Caitlin determined to forge a peaceful and serene life for herself. Now 32, she is living her dream. Married to her best friend, she and her husband are raising two bright young children in the suburbs of Seattle. While her unusual upbringing has left Caitlin with emotional scars, she enjoys the love and support of her extended family and her challenging career as a pediatric nurse. But no matter how hard she tries, she can't shake the obsessive fear that the family illness will strike again, robbing her of her mind or stealing away the sanity of one or both of her children.
Author Bio: Terri Morgan is a book junkie and freelance writer from Soquel California. She reads at least 3 books a week, and gets nervous if she doesn't have new reading material available. When not reading, she is often found writing. Over the past three decades, her work has appeared in hundreds of different magazines, newspapers, newsletters and on websites. The author of 4 non-fiction books for young adults, and the co-author of four additional non-fiction volumes, Terri released her first novel, Playing the Genetic Lottery, as an e-book in late 2011. Now, Playing the Genetic Lottery is also available in paperback.
I asked Terri to tell us a little bit about who her ideal reader might be, and here's what she had to say:
Occasionally people ask me if I had a particular audience in mind when I wrote my novel, Playing the Genetic Lottery. The novel is a fictional memoir about a strong and resilient wife and mother who grew up with two schizophrenic parents. Some writers have a particular reader in mind when they begin crafting their novels. In a dream world, my particular reader would be someone influential, someone who would immediately recognize the brilliance of my novel, someone who would share their enthusiasm with millions of others and write glowing five-star reviews about the book to international publications. You know, someone like Oprah Winfrey, who has helped some novelists get on the best sellers list by featuring their books in her widely popular book club. But even though I was writing fiction, I knew at the time that wasn’t likely to happen.
Instead, I set my sights more modestly. When I sat down to write it I didn’t have an ideal reader in mind like many writers do. I used to work with a newspaper editor who would advise me when I was writing about complicated issues to imagine my mother reading my article because she assumed that the average reporter's mother would have no knowledge at all about the topic. I never followed her advice because my mother is extremely intelligent, well read, up-to-date on the latest national and international events and knows more about most things than anyone could imagine. And besides, I’m kind of stubborn and don’t like anyone telling me what to do. So when I started writing my novel my intended audience wasn’t a single person, it was every reader who enjoys a gripping, page turning novel with drama, humor and an endearing character.
By the time I finished the book, I had a second audience in mind. Yes, I would love book lovers who love fiction to read my novel. And I would also love people who have a family member, close friend, or close friend with a family member who is living with schizophrenia to read my book. After learning everything I could about schizophrenia and the impact it has on families and loved ones, I want to raise compassion for people who are affected by the disease. I want to validate their experiences, and educate, while entertaining readers, about the illness, which is often misunderstood. I want people who want to learn more about mental illness to enjoy my novel, because I wove a little, well, actually a lot, of information about the disease into the story. I want people who are fascinated with people, like I am, to read and enjoy my book. I want people who read my book to tell their friends about it, and to encourage others to read it. And if one of those friends just happens to be Oprah Winfrey, well, that would be OK with me.
Terri Morgan is a book junkie and journalist turned novelist from California. Her novel Playing the Genetic Lottery, was published in May 2012.
She blogs on her website at http://www.terrimorgan.net/ terris-blog.html
You can contact her at Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Playing-the-Genetic-Lottery-a- novel-by-Terri-Morgan/192095997524663
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