Here is the guest post by Melissa Lummis.
I asked her: "Why is the husband of Loti ill of cancer? Why not a different disease?"
And this is her answer!
"I specifically chose lung cancer because the disease has touched my life. The emotional parts of what I write come straight from my heart, and I lost my grandfather to lung cancer when I was 18 years old. He smoked Lucky Strikes, filter- less, all his life, as well as worked for FireStone making brakes before asbestos laws were put into place. He was also a World War II veteran. It was frightening to watch him die of the disease, basically slowly suffocating to death. He lugged around an oxygen tank for a while until the cancer sapped his strength to the point he was bed ridden. He quite literally wasted away to skin and bones before he passed. You would think I would have wanted nothing to do with cigarettes after witnessing such a horrible death, but no, I picked up the habit about the same time he passed away. Go figure.
I smoked over the next 10 years, sometimes quitting for a few months. When I met my husband, we were both smokers and for whatever reason, I didn’t let myself think too much about the choices I was making to smoke and to marry a smoker. After we were married for a few years, we decided to start a family and after almost 2 years of no luck conceiving, I decided I needed to overhaul my health. The first thing that had to go was the cigarettes, but it was much harder to quit than I had imagined. I eventually did and we conceived and now have two beautiful children. I never picked up the smoking habit again, so I am happy to say I have been smoke-free for over 13 years now. My husband, however, never quit.
Now, my grandfather’s slow death haunts me and I am afraid that I may lose my husband in the same manner to the same disease: lung cancer. Writing about Loti’s husband dying of cancer was a type of therapy for me. It’s helped me face my worst nightmare: the idea that I could lose my husband to lung cancer. What Loti goes through is the worst of what I imagine: guilt, anger, hopelessness, and an aching void where the love of my life used to be in my heart. So, like most writers, I suppose, I’ve taken a piece of my soul and bared it all over the written page for the world to see."
Thank you Melissa for that honest answer and thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings with the readers of your book! ♥