Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

I was extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to be interviewed by veteran Ed Ruckle, who has graciously and generously taken on this project of bringing awareness to the tragedy of children of Vietnam War veterans who suffer from illnesses, thanks to their parents’ exposure to Agent Orange.

Ed told me that he feels that since he’s been blessed with good health all his life, he should help out the next generation, who battles from debilitating illnesses, with no help with medical expenses whatsoever or acknowledgement of culpability from the US government. I applaud and respect Ed for his continuing efforts. And as it turns out, Ed is also a dual Canadian/American like me, who also lived in California for some time! We found out we have a lot in common. His cousin also owns the popular Lebanese chain, Nuba, in Vancouver!

I will also be doing a podcast about my memoir, What Doesn’t Kill Us, with Ed, as well as talk about my forthcoming memoir, 17 Days. More about that soon!

For now, check out this interview. I hope you find it interesting and informative.

If you’re interested after watching my video, take a look at Ed’s channel and check out the interviews with other children of vets: Lori, Melissa, and Josh. ❤️

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Buy these pieces of my brain.

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It’s my birthday! Happy 39th to me! One way I’ve decided to celebrate is by making the Kindle version of my book free for a limited time. So tell all your friends, and if you haven’t already gotten a copy, go get yours now before the promotion period ends.

When I started the publishing journey with this book over two years ago, I was so excited to have numerous agents thrilled to represent my work. Even though I had all the skills and networks to have moderate success with publishing my own memoir, I decided to go the traditional route and have it sent out to publishers in the hopes of getting a decent contract. My agent has been incredible in guiding me through this process, and my book has landed in the laps of several reputable editors. However, as much as they loved the book, they could not get it past the true gatekeepers of the publishing industry–the marketing people. I was told that though my voice was fresh and raw and my story was compelling, the market already had too many “cancer memoirs.” My book was boiled down to those two words, and anything else that makes it unique, timely, and nuanced was made invisible, erased. Also, what these responses say to me is that the “cancer memoir” is done and over, nothing more to be said about it, we’ve heard these stories too much already, unless you’re a celebrity–which I find completely ridiculous. So I made the leap and decided to move forward with publishing the book through my publishing company, Rabbit Fool Press.

The one regret that I have with spending time going the traditional publishing route and not trusting my gut initially with self-publishing is that my father passed away before seeing the book in print. He was excited for me to write this and tell our family’s stories, but he died the day my agent told me that the book was ready to be sent out to the publishers. He did manage to read the first few chapters after he was diagnosed–and he laughed appreciatively. That was awesome. I’m glad he was at least able to do that.

So on my birthday, and in honour of my dad who passed away from cancer which was thought to be caused by exposure to Agent Orange, we are making the Kindle version available free for a limited time. If you agree that this story is worth being heard–that other cancer stories are worth being heard–then share this status with everyone you can, download the book, consider buying the paperback, ask your public library to purchase the book, teach the book, and come out to see me when I do a book tour in Spring 2015. This book’s success depends on grassroots efforts of the communities with which I am aligned–communities that I know all care about making silenced and untold stories known and heard.


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