Real life events impact my writing. I have used random meetings of unique individuals, places I have seen, and research of history and true crime to put my fiction in real spaces. One of the most personal aspects came to pass in Lane Bowden 1973. In the unreleased novel, Lane’s mother, Ellen, is dying of cancer. I based her on my own mother who passed away in 2009. The duality of Lane trying to deal with his sexuality and keeping things together as his mom slipped away informed the character on a deeper level. Even with the changes in care and technology between the early 1970s to the late 2000s, the result was the same on page as in real life. A brain tumor not only effects the state of mind but memory itself. The horror of watching my mom losing touch with reality and wasting away will haunt me forever. Lane was an outlet to tell a personal moment through the therapy of writing in a different context. The world can be unfair and cruel, but there is hidden beauty even in the most horrific tales.
I was able to honor my mother again in Rebel’s Edge, a series based on true events, through the prism of my teenage punk self. The effect was hard in the way of writing from that perspective, without judgement, for the things I put her through. All the chaos and arguments mean nothing in the end. I can’t change time. I love her and miss her soft voice.
Writing can be therapeutic in the sense of dealing with loss. The release of my first novella was the summer after my mom passed, so she never got to see me become a writer. She probably would not like the horror of some of my stories, as she always walked out or covered her eyes in the dark movies I drug her to, but she would be proud that I buried the punk and settled down.