20 May 2013

In which I share something personal.

I've been working on a foodie romance lately, presumably for Decadent Publishing's line. It started out as a means by which I could get my crush on Chef Scott Conant out of my system, but it's evolved into more than that.

Let me give you a little history.

I thought this would be a fun genre to try my hand at, since I don't do a lot of contemporary work. It started as a fun little romp between two chefs that begins at a Chopped-style competition that benefits a charity. (If you're not familiar with the Food Network show [it's their #1 show] then you should watch an episode. It's great.) Since Scott was competing for charity in a celebrity version of Chopped, I decided to make a fictionalized version of that charity, Keep Memory Alive, for my story.

It just so happens that KMA is a charity that benefits research and treatment for Alzheimer's and other brain diseases. And it just so happens that my family has been affected by dementia and Alzheimer's very recently. So this story suddenly became very close to my heart.

I made the conscious decision for my main character's mother to exhibit the beginning warning signs of dementia. This wasn't an easy one, but as the story started unfolding, I realized it needed to be in there. Knowing what my cousins have gone through in caring for my great-aunt and how difficult it's been for them, I feel like...I don't know what I feel like. But considering all the stupid diseases that run in my family, I'm most terrified by the one that could rob me of my memories and cognition.

So I made another conscious decision. Should this get published (and if it doesn't get picked up, I'm gonna pub it myself), I'm going to donate at least half of whatever I get for it to Keep Memory Alive. It's an amazing charity, and the work it does is incredibly important. Please do not do the pat on the back thing. This is important to me, and I felt like it needed to be shared, not because I think I'm awesome (I don't), but because I think it's important that, as writers and authors, we do our best to shine some light on some unpleasant corners and try to make a difference. 


Teri Anne Stanley said...

What a great idea!

I'm a huge fan of neurodegenerative disorders, LOL...the lab where I work has done research on treatments for diseases like Parkingson's and Schizophrenia, Alzheimers, and the like.
And the heroine of my first book, Deadly Chemistry, studies Parkinson's...I was just thinking that I'd like to do the same with a "portion of the proceeds", but am a little afraid it will come off as a marketing ploy. Of course, if it's a marketing ploy that works to increase awareness and research funding, I guess that's cool, huh?
Anyway, I can't wait to read your story!

Cate Peace said...

Teri Anne, Thanks!

And it's totally up to you how you choose to do that. I'm not sure I'm really gonna make the donations public, but we'll see. I may have to talk to Decadent about how to handle that. If you wanted to just donate x amount from sales of Deadly Chemistry, that' sup to you. Also, I'd really like to read that.

Thanks for commenting! <3

Alexa said...

What a GREAT gesture!

Anonymous said...

So sweet!!!