The other day I had lunch with my investment banker. He said, “Do you have a new book coming out?”
I said, “Yes, it’s called YOU’D BETTER NOT DIE OR I’LL KILL YOU.”
He laughed. “Great title.”
“Thanks,” I said. “Chronicle Books is the publisher. It’s a survival guide for people like me who are caring for a spouse, parent, child, or other family member with a chronic or critical illness. It’s got humorous essays about my personal experience with Michael as well as interviews with other caregivers and advice from a whole group of experts. And it’s not depressing.”
“Man, I wish I had that book now,” he said. “I’d give it to my sister, who’s taking care of her brother with ALS.”
The next day I got an email from a friend in New Jersey. She wrote, “I’m going out of my mind taking care of my aunt, who has Alzheimer’s.”
I told her about my book. “It’s coming out in October,” I added.
“I sure wish I could buy a copy now,” she said.
The day after that I ran into a woman here in Santa Barbara who said, “Sorry I haven’t called, but we put my mother in an assisted living facility and it’s been a very emotional experience.”
I told her about my book and said there was a chapter on that very subject.
“I need the book the second it comes out,” she said with a mixture of exhaustion and gratitude.
It seems as if everyone I come in contact with has a story about having to care for someone they love. There’s a collective sigh, a collective look of fatigue and helplessness, a collective need to relax and actually have a laugh about the situation. I wish I could get the book out sooner to lighten people’s loads, but I’m glad it’s on the way.
I just turned in the second copy-edited manuscript to Chronicle and we’re on track for October publication, with the book shipping in late August. Their design team is working on it now, and their art department is supposed to show me some cover samples soon. The marketing director called to discuss plans for promotion and I’m stoked for all this to come together. I’m hoping anyone reading this blog will also help me get the word out.