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A Saving Solace Q&A

DiQ: Tell us about your thoughts behind this book? How did you come up with this story?
DSB: It's a very personal piece for me, actually. I lost my mother to ALS in December 1998. This story reflects a lot of my own experience and emotions from that time. I needed an outlet to come to terms with a lot of that and writing this has been extremely cathartic.

Q: How long did it take to write?
DSB: I started writing it in January of 2001 and finished it October of 2002, so nearly two years. I didn't want to rush things and it worked out to be exactly what I'd envisioned. I'm very happy with the finished product.

Q: What's your favorite thing about this book?
DSB: People lose loved ones all the time; it's just a fact of the circle of life. Sometimes though a loss can be so traumatic that it changes everything in your life. But, unfortunately, life goes on when we least want it to and I guess I just wanted to let others know that they aren't alone in their feelings. Most of all, you can work through it and get on with your life. I've heard from numerous people of how this book helped them through their grief, old and new. The feedback from Solace has been my most favorite thing. I like to reach at least one person, but I was overwhelmed with the amount of letters I received. It was truly wonderful.

Q: Which of your characters do you most identify with? Why?
DSB: Well, the obvious character would be Kelly Cavanaugh, from A Saving Solace. About 90 percent of Kelly's character was me at one point or another. Again, I was trying to clean out the bad juju I had in my head and luckily my writing helped with that greatly.

Q: What was the most difficult part of writing A Saving Solace?
DSB: The flashbacks I used for Kelly's past with her mother. They were very much a part of my life and were the most difficult to write. After writing one of those scenes, I would either have to walk away from the story for a bit or write a short piece of fluff to take my mind off of reliving that pain again. It was a long two years.

Q: What was the most rewarding aspect of writing A Saving Solace?
DSB: My biggest reward with Solace was that I brought to life many aspects of loss and recapturing one's self with it. I've heard from many readers who had similar experiences losing a loved one and were so grateful to know they weren't alone in their sufferings. I've also had people call their mothers who hadn't talked to them in ages, because they were so moved by the story. That is the biggest reward I could ever hope for with my writing.

Q: Which of your books is the most important to you? Why?
DSB: Solace would have to take the cake with importance to me. As a child, I thought my mom hung the moon; so to watch her deteriorate into nothing before my eyes was the hardest thing I've ever gone through. I've immortalized her story with Solace because I will never forget how she fought just to spend one more Christmas with us, nor will I ever forget how precious she was to me. This was my gift to her in return for her giving life to me.