If you think about it, even more than ethnic and racial minorities, people with disabilities or who have battled an illness like cancer are severely underrepresented in romance novels. I’m sure part of it is the desire for that whole happily-ever-after thing, and readers have a hard time reconciling that with deadly diseases. Romance novels aren’t supposed to make you ponder your own mortality.
But that has nothing to do with why I said no. Hell, without batting an eye, I could write a romance about a woman who suffers from depression and fights the urge to kill herself.
Because I could do it justice. I know what that feels like. I have a deep-seated understanding of that pain. And I know I could make it a happy book in the end.
I can’t do the story of a cancer-survivor justice. When my sister was going through chemo and radiation, I lived and worked on the other side of the state. I visited when I could, but I wasn’t there. I didn’t live it. As much as I could talk to her about what it was like and research it and do all that, I would still be an outsider.
And I don’t think I could do it, not where it would be worthy of those who have won and lost the fight. At least not until I'm a much better writer.
So, I do what I can. Part of that involved volunteering to be part of Decadent Publishing’s Read for a Cure program. Each month Decadent chooses a book, and for that month all publisher profits go to the American Cancer Society via Relay for Life. This month, the Read for a Cure book is my novella, The Ghost of Vampire Present, and in addition to the publisher profits, I will be adding fifty cents for each copy sold this month to my donation to my sister’s Relay for Life team.