We are less than a month away to the release of AS YOU WISH. I’m sure by now, if you follow me, you’ve heard me talk about the magic, the hero and heroine; I’ve shown you the cover, the arcs, told you about the contests, and pretty much have shared my excitement about the upcoming release. Now I want to tell you about my author’s note.
In AS YOU WISH, I have two special characters, Tommy and Joy. They are bakers. And Tommy has Down syndrome, and Joy has...well, Joy is just Joy. My heroine, Reggie, has set up a bakery for her two friends. Reggie runs the business aspect of the endeavor and supervises her friends. And they are her friends first and foremost. Tommy and Joy have a real talent for baking. It doesn’t hurt that they have magic too, but I strove to keep them realistic. I came to love these two characters. Good thing too, because, you see, my daughter was the inspiration for them.
Like Joy, my daughter doesn’t have a specific diagnosis, but it wouldn’t matter anyway. She is who she is. We celebrate her accomplishments, fight for her rights, and simply enjoy her for who she is. I don’t want to make us seem like some ideal family—we fight, and she has those terrible teenage hormones and can give us attitude like any other kid. In fact she is more normal than not in many ways. And that’s what we focus on—all the many things she can do. She thrives on her independence, loves to sing (horribly off key—she inherited my husband’s singing voice), plays a wicked Wii game, makes her own lunches for school, and bakes the family brownies. Give her rules and instruction, and she can do almost anything. The hardest part of her life is getting other kids to accept her for who she is.
Did you know that fifty-four percent of people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) never receive a phone call from a friend in their lifetimes?
When I first heard this stat, it shocked me, but didn’t surprise me. I know the loneliness my own daughter suffers from. Until she hit high school There she joined a group dedicated to breaking down the barriers society sees for people with IDD. Best Buddies International is a non-profit organization dedicated to establishing one-on-one friendships for people with IDD. They have groups in schools, colleges, communities, and even in the business world. You can find out more about them at www.BestBuddies.org. Because of Best Buddies™, my daughter receives texts on her cell phone, attends dances, goes out to eat, and has made friends who don’t judge her or look to help her. They are just friends.
So I’ve decided to support Best Buddies™ with more than just the words here. For the next five years, I pledge ten percent of my royalties from AS YOU WISH to Best Buddies™. That’s what my author’s note says. It explains my reasons, and talks about Tommy and Joy, and my own joy, my daughter. I hope you will support me in my endeavor, and besides, you’ll get a good read in the meantime. At least I think so.
Books I’m reading now:
Destined for an Early Grave by JeanieneFrost