Alzheimer's, art, book, book about caregiving, book about dementia, caregiver, caregiving, caretaker, dementia, family, FLD, Fractured Memories, frontal lobe dementia, frontotemporal dementia, FTD, humor, marketing, publish my book, self publish, self-publishing
Bear with me (or bare with me, if you’re feeling frisky) for a moment. I realized I should really do a post that doesn’t include me bragging about all the mistakes I’ve made thus far in the self-publishing process and just do a post about the book itself. So here’s the skinny:
I wrote a book.
Now here’s the fatty:
It’s called Fractured Memories: Because Demented People Need Love, Too. Basically, in 2009, my dad was diagnosed at the age of 65 with frontotemporal dementia, a form of dementia that strikes early and progresses more quickly than Alzheimer’s, and for which there is no treatment to slow the progression of the disease. Via art and on this blog, I began documenting my family’s heartbreaking and hilarious experiences.
As a professional artist, I’ve often turned to art as a self-prescribed therapy to help deal with life’s trials. This battle was no different. I utilized the elephant as a symbol for dementia (because an elephant never forgets), and incorporated sheet music into the paintings because my dad had been a musician. Eventually, I created 40 paintings that are included in the book. I began blogging about the range of issues that arose daily as the disease progressed, documenting everything from my own fear of getting dementia, to my dad’s transition to diapers (and the various places he opted to drop his drawers and just “go”), to combatting his compulsions like the need to “clean” the cars with steel wool, to an exploration of how he might have gotten the disease, to finding the right dementia care facility, to the best ways to make him giggle. I approached the disease from the fresh viewpoint of a younger caregiver.
As my readership here grew, so did the suggestions from you awesome people that I turn the blog into a book. After hearing too many horror stories about traditional publishing contracts, I decided to self-publish. I ran a fundraising campaign for my book and presold over 500 copies in less than a month.
My dad was my best friend. He embraced the ridiculous, looked for the good in people, and mentored and helped people whenever he could. Following his diagnosis, when people asked how he was doing, he’d answer, ‘Not bad for a demented guy.’ He looked for the light hiding amidst the pain. He chose to be very open about what he was going through in the hopes that it would help other people cope with their own diagnosis or a loved one’s diagnosis. Writing this book seemed a fitting way to honor that legacy.
I tried not to shy away from the ugly, raw emotion of life with dementia, but I also looked for the laughter where it could be found. Rest assured, you will love my father as much as I do when the book is done, and perhaps gain some insight about how to cope with your own loved one’s dementia or how to support a caregiver.
So now that you’re all frothing at the mouth in sweet, sweet, demented anticipation, here’s where you can get it:
- Buy a paperback copy directly from me at http://shop.emilypageart.com/. When you buy it from me, you save a couple bucks and I make more on each book. Win win. And if you tell me you’ve ordered and tell me a terrible joke on any of my posts on the blog after you’ve placed your order, I’ll sign your copy with a terrible joke in return. Win win terrible win.
- Buy a hardcover or paperback copy off of Amazon here.
- Buy an eBook here or here.
And when you’ve had a chance to read it, and if you like it, please consider leaving a good review on GoodReads or Amazon or the stall door at Starbucks (only on a piece of paper taped to the door, please don’t vandalize). And then make sure your local caregiver and/or dementia support groups know about it. If you read it and don’t like it, please lie.
Hearts and snugglehugs,