In My Parents’ Passing I tell a captivating story and share heart-wrenching decisions I was forced to make as first my father, then my mother, succumbed to Alzheimer’s. I have woven throughout the book the ten warning signs of Alzheimer’s and write alongside these of my own parents examples. Seeking God and His Word for guidance, I strive to not only to educate the masses about Alzheimer’s but also give hope to others in this situation and point others toward God during these troublesome family times. This is my first published book.
Tell us something about yourself.
I was born to two wonderful parents on Long Island and come from a Christian background, my father being a minister of the Word and a pioneer in his day starting churches all over North America and Canada. I have three older brothers, and yes, I being the only girl and the baby of the family. I was married for 26 years, raised 2 wonderful sons, have 5 fabulous grandchildren now and am currently involved and have been for more than 13 years. I ran my own golf range for 3 1/2 years – doing everything from picking and washing balls, mowing 18 acres each week and keeping up the tee line and short game area. We now partner a range together doing pretty much the same thing in the care of a range on an old landfill that we own and is 36 acres. I began writing for children several years ago and do have a children’s book I would like to publish someday soon. I felt compelled to write about my parents’ and Alzheimer’s, how this mind stealing disease changed their personalities and how it finally took over their minds where they lost the ability to function socially and bodily. Alzheimer’s touches a vast amount of lives and is now the 6th cause of death in America. I have a web site, www.earlenelamnek.com , which is an excellent source of information on Alzheimer’s, with experts of my book and my event calendar. Also on my web site I show some of my artwork. I have drawn portraits for many years and find drawing a time to unwind and relax.
What inspired you to write this book?
My inspiration is three-fold: to put in writing for my own family memories; to educate the masses on how detrimental Alzheimer’s is to a functional lifestyle; and to show that God’s grace makes the trying process easier to endure.
How did you choose the title?
The title came naturally and seemed very fitting.
What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?
Not publishing a book before and writing about information that people would want to know was my first encounter. It was so important to me that I used money that we really needed for other things to pay to publish it; I wanted others to know how real Alzheimer’s is and be of help to strangers too even though it was very hard to write about my family’s demise. Not knowing what publisher to choose was also a barrier for me but it quickly diminished – I researched publishers on line and chose Tate Publishing, sent my manuscript and gratefully they chose me as well. Tate Publishing has wonderful people there that helped me so much every step of the way as a new author. I know the success of this book will go to God and partly be due to Tate as well. I find marketing is the toughest obstacle! Keeping up with booking new events and making as many people aware of it as I can is very difficult work when you also have a job and a life!
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
My thoughts were not that I wanted to be a published author – I only wanted to share my story so others would not have to go through the trying trials that I did. Other than this book, I have had a desire to write for children and do have some stories I would like to publish soon I hope. I have even shared one of them with Tate Publishing and they loved it, but I will have to sell 5,000 copies of this book first before I can publish it with them without spending money I don’t have.
Do you have any writing rituals?
When something rests heavy on my heart they truly just flow out of me. If taking time to sit down and write it is a ritual then that would be mine!
How do you come up with the names for your characters?
Unfortunately, as I said before, it was hard writing about my family’s demise, so everyone in my story are real. There is nothing concocted or made up.
Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?
I did. Different ones who have read my story are genuinely touched and also feel it has been a tremendous help to them for their loved one.
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
I don’t know if I could do anything differently. I guess the only thing I wish that was different was the cost to publish it. It was truly a hardship to come up with the money.
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?
I’m not good with recalling names, but I do like suspense, biographies/autobiographies. I like reading about real people and where their lives took them.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
I do have a children’s book I’ve written and waiting for the right time to publish it. Its about a little girl with an imagination, finds adventure and shares her discovery with her teacher and classmates. Its called: The Perfume Project.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
My story was something that was heavy on my heart and wouldn’t let go. If someone feels passionate about a certain subject, write down those thoughts and on their heart and mind and see where it goes from there.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
I originally had my sights on people going through now what I was going through with my parents, but as time went on, I discovered its also for ones who have already gone through this and can also identify with me as well as compare their experiences along side mine. I’ve asked a lot of people and 4 times out of 5 most know of someone relatively close to them that have Alzheimer’s or are concerned they may have Alzheimer’s. It is earth shattering the amount of people who are touched in one way or another with this disease and at the same time disturbing about the ones who don’t know much at all.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
I would hope they are looking for a book on this subject. There are other books on Alzheimer’s, mine reads like a story, has helpful information on where your loved one should be staying and what to look out for in these homes in order to select one that they would be most comfortable with. I share all my experiences.