POSTS BY THE AUTHOR

AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE: PICTURES OF NAPLES, FL,

HOME OF LANGDON AND                    AVA SKINNER

June 1, 2019

I read to learn, so if a book does not teach me anything, I feel cheated. Even though fiction is a story, imagining the world of fictional characters gives me a better understanding of others and a new perspective through which to view the world around me. I hope Twisting Legacy does this for the reader.

 June 22, 2019

I view my book as a reflection on me. As such, I want it to be accurate, readable, thought-provoking, and informative. I am also of a mind that everything can be improved which poses a dilemma for me as a writer. Can one ever improve something too much? I can answer yes to that question. With Twisting Legacy, I have struggled with knowing when to stop correcting, adding, deleting—improving—hence the different editions. I apologize to my readers for delaying and delaying on the final product. Yesterday, I had a little talk with myself and decided enough is enough. So, for better or worse, I am letting this last edition (due out in several weeks) go as is. Whew!  

June 26, 2019

A reader asked:

Did you have a reason for selecting the particular hereditary disease you wrote about in your book?

I was a nursing student in New York City at Cornell University-NY Hospital School of Nursing in the early 1960s and assigned to Goldwater Hospital for a two-month stint as part of the curriculum on chronic diseases. I began at the hospital in the spring. In the mornings, we were picked up at our 70th and York residence for nurses and driven by bus to the facility on an island in the East River. In the afternoons, on clement days, a group of us would sometimes walk home, using the elevator that rose from Welfare Island (now Roosevelt Island) to the center of the 59th street bridge (now Queensboro Bridge).

I have never forgotten the bravery of the two patients with whom I worked  or the examples of courage demonstrated by so many of the other patients at Goldwater. I particularly recall a  young woman who painted with her teeth from an iron lung and used her drawings to make stationary and a good-natured, bilateral amputee who, while lying on his stomach, used canes to propel himself on his stretcher down the hallways. He called himself the Drag King. I can still hear him laugh. My time at Goldwater left an indelible and meaningful mark.

July 14, 2019

A reader asked:

Why did you select Naples, FL as the setting for your book?

I have a home in Naples, so I am familiar with the city’s layout and assets. It is as beautiful as described in the book. I am also fascinated by the old-fashioned phenomenon, season, that takes place during the winter months in Naples. Season brings together year-round and part-time residents, visitors, and tourists to socialize. Reminiscent of the grand “seasons” of the 1870s and 1880s in New York City, Philadelphia, Newport, Chicago, and other cities, the Napolese fling themselves headlong into a flurry of balls, parties, concerts, dinners, auctions, and other activities to the benefit of many charities.

Aug. 20,  2019

A reader asked:

How did you select the subject of your book?

With the mapping of the human genome, medical science has entered a new frontier as significant as our leap into space. By writing a story around an inherited disease, I wanted to pique the readers’ curiosity about genetics in general and genetically-transmitted illnesses in particular because, in the future, we will see many new innovations in the area of genetic medicine. While the benefits of our newly gained knowledge of genes could be many, there are equally as many opportunities for abuse. The general population should be alerted to pay attention to how scientists apply the results of their research. The human gene pool belongs to everyone.

 

The ability of scientists to locate disease-causing genes begs the question, what next? I think it is safe to say that in the future, geneticists will attempt to modify bad genes by altering their DNA. The objective would be to prevent the further transmission of unwanted genetic illnesses. Also, for individuals currently afflicted with hereditary and chronic diseases, gene manipulation raises the hope of discovering gene therapies that would treat and possibly cure their disorders.

As much as the elimination of genetically-related ailments would be welcome, fiddling with the human gene pool for any reason affects us all. If undesired consequences or deliberate abuses are to be prevented, society needs to insist on intense scrutiny and constant oversight of gene manipulation techniques and procedures, not just in our country but worldwide. Genetics is an impossibly complex subject that is hard for the average person to understand, but with the jury still out on the long-term safety of genetically-modified plants and animals, we can’t be too careful. Twisting Legacy is my attempt at provoking interest in the genetic engineering of human genes by bringing to light the all too human desperation of those waiting for present-day cures and therapies and in the future, the prevention of all genetic diseases.

Aug. 27,  2019

A reader asked:

Do you have a favorite character in your book?

Yes. I like Sunny for her intrepidness and sense of humor. She is a do-it-yourself person—a type to which I can relate—a square peg in a round hole, compassionate, and resourceful.

A reader asked:

Since this is your first book, was there something specific that made you want to write one?

Yes. I read a book a few years back that was a waste of time as far as I was concerned. The story was silly, and I came away without a new fact or insight. Since I read to learn and be entertained, I felt cheated. Disgruntled, I thought to myself, even I could write a better book. The comment replayed in my mind like a tune you can’t forget, and tired of hearing it, I admonished myself to put up or shut up. I chose the former option.