Cancer stole my sister at the age of 29 and defeated a team of doctors treating my mother four years ago. I've lost several other family members and friends to this ancient enemy and the news that Patry was suffering put another shadow on the horizon. Cancer is a biological terrorist that plays no favorites, makes no promises, and can't be trusted.
I met Patry through Backspace, an online writer's community and followed her journey from waitress to published novelist. I met Patry in person at last year’s Backspace convention in New York, then later in the summer I wrote a short review of her novel THE LIAR’S DIARY in my post, “Books I Read On Vacation.” It was a small review, but the book and its author left a deep impression. Let me tell you why Patry is so special to me.
There were times, though, when I thought I’d never get free of waitressing. I struggled to stay in college while supporting myself. I knew I wanted to be a writer and always felt I had stories inside me. People confided in me while I waited on them. A man and a woman who were married to other people always asked for my station because they knew I was discreet. I was the messenger of a marriage proposal on the patio of Orange Hill Restaurant, the most romantic overlook in all of Orange County. A Hindu Indian family always asked for me because I gave them cheerful service although they always ordered cheese enchiladas, the cheapest thing on the menu and the only vegetarian entrée.
I took a job as an intern for a magazine called CCM and left waitressing behind forever. But like they say about the Marines, I found it to be “Once a waitress, always a waitress.” I connected with Patry about waitressing and found amusement and inspiration in her blog Simply Wait.
The paperback release of THE LIAR’S DIARY, comes out today. Books don't sell themselves. Most authors do a tremendous amount of travel, book readings and signings, and just about any kind of promotion to help readers find their books. While Patry is recouperating and healing, a group of more than 300 writers and bloggers are joining together to promote on her behalf.
I began this post with a diatribe against cancer. Now I’ll end it with a challenge: I will donate $10 to the American Cancer Society in Patry’s honor for every one of my regular readers who buys THE LIAR’S DIARY. To participate, leave a comment here with your intention, then email me a copy of your sales receipt. The challenge will continue through Valentine’s Day, when I will post the amount we’ve collected in the Ovations fight against cancer.
Now for those two ounces of bliss.