I have been following the blog Riding Bitch for some time. I recommend you check it out too! (Her blog link is listed on the right below). We have recently decided to do some guest interviewing with each other as we have a lot in common. She posted an interview with me last week. Here is some information about the author.
Niva Dorell Smith is a screenwriter, director and producer. She has directed award-winning short films, music videos, television and documentaries. She has been an educator at the New York Film Academy and is currently a film mentor for the Make a Film Foundation, an organization that assists children with life threatening illnesses in making small “legacy” films. She is currently writing her first book about her experience of loving, caregiving, losing and grieving her late husband who died of brain cancer in 2011.
Q: Under what circumstances did you become a widow? And how did that lead to the book you are writing?
A: My husband died in May 2011 from an aggressive form of brain cancer at the age of 43. We had married only 11 days earlier when he was on hospice. After his death, I experienced the strange sensation of feeling both like a newlywed and a widow. We had both been through such an intense experience in a short amount of time (three years total as a couple, one with cancer), it felt unnatural to cease communicating with him. I was also suffering from post-traumatic stress, survivor and caregiver’s guilt. I had been writing the whole time we were together – in my journal, in emails, in letters I wrote while working abroad for a few months. Once he was gone and I was alone in the silent apartment, the writing intensified. I continued writing in my journal. I wrote him love letters. I wrote down every memory I could remember from our time together. I didn’t know what I was writing. I just knew that I had to get things out, and from losing my mother 20 years earlier that Time erases memories.
After a while, I started piecing bits together, recreating our story with a literary patchwork of descriptive narrative, letters, emails, text messages, voicemail and video transcripts. The result is a book currently entitled THE HISTORY OF US. It isn’t published yet but it will be in 2013.
Q: Do you think there is an audience for such a book?
A: I think there is an audience for almost any book, but especially one about a real couple going through an extraordinary experience. My book is an emotionally honest and very compelling portrayal of two young people who were thrown into a “tsunami” of challenges before they had even moved in together, and end up making the ultimate commitment. I think many people will relate to it, both young and old, sick and healthy, because ultimately it’s a great (and tragic) love story.
As I mentioned, I think Niva and I have a lot in common. Check out her blog!