Thursday, December 15, 2005

The inspiration behind "The Greek's Christmas Baby"

I was discussing this with some readers on another board and thought it would be a great blog topic. So, here it is.

I wrote "The Greek's Christmas Baby" after my mom had a stroke. She woke up and had forgotten her family...her kids mostly. But she remembered her husband in this vague way and he is obsessive compulsive (not very nice on a lot of occasions - can be very emotionally abusive). My sisters and I were so hurt and it took weeks for Mom to start remembering us. During that time, I came up with this story idea. What would happen if a husband woke up having forgotten only his wife?

I think a lot of my own pain is in that story and I loved both Eden and Aristide because in their own ways, they were fighting the good fight. They just got confused sometimes about who the enemy was.

I remember sitting in the chair by my mom's hospital bed (I spent *a lot* of time at the hospital because I'm the only daughter who works at home, so I worked there and just hung out with her a lot) and taking tons of notes on her condition. At one point she asked what I was doing and I told her I was taking notes for a book. She gave me this look, a conspiratorial one - for a brief flash, she remembered that about me, not that I was her daughter but that *everything* was fodder for my books. She smiled and winked and I blinked back tears. A few hours later she remembered out of the blue that she had six children. She still didn't recognize us, but she remembered that she'd had us. It was a good moment.

The funny thing was, the doctors couldn't understand the amnesia at first. They said the part of her brain affected by the stroke should not have impacted her memory. It was only after a second MRI that they saw how massive the stroke really had been. But you many of the themes in that book played out in my mom's hospital room and later. And now I'm getting all emotional thinking about it. It's good to have her remembering us...not a gift we're ever likely to take for granted.



Reese said...

Thanks so much for sharing that story.

My copy of GCB has arrived in the mail, but since I bought it with my husband's credit card, he's now claiming that it's technically an Xmas present, so I can't read it until Christmas. Hmmph.

You touched upon a very interesting point in that post - about everything that happens in an artist's life being fodder for their work. I tend to think that's one of the most useful things about being creative. You can take a step back and view things through your "artist's" lense, then even horrible situations are manageable. The ability to do that is an incredible gift.

Lucy Monroe said... are so right, but the gift can be a double edged sword because that also means that you are so much more connected to your art that when someone doesn't like it, it's much to easy to feel a personal rejection.

Reese said...

Very true, Lucy. It's almost unnatural, the amount of rejection and criticism that writers subject themselves to. One needs to have a very thick skin (well, either that or a voodoo doll, like I have). Tee hee.

Michele said...

Hi Lucy!
I just read, The Sheikh's Bartered Bride and Blackmailed into Marraige.
Loved them both..I enjoy how you write the male POV.
At the end of Blackmailed, you had a postnote about the dysfunction written about. It showed a true caring, and after reading your post, I get the impression that alot of that sensitivity and caring comes from how you are in real life.
That's a beautiful element to share with us readers.

I just wanted to say Thank You,
and I hope your Mom is doing better.

Stacy ~ said...

Lucy, you've shared a lot of yourself with your readers and really put yourself out there. I think that's what makes your books all the more rewarding for readers because it comes from a place of genuine emotion.

Revealing the inspiration behind TGCB was very moving, and it obviously had involved some painful moments. But you seem to be able to put everything into perspective and concentrate on why it was a positive thing-not an easy thing for a person to do, yet you manage it with such grace and humor. Thank you Lucy for being so open to your readers and allowing us into your life. We are blessed to read your books and to know you.

Lucy Monroe said... voo doo doll, just commmitment to an adage I live by. Pain will either make you stronger and more compassionate or bitter. You decide which way you are going to go and I try to choose compassionate and stronger...even with rejection. LOL

Michele...I've done a lot of lay counseling for women and I believe that by being open about truth, we can help all women (people really) deal with and overcome the challenges that face them. If my books do that in some tiny way, I am so blessed! are always such a blessing. It is important for each of us to learn how to make the pain in our lives something positive. I think artists have an extra outlet for that and for that we are very lucky. :)

Hugs to you all,

Judy F said...

wow Lucy that is something. I really enjoyed that book and its more special now.

Lucy Monroe said...

Thanks,'s neat to have stories like this behind books because we realize that romance is an emulater of life, not all fantasy. I think it's really least it has been in my life and if I can touch someone the way I've been touched, I'll feel truly blessed. :)


joel said...

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Chantal said...

oh wow!
The Greeks Christmas baby is one of my all time favorite books. It's wonderful to know the story behind it.
Thank you for sharing that with us.