ENOUGH WITH THE TAUNTING. I’m finally going to tell you about my third book! But before I do, I want to tell you a little about why I wrote it and what it means to me. BEWARE, PEOPLE. I’m about to be a little serious, but there will be evil bobbleheads at the end, so it’s totally worth it.
Those of you who follow my random internetty things probably know that I’m married. I call my husband Slayer because of this one time he saved me from a swarm of killer bees. (The full and humiliating story is here if you want to read it.) But before that, we were just friends who played Ultimate Frisbee, until he stopped showing up. He’d been diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia. He was 19 years old.
The details aren’t mine to tell, but suffice to say that the prognosis wasn’t good. At all. But Slayer is stubborn as all get out. He didn’t give up, even when it seemed like there was no reason to keep trying because there was no hope. He went through hell, but he survived through a combo of terrific medical care and sheer bullheaded WILL. More than one person called it a miracle.
We started dating just as his hair was growing back. There were a few setbacks and health scares. There was survivor’s guilt. And sure, I did what I could, but I always wished I could do more to show him how much I admired him for being the kind of man who will not back down regardless of the odds. In my mind, that kind of man won’t let you down. That kind of man is a keeper.
He changed his major from engineering to pre-med. And then came miracle number two—the treatment had supposedly destroyed his chances of having children. Our son was born in 2003. (And let me tell you, the conversation where you tell the inlaws that their “sterile” son is your baby daddy? AWKWARD.) Our twins followed in 2006. (And the conversation was much less awkward that time, in case you were wondering.) He’d beaten the odds once again.
Then he became a pediatric oncologist. He works side-by-side, quite literally, with the doctors who saved his life. And more than anyone else, he knows what those kids are going through. Sometimes he’s the only one who can reach them, because he UNDERSTANDS. And true to form, he won’t give up on them or on their families, no matter what.
With all this in mind, it’s probably no surprise that I have a strong emotional reaction to cancer books. And it bothers me that with a few very notable and very awesome exceptions, most cancer patients in YA either die or are broken. I’m not saying that the death stories aren’t important, because they absolutely are. Those kids absolutely deserve to be heard and remembered. I’m just saying that I want more stories about the other side of the coin. There are people out there who more than anything need to hear about the successes. I wanted to see a story about a former cancer patient who not only survived but THRIVED.
So I decided to quit whining and write one.
It’s the book of my heart, the one that was so hard to write and so incredibly worth it. I was so thrilled to hear that it officially sold a couple of weeks ago, although I don’t yet know when it will be released. I owe a special round of thanks to my agent, Kate Testerman, and my editor, Wendy Loggia, for throwing their support behind it.
And thanks always and forever to Andy, aka Slayer, my own personal hero. Woven into this book are bits of his story, and I am so grateful to him for trusting me with them. If my heroine Casey is half a kickass as he is, then I’ll consider it a job well done.
The book is called DEMON DERBY. It’s about a cancer survivor who becomes a demon fighting derby girl. It’s full of roller derby, and ninjas, and Kong Tut, and foam parties, and bad guys with 80s hair, and hot avatars in gaudy Hawaiian shirts, and evil bobbleheads. It’s about realizing that your old life might be gone, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make something amazing happen. It’s about taking risks and falling in love against the rules. It’s about falling down on roller skates. It’s about getting up and skating some more. It’s about owning the fact that you’re bald and you have scars and some people can’t look past that. And it’s about how lucky some people are, because they see the real you, and that person is a heckload of awesome. It’s about standing up to all-encompassing evil because it needs to be done. And did I mention there are evil bobbleheads?
Casey Kent is a girl who won’t back down regardless of the odds. She reminds me of someone I happen to be married to, except he never drew on his bald head with a hot pink marker as far as I’m aware. I can’t wait for you to meet her.
Very moving story. I am so interested that he became a pediatric oncologist! My son (14 yo) was recently diagnosed with crohns and has spent much time with a pediatric GI. When he was doing a "future profession" type paper for one of his classes recently I told him he should think about that some day because he's good with kids and has lots of first hand GI knowledge! I am going to pass your husband's story along! (not that what you pick for an 8th grade paper has to be what you do, but hey, it's a start)
I am crying reading this and it feels amazing. Congrats, Carrie! Can't wait to read it.
Such an amazing story, and so very hope-inspiring.
Super looking forward to the book, and thank you for trusting us with your tale ^_^
OMGosh.....Love this. I can't wait to read it
I can't wait to meet your new heroine :) Congrats on the third book deal!
Wow. I so want to read this one, for so many reasons.
I am so excited for this. Yay Carrie!
This sounds amazing!
YAY!!! Congrats on the new book sale! I'm so happy for you. And I loved your heroic tale of your husband beating cancer, and can't wait to read this new book.
Wow...Carrie, this is packed so full of amazing I can barely stand it. Congrats doesn't say enough!!!
Jana: I have a family member with Crohns--I hope your son is doing well and has his symptoms under control!!! It sounds like he'd be a natural--absolutely pass the story along!
Elana: Feels pretty amazing from this end too. ;)
Loralie: Thank you! I hope it meets up to your expectations! I promise to work my tail off on it!
Gretchen: BACONATORS UNITE!
Christine: Thank you! Can't wait to read your new one too!!
Rebecca: She's pretty butt-kicky. And as I recall, you like butt-kicky characters. :)
Susan: GOOD NEWS! YOU CAN! :)
Kelly: I hope you like it. There are no cockroaches, but there is amaretto cherry ice cream in it.
Jill: Thanks so much! It was pretty amazing to write.
Elizabeth: It sounds like a tv movie or something, doesn't it? But it's all true!
Wow! I would have read the book anyway, but now that I know the backstory, I HAVE TO READ IT!!! WoW!!!
This book sounds COMPLETELY AWESOME! I can't wait to read it! And your hubby--wow. What an amazing, inspiring person. You're very lucky to have found him!
*loves* *LOVES* <3
I would have bought the book because the cover said DEMON DERBY. The whole story behind it only makes it that much a thousand times better! Can't wait!
Carrie. All of this. xoxoxo and one more xo.
You know...if you need any advice, I have been known to do a little roller derby in my day ;) I'm so happy for you and your continued success as an author!!!
ATU: MWAHAHAHA! MY NEFARIOUS PLAN WORKED. Uh. I mean...er...thanks? :)
Christina: Crazy how things turn out, isn't it? *hugs back*
Mary: I couldn't be any luckier if you painted me green and stuck a leprechaun hat on me. Although it would be a fashion statement, wouldn't it? :)
Lola: *loves back* *loves back EXTRA*
Rebecca: Will you read it on your treadmill desk? For some reason, that strikes me as EXTRA awesome. <3
Caroline: Right back atcha, sister. :)
Knit Wit: I'm so glad you offered, because you're kind of already on the list. HAH!
You are amazing. (Look! I said something sincere on the internet!!!)
What a story. Slayer sounds incredible and if a tiny bit of his strength is in Casey, I'm certain we'll love her. I can't wait to read it! :)
This is SO awesome, I'm almost without words. Wow. I gotta come up with a good t-shirt for this, but until then, Congrats to you and Andy.
CARRIE! You have given me THE CHILLS.
Congrats to you and to Slayer. Can't wait to read it! :)
What an incredible story, Carrie. I've been following your blog for YEARS (re: before you got an agent). I loved BAD TASTE IN BOYS, I'm excited for BAD HAIR DAY and cannot wait wait wait for DEMON DERBY).
From one survivor (not of cancer...but still, a survivor of death many times) to another, thank you for sharing your husband's story.
I can't wait to read this, Carrie! What an inspiration your husband is, and I'm so happy you decided to write such an important story. Congratulations! :)
I teared up reading this!! You and your family are wonderfully strong and your husbands story is very touching.. yes I do have water in my eyes!
I can't wait to read your book, it will be powerful!
Thank you so much for sharing this with us!
Beautiful! I can't wait to read this, and your exciting spin on a subject that is so painful for many.
Amy: Ditto! (Also, SKULL RETREAT. MUST HAPPEN.)
JRJ: I hope I manage to capture some of it! No pressure, right? And THANKS!
Joanne: Something tells me that you'll come up with an awesome t-shirt. I still think that's the coolest thing, you know.
Larissa: THE CHILLS?!? That's pretty awesome! Thanks so much!
Rachel: I remember you! Thanks so much for sticking around all this time, and for all the kind words and for ALL THE THINGS.
Julie: I feel like a broken record here, but thank you! I hope to do it justice.
Danny: I'm sorry; I tried to warn people about the teary bits. Honestly I did! ;) But I really hope the book lives up to your expectations and is worthy of being taken along on vacation with you. :)
LMP: I really like how you put that--the exciting spin on a painful subject. I don't for a minute want to take away from the pain or make it seem all LA-LA-EASY! But that doesn't mean that the story has to be the pain or that it can't spin off into exciting and crazy directions. That's certainly how it happened for us. Thanks so much for your comment; it really resonated with me!
It sounds amazing! And it will be amazing, because you're writing it from the heart, and those are the best books! (As opposed to books written from earlobes or big toes.)
So happy for you, lady. Can't wait to read it.
Your husband sounds amazing and this book sounds amazing!
You have one incredible family, girl!
Wow! Thanks for sharing Slayer's amazing story. I can't wait to read book 3!!
Congratulations on the new book deal, Carrie. But more than that, congratulations on having a supportive, empathetic husband and three miracle kids.
Oh my gosh!!! That's amazing!! I can't wait to see you at school Princess Sparkles
Vivi: Now I really want to try and write a book from my big toes. WE COULD COWRITE IT. :)
Kelly: Yeah, I'm a heckload of lucky, aren't I? If I wasn't me, I think I'd HATE me. But seriously, thanks!
Diane: Thank you for thanking me!? Which sounds weird, but hopefully you know what I mean. I really hope you enjoy it!
Krista: I know, RIGHT? I think it's so easy to lose perspective on the things that really matter, and I'm so lucky in all the best ways. AND I have great writer friends who leave nice comments on my blog. #happy
Olivia: I can't wait either!!!!!!
I'm ADDICTED to roller derby and you!!! Whenever you're in Houston I'll have to treat you to my favorite derby girls, the Psych Ward Sirens!
I am so very in love with the entire paragraph about your idea. I'm also grateful that you chose to tell this story to us, your fans and fellow writers.
Hot Diggity Dawg with Disco Sauce!! Derby girls RAWK.
I love this - really!
That sounds like not only a book I'd read, but a book I'm making my roller-derby friend read and give to all her teammates.
Stoked for you, Carrie. You are a rock star in my book.
(and say hi to Slayer for me, he's one bad dude)
I teared up reading this post. Can't wait to read this book! It's going to be amazing, I can already tell:)
AHH! I vote Adam Lambert!
Okay. I'm crying.... Need this DEMON DERBY book NOW!!!
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