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The Silent Scream
Another book has opened and soon it will be closed. Captured within its pages another journey starts, this time
from fact to fantasy.
As he grappled to come to terms with the diagnosis of a physically crippling disease, his body swiftly declined until he was finally completely paralysed with no voice. But his mind remained untouched. He was trapped within his body.
Imagine being delivered a death sentence. You are told you have an incurable, fatal disease. Everything you understand about your life is turned upside-down. Your mind is forced to deal with the consequences. How would you view your time? It would all feel like a horrible dream. This, though, is no dream. This is just where the nightmare begins.
The Silent Scream: Living with the Beast is the story of a fit, healthy man who is suddenly struck down. A man dedicated and passionate about nature, forced to suffer at its hands in isolation as he journeys through the last months of his life. It is the dramatised true story of the silent and savage journey of the author’s father and their family, battling against Motor Neurone Disease.
Using the backdrop of nature in this book, written by the author but read through the eyes of her father, the vileness of this disease is magnified. Inspired by the work of Mervyn Peake, William Golding and Peter Ackroyd, The Silent Scream will appeal to anyone who enjoys short stories and true life events.
“This is the abrupt end to my father’s life. It is also a testament to the love my parents had for each other as they tried to fight ‘the Beast’ together until he finally had to let go. As I witnessed the fear and pain that he suffered as he fought to come to terms with his reality, I made a commitment to write about his experience,” the author comments on her inspiration behind The Silent Scream.
Questions I have been asked since writing my book.
'Why is it called 'The Silent Scream'?'
Quote from August chapter 'He could hear the sound of his old voice in his head passing across his vocal cords with message from his brain to put into form and words, but from his lips the sound of nothing came forth. The written word was no more than a scribble, from flamboyant script to frustrated scrawl. Communication was leaving him. His fountain pens lay unused in his desk drawer, ink still not dry in their reservoirs.'
MND is often referred to as the cage. Being trapped in his body with no voice with his intellectual capacity intact, The Silent Scream seemed the right title.
'How long did the book take to write?'
It took me a few years to compile. I stopped writing on many occasions, it was not easy as I was so closely involved. Trying to detach myself, but at the same time recount what my father experienced was difficult.
'Why do you not mention names?'
My mother being so central to the book, I needed her to feel comfortable with the way I approached and wrote it.
They were both extremely private during the time my father was ill and as he was embarrassed by his inability to be the active man he had been, I felt it was the right way to write it.
'The book is quite small in size, why?'
My father was diagnosed with MND in March and died in November the same year. The book comprises of nine chapters, each chapter representing a month. I wanted it to be a short book to convey the speed that MND ripped through our lives.
'What do you think others who read your words will take from them?'
That MND is a truly savage disease that can strike anyone with no mercy. It has no cure. That the last nine months of my father's life were not in vain in that no-one would understand what he went through behind closed doors. That a cure must be found and that my words are not too painful to read that his experience is overlooked. It is sad but not a really hard book to read. To recognise that we take everything for granted when we have it all and we should try to appreciate every moment.
"Are you writing another book?'
Yes in a completely different genre. Let's just say that it will be a journey of fantasy!