Interview with Ali Gilmore, author of The C Card and Me
Tell us about The C Card and Me.
The full title is The C Card and Me – How I beat stage IV cancer (to a pulp). It’s a quick read (under 70 pages) and is written as a conversation between myself, someone newly diagnosed, and their loves ones. It’s based on my experiences dealing with stage IV colon cancer. I share insights, anecdotes and lessons learned to smooth the road ahead for others.
What genre is it?
The book is non-fiction and sits somewhere between the health, self help, humor and motivational categories.
What kind of readers will it appeal to?
It was designed to appeal to people who are newly diagnosed with cancer and their loved ones, but strangely enough I’ve had a lot of positive comments from people who are yet to experience cancer from either end saying that it spoke to them about life in general, about being less afraid and making sure you have things to look forward to.
How long did it take to write?
It took a few days (of non stop, obsessively sitting at the keyboard) to write because a good friend told me her mother had just been diagnosed and they were at a loss. I was in a rush to get as much information to them as possible and as quickly as I could.
What was the most challenging part of your creative process?
Grammar. I was well educated, but not one to follow grammatical rules. Beside that, chemo does a number on the brain and mine was still in that fog as I wrote, so even with a great editor I still found myself worrying if my stubborn insistence of writing how I speak would interfere with its readability or that my foggy brain would be able to write with coherence.
The C Card and Me has a really great cover.
Awesome. That’s in thanks to the great talents of my friend Keen. Great musician too. Didn’t even know he was a graphic artist until a week before the submission deadline. If you’re interested, here’s the “cover story”.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Me? I’m in my 40’s, born and raised in Seattle, the youngest in a family of nine. I loved music and theatre and daydreaming my way through school. In my 20’s I lived in Hawaii and Japan. In my 30’s I took on a career in technology and put singing and acting on the back burner. In 2008, I took music up again by taking guitar lessons, which led to song writing, which led to 8 songs on iTunes, two of which I recorded the week after I started chemo.
As of January, 2012 I’m in remission and on the mend. I’m slowly getting back into music and the goal of recording a full length CD. Beside that, I blog my little heart out to the world to make sure the message gets out. My mission is to get the contents of this book into the heads and hearts of 1,000,001 people, so that when someone asks me what contributions did I make in this life I can proudly say “I helped over a million people become less afraid of cancer and better prepared to deal with it.”
So where can we keep up with your work?
And where can we buy The C Card and Me?
I’m not sure how this came about, but I’m writing a story as an homage to all the geeks I met when working in technology about how to get the (right) girl. Beside that, I’m focused on my mission and getting a trio together so the music dream can get back on track.
Oh, and in accordance to Chapter 13 (of The C Card and Me) “Do What You Love and The Healing Will Follow”, I’m going to Ireland in 2013 for a few weeks. What a life!
Enjoyed this interview? Then check out our conversation with Megan Alexandria Oates.