I met Leanna at a book event in Flat Rock, NC. We were seated together behind a table piled with our books hoping attendees would flock to buy them! And when we weren’t being flocked, we got to talk and discovered much in common beyond being writers.
Now, Leanna’s stories aren’t like mine–her latest features a serial killer! And yet, she writes from a similar place–a place that wants to honor the people she loves. And that’s exactly what she’s done in her new novel Hush, which releases tomorrow!
Leanna Sain – Hush
The story about a serial killer who uses the verses of the lullaby, “Hush, Little Baby” as a sort of blueprint for his murders had been percolating in my brain for a while, but the actual writing didn’t begin until Mama started going downhill with her Alzheimer’s. So, I guess you could say, she was the inspiration for writing this new novel, Hush.
I was struggling badly with the pain, anger, and frustration of it all and I needed an outlet. I hated that there was absolutely nothing I could do to stop the inevitable. A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is a death sentence. The worst kind of death. It steals away everything that makes a person who they are. My Mama was gone. Oh, yes, there was an empty shell who looked like her, but that’s where any similarities ended. The person I loved and who loved me died long before her shell did, and there was nothing I could do about it.
So I decided to give my protagonist’s mother Alzheimer’s so we could travel this road together. It was a mean thing to do, but at that point in my life, it felt necessary, and it allowed me to honor Mama by weaving some of the things she said and did into my story. Doing this helped remind me that God is in control even when everything feels chaotic. It helped me to have this tiny measure of control over one small thing in a fictional world.
Another way I decided to honor Mama is by donating my royalties to Alzheimer’s research. It’s my hope that it will help them find a cure for this terrible disease so others won’t have to go through what my family did.
You can learn more about Leanna and her books at www.LeannaSain.com.