I feel like we have come full circle in so many ways. Bailey received his first dose of the vaccine on Saturday. A big step in reclaiming his life, and for the first time in a while, I felt hopeful. The timing is a bit serendipitous, since March 21 is World Down syndrome day. The whole month is spent providing inspirational pictures and shares about our family members with Trisomy-21. Normally, I would tell you the story of how we learned that our oldest would require a little extra from us, but I thought it would be more appropriate to talk about how he inspired me to create the character of Owen in my new book, Her Turn.
Fiction is make-believe. It is an imaginary world where a story comes alive with magical creativity and a lot of hard work. It’s natural but unintentional to create characters who may have traits that resemble people in my life. But, Owen was different. I knew that I wanted to include a character who would normally not hold a pivotal role in a story line. You see, individuals with special needs are not on the media forefront. We are moving forward and I see a lot of progress in that area, but we still have a lot of work to do. While Owen was inspired by Bailey and his many humorous qualities, Owen stands on his own.
I feel like Owen added a necessary layer to the story that helped make it even more relatable. It is a love story, not just between the two main characters, but a reinvention of what a family looks like. I am so proud of being able to have Owen be such an important aspect of the storyline. It gives readers a little peek into an individual with Down syndrome and how they contribute to their community and life, in general.
If you haven’t read my new book, don’t be shy. You can find the links on my website. Happy reading!