To complement my daily blog interviews I recently started a series of Author Spotlights and today’s, the twenty-fifth, is of author Ann Pietrangelo.
Ann Pietrangelo is the author of No More Secs! Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Multiple Sclerosis. Making peace with multiple sclerosis, surviving triple-negative breast cancer, and continuing to pursue a career as a freelance writer … well, let’s just say she’s fairly stubborn and doesn’t lack a sense of humor.
A member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, her writing covers a wide range of topics, including multiple sclerosis patient information, her Living with Triple-Negative Breast Cancer series, general health news, copywriting, and articles for sites all around the web.
Ann and her husband, Jim, are partners in WebCamp One LLC, a full-service website development company. They share their quiet Virginia home with their cat, Smokey, who does her best to keep things lively. On any given day you’ll find Jim in the home office while Ann camps out with her laptop in front of the sunny bay window. Not every couple can manage to work together, but these two seem to thrive on it.
No More Secs! Is a poignant and often humorous memoir chronicling their experiences with midlife, marriage, and multiple sclerosis. Ann is currently working on a novel.
And now from the author herself…
As a young girl, I always begged to use my sister’s portable Brother typewriter, even though I didn’t know how to type. I loved the clanking of the keys and fantasized about sitting in a smoke-filled room, a pencil behind my ear, piles of crumpled paper all around, pounding away at my latest novel. I was a weird kid.
Decades later when I finally sat down to write a book, there was no smoke-filled room, no pencil, no piles of crumpled paper, and typewriters were but a fond memory. But I wrote away on a laptop in my home office, at the kitchen table, and on the living room sofa. I wrote away for a year and a half. The result wasn’t a novel, but a memoir – a look inside the thought process of a person with multiple sclerosis. But it’s not all about MS, because life isn’t all about MS. Time keeps moving and, ready or not, MS or not, we must move along with it. At its heart, this is a love story. Romantic love. Love of family. Love of life. The following is an excerpt:
“Your test results are all normal. At this point I would consider the three treatment options we spoke of. There is no hurry in making this decision, but would like to hear back from you in the next couple of weeks. If you have any questions or concerns please call me. Thanks.”
When I was a kid, doctor shows were all the rage on television. I’d seen the pronouncement of diagnosis hundreds of times. The kindly old doctor touches the patient’s hand and looks into his eyes as he breaks the news. He might put an arm around the patient’s shoulder, or comfort the worried spouse. The camera would then zoom in on the patient’s face so we can see the emotional impact up close and personal.
But it seems we’re not going to get our Marcus Welby moment … or anything that even vaguely resembles one.
The email that changes everything lands in my inbox on January 28, 2004, at 2:19 p.m. Just another email mixed with a batch of well-worn jokes and plenty of spam.
That’s how No More Secs! begins and, yes, you read that right. I received my diagnosis of MS via email.
Like relapsing / remitting MS itself, the book alternates between the serious and the silly, as Jim and I find our way in our (then) new relationship, our new careers, and our new reality. Trust me, it’s no tale of woe and, if I did a good job, you’ll come away with a positive feeling.
The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with supernatural thriller author and editor Jeanne Bannon – the one hundred and sixty-seventh of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, directors, bloggers, autobiographers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me. You can also read / download my eBooks here.