Here's my story:
My wife and I live in Raleigh NC. I grew up sheltered in a wealthy suburb, Roslyn, on Long Island. Attended UPenn as an undergrad and BC Law 1980. I left the law after 8 years and went into business. My son, 35, is a MD/PhD practicing medicine in Boston. He and his wife have 2 little ones, a boy and girl, awesome grandkids. My daughter is expecting a boy in July.
I had another daughter, Stephanie, who was troubled from the age of 3. Both of my daughters were adopted at birth, 3 days apart. Steph was eventually diagnosed as bipolar and at 17 became a heroin addict. Steph's mom and I had split up a few years prior to that. I became Stephanie's prime supporter for the next 9 years.
I wrote my novel The Long Desert Road while Stephanie was excelling, had a good job, was sober and for the first time felt really good about herself. I had such high hopes, and my novel is uplifting. One of the book's 3 central characters, Lauren, was fashioned after my experiences with Stephanie. Steph even helped me with some of the young dialogue. I completed the novel sometime before the outbreak of Covid.
Stephanie died of an overdose on Oct. 2, 2020, during the isolation of the pandemic. It was horribly surreal when my novel was released 3 months later in January 2021.
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