Emily M. DeArdo


NaNoWriMo 2012 novel

Written: November 2012

This novel came from an idea that’s pretty close to life for me–a woman with a genetic disease and so-so health becomes pregnant, which is risky proposition for her. I added a bit of dystopian flavor to it by creating a futuristic United States where genetic disease is int he process of being systematically “removed” via forced sterilizations and abortions, with severe penalties for subversion. (And really, this isn’t too imagined, given the abortion rate of babies with Downs Syndrome, for example.)

Kate is a doppleganger for me, really, living a life I’d like in another universe. She’s an opera singer, married to a lawyer (Matthew), who practices International Law. Like me, Kate has CF and has had a lung transplant. I’ve adjusted some of the medical facts to fit my story, however. This novel required research into Korean foods, the judicial appellate process at the federal level, and the opera Eugene Onegin, so it was fun to write from that perspective. Kate and Matthew’s relationship is drawn from several I have had.

This is the first novel I actually finished, meaning it has a clear beginning, middle, and end, and parts of it ran away with me as I raced to finish it. I like it when writing takes on a life of its own.

The story has an alternating narrative structure, meaning that Kate and Matthew take turns narrating the story. 

You can read the first chapter here