Baby Dust is a not yet released novel (release date is October 2011) by Deanna Roy and published by Casey Shay Press. I was contacted by Deanna and asked if I would like to review the book and of course I said yes! I had already caught wind of this book and it intrigued me. Once I knew about the book I wanted to read it. So to start out I’d like to allow my readers to learn a little more about the book Baby Dust and the author, Deanna Roy, through questions answered by her. I will review the book in another post.
What gave you the idea to write Baby Dust?
I had been running my miscarriage website (www.pregnancyloss.info) for about 8 years and recommending the best books on loss. I noticed something was missing-a book that really got behind the scenes of women’s lives after they lost a baby. What their husbands did. How their coworkers treated them. How they managed being around pregnant women. These are things we don’t always share, and so when it happens to us, we don’t know the pitfalls ahead. I decided to try writing it.
Had you written a novel before?
I’ve been a writer forever! Baby Dust was actually the third full-length book I wrote. But it’s the first to be published. I’m more known for my funny articles about being a writer who never gets any respect. Baby Dust was super-serious. A different tone from my published work, but very much in line with the writing on my website.
Were there difficulties in managing these stories?
Certainly. I cried a LOT. (Still do, almost every day.) I was particularly touched by several anecdotes. One was a step-mother who reconciles with her step0daughter by making an angel scrapbook for the lost baby. I put that in the book. Another was the couple who cremated their baby in a campfire as they were out in the woods when it happened. And the story of the woman who watched the heartbeat go to zero on the monitor. I just couldn’t have imagined some of these details.
But you lost three babies yourself, right?
Yes, My first loss was at 20 weeks gestation. I was teaching high school, and my students were waiting for me to call with the gender. I never called them. When we got to the doctor, we found the baby didn’t have a heartbeat.
And so you started the web site.
Exactly. I had already resigned my teaching job, as the due date would interfere with the start of the student publications, which I was advised. So I ended up with no job and no baby. Worst summer of my life. I spent it learning HTML and putting up a fledgling little site, mainly because so little was out there to tell you what to expect.
What did you hope Baby Dust would achieve?
Well, my greatest hope is that it will help other women see that they are not crazy or alone. Sometimes we do things that other people can’t understand.
Oh, I used to hug the tree we planted. I mean full on, sit on the ground, legs and arms wrapped around the trunk. Women stepped up with some heart-stopping stories. The placenta in the freezer was one. I understand not wanting to let things go. Many women talked about trying to figure out how to bury their babies.
What’s one message you want women to take from the book?
For those who have had losses, I really hope they take Stella’s message to heart. We are survivors. And survivors can’t always act like everyone else. Sometimes we have to do what we have to do to get by. For those who haven’t lost a baby, I hope they recognize how important their word and reaction are to baby loss moms. A small comforting gesture goes a very long way. A card is kept forever. Seriously, forever.
But undermining her pain might end the friendship for good saying “It was God’s plan” or “At least you were only X weeks along” is about the worst thing you could do. I hope they get a chance to understand how our grief works.
What is one thing that has surprised you?
There was one shock. I asked women to send me audio recordings of their voices answering several questions for the book trailer. I got recordings from all over the world-Russia, Ireland, Australia, London, Mexico, the US. And in answer to the last question, “What is one thing you’d like to see changed about loss?” they all said the same thing.
“I’d like to be able to talk about my losses.”
”I want to end the silence about loss.”
”I want to feel free to bring up the subject of my baby.”
All over the world, the same thing. So that’s what I’m setting out to change.
Here is peek at the video trailer for Baby Dust courtesy of Deanna:
To contact Deanna you can email her at Deanna@deannaroy.com.
Coming up: A review of the book Baby Dust and a giveaway!