Today we’re interviewing the lovely Nicholas from Marie Landry’s novel Blue Sky Days. Definitely our most interesting character interview so far – take a look and you’ll see why.
Hi Nicholas – thanks for joining Aside from Writing today, we’re really pleased to be in Riverview to meet you. For people who are not aware of your situation, would you mind giving us some background?
Thanks, it’s great to talk to you today. I was diagnosed with leukemia around the beginning of September. I work in construction, so I’m used to long hours of hard work. It can be tiring, but I’m a pretty energetic guy, and I like to stay busy. When I started waking up tired, and then staying tired and listless during the day, I knew something was wrong. I hoped it was the flu, but I didn’t have any other flu-like symptoms. My mom died of leukemia when I was a kid, so that was always in the back of my mind. I went to the doctor almost right away, and within two weeks, they’d diagnosed me, and shortly after that I started treatments.
And so – you’ve just spent the last few days in hospital and had your first chemo sessions this week. How’s that been?
Not as bad as I expected, to be honest. I know it’s going to get worse as time goes on, but this week was more…strange than anything, I guess – having to leave home, check into the hospital, be away from my normal life. It was easy to pretend that the doctors were wrong and I didn’t really have cancer, but when they stuck that IV in me and I started my first treatment, it was impossible to deny.
This is obviously a really tough thing for anyone to go through – what helps you to cope with the difficulties you’re facing?
Love and support from friends and family. I don’t think I could get through this without my dad, my girlfriend Emma, my two best friends, and Emma’s aunt Daisy. They’ve been incredibly supportive, and they don’t treat me like a cancer patient who needs to be protected or coddled.
We met Emma outside :) you guys are obviously very close – how have things been for her since you found out about your illness?
Well…it hasn’t been easy, but she’s been…god, I can’t even tell you how amazing she’s been. When I first found out I was sick, I wanted to keep it from her, to protect her. We’d had this incredible summer that was the stuff of daydreams, and dumping all of this on her just seemed like such a huge burden to put on someone so young. She might kill me for saying this, but she’s got this sweet innocence about her, and I didn’t want to ruin that. I know how stupid I was now, though. She’s been so strong, and she’s been there every step of the way, from doctor’s appointments, to walks to help me keep my strength up, to spending time with me in the hospital and sitting with me during my chemo treatments.
So – you’ve not been together a huge amount of time then? OK – then let’s talk romance if that’s alright…? How did you and Emma first meet?
I met Emma when she first moved to town to live with Daisy. I was walking in the park one day and I sat down to read, and she was sitting at the top of the hill. The minute I saw her, I knew I had to go talk to her.
And – can we ask – was it love at first sight or do you not believe in that?
As cheesy as it sounds, yeah, it was definitely love at first sight – for me, anyway. I saw her sitting there at the top of that hill, looking like an angel with the sun streaming down on her, and that was it. My whole life changed in that one instant.
Well – I’m sure she’ll be pleased to hear that if she’s listening outside right now :) So – tell us what else are you doing while you’re home this weekend?
This weekend is all about normalcy, or at least as close to normal as you can get when you’re exhausted and weak. For months, it’s been the six of us – Dad, Daisy, Vince, Maggie, Emma, and me. We’re going to spend as much time together as possible before I have to go back to the hospital on Monday.
Nicholas – thank you so much for joining us today – we hope you have a great weekend at home and wish you all the best for your ongoing treatment.
A year after graduating from high school, nineteen-year-old Emma Ward feels lost. She has spent most of her life trying to please her frigid, miserable mother – studying hard, getting good grades, avoiding the whole teenage rebellion thing – and now she feels she has no identity beyond that. Because she spent so many years working hard and planning every moment of her life, she doesn’t have any friends, has never had a boyfriend, and basically doesn’t know who she is or what she really wants from life. Working two part-time jobs to save money for college hasn’t helped her make decisions about her future, so she decides it’s time for a change. She leaves home to live with her free-spirited, slightly eccentric Aunt Daisy in a small town that makes Emma feel like she’s stepped back in time.
When Emma meets Nicholas Shaw, everything changes – he’s unlike anyone she’s ever met before, the kind of man she didn’t even know existed in the 21st century. Carefree and spirited like Daisy, Nicholas teaches Emma to appreciate life, the beauty around her, and to just let go and live. Between Daisy and Nicholas, Emma feels like she belongs somewhere for the first time in her life, and realizes that you don’t always need a plan – sometimes life steers you where you’re meant to be.
Life is wonderful, an endless string of blue sky days, until Nicholas is diagnosed with cancer, and life changes once again for Emma in ways she never thought possible. Now it’s time for her to help Nicholas the way he’s helped her. Emma will have to use her new-found strength, and discover along the way if love really is enough to get you through.
About the Author
Marie Landry has always been a daydreamer. She has created imaginary worlds for as long as she can remember, so it only seemed natural that she would become a writer. With a passion for words that started in early childhood, Marie has written a varied range of works, and has been freelance writing since 2009. She resides in Ontario, Canada, and most days you can find her writing, reading, blogging about writing and reading, listening to U2, or having grand adventures with her two precious nephews.
Want to know more? Check out the links!
Twitter – http://twitter.com/SweetMarie83
Book blog – http://sweetmarie-83.blogspot.com
Author blog – http://marielandry.blogspot.com
Buy Blue Sky Days…
Smashwords – http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/120238