SIT DOWN SATURDAY WITH SYNDI POWELL
What does the back cover say?
Border patrol agent Desmond Jackson would gladly take a bullet for his partner. Instead, it’s Detroit border patrol agent Sherri Lopez who ends up wounded in a drug raid…then
blindsided by a shocking diagnosis. The woman Dez secretly loves is a warrior now in a fight for
her life. Strong and independent, Sherri won’t let anything defeat her—or let herself rely on Dez. Doesn’t she realize how good they are together? All Dez knows is he can’t lose her…or the friendship that’s slowly evolving into something even more precious.
Where did you get the idea for "Afraid to Lose Her"?
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in November of 2014, I sought out books that dealt with my illness. Because I deal with life through the lens of stories, I especially looked for fiction about women who were diagnosed and dealing with the same issues that I was. I read as much as I could so I would have a better idea of what to expect. (Disclaimer: No matter how much you read or prepare, you have no clue what it will be like).
Even as I was going through treatment, I knew I wanted to write about my experience but I figured it would be more of a memoir. Remembering how I'd searched for fiction on breast cancer, I changed my direction and came up with the Hope Center Stories, three books about women in different stages of treatment.
This first book is what happens when you hear the word cancer and how it changes your plans. Like me, Sherrita Lopez is thrown for a loop. She's a strong independent woman who has trouble accepting help from family and friends. And Dez Jackson is the man who is determined to love her through it.
What is your favorite scene?
Ugh, this is a tough question. I used a lot of my own experience to pepper details throughout the story and those tend to be my favorites. (Look for the bright orange hoodie!) Plus, I fell in love with Dez while I was writing so I enjoy any scene he's in.
However the scene where Sherri gets her head shaved has a special place in my heart. I was lucky enough to not have to go through chemo and lose my hair, but I remember my mom volunteering to shave her head with me if I had to. That stayed with me, so that scene is a tribute to my mom and her strength throughout my treatment.
What's up next for you?
Book 2 in the Hope Center Stories, Healing Hearts, comes out February 2018. It's about April, a woman who has just finished treatment. When she was sick, she created a list of things she'd do if she got a second chance. As she works through her list, she keeps running into Zach who rubs her the wrong way. But they just might be able to heal together.
A last fun note: I lived in this orange hoodie for months during treatment, and it's still one of my favorite things to wear when I'm feeling a little blue or need a shot of comfort. In this book, they have to practically peel it off Sherri because it gives her the same comfort it gave me.