Eighteen-year-old Kate couldn’t be more excited about finishing high school and spending the summer on tour with her boyfriend’s band. Her dad showing up drunk at graduation, however, is not exactly kicking things off on the right foot—and that’s before she finds out about his mystery illness, certain to end in death.A mystery illness she is likely to inherit.When your whole life goes from adventure and ecstasy to sad and suicidal, what’s the point? Not knowing who to love, and who to trust . . . where does it end?The Problem With Crazy is a story about love and life; about overcoming obstacles, choosing to trust, and learning how to make the choices that will change your life forever.
LAUREN K. MCKELLAR
your inspiration? I was inspired to write this story when I met a friend of
mine’s father, who unfortunately, has the disease. I didn’t go through the
struggle with him when he got tested, or anything, but meeting someone who
suffered from such an obviously horrible illness was really sad.
things I dislike most is the special treatment, and the frequent use of the
term ‘crazy’. And so, The Problem With
Crazy was born.
such a horrible illness difficult? I think writing about any illness is
difficult. When you create fiction about something that not only alters
people’s lives, but can kill them, you’re treading on sensitive ground.
That’s why I did a lot of research; I interviewed victims, spoke to state
bodies, and observed people who weren’t affected, but who knew people who were.
I hope this means I’ve done the subject matter justice.
This illness is all about change in life, and for me, New Adult, or Upper YA,
is one of the biggest change periods a person will go through. It’s coming of
age, it’s defining life moments, and I couldn’t think of a time when people are
more socially aware and conscious, and yet still at a period when life- and
person-making choices are made. For me, eighteen years was the ultimate age to
set this story with maximum impact.
the story to not get Huntington’s disease? No. This disease isn’t
contagious. It’s hereditary, which is horrid enough.
However, the moral isn’t to do with this particular illness. It’s twofold; it’s
partly to do with the literal use of the term ‘crazy’, and, more importantly,
to do with living life to the fullest. To not knowing when or where you could
die, but to living life anyway. To trying, and persevering, and working, and
laughing, and smiling, and loving, and living—it’s to being. To being as if each day is your last—and in spite of the
Let’s talk about romance. Is there some lovin’ in this book? Well, you know
what? Love is a central theme, as it is in most of our lives. Loving, however …
well, let’s just say, it’s certainly not an erotic romance. Still, I don’t know
that I could write and not include love to help bind the elements together.
finding ‘the one’ when I was younger; and now that I’ve finally found him, it’s
everything I could have wanted, and more. To write a story and not incorporate
a part of that, a fragment of something I probably feel strongest about—I don’t
know that I could do it.
the dedication. Tell us about that.
Well, I dedicated this book to the person who inspired me to write it. I wanted
to raise awareness about something that struck someone so cruelly.
Also, that person is someone’s father. While my father never had Huntington’s,
he did pass away from cancer when I was in my late teens, and I feel like the
altering of a father figure is something that’s personal. This book is being
released on the anniversary of my father’s death; so it’s for dads everywhere.
Happy, healthy, loving, paternal, diseased, and healthy. Because who can argue
to my sides and lifted up my T-shirt, throwing it over my head and letting it
land on the floor next to me. Swaying my hips to the side, I threw my hands out
in a ta-da movement, like I was the host on a game show.
took a few steps back to the bed, sitting down and crossing his arms. His face
was blank, and his eyebrows were raised. I’d never seen him look so
fly, slowly pulling my skinny jeans over my thighs, my knees, my calves, and
finally my ankles and feet. There was no way to do it and be sexy, so I settled
for not falling over. I stepped out of my pants and stood up straight, in only
Lauren loves to write for the Young and New Adult markets, and blogs with Aussie Owned and Read, as well as vlogging with the YA Rebels.
In her free time, Lauren enjoys long walks on the beach with her two super-cute dogs and her partner-in-crime/fiancé.
obviously dancing with danger. After all, when you’re talking about a condition
that can change, and eventually, strip someone of their life, it’s important to
treat the topic with sensitivity and do it justice. Stuffing up things like
symptoms, treatment and other conditional specifications can not only leave you
labeled a liar, but also leave you responsible for potentially causing a sufferer
insult and/or injury.
Huntington’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder that results in a loss of
brain function and, approximately 15-20 years after onset, death. And that’s
putting it in simple terms.
wanted to keep as close to the facts as I could. Being a lesser-known condition
than, say, cancer, or Parkinson’s, it was difficult at first to gather facts.
organizations, state bodies for sufferers of this illness, to fact check and
gather information. This was difficult as a writer; asking people to give up
their time for something that may never be published is hard, especially when
you’re asking such personal questions. Still, I was lucky enough to speak with
a person at the Huntington’s foundation in Victoria, and they helped me a lot.
sufferers and relatives of sufferers. They showed me a unique angle to the
disease I hadn’t at that point considered: a compassion, and positive focus I
may not have been aware of otherwise.
factual errors. At the end of the day, this illness isn’t my story to
tell–it’s theirs, and I don’t want to misrepresent it. Still, I do expect
there to be an element or two of information that perhaps isn’t quite accurate.
When it comes down to it, I haven’t suffered from this illness, nor has anyone
in my family, thank goodness. It is for this reason that I hope you, as a
reader, understand that this is a work of fiction, and for more information on
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