FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
6 March 2014
MELISSA MOSTYN LAUNCHES FIRST E-BOOK
The book charts the developmental progress of Melissa’s daughter and first child Isobel, who has cerebral palsy and associated disabilities, right from the day of her birth up to the present day via blog posts drawn from the Journal, and includes chapters that were never published online.
“The point of my blog was to help me make sense of what was happening to Isobel,” explains Melissa. “At the time there was so much going on I couldn’t absorb each new piece of information properly. But I had to find a way to keep moving on, so I could be strong and be there for her as her mum.”
What makes My Daughter And I unusual is the fact it is written from the perspective of a deaf person.
“I am pre-lingually deaf,” says Melissa, “and have no memory of having hearing. So I cannot say I have a hearing loss. I had worked with people with disabilities before I became a parent, so I probably brought a rather divergent attitude to the table.”
Melissa is open about the fact that she blogged primarily for her own benefit: “Of course I was reaching out. That’s what you do when you find yourself very isolated in your own personal turmoil. But what I didn’t expect was the response my blog would get.”
Indeed, soon after starting her blog, Melissa found herself receiving messages of support from people she didn’t think would have much interest: childless people, adults with disabilities, parents of non-disabled children, members of the Deaf Community, people whose parents had disabilities of their own.
“My readers came from all walks of life,” she says, “which, in retrospect, shouldn’t be that surprising perhaps.
“When I look back at those posts, I realise that somewhere in there is an universal message that they can all relate to, and I think it’s to do with the human condition and what it’s capable of in times of adversity.”
Personal circumstances prevented Melissa from continuing the blog, but she wasn’t prepared to give up.
“I became a single parent of two very young children fairly recently, and was too busy to keep blogging,” she explains. “However, by then I had three years’ worth of material to draw from; material that I’d worked so hard to write. I couldn’t let this go to waste.”
Hence the idea of the book. “Not only that,” Melissa continues, “but Isobel was still evolving. There was a concurrence between her child development and her evolving disabilities, ensuring there was no knowing what to expect, and I had to keep adjusting as we went along. The new chapters in the book is a way of reinforcing the sense of a continuing journey.”
Although the book’s title purposefully highlights Isobel’s starring role, Melissa stresses that it also explores the broader family dynamic: “I cannot deny the huge impact Isobel’s disabilities have had on the household as a whole. Building in the arrival of her baby brother Benedict, and the areas of interest I developed afterwards, was just as important a way of showing how we all adapted to being a deaf and disabled family.”
My Daughter And I is self-published. Its launch on Kindle will be celebrated with a small event by invitation only in London on the same day. Press enquiries can be made to email@example.com
My Daughter And I: a story about child development, parenting, love and disability, out on Kindle 24th April 2014.
In advance of the book’s release, The Mostyn-Thomas Journal will go offline on 6th April 2014.
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