Unremembered Monday: Elizabeth Fama
Welcome back for the next installment of UNREMEMBERED MONDAY!
What is Unremembered Monday?
In my new book, UNREMEMBERED (the first in a new sci-fi trilogy), the main character Seraphina, wakes up among the wreckage of a devastating plane crash of which she is the only survivor. She has no memories of who she is or her life before the crash but she soon discovers that her memory loss is not simply amnesia. Someone has been erasing memories from her mind.
In honor of the book (which releases March 5), every Monday, I’m featuring an awesome guest author (and book giveaway) and asking them to answer the following question:
Which memory would you most like to be Unremembered?
This week, we have the talented Elizabeth Fama, author of MONSTROUS BEAUTY. I read this book last year and it is hauntingly dark and delicious.
And to celebrate Elizabeth coming on “Unremembered Monday,” I’m giving away a copy of MONSTROUS BEAUTY right here on the blog!
Check out Elizabeth’s Unremembered Monday post below. I love how she interpreted the question!
This is one of those deceptively simple questions that somehow sends me into a tailspin of philosophical thought! And so poor Jessica gets an entry from an author-buddy (me) that’s not funny in the least.
Here’s the trouble with erasing a memory: what you really want to erase is the event itself, not necessarily your recollection of it once it has happened. The only type of memory I might want to erase would be the truly horrifying: an act of violence, a murder, a deadly accident. I’m lucky enough to have experienced milder traumas in my life. It’s something I’m deeply grateful for.
The more ordinary memories that haunt me–embarrassing mistakes (plenty of them) and family health scares–shaped me and changed me in ways that might be considered…well, good? I eventually learned not to repeat my dumber mistakes, and also to celebrate life. Bad memories have made me grow up. As a writer, they make me feel.
There are a bunch of memories that I thought at first I would be happy to let go of. Here’s an example of an abjectly stupid thing I have said that I should want to forget: at twenty-two, pregnant with my daughter, I asked new friends of ours–a childless couple approaching forty–whether they had no children by choice. (I had a truly Big Mouth; I blurted ridiculous things like that a lot.) At home I realized that the unfortunate implication of my question was “or are you barren,” and that certain things are too personal to ask. In those early years of my marriage there were many faculty dinners that I came home from mortified because of something I’d said. All these years later I’m (almost) restrained. My memories save me.
And then there are the scary episodes I wish never happened. Our four-year-old daughter had adrenal insufficiency without our knowing, brought on by a rare systemic response to inhaled steroids for asthma. When a cold happened to turn into pneumonia she went into adrenal crisis. The ER team “accidentally” saved her by giving her intravenous steroids, in case she was having an acute asthma attack. At her bedside I was bargaining with any Supreme Force that would listen. (I owe the gods of many religions a lot of favors.) To this day, I can’t look at my now-fifteen-year-old daughter without thanking the universe that she’s here. I got a second chance to live my life with her; I won’t squander a moment of it by taking her for granted. And I try to apply that knowledge to everyone I love. That’s the positive outcome of a really, really lousy memory.
So yes, there are many yucky things I would erase from my life–humiliating and horrifying. But given that they happened and I can’t change that, I’d better hold on to my memories to learn from them.
Thank you, Beth, for participating in UNREMEMBERED MONDAY!
Now let’s give away Beth’s book! Please use the widget below to enter to win MONSTROUS BEAUTY. (Giveaway is open internationally)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences. Almost one hundred forty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect . . . or a curse? With Ezra’s help, Hester investigates her family’s strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean—but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago.
And don’t miss our previous Unremembered Monday posts:
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