Life’s Little Detours

I’m beyond excited to announce my latest project. I’m taking a break from my usual romance gig to write the memoir of Iowa native Chris Norton. In 2010, Chris broke his neck and suffered a spinal cord injury playing football as a freshman at Luther College. After being given a three percent chance of recovering movement below the neck, Chris has worked tirelessly to achieve his goal of walking across the stage at graduation from Luther College next year.

I stumbled up Chris’s Caring Bridge posts while doing research for my latest release, A Kiss by the Book. After reading the over 300 entries (more than three year’s worth), I felt compelled to reach out to Chris’s dad, Terry. Several times he mentioned he’d like to write a book about their family’s experience since Chris’s accident. After overwhelming Terry with information on how to write a narrative memoir, we agreed I would write their story.

I must confess: I’m nervous. This is a whole different animal from fiction and I really don’t want to screw this up. I reached out to non-fiction editor Nanette Snipes of FaithWorks Editorial Services who gave me the rundown on how to proceed and recommended some books to read. I then contacted Jennifer Schuchmann, the author of several of the books Nan recommended such as Appointments with Heaven and Taylor’s Gift and Unshaken. Jennifer spent over an hour on the phone with me walking me through the process of interviewing and writing someone’s story. I can’t express my gratitude to her enough and hope to one day pay it forward to another author.

Another of Chris’s goals is to drive. He and his family started a foundation called SCI CAN that raises money and awards grants to local hospitals and rehabilitation facilities for improved rehab equipment. He’s currently entered in the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association contest. Entrants who finish in the top ten have the chance to win one of four customized vehicles awarded by an independent panel. Voting ends May 9 so time is running out. You do have to register to vote, but it only takes a second and Chris needs every vote in order to win. You can vote every day. Did I mention that Chris is also a motivational speaker? I’m telling you, this kid is amazing!

If you can take a few minutes out of your day from now until May 9 and vote for Chris, you could help a very deserving young man spread his message far and wide. To vote for Chris, go to www.mobilityawarenessmonth.com/entrant/christopher-norton-altoona-ia/.

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About Christy Hayes

A wife, a mother and a writer of romantic women's fiction. I love dogs, exercise and cable news.

Posted on May 5, 2014, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. I voted and will share the link!

  2. I tried numerous times to vote but it wouldn’t recognize my username and wouldn’t let me sign up.
    Wow, I’m impressed with your taking this on, Christy. How cool. And what a great guy Chris is – so strong!

  3. I FINALLY DID IT. I was persistent and I got to vote for Chris. YAY.

  4. So excited and proud of you! I know you will tell Chris’s story beautifully. Voting was a little tricky, but I wasn’t about to give up.

  5. Cheering you on as you write!

  6. Wow, this is pretty awesome, Christy. I headed over to vote. Here’s hoping Chris wins some new wheels. 🙂 I’m looking forward to hearing about your progress on this project.

  7. Janna Qualman

    This is so fantastic, Christy! I’m both jazzed for and proud of you for undertaking such an important project.

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