In the midst of hurricane season, many of us remember times of great loss, hardships and struggle. Here on the Gulf Coast, we've learned that loss offers an opportunity to pull together, help others and build strong bonds. One Fairhope author has …
In the midst of hurricane season, many of us remember times of great loss, hardships and struggle. Here on the Gulf Coast, we've learned that loss offers an opportunity to pull together, help others and build strong bonds. One Fairhope author has decided to do just that – to turn hard times into an opportunity to help others. Toni Roy, author of “Red Memories,” will hold a book signing and Lou Gherig's Disease fundraiser at The Venue 7 p.m., July 26.
Elements of Fairhope nostalgia and the suffering of a family member with Lou Gherig's Disease weave their way into Roy's debut novel, a romance and murder mystery set in Fairhope.
“I lost everything in Katrina and needed a place to start my life over,” Roy said as she recalled the painful memories of devastation. “So one day it hit me, if I was going to start completely over, why not were I always wanted to go, and that was Fairhope, Alabama. I had already written a few chapters and realized that the description sounded just like Fairhope. So I packed a few clothes of what was left and 'road trip' it was. Within a few days I had a job and an apartment. After a few months later and some time I started to write again. Once I realized how wonderful the town and the people were I started to change the story to fit the location.”
She said that residents will recognize Fairhope locations such as Tamara's Downtown, Pinzones, The Grand Hotel and the Fairhope Pier in the novel, in addition to a familiar face from Roy's past.
“The character in the book with Lou Gehrig's is truly my sister-in-law,” she revealed. “I once read her the story before she died and she loved it so much. What a special time for me to honor her and the foundation.”
Beyond honoring a place and a person she loves, Roy said she wanted to push herself to do something worthwhile.
“Going through Katrina and realizing that at a moment's notice your life can change, I started to reflect on what it was in my life that I could be proud of and how I could look back and say 'I did that,'” she said. “I raised two wonderful young men and I have professions that I am proud of, but to say that you have honored someone's life is very fulfilling. The story is about love, abuse, friendship, self worth and despite what this crazy world delivers to you, anyone can find love, can find friendship and can get right back up again, and again if their faith is strong enough.”
Guests can enjoy hor D'oeuvres and a cash bar at the book signing, where Roy said that taking up donations to the Lou Gherig's Disease Foundation will fulfill a promise she made to her sister-in-law.
The event will be held at 7 p.m., July 26 at The Venue, 105 S. Section St. in Fairhope. For more information, call 251-586-1065, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Tamara's Downtown at 251-929-2219 or 251-929-1005. Books are available at redmemoriesbook.com, xlibris.com, amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com.