Do you know anybody who’s blind?
That may seem like an unusual question but it’s the premise of my novel, Southern Comfort. Carl was born blind, so, he’s had a rough life. Simple things like finding a job and relocating to a new area can be challenging for someone who is disabled. When he meets Miriam, his life changes. Carl is upset when his girlfriend turns down his marriage proposal. She said she didn’t want to marry a blind man. So returning to the dating scene is the furthest thing from his mind. He’s simply not interested in giving love another chance. Yet, when he first meets Miriam, he wants to know more about her.
Miriam is a single mom who is still haunted from the ghosts of her past. Raising her teen-aged daughter, Jessica, is challenging and romance is simply not something she’s interested in pursuing. When handsome Carl strolls into her bakery, her life changes.
Southern Comfort is partially based on my husband’s life. He was born blind and when I wrote this novel, I wrote it with the intention of not using blind stereotypes that I usually see in movies and books. From my experience from dealing with blind people, they don’t always count steps, especially not in their own homes. They seldom use their cane in private residences, either. They don’t usually touch people’s faces. However, since I’m writing from the viewpoint of someone who was born blind, the experiences that I’m focusing on could be different than someone who loses their sight as an adult.
I also focus on the problems that disabled people have when searching for jobs. It’s hard! A lot of disabled folks collect SSI simply because they cannot find a job. When I met my husband, he was working for the IRS as a computer programmer, and living alone in his condo. He’s still working at the IRS, but he’d told me that he was unemployed for eight years prior to finding the job at the IRS. Can you imagine searching for a job for eight years and you’re a grown man living with your parents?
I also talk about the adaptive equipment he uses everyday at his job and at home. He’s always on the internet and he reads all of the content on a Braille display called Focus (formerly called PowerBraille) and he uses software called JAWS.
I’m enjoying putting the finishing touches on this book. Actually, I shopped it around over a decade ago to traditional publishers and agents. I received LOTS of positive feedback about my writing and the story, but was told by many that they did not want to publish a novel with a blind hero. I was told he was not an alpha hero and it’d be a bit of a challenge to sell to readers.
So…I decided to indie publish it!
Southern Comfort is a sweet Christian romance with a hint of suspense and it’s now available for preorder!
So, have you ever personally known anybody who’s blind? If so, what challenges did he/she face?