Q&A with Natalie Taylor, Author of Signs of Life
First of all, we'd love to know to hear an update on your son Kai. How is he?
Kai is the funniest person I know. He is 4 years old, and is obsessed with Legos and Star Wars. He goes to preschool three days a week and every day he comes home with new, exciting facts like, "Mom! Did you know whales have blubber?" And we have a wonderful, supportive family so he constantly asks me, "Mom, who's coming over today?"
When did you decide you wanted to publish your story? You kept a journal throughout the year after your husband's death, but the decision to go public about that time in your life came later.
My older brother Adam saw a little bit of what I had written and told me to keep writing. He planted this seed that someone might want to read what I had written. At first, the idea that I could be a published author was the only thing that got me thinking about my own future, like a kid who shoots hoops in his driveway and dreams of the NBA. It isn't about whether or not we actually make it, but it allows us to escape who we are and where we for the moment. Working on the book gave me a project, something to focus on that forced me to believe that my life would not always be where it was.
How was journaling therapeutic for you?
I was compelled to journal in a way that is hard to describe. It was almost primal. This is the only comparison I can think of: When you have to throw up, you run to a toilet. I felt like my brain would fill up, and I had to find a place to put everything. I couldn't exactly call my mom 16 times a day, so I opened my computer and spilled my guts.