I’ve always loved books and I believe fiction can be therapeutic, both for the writer and the reader.
After several years of working as a psychologist with children with facial differences, I wrote Girl Perfect. Girl Perfect is a novel for children and teenagers about a girl who looks different and who is made to feel like an outsider because of it. I was encouraged by the wonderful reviews and feedback to write a second novel.
In my second book, the main character has psoriasis. I didn’t set out to write a book about psoriasis. I was planning on writing a ghost story for children and at first it somewhat surprised me to learn that my main character has psoriasis, as if she had a life of her own that I was discovering rather than creating.
But why not? The only fictional character I can think of who has psoriasis is The Singing Detective and I can’t really identify with him! In the real world, all sorts of different people have psoriasis so why not characters in books, on television and the big screen?
It did feel therapeutic to tell Megan’s story and share a little of my own pain of growing up with psoriasis. I’ve called the book Inflamed – because of her skin and other reasons that emerge as the story unfolds. It’s not just a book about psoriasis but a creepy ghost story too!