Please tell us about yourself.
I cared for my parents — both of whom had dementia – for 15 years. I began writing in the hope of maintaining my sanity and of encouraging, inspiring, and amusing other caregivers, and anyone going through a difficult time, with my experiences.
I’m a life-begins-at-50 kind of gal. I received my BAS in management and psychology at 51, found new love at 52, learned to ride a motorcycle at 56, and published my first book after I began collecting Social Security. My husband David and I live outside a small East Texas town with a cat named Kitty who adopted us a couple of years ago. I am a blogger, a correspondent for our local weekly newspaper, and I work as the part-time secretary at my church in order to support my writing habit.
What’s your favorite down-home family style meal?
I like a wide variety of foods, but this would probably my favorite menu because it’s David’s favorite. Half the fun of cooking is seeing someone enjoy what you put on the table!
Pork roast with carrots and potatoes
Purple hull peas or speckled butter beans
Blackberry cobbler with a scoop of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla
Coffee with dessert
Describe the perfect vacation.
The trip I described in my memoir was nearly perfect. The chaos of caring for two people with dementia was a bit of a distraction, but we managed to make some beautiful memories anyway. The perfect vacation would be one without a time limit – a time when David and I could drive around the country in our motor home, stopping when we found something of interest and moving on when the spirit moved us. There are many amazing sights we have yet to see and many friendly people we have yet to meet. A year or so on the road is definitely on our bucket list.
Tell us about your favorite toy as a child.
My favorite toy was my older brother Jim. He is five years my senior, and he was always much more interesting than any doll or game in my toy box. As my mom used to say, he was always “hatching up” something, and I always wanted to be involved.
When you read for pleasure, what kind of books do you choose?
My choice of recreational reading is an odd one for the author of a memoir. Ever since I discovered my first Agatha Christie novel in the fifth grade, I have been a fan of tales of mystery and suspense. After I read everything Christie had to offer, I moved on to Dick Francis, Sue Grafton, Robert B. Parker, and others too numerous to mention. A couple of years ago, I decided to try my hand at a suspense novel of my own. If anything comes of it, I’ll let you know.
If the hero of your latest book called you on the phone, what would be a perfect ringtone for him?
My husband David has been a motorcycle rider since his uncle taught him to ride an old Cushman when he was nine years old. His perfect ringtone would be the sound of a Harley engine being revved as loud as possible. Many readers of A Long and Winding Road have commented that David is the real hero of my story because of all the love and support he gave to me and my parents during my caregiving experience.
Please tell us about your latest book.
Alzheimer’s is a family disease, and this is a love story – not a boy meets girls love story, but a family love story. It is the story of the love between a daughter and her parents and her willingness to take them into her home when they could no longer care for themselves; the story of a mother and a father who loved their daughter but no longer remembered exactly where they were or why; the story of a husband who loved his wife so much that he stood beside her as they fought to survive the ravages of the brain-wasting disease that was stealing her loved ones away a piece at a time. It’s also the story of a seven-week trip for four across sixteen U.S. states in a forty-foot motor home – a trip that involved stopped up toilets, wet jeans, laughter, and headaches that were far from the easygoing retirement the Brendles had imagined for themselves.
Linda Brendle takes you on a roller-coaster ride of emotional and spiritual challenges that many families are facing right now. Co-dependency, mental breakdowns, and finding love after divorce are just a few of the issues weaved into this journey of caregiving.
Genre: Creative Non-Fiction/Memoir
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): PG – No heat, but the subject matter might be a little intense for the younger reader.
Publisher: Anaiah Press
Barnes and Noble: http://goo.gl/u3Gvs5
Linda Brendle Social Media
Linda Brendle cared for her mother and father — both of whom had dementia — for 15 years. She began writing in the hope of maintaining her own sanity and of encouraging, inspiring, and amusing other caregivers with her experiences. Linda received her BAS in management and psychology in 1998 and retired in 2007 after 40 years in the business world. She has traveled both in the U.S. and abroad, and since meeting her husband David in 2000, she has done much of that travel by motorcycle and RV. She and David now live outside a small town in East Texas where she gardens, writes, and takes an active role in her church.
Amazon Author Page: http://goo.gl/YTfk2b