By Karen Billing
A young author has given a unique voice to her first novel, “Slipping Reality,” a book about a sister dealing with the death of her older brother from cancer. Author Emily Beaver offers heartbreaking insight as she dealt with watching her brother Matthew battle the disease and struggled with grief after he passed away in 2009 at the age of 17.
Writing the book was a way to honor her sibling forever, as he was one of her biggest supporters.
Emily will hold a book signing event on Monday, April 23, at 7 p.m. at Barnes and Noble in Del Mar Highlands Town Center. She recently took part in a book signing at the Mira Mesa Barnes and Noble and was happy to sell 50 books.
“I’ve gotten a very positive response,” said Emily, a high school senior. “For the most part the reviews have been really wonderful and it’s truly an honor. It was my first attempt so I still have a lot to learn.”
Emily started writing when she was 8 years old. Her third grade teacher assigned students to write a fable.
“We were only expected to write a paragraph or a half a page, I turned in 10 pages,” said Emily. “I had so much fun and knowing that I could create my own world and characters, I haven’t stopped since.”
Her first published work was in “Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Cancer Book.” As Emily had always enjoyed reading the “Chicken Soup” books, her mother told her they were looking for submissions for their cancer-themed book. Emily sat down and wrote something in 15 minutes, not really even thinking that it would be selected.
She found out her submission would be a part of the book just hours before her brother died.
Emily said she was honored to be chosen to be a part of the book and was also excited that if something she wrote in 15 minutes could be published, the possibilities could be even greater if she really put her mind to a writing project.
In her book “Slipping Reality,” Katelyn is a freshman in high school attempting to make sense of her brother’s deteriorating health.
“When it becomes too hard for her to deal with, her mind snaps,” said Emily of Katelyn’s imaginary world of two different people, a whole other world. “She loses sight of what’s important by running away from her problems.”
Part of her book is sending a message not to run away from your problems, but it’s also about being strong.
“Not just being strong for others but being strong for yourself,” Emily said. “ In life, some will have a lot of pain and suffering but you don’t have to chose to suffer in silence. Bad things can happen but you can learn to be happy and live beyond it.”
Emily said she is doing “pretty well” in her grief over the loss of her brother, who attended San Diego Jewish Academy.
“I have some days when I just can’t handle it, some dark times,” said Emily.
Although there are hard days, every day is different and sometimes she remembers the things that made Matthew unique and funny and she can’t help but laugh and celebrate him.
“I know how unhappy he’d be if I chose to live a life of sadness,” said Emily. “Grief is so unpredictable and you get through it the best you can. Writing definitely saved my life in many ways and ‘Slipping Realty’ was a big factor in that. I’m so grateful for that book.”
To learn more about “Slipping Reality” visit emilysreality.com. Order the book at amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. Barnes and Noble at the Del Mar Highlands Town Center is located at 12835 El Camino Real.