A 246-paged, 37-chaptered, over-60,000-worded, light-purple-covered book about a 14-year-old girl who has been diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, “lupus” for short, is finished. It’s entitled A Year Without Freedom – A Nicandra Reynolds Story by Annika Gloade and is ready to be published.
Gloade, a freshman Creative Writer, began documenting everything going on in her life when she was sick in November of 2012 with lupus and eventually stopped. However, after being informed about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), a program for young writers to write novels throughout the month of November, in her Creative Writing Poetry class last semester, she decided to bring out the journal, use it as her novel project and began typing.
(courtesy of Annika Gloade and her mother) The cover of Gloade’s book.
“I’m pretty excited about it [the finished book] and proud too,” Gloade said. “I’m also a little nervous to hear about the reactions of those who read it,”
Gloade’s mother, Joanna Gloade, or as Gloade has called her, “mama manager”, has been sending out emails to friends, family and past teachers, informing them about her daughter’s accomplishment.
“I feel so proud of her, for having a book written at such a young age,”Joanna said. “I’ve put the book for sale on Amazon and Amazon Kindle.”
Both would be happy for anyone to publish the book. Gloade’s journal was started in November of 2012, as well as when she was diagnosed, when she was an 8th grader at Eisenhower Middle School. The main character in her story, Nicandra, a.k.a Nicki’s life is based off of Gloade’s experience from that time. The whole book, in fact, is based off of Gloade and her life as someone with lupus.
“It [lupus] just happened, it wasn’t hereditary,” Gloade said.
Lupus that can affect any part of the body and has no cure. It often harms the heart, joints, skin, lungs, blood vessels, kidney’s, liver and nervous system. The progression of the disease is unpredictable and has periods of illnesses called flares, alternating with remissions. Lupus occurs nine times out of ten in women than in men, as well as in young girls form the ages of three to 15, outnumbering boys by 4:1.
“We noticed Annika started having a red nose and her hair was falling out and her fingers were especially red in the winter,” Joanna said. “We took her to a dermatologist, some tests were taken and one thing led to another. I have heard of lupus before, but not in children.”
(courtesy of Annika Gloade and her mother) The back of Gloade’s book.
Gloade would miss afternoons to go to the doctor’s and would miss a few days for chemotherapy. Because there is no cure for the disease, Gloade is still taking chemotherapy and has different medicines to take every day. As for Gloade’s accomplishment, she and her mother encourages anyone and everyone to contact either one at email@example.com (Annika) or firstname.lastname@example.org (Mrs. Gloade) for information on buying and/or publishing the book.
“I’ve probably had five other students complete their novel from NaNoWriMo, but Annika is the first to bind it,” Amy Stengel, Creative Writing teacher said.
Gloade, after binding (making her novel into an actual book from NaNoWriMo), set her hard-covered book on Stengel’s chair, last week on Monday, Jan 13., as a surprise. As a teacher, Stengel is unable to send out emails like Gloade’s mother because she has numerous other students with work worthy of publication and/or wanting to be published.
“If I could, I’d contact the local press and Trinity Press, but I did send an email to a press in Austin, asking for advice for this [the publication of Gloade’s book],” Stengel said. “And really, it’s the process of writing; getting it published and doing that work on your own. I can do some [work], but not all.”