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About the author:
Erin Spineto started her writing journey in 2011 with Islands and Insulin, her memoir of sailing solo 100 miles down the Florida Keys with type 1 diabetes back in a time when doctors were foolish enough to recommend against this kind of wild adventure with diabetes. She followed it up a few years later with Adventure On, a nonfiction book on using adventure to increase motivation to take care of chronic conditions like diabetes. Since then she has moved on to fiction and is currently working on Warrior Women, a three-book angsty RomCom series full of female surfers who happen to have diabetes and other autoimmune issues. Erin's journey with autoimmune conditions started in 1996 with type 1 diabetes. She added hyperthyroidism to the mix in 2007, and has rounded out her collection with a little Anti-Synthetase Syndrome, which she thinks is so appropriately abbreviated ASS. Not letting anything slow her down, Erin is also a long-distance endurance adventurer and autoimmune advocate who uses stories to encourage others with chronic illness to go big. Erin started surfing at age five when she stood up on her boogie board and realized waves were so much more fun to ride standing up. Since then she has had a love affair with empty beaches, warm water, and a post-surf lunch of fish tacos and Diet Dr Pepper (though she's had to give that up to fight the ASS) eaten on a patio in the sun with her own real life hero, Tony, and their two surfing teenagers.
What inspired you to write your book?
I began writing with my memoir of living with diabetes while taking on a 100-mile solo sailing trip because doctor's told me I shouldn't. When I ran out of my own story to tell, I decided Fiction was a great way to continue exploring those ideas.
Here is a short sample from the book:
“Okay, fine.” I raise a forkful of teriyaki steak. ”But after eighteen unreturned texts in twenty-four hours, nothing in her head said maybe I’m not interested? It’s not like I slept with her or anything.”
The onshore breeze over the ocean flows down the small street, cooling us from the unusual heat which has come too early this June.
“Of course she’s gonna do that. The way you treat her?”
She smothers her plate in four containers of teriyaki. She has to smother that stuff in sugar and soy to make up for the fact it’s missing the most important part of plate lunch, meat.
“It is hard to resist these lips,” I tease.
“Ugh. It’s not that.”
She shovels a huge bite of dripping rice, not bothering to finish chewing the bite before she starts back in on me. “You make yourself out to be the perfect man, all charming and slick. It’s not their fault they fall for him and then wake up the next morning to find…”
“Is that Fuck Stick talking or you, Greyson?” she admonishes, finally done with her mouthful of rice.
Fuck Stick is what Charlie’s named the voice in my head that tends to spin out of control with anxiety at times. She says it’s easier to tell it to shut the hell up if I give it a name. Who am I to argue with her wisdom?
As an added bonus, hearing her actually curse out loud makes me smile with delight.
I steal the only fry that escaped her teriyaki deluge from the corner of the plate and pop it in my mouth.
“They don’t find a loser, Greyson, just a real guy who may be different than the guy they imagined you’d turn out to be when they met you. It’s like seeing a carton of Ben and Jerry’s on the worst day of your life. You see the marshmallow fluff and salted caramel and little chocolate chunks shaped like trouts,” she says, almost moaning out the words in ecstasy. “So you buy it and you take it home and slip out of your work clothes and into your most comfortable trunks.”
“So, for you, just a different pair of trunks than the ones you went to work in?”
“Whatever.” She gives me a look of exasperation. “So you dish it up and sit on the back porch to eat it while watching the sunset over the water and hope of better days.”
“So, I’m a bowl of ice cream? You’re nuts, Charlie,” I say throwing a dripping fry at her.
She dodges it. “That’s exactly my point.”
“You have a point?”
“I would have gotten to it already if you weren’t so eager to discount it.”
A car pulls into the street-side parking only a foot away from the table. Charlie laughs as the driver takes four attempts to wedge his yellow VW bus into the spot.
“Go ahead.” I wave my hand over the table like I’m granting her my royal permission to keep bashing me.
“So this ice cream is going to change the day for you, really turn it around. And you finally take a bite.”
“And it’s Peanut. Butter. Ice. Cream!” she says trying to hold back her gag reflex. ”You can’t even swallow it.”
“Oh, they always swallow.”
“God, Greyson, gross.” She hits me as hard as she can, but her hand hurts more than my shoulder if the grimace on her face is any indication.
“So I’m peanuts?” I ask.
Glad to know how she sees me—Charlie absolutely, vehemently, passionately, thoroughly hates nuts.
She says it started in the third grade when she was clueless enough to buy a peanut butter sandwich from the cafeteria after forgetting her lunch at home. Within minutes of polishing off the sandwich, she stood, took two steps, and launched the whole thing into the huge grey trash can in the middle of the cafeteria.
The rambunctious crowd fell silent, four hundred incredulous eyes gawking at little eight-year-old Charlie. It’s no wonder she’s not keen to recall the taste or even the smell. I had to give up eating peanuts within an hour of seeing her; even the smell on my breath was enough to make her crinkle up her nose and run for the hills.
“Hey, some girls like peanuts,” I counter.
“But if the carton promises marshmallow and caramel and chocolate, it sure as hell should not be wrapped in Peanut. Butter. Ice. Cream. That’s criminal.”
“They’re the ones putting all that RomCom, picture-perfect fantasy on me. I make no promises. Ever.”
“I know you don’t, but just make sure the peanut butter is in large enough print so they’re not so shocked to wake up the next morning with the scent of peanuts all over them.”
“Don’t be ludicrous. I’m a gentleman. I always offer to let them shower after,” I tease.
“God, it’s always sex with you.”
“What do you expect? I’m a guy.”