I’m proud to have co-written Chasing the Surge with my brother-in-law, Grover Nicodemus Street and my sister, Sandra de Abreu Guidry-Street. Grover is a travel nurse who goes to the COVID hotspots around the US. His life is normally exciting. Since the pandemic began, it morphed into a huge action adventure thriller movie. He was in New York for the Black Lives Matter movement, Florida for a hurricane, and California during the gigafire.
The idea to share his experiences was clear last Christmas when we were chatting on the phone. I explained how I just finished writing Sassy Food, which is about the polar opposite experience I’m having in this pandemic about staying home and finding joy by growing food with different methods. Grover said how he was interviewing about his experiences of working as a travel nurse in the pandemic and a few reporters suggested he write a book about his year.
I said, “It’s a good idea.”
He said, “I don’t know how to write a book.”
I replied, “I do.”
And four short months later, it is about to be published.
Normally books take a LOT longer to write. My novel, The Energy Inside Valsin’s Choices, took seven long years because it is a complicated historical novel/mystery-inspirational novel. The reason Chasing the Surge was able to be completed so quickly is that the three of us worked as a terrific triangle trio. We each brought something special to the table:
Grover—his stories and his unique way of describing things with his big fearless heart. Without him we would have no book —of course.
Sandra—as a physician who has researched COVID-19 from its beginning, she was the perfect person to add medical details like medicines and procedure details. With Grover working so much, it was impossible to get much the time needed to discuss everything. If I were to do all the research and have to wait to speak with Grover every time I had questions the book would be able to be published in 2023.
Me—Immediately I had a clear concept of how to structure the book. As I received the stories (not in order) it was easy to put them where they needed to go. If Sandra and Grover were to write this without me, they would be able to publish it, but much, much later. I also pushed for extra details and emotions that were hard to discuss, like when Grover brought COVID home to his wife who is a cancer survivor.
This writing process brought us closer as a family. My sister and I are opposites at many things. She’s a athletic, serious brainiac. I am a petite, fun-loving nerd. Having the same mission (to share Grover’s pertinent story as soon as possible to help others know more about the seriousness of what is really happening in the hospitals) had us talking every day. Through this common goal were we able to see how we are actually alike in core ways. My niece and nephews all participated also. It truly is something special when people are in sync towards a common goal—that’s when magic happens.
I hope you feel the love and care that went into this book as you read it. Part of proceeds goes to provide educational materials to underserved communities who to understand more about COVID-19 and the science behind the vaccine. On sale with free shipping at JMFdeA Press.