My Perfect Imperfections won the Gold Medal from Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards in Inspirational category.
I am beyond humbled for this honorable award. The story is very dear to my heart, as I have many friends with cerebral palsy.
At first, I wasn’t sure if I should write this story since I have a hard time writing about anything that’s “real.” But, once I began my research and interviewed many individuals with cerebral palsy, I knew I had to write it. I was especially moved by a young lady, Charisse Hogan, while I was doing my research. As I watched her on her YouTube videos, I knew she held nothing back. She put her heart and soul out there for the world to see.
So, I created Lily Cooper, the young girl from My Perfect Imperfections. She was not able to walk/talk, and used a power wheelchair and a communication device. Lily was a brilliant girl, but because she was “stuck in her own body,” the society wasn’t very kind to her.
I am especially proud of this story. It’s not just about raising awareness, but I wanted the readers to feel Lily’s pain, sorrow, happiness, and strength. I wanted her to live a fulfilling life as she overcame the obstacles. I wanted it to inspire not only people with cerebral palsy, but the general public. Most of all, I wanted people to fall in love with Lily and Chance.
Because this story is so very important, I am especially excited about this award. Thank you, thank you Readers’ Favorite for this honor.
Enjoy this brief excerpt from My Perfect Imperfections.
My name is Lily Cooper, and I’ve lived with cerebral palsy for eighteen years. It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve learned to make the most out of my life—at least until that dreaded ride home from prom.
Once I’m secured into the van, Layna drives toward our house. Even though it has begun to rain, it doesn’t dampen my mood.
“Well?” she asks. “Wasn’t that fun?”
“Ya,” I answer, nodding my head. I can’t remember the last time I’ve felt this happy.
“Did you see James? He was dancing with that red-headed bimbo all night.”
“Ya,” I respond. I did notice it. I’m pretty sure he was upset that Layna didn’t go to prom with him and was trying to make her jealous. What an idiot!
“I guess it’s good I saw his true colors. I mean, to think I would have wasted my summer on that jerk,” Layna continues.
She’s too good for him. I’m glad she witnessed his immature behavior.
“My summer is busy anyway. I’ll be working and getting ready for college. Who has time for losers?”
Although Layna pretends like she doesn’t care, I know her better. From the way she keeps talking about it and the fact that she’s driving kind of fast around the curves, I can tell that James has upset her. Doesn’t she realize that he has nothing on her?
“I mean, I actually saw him kissing her. He knew I was right there! He totally did that on purpose!” The more Layna continues, the more worked up she’s becoming.
I desperately think of ways to try to distract her. The rain is now coming down hard, and it’s becoming near impossible to see through the windshield. I bite my lip hard to swallow a scream when I feel the tires sliding on the slippery road a few times. Layna is oblivious that she’s driving much too fast in the rain.
The headlights come from nowhere, blinding us. I blink, wondering why they are so bright. Where did they come from?
My heart stops beating. I hold my breath.
Layna slams on the brakes to avoid the collision.
“Hold on, Lily!” She spins the steering wheel and the van swerves out of control. I hear the screeching of the breaks and the deafening sound of the collision.
Everything moves in slow motion. Time stands still as the deathly silence encases me.
I hear nothing. I feel nothing. I simply float.
And then darkness swallows me.