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Character Spotlight: Phoenix

When I was first thinking about setting a story at the South Pole, my options were wide open. Phoenix’s back story came first. Knowing my wife’s life story (it happens after 20 years together), I asked her. If you were told you could escape to the South Pole for a year, all you had to do was cook and avoid drama (which might mean no sex for a year), would you? She answered yes immediately. Now, my wife was a very sexual person before she got sick, so I knew this wasn’t a small ask. Nor was it a small ask for Phoenix. Reading the book you’ll see her struggle with this transition, but also the payoff for this change of scenery and focus.


I’ve had multiple readers talk about how they related to Phoenix, her family, her pain and heartbreak in life. And even those that didn’t relate to her, they grew to appreciate her and love her kindness and gentleness as they read.

In many ways, Rising from Ash and the character of Phoenix is a weird love letter to my wife who rarely sees the good in herself. This story has many parts of my wife’s life sprinkled in it, yet Phoenix is still very much her own unique person. I enjoyed writing her story immensely.


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