The Motive – Between the Lines

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Michelle Adams recounts the scary personal experience that provided the inspiration for her gripping new psychological thriller, BETWEEN THE LIES.

Posted on August 13, 2018 in Guest Author, The Motive

So many of the abilities we have as individuals are ingrained so deeply in our daily life, that it is not until we lose a certain capability that we even give it consideration. Our ability to speak, for example, or to walk. To remember who we are and answer simple questions like what is our name and who is the president of the United States of America. In Between The Lies we meet Chloe when she has lost one of the most fundamental capacities of daily life; her memory. And the inspiration for this novel comes from an episode in my life where I lost the very same thing.

It was, as they say, just a normal day. No precursor or sense of foreboding hit me in the run up. The only red flag was some sort of cluster headache the week before, followed by a course of oral steroids for a severe case of sinusitis. But on the day when it happened I felt fine. I got in my car and drove to meet a friend. It was over an hour away, and when I stepped from the car my foot felt numb, but I put it down to the drive and thought little more about it. That was until my face started to tingle, and I couldn’t hold my coffee. When I saw the look on my friend’s face and knew something was very wrong. Just over twenty minutes after I arrived at the cafe I couldn’t stand, walk, or even tell you my name, and it looked as if I was having a stroke.

The rest of the day is a total blur, filled with tests and specialists, and constitutes a considerably more terrifying memory for my husband than it does for me. By the end of that day I was prepped for surgery, the surgeon standing by, waiting to excise or ligate whatever it as they found that could explain my presentation. But when I rolled out of the CT scan and they viewed the images, there was nothing for them to do. Nothing was compressed, nothing was bleeding. My brain looked entirely normal.

Over the course of the next week everything I lost came back to me. On the first morning when awoke confused in ITU I could only speak Greek, and very badly with it. By the end of that day I had my voice and my native language of English back, but I wasn’t sure with whom I was talking at any given time. A week later I was discharged. The cause? Drug reaction to the steroids, leading to a subsequent seizure. Most likely, they said. Maybe encephalitis. Nobody seemed to know for sure. But I was, for the most part, cured.

The idea for Between The Lies is born of this experience. It follows Chloe as she tries to piece her life back together. I got all of my life back. The people who I love helped me to do that. But just what would have happened if they didn’t?

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