Saturday, May 4, 2019

Cover reveal: Coma Confidential, audiobook edition

The audiobook edition of Coma Confidential is coming soon, narrated by the amazing Heather Jane Hogan, whose voice has captured my heart ever since she narrated my Women's Fiction book My Own Voice (which is included in Apart from Love) and my Dark Fantasy book Twisted. She can step into the skin of any one of my heroines, no matter their age or accent, and give them a voice.

In designing the cover for Coma Confidential, I wanted Ash to direct her gaze at you, so that her story can be told in the most intimate way, even if no one else but you can hear it. I imagined Ash floating in her own neural network. Here she is, describing it in her own words: 

I feel like a fish in a fishbowl, hovering just behind the glass. I watch them watching me. Correction: Since I can’t see, my fishbowl is opaque. All I can do is listen to them watching me.
Dr. Patel explains to his audience that in my state, I can’t open my eyes. He adds that in the second stage of coma, also known as vegetative state—which unfortunately, I have yet to reach—patients may open their eyes, but they can’t interact with others. They can’t talk.
Too bad. I have a long way to go before I can be called normal.
How does he classify patients who can, somehow, lift their pinky toe? That’s the one thing I’d like to know. Can someone raise this question with him? 
No. Nobody does. Dr. Patel goes on lecturing his students about the brain, about improving the efficiency of neurotransmitters in it, which allows signals to pass from one neuron to the next across contact points called synapses. At first I find myself bored.
I would yawn, if only I could. 
Then, his presentation conjures up an image in my mind. I picture myself half submerged in the neural network of the brain. It looks like a fishnet, where a million squiggling limbs have been swept up, limbs that are visible not only at the upper surface but also down there, at layers beneath layers of its depth.
Nerve signals are shooting around me every which way, traveling across the contact points between one limb and another. Limbs and synapses, synapses and limbs, with no limit but imagination.
I know that what I’ve created in my mind is not real—but even so, it overwhelms me. Caught under the surface, I struggle for air. An unexpected tide rises around my face, my nose. It’s touch and go. I may drown, or I may float over this constantly wriggling neural network and manage, somehow, to live on.

Ash finds herself in the ER diagnosed with coma. She has no memory of what has happened to her, but what she can do--despite what everyone around her might think--is listen to the conversations of her visitors. Will she survive the power outage in the hospital and then, being kidnapped out of it? 

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