Continued from Part 1, more information about my book journey.

Lauren Barker daughter of Author, Elizabeth BarkerQ: Did someone or something inspire you to write this story?
A: The magnitude of all of the unexpected tragedies was reason enough for me to want to share it. There had to be a rationale as to why all of it happened to me. In the book, I also explain how this has become a self fulfilling prophecy that was foretold to me early on. It was predicted that I would be in the public eye as a speaker and as an example of hope for others to become self advocates. And, to bring attention to the serendipitous nature of fate.

But the basis of the book is also a love story about a very special little girl named Lauren who birth day began this saga and whose short life left me forever changed and with a lifetime of memories and lessons.

Q: Have you been changed by your experiences?

A: Absolutely! April 16, 1986, Lauren’s birth day, was a game changer. From that moment on, my life would never be the same again. There were both good and bad times that ensued, but all of it taught me lessons that I will never forget. My wish is to share these learning experiences with others. As a typical type A personality, my biggest lesson learned is summarized in one of my favorite quotes: “Life is 10% how we make it, 90% how we take it”. In other words, S#!$ happens in life, you need to learn to survive and thrive through it.

Q: When did you begin to write this and how long did it take you?

A: As cruel as fate had been to me, it could also be kind to me. Here’s what happened… I’ve always thought about that prophecy, wondering when and how it would occur. It never had a time frame attached to it. For years, I watched and waited, looking for clues, always wanting to write this book and to fulfill that destiny.

In 2012, I decided to throw a fundraiser to commemorate what would have been Lauren’s 25th birthday. Thanks to the goodness of so many people, it was wildly successful. Afterwards, I was euphoric from the love and caring from the event. This good karma ignited the spark in me and led me to get on with my “book quest journey” as I call it. Truly, it was miraculous! How ironic that, I wanted to give back to a special needs children’s charity and to honor Lauren, and in turn, it then gave back to me by rousing me and lighting my fire!

Around this time, I also started to practice yoga. I hadn’t exercised in a long while. I believe that yoga greatly helped me with focus, stamina and positive energy as I wrote my book through the time consuming months. After a long day at work, a yoga practice “wiped the slate clean” and allowed me to start fresh on my “second shift” of writing most evenings. Armed with this good karma, I was able to transcribe the entire book in about a year.

Q: Who came up with your book title “Changed by Chance…Champion by Choice” and why?
A: Although I am partnered with a professional writer who gave me lots of suggestions, it was I who came up with this title. Truly, it’s perfect because it describes the book’s theme precisely. I was certainly challenged and changed by chance, many times over, but I chose to fight, and to be the champion of it all.