This book was a ten year struggle. Financially, emotionally and mentally. And one that I hope ends up portraying Lane Evans as he truly was.
I’ve worked hard to not include any political opinions, and merely document my research, interviews, and experiences. But this book was like writing about a dead man who was still alive. A man who could barely speak or write.
I couldn’t follow the basic biography formula due to my involvement in his life. Some would call it narcissism because I interjected myself to further the story. But I was a part of it. So that’s how I wrote it.
At first, I told myself to not get involved. To be like a nature photographer and watch the baby deer drown. Be an outside observer and chronicle this man’s life and death. And there were plenty of times when I witnessed things and bit my tongue. But then I realized that this man is my friend. I helped find him find a new nurse, helped him move from one apartment to another, and even just spent time with him for enjoyment rather than research. In the end, it has given me some insight that other biographers would not possess.
Some people told me to just write a basic, just-the-facts biography. Some even said that I should sign a non-disclosure agreement, as if there were some damning secrets to hide. There weren’t. There were no underage scandals with pages, no finger-tapping under airport bathroom stalls. No sex junkets or Congressional orgies. In fact, his life was pretty dull. Several people I interviewed said he was just a boring man. One woman even wished me luck in making his biography interesting.
Those who suggested a non-disclosure weren’t trying to hide scandal. Perhaps they were trying to hide the ugliness of Parkinson’s. And while I feel their intentions toward Lane were good, I feel it would be insulting to those individuals and families living with the disease. I believe Lane would want people to see the negative effects of the disease, so people can understand it and support research for a cure. To hide it, would be ignoring it.
I had to write about his physical downfall. I had to write about the effects that Parkinson’s has on a human being. To hide it, or be embarrassed of it, would be a travesty to those people who live with the disease as well as the people that love them. Maybe by writing about Parkinson’s, other families who may not understand the disease, may come to understand it, and then give the time they can to someone who is struggling.
Unfortunately he’s unable to pen an autobiography (which would have been much more eloquent!) But,this is how things worked out. So I wrote about Lane Evans, as I knew him. Guts and all.