During the research and writing of All the Dancing Birds, national award-winning author, Auburn McCanta, is an expert and passionate advocate for issues related to Alzheimer’s and other brain-related disorders and disease. Serving as a national Ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Association, she shares her own experiences with various groups, and is willing to travel to speak to conferences, community groups, book clubs, churches, and organizations for seniors and caregivers.
Here are a few of the topics that Auburn can address. If your group is interested in one of these topics, or if you have a special request for a topic, please contact her to discuss the possibility.
The Power of Fur: Pet Therapy and the difference between no thumbs and all thumbs!
Sharing research and her own personal experiences with Pet Therapy, Auburn explores how animals can connect with Alzheimer’s and dementia patients when nothing else seems to work. Even in 1912, Scottish writer J.M. Barrie, who wrote Peter Pan, knew the connection of canine and care. That’s why the Darling children’s nursemaid is played by a large dog. In the original stage direction of the play he states, “She [the dog] will probably be played by a boy, if one clever enough can be found, and must never be on two legs except on those rare occasions when an ordinary nurse would be on four.” Auburn explains modern Pet Therapy Team programs and how they are helping patients, one woof at a time. (Local talks can include an optional appearance from Wilson, a volunteer Pet Therapy dog who made twice weekly visits to Alzheimer’s care facilities.)
Who’s in your head? How fiction writers use imagination and research
Have you ever wondered how writers know how to think like a criminal? How can writers describe someone’s inner thoughts at the moment of their death? How do they imagine the feelings of historical characters, or vampires, or ghosts? After writing the inner workings of a woman with Alzheimer’s disease in All the Dancing Birds, Auburn McCanta can offer and explain how she coupled imagination with research to create an imaginative and compelling novel, while still staying true to factual information.
On Being the Caregiver You Would Like For Yourself
In her novel, All the Dancing Birds, Auburn McCanta created the character of Jewell, a wise and compassionate Alzheimer’s caregiver, who contrasted with the more conflicted caregiving efforts of the patient’s own adult children. In the real world, caregivers are often overstressed and ill-equipped for the rigors of caring for a loved one with dementia. If you’re a caregiver, let Auburn give you some Jewell-isms to put in your arsenal of techniques as you care for your beloved.
Talk to an Author at Your Next Book Club (or Writer’s Group) Meeting
Have you ever wished you could personally ask the author of a novel just what she meant by dragging her poor main character from one dilemma to the next? And why exactly did Miss Scarlett use the knife in the drawing room instead of the rope in the library, especially when the rope was already in her hand and the knife was way out in the garden? Auburn would love to join your book club, either in person or via Skype. Let her talk with you, sign your books, and even offer some inside information about the inner workings of our beloved Lillie Claire.
If you’re interested in having Auburn visit with your group, please let her know via the Contact form.