I wrote my second novel, Sugarland, while I was in chemotherapy. My first novel, Crazy For Trying, was in the process of collecting rejections, but I couldn't be dragged down by that. I was on fire (creatively, I mean, though sometimes the chemo made it feel like that literally) and thinking about publishing would have been the worst thing I could have done at that moment. I wrote.
Sugarland was picked up shortly after CFT, so both books were in the pipeline at different publishers at the same time. The women at this tiny lesbian press really knew what they were doing, and they did it fantastically well. It was a robust launch; the book got excellent reviews, book clubs ate it up, and I landed my first literary agent and a subsequent book deal with HarperCollins for my memoir and next novel.
Sugarland is essentially a modern retelling of the Psyche and Eros myth, set in a southeast Texas trailer park. And yes, there is a tornado.
The book's been out of print for several years, of course, so I'm thrilled that the ebook revolution has made it possible for me to put it out into the world again.