Greek-American author Diana Tarant Schmidt pens a fantasy exploring what happens to people when they die. You never imagined “life after death” like this. Read on!
Meet Greek-American Author Diana Tarant Schmidt
Greek-American author Diana Tarant Schmidt grew up in Chicago’s Northern suburbs. She traces her Greek roots to Kefalonia, Argos, Olympia, and Spetses. Her Greek heritage has shaped her in infinite ways.
“Being Greek has always been part of my identity. It was the catalyst for my interest in history, mythology, and culture. All of those facets are in the book, so clearly those pieces of me make their way into my writing, too. And…I teach history, so it all comes full circle, I guess.”
Like many of us, her yiayia was a force in her life.
“My maternal grandmother has had the most influence on me and in fact, she was the inspiration for writing Remember For Me.”
A few years back, a visit with her beloved grandmother changed everything.
“She’d begun to show signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s. After visiting her on a day when she first couldn’t remember my children, I used the intense emotion of that visit to begin writing the novel. I’ve always written since I was quite young as a way to vent or process emotions. Writing this novel was my way of giving a reason for this horrific disease, as well as cancer. I needed to believe that my grandmother and other grandparents suffered for a greater good. Believing the story still brings me comfort when I visit her today.”
By day, Diana is a wife, mom, and a junior high school teacher. Remember for Me is her first novel, which took three years to complete. She spoke about the journey.
“It evolved from catharsis to a goal to finish, to a lesson I wanted my children to learn about not being afraid to fail, to a finalized copy that people could buy. It’s been a crazy ride!”
About Remember for Me
Clara, a Greek yiayia, suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. As her recollection of her life on earth becomes cloudy, she enters another world. As a new recruit, she is being prepared for her new life. But this afterlife, is not what she’d anticipated. When she’s not recognizing her family, she’s in this new world, learning about her mission. When it’s time for her to pass away, she’s already indoctrinated into her new life, and her important work has begun.
Meanwhile, a little boy named Tommy passes away from cancer. As he begins to give up his fight, he travels to his new home to discover his own mission. In their new lives, Clara and Tommy have no recollection of their past lives on earth. They still have emotions and live normally, but are superhuman in many ways.
They meet others that have been recruited into a secret society, created to fight for the good. The Poneros wants to take over the universe and their mission is to save others from his evil. When they come full circle, and their past lives find a way into their new lives, will it compromise their work?
REVIEW of Remember for Me
If you’ve known someone battling dementia or cancer or other deadly illness, you’ve probably wondered what’s going through their minds. For the Alzheimer’s patient, we wonder, when they’re “not there”, where are they? For the cancer patient and others suffering, we ask why? Remember for Me is a fascinating fantasy, deftly delving into the secret world of the dying. Diana Tarant Schmidt skillfully created this other world, to make us think for a moment about this world we’ll never know of until we get there. She helps us to believe that our loved ones leave us for a higher calling, and also brings us comfort. This imaginative tale also shows us that no matter if we can’t remember, and when we leave this earth, we’re still connected to our loved ones..
Diana is working on the sequel to Remember for Me.
“I have been so fascinated by the process, but more importantly by people’s reactions to it. There has been no greater reward than hearing that others shared in some level of comfort because of this story. It is because of that that I am working on its sequel.”
She said she hopes to complete her draft soon.
“Finding time in between mothering, teaching junior high in Skokie, editing, and “life-ing”, it isn’t always terribly easy. In the meantime, I have really enjoyed the experience of writing, the thrill of publishing, and the challenge of all the events that followed.”
We’re looking forward to it!
By: Diana Tarant Schmidt
Published by: Open Books
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