Hello, my name is Danielle Camden (maiden name Soncasie). I am originally from St. Louis, MO, but thanks to my husband being in the US Army, I have traveled quite a bit from home. This includes recently moving from Hawaii (after living there for 5 years) to Central Texas.
I was born in 1980 with several orthopedic deformities to my right foot and leg. This included a clubbed foot, missing vital components like arteries, ligaments, muscle mass, growth plates, etc… It was also seven inches shorter than my left. Beginning at the age of nine months old, hospitals like St. Louis Children’s’ and Shiner’s Hospital For Crippled Children attempted several operations to correct what nature neglected. This left me in the hospital for lengthy parts of time. This at one point extended to almost two years.
After several corrective procedures, (including heel cord extensions as an infant to “make” a usable foot for me, lengthening my leg at the age of nine years seven inches and slowing the growth of left at the same time) I decided that I no longer wanted to spend my life in a hospital awaiting surgery and physical therapy appointments. So, at the age of fourteen I decided to have my right foot amputated. Being that they had admitted there was nothing more they could really do for me to enhance my quality of life, the doctors agreed.
This was in no way an easy transition. I was only fourteen years old and had just begun my freshman year of high school! I faced several obstacles everyday in my small town where if you were not “normal” you were brutally ostracized. But, in spite of so much opposition and a family who all but supported me, I accomplished many things during my high school years as an amputee like, cheerleading, color guard, marching band, track and field, and drama.
Being a young woman is difficult as it is, especially being nineteen, alone a pregnant! But on top of that being an amputee in a small rural/farm area made for difficult and interesting experiences.
I have now taken those experiences an am now a writer and publishing my first novel. I am looking to you for a review of my book, Vampire Slayer: One Foot in Darkness. Although the title sounds campy, it is deeper than that. It is the metaphorical story of my life. Vampires being the parts of ourselves and society that we do not like or consider "evil" and wish to destroy. Ere go, the main character is a "Vampire Slayer". The running theme may be supernatural, but the constant underpinning is something that we all know we need. Self acceptance and love.