If you’ve checked out my photo here or on my Facebook author page, you might have done a double take.
Yes, my hair is purple.
Well, at least some of it is. Streaks in the front and random pieces here and there.
Not so very long ago, I was the last person in the world who would have purple hair. . or blue hair. . or green hair. The most daring thing I did coif-wise was cover the gray every month. And then about three years ago, my second daughter decided that she wanted to put color in her hair. She had just come through a rough patch of her teen years, and this was her way of proclaiming victory, with my complete approval.
As we chatted with my wonderful and talented hair stylist, I ventured to ask if she thought I was too old to have a little color put on my tips. Kristina told me that I go with streaks instead, and she said that many women go pink in support of breast cancer awareness. And that is when it clicked.
I lost both of my parents to blood cancers (my dad to multiple myeloma, cancer of the bone marrow, and my mother to acute lymphatic leukemia) within 51 weeks of each other. In the wake of their deaths, I began working with The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, raising money to help patients, support research efforts and find a cure. The color LLS uses is purple.
Having purple hair gives me an opportunity to raise awareness about blood cancers. It opens more doors to conversations than anything I’ve ever seen. People stop me in stores, at church, walking down the street. . .it’s crazy.
A happy side benefit is that most people remember me, too. At a writers’ conference in New York last year, I quickly became known as the writer with the purple hair. (And once they spoke with me, I also became “the writer with the purple hair and the weird name”!) It didn’t get me a contract with an editor or even win me an agent, but it meant that even after the conference was over, the agents I’d spoken with remembered who I was.
So when you tell a friend about this terrific new book you’ve just finished, be sure and tell them it’s by the author with purple hair.