Using poetically descriptive phrases, Leigh depicts the trials and trauma of brain injury. Using the method of alternating perspectives, dancing between the patient, the patient’s wife, and the patient’s doctor, the reader receives a triangular view of the recovery process. From the accident through rehabilitation, the story progresses in a logical and telling order.
Leigh has an excellent eye for details and the capacity to depict them in often unusual yet exquisite ways. Her ability to capture the “little things” brings the big picture into better focus. You aren’t left guessing a character’s mood solely from their dialogue. The environment is an important component to expressing the emotion of the story.
Our main character isn’t alone in his struggle to regain the abilities and the life he had before the accident. We also follow the stories of other patients, including Damien who is in the hospital waiting to die from Motor Neuron Disease; and Sara, a young woman who had a stroke just two weeks after giving birth to her first child. Each patient has different goals to attain and different routes to get there, but their paths are inextricably laced together.
Find a copy of Ordinarily Perfect on Amazon.com
A Brief Interview with KC Leigh
WBB: Ordinary Perfect focuses on the personal effects of brain injury. What inspired you to write a book about this subject?
KCL: No sudden blinding flash! . . . perhaps because writing hasn’t been a long-held dream? At any rate, the heart of it lies with my conviction – quickly cemented by hospital work – that sound health is a first-rate asset. And widely undervalued. Several years more and I came to credit myself with rare insight and perspective into what constituted the ‘important things in life’.
Fast forward a decade and a half and three offspring later, to find me mired in the near daily crises of primary school mornings: lunchbox lids and, from week two of any term, the permanently odd number of socks!
I wish I could claim it dawned quickly . . . but at some point, finally I wondered, given the pace of our time-poor modern lives, how and why do we make time to stress over such trivia? And the proof, if it’s required, is how rapidly these distractions disappear if life turns up something actually worth worrying about.
WBB: How much research did you do in the writing of this book?
KCL: Having had training and work experience with head injury rehabilitation, I consider I ‘cheated’ somewhat on the research front! I needed to confirm current practice and thinking, and ensure Alistair’s injury could conceivably lead to the extent of recovery in the time frame of a pregnancy, and review current pregnancy scanning and investigations. Significantly more time was spent on MND for the specifics of Damien’s story. I did just enough research to leave me in total awe of authors who spend months and years learning about topics outside their experience/expertise!
WBB: Who is your favorite character in Ordinarily Perfect?
KCL: I hoped for – and the story needed – readers to love Damien, and he is definitely ‘up there’. I think that Clay is probably my favorite, gaining recognition for his sense of humor despite everything he has lost. (And I aspire to Teresa’s breezy positivity.)
WBB: You have a wonderful eye for detail in your written descriptions. Is this easy for you to accomplish or do you have to work hard to make it happen?
KCL: Not easy! Even the first draft would be held up for days, even weeks, while I drilled down to the precise moment – orienting the character in their story and the main story, allowing for the impact of recent or upcoming events/scenes – until I knew how the character was feeling. Then I wrote to convey the atmosphere or mood even more than the physical detail. Exacting, incredibly challenging, though deeply rewarding. . . but it didn’t get easier!
WBB: What are you currently reading?
KCL: Hikmut’s Folly. . . absolute riot of a read! (found on Bookvetter.com, a site where authors anonymously review other indie authors in the first part of a process to present a collection of professionally reviewed and ‘vetted’ books)
WBB: Do you have a favorite indie author?
KCL: Not yet . . .
WBB: Where else can readers find you on the internet?
KCL: Hmmm. My confession comes with a time-saving tip: don’t look! And use the few minutes to do something that makes you smile. Anti-social, I know.
My (ongoing) quest for balance and perspective finds me preferring to write than regularly dedicating time to a well-produced, maintained, informative and relevant site. (Hats off to Bee and others who do!)
I’d be happy to respond to genuine queries posted on Goodreads or Amazon. Thanks for understanding.
WBB: Thank you very much, KC!