Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Spirian Series Author Brings New Dimension to “Blind Seer” Heroine.
Ink Slinger’s Whimsey and Writers in the Sky [WITS] would like to share with readers information about an eye condition called retinitis pigmentosa and introduce a fiction author, Rowena Portch, writer of The Spirian Series, who has overcome the condition in her own life, using it to enhance her work.
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a group of degenerative eye diseases affecting one in 4,000 people in the United States and roughly one out of 5,000 people Worldwide. The retina, which is located at the back of the eye, sends visual images to the brain. In patients with this disease, damage to the retina gets worse over time. RP commonly runs in families and can be caused by a number of genetic defects. For those with RP, the photoreceptors in the eyes progressively degenerate, causing side or peripheral vision, to slowly worsen over time. Night vision is also diminished, with central vision typically declining in the advanced stages of the disease. The condition may eventually lead to blindness, with most patients retaining at least partial vision, total vision loss being rare. Wearing sunglasses will help protect the retina from ultraviolet light and may help preserve vision, and vitamin A may slow the disease from getting worse but there is currently no known cure or effective treatment for RP.
Signs of RP can usually be detected during a routine eye exam however; symptoms usually do not develop until adolescence, around 10 years old. Severe vision problems do not usually develop until early adulthood.
Author Rowena Portch retired from her successful career as an editor at Microsoft, when she lost her vision to RP. After leaving Microsoft, she and husband Gregg opened the Abel Wellness Center on Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula. Portch had already been writing professionally for over 30 years when she set out to write her ambitious 5 part Spirian Series. The Protected, book one of the series was released on May 11, 2010. The Union, book two was released October 26, 2010. The series is already gaining popularity, favorable reviews, and has garnered the 2010 Readers Favorite Silver medal for General Fiction for The Protected.
The Protected, are a supernaturally gifted race of beings, not quite human but not fully spirit that secretly share this planet. Among themselves they are known as Spirians, a race caught between the physical and spiritual realms – where anything is possible. Skye, a blind massage therapist, has lived her whole life as human and is unaware of her race and the path her life is about to take. Skye may be the prophesied “Healer” whose gifts are pivotal in the course of her people’s future; a future that could bring about the enslavement of humanity. The Protected, book one of the series, takes the reader with Skye into the hidden world of the Spirians, where a few stand in the balance ready to teach Skye to use the power that is her birthright before she becomes a pawn in a much larger game.
Author Rowena Portch was featured on the Writers in the Sky Podcast aired over the Internet on August 6, 2010.
“The depth of realism and texture Portch has written into the character and world of her ‘Blind Seer’ heroine is untouchable by the writings of sighted authors. Once you read The Protected you’ll never believe another author trying to write blind again. Portch has written a unique and engaging series that will thrill and inspire readers.” says book reviewer and podcast host Vonnie Faroqui of Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services [WITS]
Learn more about Rowena Portch and the Spirian Series from her website at http://rowenaportch.com/ or by following her on http://twitter.com/RowenaPortch and at http://bit.ly/Facebook-RowenaPortch. The author will meet and sign books for the public with events to be announced through BookTour.com.