My newest release, THE SHIFTER’S CHOICE, is out this week! My hero is a shapeshifting Marine who cannot return to his human form. His supervisors want him to learn sign-language to help him communicate but Johnny sees that as an admission that he will never be human again.
Now what you don’t know, can’t know from the story, is that I once learned sign language in order to communicate with deaf athletes competing in the World Games for the Deaf. At first I was pretty bad, but the athletes and supervisors were very patient. Each night I went to bed with a headache from trying so hard to understand what was said. I was in another world. The dorms had fire alarms that both sounded and had flashing lights. I watched the deaf hold conversations through car windows while riding in separate vehicles traveling at 60 miles an hour. “They’re stopping for food at the next exit.” I knew I was starting to ‘get it’ when I had my first dream completely in sign language. My crowning moment was toward the end of our competition when the director brought two hearing people over to me and asked me to translate what he signed–and I did! Unfortunately I no longer dream in sign and I’ve lost most of what I learned. But I’ll never forget my month among the deaf community.