Carmen Ambrosio was born in the U. S. Virgin Islands. After she earned a degree in journalism from Michigan State University, she held corporate positions in marketing communications and sales before switching careers to advertising. Carmen later worked for nonprofit agencies in public relations and client programs. For the last four years, she has operated her own business designing and selling merchandise featuring her writing and photography. Life Continues: Facing the Challenges of MS, Menopause and Midlife with Hope, Courage and Humor is her first book. She lives with her husband and mighty mutt in Ohio.
Why did you write Life Continues?
I've wanted to write a book since I was in my twenties. If I had done so, my memoir would've been a pamphlet and double-spaced. I needed at least fifty years of life to have enough interesting material. Certainly, after I survived bouts of my right hand nerves deciding I no longer needed to hold a pen and later when my jaw and chest nerves chose to riot with unprecedented regularity and intensity, I thought it was time to try to assemble and share my experiences before I couldn't do so.
If you didn't have multiple sclerosis, would you have written a book?
Someone at a book signing event posed this question. Yes, but the book would've been different. My next book will be a short story collection. So far, six stories are partially complete. I'm finding fiction writing to be much more difficult than non-fiction. Although I need to cover the five Ws (who, what, when, where, why), fiction requires a different kind of storytelling. I'm having the most fun creating characters and dialogue. The challenge for me: showing more, telling less.
When multiple sclerosis turns everyday into a scary roller coaster ride, Ambrosio uses laughter to deal with the uncertainty of what lies ahead. Quirky short chapters tell much about the author's uncanny ability to focus on what she can do instead of dwelling on the mounting cannots.