Diane Chiddister always intended to write fiction, but it was a long journey between her MFA in fiction writing from the famed Iowa Writer’s Workshop in 1981 and the publication of ONE MORE DAY, her first novel. In between, she’s been a journalist, serving as a reporter and columnist for the YELLOW SPRINGS NEWS. Until retirement, Chiddister had served as editor of the paper for 12 years.
ONE MORE DAY takes place in an assisted living center, which Chiddister admits is “an unusual setting for a novel. People ask me why I chose this, and I don’t quite know, except to say that, like everyone, I’ve had loved ones in such facilities. But perhaps not like everyone, I have always found them compelling. That is, there is much sadness and grief there, but also an abundance of love and compassion.”
The novel features four main characters, two residents and two caregivers. One of the residents is a woman with dementia, inspired by the experience of Chiddister’s mother. Sally, another character, was based on her mother’s young caregiver. “I was in awe of her joy and compassion,” Chiddister recalls,” and she discovered that “wondering what it’s like to be someone else is often the spark of fiction.”
Joe Downing, author of THE ABUNDANT BOHEMIAN, notes that Chiddister writes “with a respect and empathy for her characters that will resonate with readers of all ages.” Chiddister herself admits that aging, the subject of her novel, is “full of more emotional ups and downs than I thought it would be.”
ONE MORE DAY is her attempt to “shine a light on the emotional depth of aging.”