Hollywood Riviera Resident Ruth Stevens on Her Novel Stage Seven
Alzheimer’s is a disease Hollywood Riviera resident and author Ruth Stevens knows all too well. Her mother, once a vibrant and accomplished woman, suffered from Alzheimer’s for the last five years of her life. It was during those tough years of witnessing her mother’s memory and personality slowly slip away that the narrative for a novel began germinating in Ruth’s head. This year, her debut novel, Stage Seven, was published.
First produced as a play, Stage Seven tells the story of two caregivers who meet in a memory care facility while visiting family and soon begin a romance that must navigate the paths of love and duty. The title refers to the last and most severe stage of Alzheimer’s when a person usually has no ability to speak and requires assistance with everyday activities. It’s a sad and touching novel but is also imbued with humor and hope for anyone who loves someone with dementia.
“I was determined that Stage Seven would not be a relentless downer,” said Ruth, who previously was in public relations and wrote advertising campaigns and articles for newspapers, magazines, and journals.
“I’m a big believer in the power of laughter to ease our pain so I always weave humor in my writing—while still taking care to respect the subject matter.”
June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, a time to reflect on the growing impact of this relentless disease that gradually erases the memories of those afflicted. More than six million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and one in three seniors dies with this or another dementia. In fact, dementia kills more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.
Stage Seven was chosen as the June book for this summer’s AlzAuthors-HFC Summer Book Series. HFC is a national non-profit movement to accelerate progress in Alzheimer’s research, founded by actor Seth Rogan and his wife. Stage Seven is also a popular book club selection, and Ruth has personally appeared at several local book club meetings to discuss her novel with attendees.
Ruth and her husband, David, moved to the Riviera in 1989 and raised their son here. When she is not busy writing her next novel, she enjoys hip hop classes, musicals, and hiking.
To purchase a copy of Stage Seven, visit Amazon.com. To invite Ruth to your book club meeting, contact her via her website or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.