BTB: Saving Kane by Michele Micheal Rakes

Behind the Book: Saving Kane
by Michele Micheal Rakes


When I first sat down to write Saving Kane, I was inspired to write a book about a young man just discovering he has an illness. Garrett Young was going to be a young man working his way through med school as a paramedic. The tragic death of his mother played a role in triggering his mental illness and onset of a schizophrenic class disorder. The insidious disease was barely manifest when he encountered Kane Abel and saved his life.

Yes, I write dark stories populated by wounded characters surrounded by people who love them and want to care for them. The tragedy of Garrett was his eventual understanding that he would never get better. His HEA would be fraught with day to day struggles and eventually Kane would be wore down by the burden Garrett would become. Kane’s loyalty and love would persist. Miss Beulah would help them and Irus would finally make enough money playing pro football that Garrett would be well cared for by Kane and Garrett’s sister, Bette.

Garrett would struggle to live a normal life. Kane would struggle to help him and love him. It was their devotion I wanted to portray. So, I sat down and reworked Garrett’s issues, turning his permanent mental disorder into a treatable, but long haul condition: PTSD. As a firefighter injured in a blaze and scarred, Garrett became a paramedic after his recovery because he wanted to help people. Fire paralyzes him now and guilt over inadvertently causing his mother’s death as child makes him cling to those he loves, maybe a
little too much.

I always knew Garrett would save Kane, more than once, but I had to make sure Kane could save Garrett. This is the evolution of Saving Kane. They needed to fall hard and fast. To cry and laugh, living in the moment, because a lunatic was out to destroy Kane.

The dark, heavy themes are lightened by moments with family and friends. Kane learns how to cope and Garrett learns he has the strength and ability to help himself.

In researching PTSD and Schizophrenia, I learned a number of co-illnesses affect some of these individuals, like alcoholism and drug use. Noncompliance is a big factor in whether or not an individual’s treatment is successful.

Garrett would be the sweetest non-compliant patient who attempted to cover up his symptoms by drinking them away. Lucky for Garrett, Kane has an inner strength that inspires him. Kane may need his physical life saved, but Garrett needs his soul repaired. Only Kane has the ability to save a soul.

Maybe someday I’ll write the Schizophrenia story. Not today. Kane and Garrett came out just the way they needed to in order to survive and fall in love.

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