New Release! “The Winding Road: A Journey of Survival” by Miriam Hurdle. #memoirs #cancersurvivor #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter

I’m honored to have Miriam Hurdle here today to share her story. This was a heartfelt story and my review is below.

Thank you for hosting my launch tour today, Denise. I’m thrilled to be here to share my new book with your friends.

During the launch tour, I want to talk about memoir writing. Here is my topic for today.

The Role of Research in Memoirs

Memoirs always require research. They are stories based on real-life events. Fact-check everything can be fact-checked, such as names, dates, places, weather, and events. One person wanted to write a family memoir, but she was not sure if her great-grandmother’s name spelled Emily or Emely. Her research shows Emely was the correct spelling. You can’t make up this information. The inaccuracy takes away the credibility of your story.

Example: In The Winding Road, I wrote I was holding the “10 feet” tall IV stand as my cane to walk on the hospital floor after my surgery. My writing group laughed. One said, “The IV stand feels like 10 feet tall to you because you’re short.” I then Googled the height of IV stands and changed my story to “The IV stand looked like 6 feet tall.”

Another part of the story was that my surgeon told me I had a CT scan right after the surgery. I asked my husband Lynton if there was an imaging facility next to the operating room. He wasn’t sure, but it’s unlikely. My research showed a portable CT scan can be moved to the operating room to perform a scan.  The surgeon can look at the scan result to determine if the margins of surgery are clear.

My memoir is about a medical journey that involved medical terms and medical procedures. I needed to describe them accurately rather than in layman’s terms.

Examples of research for my book:

The stages of melanoma

The procedure for CT/PET scan

The procedure of laparoscopic surgery

Healthcare personnel titles

Anatomy of inguinal lymph nodes

Accurate description of my bio-chemotherapy

Proper Admission and discharge procedures

Medical equipment names, such as incentive spirometers rather than handheld breathing machine

The correct names of places such as St. John’s Health Center rather than St. John Hospital

Fact-check on dates, times, and locations of events

Distance from home to hospital

Distance from home to my husband Lynton’s work

The Importance of Feedback

I’m grateful to my writing group for their skillful and constructive feedback. We conduct our meetings on Zoom. Members take turns reading their chapters. After one person reads, the coordinator facilitates to have feedback from the members. The writers often feel that the ideas are clear to them, but they may not be clear to the readers. When there are any unclear ideas, we encourage the writers to clarify or to do fact-checking.

The accurate facts make my story flow smoothly. The readers have the information needed to understand my immediate events and my overall story.


In the summer of 2008, Miriam Hurdle was diagnosed with melanoma-an aggressive and invasive cancer in her internal organs. The survival rate before 2008 was low. Besides risking harsh treatments for a slim chance of survival, Miriam had hoops to jump through. By the time she received treatment at the beginning of 2009, her cancer had progressed from stage II to stage IV. It was a rough and uphill winding road. But alongside her was support and encouragement. Accompanied by the love of her family and community, this is Miriam’s journey of faith and miracle. It is a heartwarming story of resilience, courage, and the will to live.

My Review

“The Winding Road” is a heartfelt memoir that takes the reader through a cancer diagnosis to the outcome. I felt like I was experiencing this journey with Ms. Hurdle, as she not only talks about how she is feeling, but how she had to deal with insurance, appointments, and the physical toll of the treatments. Once Ms. Hurdle learned how rare and deadly the cancer was, a decision was made to try experimental treatments for six months. I’m not sure I could have handled what she endured. Being so ill during the treatments with no guarantees would be hard, but a strong will to live shined through and balanced that out. This was a painful insight into the reality of cancer, mixed with her belief that life is precious, that left me inspired and full of hope. A read that not only shows us the darker side of life when illness strikes, but how the love and support of family and friends can help carry some of that heavy burden. A highly recommended story that can inspire anyone going through not only illness but other challenges.

Purchase Links

US Amazon

UK Amazon

The Winding Road Trailer

About Miriam

Miriam Hurdle is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Her publications include Songs of Heartstrings, and the children’s book, Tina Lost in a Crowd. Her poetry collection received the Solo “Medalist Winner” for the New Apple Summer eBook Award and achieved bestseller status on Amazon.

Miriam writes poetry, short stories, memoir, and children’s books. She earned a Doctor of Education from the University of La Verne in California. After two years of rehabilitation counseling, fifteen years of public-school teaching, and ten years in school district administration, she retired and enjoys life with her husband in southern California, and the visits to her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughters in Oregon. When not writing, she engages in blogging, gardening, photography, and traveling.

Contact Miriam at


Amazon Author’s Page:




81 thoughts on “New Release! “The Winding Road: A Journey of Survival” by Miriam Hurdle. #memoirs #cancersurvivor #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter”

    1. Thank you very much for stopping by, Harmony! I appreciate your interest in reading my memoir. Denise did an excellent review of my book. It’s wonderful that she is part of my launch tour team. <3 🙂

    2. Thank you very much for your interest in reading my memoir, Harmony. Denise did an excellent review of my book. I’m thankful for her help to host my launch tour. <3 🙂

  1. Research is so important and can be fun too as you learn a lot. The only danger is it takes you down a rabbit hole sometines! Another great stop.

  2. It’s amazing how many details we forget/don’t know, even when it’s something important we lived through. Wishing Miriam all the best with her release.

    Excellent review, Denise. Thanks for hosting.

    1. I know I can’t trust my memories, Staci. As you said, there are many things we don’t know. Writing my memoir was a great experience to me. Thank you for your comment.

    2. That is so true, Staci. Journaling comes in very handy to retain what happened. Happy to host and share my thoughts.

  3. I’m excited to be here today, Denise. Thank you for your generosity to share your blog with me to host my launch tour. I look forward to meeting with your readers. I appreciate your excellent review.

  4. What an incredible undertaking for Miriam to write about this deeply personal journey. I know others will benefit from her sharing. Thank you for hosting, Denise!

    1. I can only imagine how hard it would be to write about such a health issue. I agree that others will benefit from it, Jan. Xo

  5. I found Miriam’s memoir to be such a compelling read. I wish her all the best with the release and her tour.
    Thanks for hosting her today, Denise, and for sharing your great review!

  6. I can imagine the medical research was critical, Miriam. Initially so that you understood what was happening to your body, and later to make sure the information you shared was accurate. And medical terminology is no easy study. On the lighter side, I’m really short too, so I could relate to your thinking that the IV stand was 10′ tall! It’s great to see your book getting lots of attention. I thought it was riveting. Congrats, my friend, and thanks, Denise, for hosting.

    1. Not all memoirs require extensive research, Diana. I’m fortunate to be in a writing group with a retired hematologist, a nurse, and someone who worked in the medical field all her life. They didn’t let me get away with guessing. When they made fun of me, I knew that was when I needed to do my research. Thank you for reviewing my memoir, Diana. I’m thankful to Denise for reviewing my book and hosting me today.

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Jill! I appreciate your interest in reading my memoir. Denise did a wonderful job reviewing my book. I’m thankful for her help in hosting me.

  7. Excellent point about the necessity of doing research when writing a memoir. I think the common assumption is, “Why would I need to do research when I remember the story of my life?” Miriam’s examples demonstrate why that’s necessary.

    1. Memoir writing stresses the point that the story is from the author’s point of view. But certain objective factors need to be accurate. My list is an example. Thank you very much for being part of my tour team, Pete. Denise did a wonderful review for my book and she’s always here to support me.

    2. It’s true that a memoir is a life story experienced by the author, Pete. But certain facts need fact checks and research. Walter Isaacson, who wrote Steve Jobs’ biography, interviewed hundreds of people and did extensive research. He couldn’t just rely on what Steve told him. I learned a lot about writing life stories from Isaacson.

  8. I think all books require research for the sort of detail Miriam has described here. I first learned that you got mobile CT scanners when Michael was in the ICU last year following the dreadful operation that went wrong. I had to do a lot of research about hospitals and how the staffing works for my book A Ghost and His Gold. I also don’t like to get details wrong. Thanks for hosting Miriam, Denise.

    1. I know that you did a lot of research for your historical fiction, A Ghost and His Gold, Robbie. Even though it’s fiction, but it’s based on history, the details must be true to the history. Thank you very much for your comment. My husband and I came to Portland last night. We’ll be here with my daughter’s family for 10 days and for Autumn’s 5th birthday.
      Thank you again for hosting me, Denise.:-)

  9. So nice to see you hosting Miriam and her new release here today Denise. Congrats again to Miriam for sharing such a personal journey to the world. I look forward to reading it soon. <3

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