Kirby Larson on the inspiration for Hattie.
At the Kirkus blog:
As if that weren’t enough, my darling grandmother—who hadn’t let anything stop her from achieving her dreams—was walloped by Alzheimer’s. Not only was I losing the work I loved, I was also losing a precious person I loved. No one would have blamed me for curling up in the fetal position and staying there for the next few years.
No one except my grandmother. Despite her disease, it’s clear to me now that she wasn’t about to let any granddaughter of hers wimp out. One day we were folding towels, and out of the blue she said, “You know, the only time Mom was afraid was in the winter when the wild horses stampeded.”