From USA Today:
Stephen White, the best-selling author behind 16 psychological thrillers, says in an interview that he lives with multiple sclerosis (MS), like one of the key characters in many of his novels.
… though White has never kept the fact that he has MS a secret, until now he has been reluctant to talk publicly about it and how it affects his life and informs his writing.
Of Lauren Crowder, his character with MS, White says:
“I had a very specific reason for giving her MS in the first story. It had to do with giving her a reason to be a reluctant participant in a romance,” he says. Crowder doesn’t appear in the latest novel, much of which takes place in New Haven, Conn.
If he had it to do again, White says he wouldn’t have burdened one of his continuing characters with a chronic illness. “It really limits. In a long series, you want to have as many degrees of freedom for your characters as possible. Lauren’s degrees of freedom are somewhat limited. She can’t suddenly get better or not have this illness.”
However, White says he has aimed to make her experience with MS realistic to help readers understand the condition, and a large portion of his mail is related to her and MS.