U.S. Paralympian, author, and mentor Tricia Downing's first fiction novel, Chance for Rain, tells the story of disability experience as what it is - simply another version of the human experience. Downing, a 2016 U.S. Paralympic Team Member and founder of the nonprofit The Cycle of Hope, wrote Chance for Rain after finding herself disappointed not only in how few books about disabled people put those characters in a positive light, but also how few - if any - were written by authors who have experienced disabilities.
In Chance for Rain, Rainey Abbott, a Paralympic athlete whose confidence on the ski slopes and the race tracks doesn't transfer over to her love life, finds herself attracted to a man she meets online. As their romance develops, Rainey has to face her insecurities. She realizes she must pave her own path when it comes to the road to happiness.
After a paralyzing sports-related accident in 2000, she went from being a competitive cyclist to a paraplegic requiring a wheelchair for mobility. Her life was changed forever, and she had to decide whether to give up or to "get her grit on."
She decided to get tough and embarked on a journey of self-discovery. Downing has used the lessons she learned through her injury and rehabilitation as the foundation of her life as a competitive world-class athlete, author, speaker, and mentor. She has completed more than100 races - including marathons, duathlons, and triathlons - since her accident. She was the first female paraplegic to complete an Ironman triathlon and qualified for the Hawaii Ironman World Championships in 2006 and 2010.
In 2011, she competed as part of the U.S. Rowing team at the World Championships in Bled, Slovenia. Downing also is a member of the Sportswomen of Colorado Hall of Fame and was named the 2006 Most Inspirational Athlete from the Challenged Athletes Foundation and the 2008 Courage Award from the Tempe Sports Authority.
Downing is the founder of Camp Discovery, which will be held Aug. 15-19, where she hosts and mentors women in wheelchairs who want to explore fitness opportunities as well as create a support system of other women who have experienced mobility disorders/disabilities. She has heard from campers about their insecurities when it comes to dating and relationships. She has experienced similar insecurities and realized they are a universal reality for women of all ages and types, so she drew upon those experiences to paint Rainey in Chance for Rain as a character to which the average woman can relate.
Downing portrays Rainey as multifaceted, trying to show that the character's world-class athleticism, normal self-doubt, and disability are all just pieces of the puzzle. None of the characteristics define Rainey completely; they're just parts of who she is.
Never one to let a label get in the way of a goal, Downing rejects that Chance for Rain is entirely a romance novel; instead, she sees her story as one that highlights the intersection of life's complexities - including blessings, misfortune, relationships and motivators.
She hopes to expand her message, and reach a broader audience, with this novel.
To meet Rainey, and be inspired by Tricia Downing, check out Chance for Rain, available on Amazon.com starting August 22, 2018.
Tricia Downing is a Denver-based author, speaker, Paralympian, and director for The Cycle of Hope, a nonprofit "aimed at empowering adult women who are full-time wheelchair users." She has been highlighted for her athleticism and tenacity in multiple publications, such as Muscle and Fitness Hers and Women's Adventure Magazine. She has also been featured in the Warren Miller documentary Superior Beings and the lifestyle show Life Moments.
Although her first fiction novel, Chance for Rain is her second book, her memoir, Cycle of Hope - A Journey from Paralysis to Possibility, was published in 2010.
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