Tuesday, September 28, 2021




When Allison began to care for her mother with Alzheimer’s, she started to ask some difficult questions. At what point is a life no longer worth living? Would dementia be in her future too?

Worried that her mother’s fate may be her own, Allison comes up with an unusual approach to try and control her own demise: start smoking. After all, she would rather die of cancer or a lung infection than the way her mother did—unable to recognize her own family, to take care of herself, or even speak. The tough part will be getting her family and friends on board with her new perspective.

Full of compassion for both Alzheimer’s victims and those it affects—caregivers, family, and loved ones—Allison’s Gambit brings a taboo topic to the forefront and asks us all—what would we do?

Book Details:
Title: Allison's Gambit
Author: C.A. Price
Genre: contemporary fiction
Publisher: Circuit Breaker Books (October 12, 2021)
Print length: 316 pages


A few of your favorite things: my Kawai grand piano.  My currency collection, bills from all over the world.  Oh, and my son.   
Things you need to throw out: I should have a statute of limitations on clothing and shoes.  But it’s so hard for me to get rid of something fully functional.  

Things you need in order to write: the middle of the night. I find that my best ideas wake me up from sleep. I’ve learned to just get up and start writing. I’ll admit, these efforts take more editing, but these efforts are my most creative.  
Things that hamper your writing: noise. When I write, I definitely prefer the quiet.  

Things you love about writing: writing allows me to be someone else.To inhabit a characters’ mind and thought process. I recall once answering an interview question that asked, “what do you think will happen?” The interviewer was so angry at my response.  I had to remind them, ‘you asked me what I thought might happen, not what I wanted to occur.’ These can be very different.  I like to explore these differences when I write.
Things you hate about writing: I don’t know if I hate anything.  I tend to argue, if you don’t like the process of something, perhaps you should try something else.

Easiest thing about being a writer: coming up with ideas.
Hardest thing about being a writer: writing in a way that adequately conveys your ideas.

Things you love about where you live: the size. Sacramento is a good size. You can do pretty much anything a city has to offer AND still find a parking space when you get there.  Plus, I like the weather.  Many say it’s too hot, but I argue so many mornings and nights here are wonderful.  It seems you can sit outside and eat in the evening a majority of the year.
Things that make you want to move: variation. No matter where you live, it becomes somewhat routine. I love new adventures.

Things you never want to run out of: sugar. I think I would have been clinically depressed if I lived before sugar was cultivated. Friends. You can never have enough of those.
Things you wish you’d never bought: I bought a stock once and over the next two years it dropped from $60 to $2. It sat at two for another year or so before I decided it felt like an Albatross. And even though it made no sense to sell at that point, I did.  The next time I saw this stock was perhaps eight years later and the price was $1,240.  Perhaps, I should amend this question to, what thing I wished I had never seen. I wished I had never seen that price of $1,240.  

Words that describe you: tenacious. If I’m given a puzzle, I want to solve it. Similarly, even a bad book I read to the end. True, sometimes I skim.  
Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: boring. I admire my friends who can be the life of the party. I’m just not. I’m more a one-on-one kind of person.

Favorite foods: dessert. Nothing else to add really.
Things that make you want to throw up: raw oysters.

Favorite song: “Bridge Over Troubled Water” is my favorite popular song. My favorite instrumental is “1st Rain/ Cry of Faith” by Ottmar Liebert. And I really like his quote, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass . . . it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”
Music that make your ears bleed: I just never think I will enjoy gangsta rap.

Favorite beverage: milkshake.
Something that gives you a pickle face: pickles! Sauerkraut, Kimchee.  

Favorite smell: gardenia flowers.
Something that makes you hold your nose: fresh tar on a roof.

Something you’re really good at: listening.
Something you’re really bad at: basketball. I’m truly terrible. Of course, this was my son’s favorite sport.

Something you wish you could do: be a conductor of a symphony.
Something you wish you’d never learned to do: perform rectal exams.

Something you like to do: play soccer on Saturday mornings.  
Something you wish you’d never done: swam with jellyfish. It was not knowingly.

Last best thing you ate: an amazing vanilla lava cake in Cartagena, Colombia.  
Last thing you regret eating: a Rhubarb pie that made me violently ill.

Favorite places you’ve been: Australia—all of it. I lived in Melbourne for a year and had an incredible time. Havana—So much politics, history and incredible people. Hawaii—You can never go wrong with Hawaii—all of it.  
Places you never want to go to again: the back, non-reclining seat of the airplane next to the bathrooms and the crying children.

Favorite things to do: travel is far and away the number one. Day-to-day would be playing the piano, playing soccer, playing games—cards, board games, etc.
Things you’d run through a fire wearing gasoline pants to get out of doing: becoming a customer service person for AT and T or Comcast.  

Things that make you happy: being with friends, family.  
Things that drive you crazy: not much. I think disrespect. People who are rude to others when there is really no need.

Proudest moment: graduation day(s)—mine as well as my son’s.  
Most embarrassing moment: somehow I’ve completely forgotten.

Biggest lie you’ve ever told: it wouldn’t be big. I just can’t lie even if I wanted to. My face would give it away.  
A lie you wish you’d told: I did get stuck in customs on numerous occasions—primarily because I carry a Canadian and American passport. I’ve learned they don’t like when you use them interchangeably. I’m sure I could have come up with a better lie when asked in London, “According to this passport, you were never in Australia?”

Best thing you’ve ever done: getting married and having my son, Ryan.
Biggest mistake: leaving my first girlfriend.

Most daring thing you’ve ever done: leave home at 16 to go to an international boarding school called the United World College. It turned out to be the best two years of my life.  
Something you chickened out from doing: asking someone to a dance in high school.

The last thing you did for the first time: write this book!
Something you’ll never do again: I don’t believe my life will be diminished in any way if I never have another raw oyster.


C. A. Price is a family practice physician in California. The philosophy of Allison's Gambit was inspired by patients of his who have been caregivers to those with dementia and his continued observation that these family members often end up with tremendous guilt. His work with hospice has taught him that those who change their views about dying seem to live so much better.

Connect with Chris:
Website  |  Instagram 

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Bookshop.org