When Gina Frangello began writing Every Kind of Wanting (September 13), she didn’t have cancer and wasn’t getting divorced. The North Center resident endured both while finishing the novel, her third, which focuses on three couples having a “community baby” through gestational surrogacy. Here, she recalls the uphill battle:

On deadlines

I revised the book while going through chemo, but I turned it in on time. I’ve never turned in anything late in my life; I’m not about to start now.

On her process

When I’m in the book, there is no “me”—there is no chemo. It was harder to get to that place in bad health, but when I did, I was gladder to be there than usual.

On writing and life

My novel A Life in Men is about a woman haunted by a dead best friend. After I sold it, my own best girlfriend died. Cancer and divorce feature heavily in Wanting, and now I’ve had cancer and a divorce. If I wrote about happier things, maybe my life would change.