In her new novel On the Bank of Oblivion, author Emma G. Rose explores her own history with chronic illness through the lens of contemporary fantasy. At 16 Emma was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), now referred to as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). It all started with a tickle in her throat from a respiratory illness that passed through her family. Like the protagonist in her novel, Emma’s life was irrevocably altered by this seemingly normal sickness. It triggered post viral symptoms that have persisted for almost two decades. Her novel tells the story of Owen, a teenage boy living through similar health challenges. A mysterious stranger appears in his dreams offering help, but at a cost. The story asks the question, what would you do to feel better?

In this episode of the Major Pain podcast, Emma discusses her history with chronic illness and how it informed her latest literary work. Being diagnosed as a teen brought unique challenges, especially in the early 2000s when her disease was not taken very seriously. Now that long COVID has brought post viral illness into the mainstream, Emma is finally finding it easier to discuss her situation publicly. She has made great strides in learning to work within the physical confines of ME/CFS, accepting the limitations her illness presents and managing the best way possible. By going the indie route, she has created a work/life balance that fits within the needs of her body. In 2018 she founded Imperative Press Books through which she has published four novels and an anthology, while also working as a freelance writer and co-hosting the Indie Book Talk Podcast. By sharing her personal and fictional stories she is reaching out to others living through chronic illness, showing they are not alone.

Find Emma’s work at



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