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Interview: Cherie Burbach, Author of 21 Simple Things You Can Do to Help Someone With Diabetes

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With the startling facts and evidence of diabetes being on the rise, author Cherie Burbach brings a highly informative, easy-to-read and understand guide to helping support those around you who have been inflicted with this disease.  Ms. Burbach, a strong advocate for diabetes, also has a great talent, not only as author, but as poet, blogger and crocheter.  Other books by Cherie Burbach include Internet Dating is Not Like Ordering a Pizza, At the Coffee Shop, A New Dish and Father's Eyes.  

I want to thank Ms. Burbach for taking the time to answer a few questions and to say that I feel a bit of a kindred spirit with this author – she is reading Hooked on Murder, which I just received, lol.  I hope that everyone enjoys this delightful interview and gets a chance to check out Cherie Burbach's works!

First of all, could you tell us a bit about 21 Simple Things You Can Do for Someone With Diabetes.

The book is equal parts guide and etiquette book. It speaks about 21 different things you can do that don't cost a lot of money or time, but will improve the relationship you have with your diabetic pal or family member.

21 Simple Things You Can Do to Help Someone with Diabetes will help you learn what you should (and shouldn't) say, what you should learn to truly be supportive, and even how you can help in the fight for a cure.

Do you have a favorite excerpt from 21 Simple Things You Can Do to Help Someone With Diabetes? Could you share that with us, please?

Sure! Here's an excerpt from the very beginning of the book:

Diabetics deal with the fear of complications, burden of maintenance costs, and wear and tear on our bodies from organs that are overworked. Some of us deal with multiple needle injections. We deal with so much more than you would think.

Diabetes isn't just about "not eating sugar." Our blood sugars can change with stress and exercise and illness.

Your diabetic friend or relative counts on you to be the person in their life that "gets it" when no one else does. This book will tell you what you can do to help. Things like what you should (and shouldn't) say, what you should learn to truly be supportive, and even how you can help in the fight for a cure.

My hope with this book is to get you the information you need to be the very best friend to your diabetic pal.

What do you want readers to take away from reading it?

I'd like the non-diabetic readers to understand their diabetic friend and family member a little better.

What was the most fun about writing it?

The most fun was when I had a test group of people affected by the disease read it and tell me how they'd wish they had written a book just like it. That made me feel that I was definitely on the right track.

What was the hardest part about writing 21 Simple Things You Can Do to Help Someone With Diabetes?

The hardest part was making it short! I wanted this to be a short, simple guide, not a lengthy book that went on and on about diabetes. I wanted it to be short enough that anyone would pick it up and breeze right through. I had to do a lot of editing to get it down to twenty one simply points.

What kind of research did you do for the book?

Since this isn't a medical book, I was able to pull a lot of things from my own life. I've dealt with many situations that are mentioned in the book.

Could you please tell us about your writing process?

For this book I created an outline first. I tend to do that with nonfiction. I documented all the things I wanted the book to cover. Then I wrote a rough first draft, and decide to combine and massive some of the points. I ended up taking a lot of points out so it would fit into 21. I felt like 21 was a good number to leave it at.

I re-wrote it several times to get the tone more conversational and the points simple and clear. Then I send it out to a test group to read and give me feedback. Many of the people were touched by diabetes in some way, either with a family member or in having the disease themselves. I mulled over their suggestions and revised some more.

Do you have any particular habits that you take part in while writing? By that I mean certain music you like to listen to, foods you like to eat, environment that helps you write better, etc.

Occasionally I listen to music, but overall I have to have it quiet. I like to write in the afternoons, and edit at night. (Those times seem to work pretty well with my brain!)

Where do you get your ideas and inspirations?

Everywhere! A lot of what I write comes from my own experience.

How did you decide you wanted to be a writer? Was there any authors or books that made you think "Wow, that's what I want to do – craft stories of my own for others to read"?

I always wanted to be a writer. Even when I was very young – before I even started school. I just loved telling stories through the written word.

Even though I knew what I wanted to do, I spend many years in the corporate world working at various jobs and mostly hating them. I just felt like that was what I was "supposed" to do. But eventually I started writing more and more and now I'm a freelancer and author.

What make you take that leap from "wanting" to be a writer, as opposed to "becoming" a writer? Many talk of being a writer and dip their toes in, but it seems there is often a sort of "push" to bring one over that wall.

Yes, I agree. For me that push was a couple things. I worked really long hours at a job I hated, and just couldn't do it anymore. I started a part-time consulting business and did freelance writing part-time. I kept adding more and more freelance writing work until I did that more than consulting. Now it's a full-time job.

Were you an avid reader as a child? If so, what were some of your favorite books?

Yes, loved reading as a kid (and still do.) My favorite books were the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, Encyclopedia Brown books, Madeline books and Black Beauty. I probably loved Little Women the most.

What are you working on right now?

Currently I'm shopping around my first novel, For Those Who Knew Zach. It's a novel told in connected short stories about of a philandering charmer's collision with fate, for smart women who know what it's like to fall in love with the wrong man.

What are you reading right now?

A "crochet murder mystery" called Hooked on Murder. Very cute and charming book.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

So many I can't even count! I really like historical fiction authors (Robin Maxwell, C.W. Gortner, Michelle Moran, Philippa Gregory, Karen Harper, and more.) I also like several contemporary authors, Elinor Lipman, M.J. Rose, Laura Caldwell, and on and on.

If you could have lunch and chat with any author, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Just one? I guess it would have to be the poet Maya Angelou. I love her writing, her personal story is amazing, and she has the most awesome voice of anyone I've ever heard. I think I would have to ask her to read me a poem and then just I'd just stare and admire her. She's fabulous.

What do you hope to accomplish within the next five years?

Personally, I'd like to move into more and more fiction work. I'd like to become a full-time fiction writer and blogger for my own sites.

Where can readers get in touch with you? Twitter, Blog, Facebook, etc?

I'm on Twitter, Facebook and I'm always available at my website.

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