Cherie Burbach – Author Interview

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

It’s called 21 Simple Things You Can Do to Help Someone With Diabetes and is equal parts guide and etiquette book and will help you learn what you should (and shouldn’t) say, what you ought to learn to truly be supportive, and even how you can help in the fight for a cure. The book is short and a quick read (by design) so I’m hoping diabetics will share it with their non-diabetic friends and family.

Tell us something about yourself.

I’m from Wisconsin, and worked for years in marketing before writing full-time. Even when I wasn’t officially a writer, I was always writing something: articles, stories, or poems. I did freelance writing on the side for many years before jumping into full time.

I’ve written six books, and have just finished my first novel. I’m shopping it around to agents as we speak, and hope to reach an audience for the book. I love writing fiction, and would like to make it my full time job one day.

I also blog for several networks, so you’ve probably seen me around the web. I love football (Packers especially) and anything having to do with the Tudors. Historical fiction from the time of Henry VIII’s reign is my favorite!

What inspired you to write this book?

Because as much as we know about diabetes treatment today, the support from our family and friends still plays a part in how healthy we are. An understanding approach from someone who cares means everything to us. Your diabetic friend or relative counts on you to be the person in their life that “gets it” when no one else does. I wanted to write a book that will tell you what you can do to help.

How did you publish this book?

I published this myself through my own press.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

I just always wrote. When I was a kid, writing helped me deal with some of the problems I had at home living with my alcoholic father. I wrote poems a lot, and still do. When it came time to decide on a vocation, I chose marketing because I could still write and be creative. The last few years I have shifted away from the marketing world to freelance writing. I wrote freelance articles here and there and gradually built up a client list. Now I write for a few blog networks, clients, and online sites.

What do you believe is the hardest part of writing?

The “business” part of writing usually isn’t the most fun. If you’ve written a book, you need to market it. If you’re a freelancer, you’ve got to put yourself out there and get clients. If you write online, you’ve got to go after people who steal your work. All of those things are the business aspect of a creative job, and are much less fun than the creating part!

How do you do research for your books?

A variety of ways. I may talk to people in the know or who are dealing with the issue I’m writing about. For example, with my dating book I had spoke with many online daters about their questions and concerns with meeting people via the Internet. If I’m writing fiction, it depends. I tend to “write what I know” in that regard, so I may just research certain aspects of a character’s vocation or hobby.

With my latest book, I wrote from experience. I’ve been a Type 1 diabetic for twenty years and most of the “tips” I mention come directly from my own history in how people around me have dealt with the disease.

Did you learn anything from writing this book? What?

I learned I certainly wasn’t the only one who wanted their friends and family to understand my disease! There is such a perception in the world right now about diabetics, and much of it is negative. It isn’t just about sugar or people “cheating” on their diet, which is unfortunately all that seems to be said. There is so much more that diabetics deal with, and in writing about the personal side of the disease, I came across many other diabetics who felt the same way I did.

What are you reading now?

The Queen’s Governess by Karen Harper. Fabulous book and author!

What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?

I like all books really, but tend to gravitate toward historical fiction works, especially those related to the Tudor time period. I like books that are lyrical and transport me somewhere else, or those that inform. (If they can do both? Even better!)

For historical fiction, I enjoy the works of Sandra Gulland, Robin Maxwell, Karen Harper, Norah Lofts, C.W. Gortner, Michelle Moran, Philippa Gregory, Margaret George, Sharan Newman. (And I know I’m leaving some out!) For contemporary fiction, I like Audrey Niffenegger, Elizabeth Berg, Elinor Lipman, M.J. Rose, Barbara Kingsolver, and on and on. You know as soon as I write this I will have thought of ten more I’d left out!

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

I just finished writing my first novel, so I am actively looking for an agent. The novel is called For Those Who Knew Zach, and it’s told in connected short stories about of a philandering charmer’s collision with fate.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

Keep writing! Write, learn, have people read your work and take their feedback and work to make your writing better. Don’t ever wait for a time to write. Instead, make the time. Read tons. Go to author appearances and listen to the things they have to tell you about the process of writing. Learn the “business of writing” as well.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

My website has all the links to blogs, books, and anything else you’d want to know. Find out more at: