Marybeth A. Traut – Diabetes In The Family

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

“Diabetes In The Family” – it is actually the journey our family has taken since diabetes entered not one of our family member’s lives, but 4 out of 5 of our family’s lives. It was started as a journal to get me thru the hardest part of my life and thru all the losses and ended up becoming a book – a speaking career and now a radio program.

Tell us something about yourself.

I am the middle child of two of the most amazing wonderful parents you could ever wish for. I have a very creative side and a side of me that is bored easily…so I always tell people that I can’t decide what I want to be when I grow up. So, I am not only a writer, but a public speaker, a radio host and a trained architectural designer. I have been writing and drawing most of my life. It is an escape from reality and it gives me a freedom that is not measured in dollars or time or space…I can be whomever I want and go wherever I choose. There are no limits, no boundaries and the only limitations that you may ever come up against are those that you place on yourself.

What inspired you to write this book?

It was what got me through. There was a lot of life that I (as well as my brother and sister) saw that no one should ever have to witness and many nights I would not allow myself to fall asleep because I would have nightmares. So, while I stayed awake I wrote. I wrote for many years, but this particular journal became the life of our family. While my mother was dying, she asked me to make her a promise and in doing so … to keep her promise, I ended up publishing my journal as well as started my speaking career.

How did you choose the title?

Well, to be honest, the original title was, “One Last Wish,” but the publisher and my editor thought that it was too final and hopeless. After three years on the market, I decided that they were probably right and changed it to describe a little more clearly what I wanted the reader to know about what they were about to read.

What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?

The editing process was hard. I am completely open and honest in the book and some people in my editing department thought that I would offend some readers and they wanted me to omit or change some things and I refused. I stuck to my opinion and am VERY glad that I did. Also, never publishing a book before I had no clue how hard marketing actually is and that is one that I am still working on “overcoming” and figuring out, so when I get there and find out “how” to market… I promise I will let you know.

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

I have always found it much easier to open up my heart in writing and say exactly what I am feeling and thinking in pen and from the time I was a young person I would spend hours creating poetry and stories. I always wanted to travel the world and in my stories I could..until I was old enough to actually do such and then share those adventures in writing. I started in school in my English classes and since I was so fond of writing it became easier and easier to convey exactly what was inside of me so that others could see the visuals as easily as if they were there in person. Being a degreed designer it was also, very helpful because I could visualize what I wanted a space to be before it was completed – I had to find a way in addition to drawings to convey that same idea or visual to my clients, as well as in proposals.

Do you have any writing rituals?

I do…as with my designing and my speaking…before I begin I have a prayer … “Please God let me see what I am suppose to see, say what I am supposed to say and allow my listener and/or my reader see exactly the same thing and whatever else Lord, please do not let me screw up.” I have said that from day one…before I enter a speaking engagement, a clients home or send out a manuscript.

Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?

Yes, that you are not going to sell a million copies day one and that you need to have more patience than anything else you have ever dealt with and it is OK not to agree with everything that everyone else has to say about your writing. Also, that making a difference in people’s lives is far greater than any dollar amount that you will receive – especially when you are told in person that you have made huge differences.

If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?

I would have focused more on marketing at the very beginning and I think I would have waited awhile longer to sign with a publisher. I would have taken more time to get it right from the start and work with people who actually believed in what I am doing.

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

I like to read inspirationals and self help books from and about people who have actually come up from the bottom using the principals that they now teach. I like spiritual authors and books about faith. I have read several that have stuck with me…The Shack…90 Seconds in Heaven. Why…because they give me hope at the lowest points of my life when I didn’t think there was any hope. They help me to believe that I am never alone and that there is a higher being out there that truly cares about me and loves me in spite of me.

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

I am and it is actually at the publisher’s for “review” right now. It is titled (tentatively) “Where There is Hope.” It came about at a very low point in my life when I didn’t want tomorrow to come because of an illness and financial reasons and I had gone for and asked for help from various sources and was left high and dry and knew that if I didn’t make changes – tomorrow was most likely never going to come. It takes the reader through the steps that it took for me to climb my way out of a very black hole.

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

Write what you know and write from the core of your heart. But, most importantly, take your time. Take your time in writing and then take your time to find a publisher who believes in what you are doing as much as you do and is willing to do whatever it is to get your book out in the public eye and in their hands. Be willing to do as much work and as much marketing as you can possibly do and learn as much about marketing before as well as during the process. Know that you have to be very active and very involved in all aspects of the process. Don’t allow others to take over for you and take away your “baby.” Stick to your gut when it comes to the editing and the title and the book itself. Don’t allow anyone to change your writing so much that it is no longer yours. Just believe in what you are doing and have faith that it will come to fruition.

Who is the perfect reader for your book?

Anyone and everyone who has been touched by diabetes. Either having it themselves or caring for someone who has the disease. Anyone newly diagnosed who is scared and at a loss as to what comes next. Anyone who wants to know what comes next. As well as those who have a loved one who is struggling and they need them to know how important it is to deal with their diabetes face on and NOW.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

I am on the radio Monday through Friday 11 AM – 12 Noon EST on www.healthbeatradio.com with “Diabetes In The Family” and I am available to speak to individuals, groups of any size – large or small. I can be reached at marybethtraut@marybethtraut.com if they have any questions or need information.