My recent book is titled, Open Up The Door and Let Me In. The book is a journal of my first 365 days battling breast cancer. When I wrote daily, I had no clue that I would end with a book. The book starts with January 3, 2007 (the day I heard the awful words “you have a little cancer.” This truly caught me off guard because I had been in perfect health for so many years. I would go for yearly check-ups and occasionally treatment for a cold or flu. As I look back in my book, I realize and have been told that it is helping other women as they battle breast cancer. I did not sugar sweet anything, I told it like it was. Through it all now when I am standing in front of a crowd speaking, I thank breast cancer for showing me some strengths, will power and determination that was (still is) with in me. In other words, I am learning more and more about me, Dee Burrell.
Tell us something about yourself.
I was born and raised in a small town, Salisbury Md and lived in Fruitland, Md for most of my growing up days. I was raised in a single family home by a hard working, dedicated and loved woman. I started writing around the age of 16. I actually have never planned to write but the way I started was on a summer night. My best girlfriend (in fact the only girlfriend that mom allowed to stay over), went out to a college to hear a famous band. For the first time, mom trusted me to take the family car. My curfew was around midnight and we all know that things don’t really start happening until that time. I decided to stay longer. I knew I would be in trouble anyway for being late so I figured that I am already in trouble so why rush. When I arrived home, Mom was up and she first did her usual talk and then she went upstairs and got a belt and you know what happened from that point. After punishment, I took a lined sheet of paper and wrote “I hate you” over and over and even filled the back of the paper. Now you have to read the book to see what happens. The interesting people, love talking and networking.
How did you choose the title?
These were words I heard my mom softly utter the night before she passes away so I titled the books with the last words I heard her say.
What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?
My cousin, the late Timothy Bounds told me about some poems he was thinking of getting published and wanted to share the name of his publishing company. Sorry to say that he passed away before he finished his book.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
A lot later in life and I must say that I wrote daily for therapy while being administered chemotherapy.
Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?
I learned a lot about me as I go back to read my own book. I realize just how far I have come. I learned that there is a whole new world out here surrounded by some famous authors and those of us who are not famous yet!
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
Yes, it is going to share my story of leaving a job that was no longer healthy mentally or physically for me and stepping out on faith.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Write from your heart and once it is published, don’t get lazy because the fun is just beginning. you will see writing the book is a breeze, marketing it… well you are getting ready to do the REAL work.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
Women, breast cancer survivors, caretakers, pharmaceutical companies, breast cancer organizations.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?