Thursday, April 29, 2010

Online auction, author interview, and trip to Antiquity

I don't remember how I heard about Brenda Novak's Online Auction for Diabetes Research, but I knew immediately that I wanted to help. Last year, I donated a scarf made from our llama and sheep wool. I wrote the biography of the two animals that donated their fiber for the scarf, which I sent to the winner, along with photos of the animals.

This year, I'm donating a five-day, four-night stay at Antiquity Oaks, including all meals. Click here to learn more about what else is included. If you have no interest in bidding on a homesteading vacation, I would still encourage you to head over to the auction and check out all the incredibly cool things that have been donated, like lunches with best-selling authors, a trip to Mexico, books, and jewelry.

I asked Brenda Novak to join us today, because I'm sure she can answer your questions better than I can. To get started, I've asked her a few questions. And in case you didn't click on Brenda's link yet, she's a romance novelist, so there are lots of books in the auction, as well as manuscript critiques by agents and editors, which are very hard to come by. Usually agents just send you a form rejection letter, and you have no idea why they didn't want to represent your work. If you're a writer, you should check those out.

Deborah: Lots of people have children with diabetes, but most of them are not out there raising hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. What made you decide to do something like this?

Brenda: From the moment my son was diagnosed I wanted to do something to fight back. It's that old instinct of wanting to protect the child who's threatened, I guess. But as I've gotten more and more involved in fundraising I've realized that Thad isn't the only reason I do it. There are SO many out there in the same situation. Too many. I believe this is a disease we can beat, and I'm making it my life's mission to push for a cure.

Deborah: What are your favorite items in this year's auction?

Brenda: Oh boy! There are so many! LOL I would love to come to Antiquity Oaks. I've never even heard of another place like it so I think that opportunity is a special one. Beyond that, the Marilyn Sears Bourbon painting is one of my very favorites. She is an amazing artist. I own three of her paintings already and would love to have this one, too. The trip to Hawaii from Jane Porter sounds like a dream come true. I think it would be a blast to head over and relax on the beach. Then there are the Coach purses from Anna DeStefano, a ton of autographed books from Booklovers Bookstore, the Treasure Trove from Lauren Hawkeye and the antique jewelry from Dianne Despain. I often pour through those categories. Oh, and I salivate over the opportunities, thinking about how much I would've enjoyed buying agent and editor reads when I was unpublished. I'm very happy with my publisher (love, love, love my editor) and my agent and yet I'm tempted to bid on these reads just because I see them as golden. And they are golden! We've had writers find an agent through the auction. One writer even sold her book to Harlequin because of the auction.

The author critiques are some of the best bargains. These people do such a good job in helping those who win their feedback. We even have New York Times Bestselling Authors doing some of these critiques (as well as authors who will one day hit the big lists ).

The promotion items for published authors always get me excited, too. MJ Rose has donated a fabulous AuthorBuzz package I'd love to have. Heather Graham has donated a trip to New Orleans for the Writer's for New Orleans Conference over Labor Day. It would be wonderful to win either of those things. And I'd dearly love to have lunch with Catherine Coulter, Barry Eisler or Diana Gabaldon, all of which have been generous to donate their time.

I could go on all day, as you can tell. LOL There are 2000 items--including an iPad from Nancy Berland Public Relations (something I have my eye on). But I do want to mention what's new this year. I'm sponsoring a writing contest via the auction. All entry fees go to research, of course, but the benefit to the writer is this: a panel of New York Times Bestselling Authors will judge the entries, I'll pick the winner from the finalists, and that winner will receive a six-month mentorship from me as well as guaranteed reads from my agent and my editor.

Deborah: Tell us about your son. What does Thad like to do? Does his diabetes slow him down at all?

Brenda: My son doesn't let diabetes slow him down at all. He's larger than life and, as the baby of the family, loved well and probably a bit too indulged. He plays a lot of sports and loves to buy tools and fix things. He's an entrepreneur in the making--always planning how he's going to make money by starting this business or that. I don't know that I've ever met a more capable or loving child. He has a great sense of humor and loves people of all kinds. I do wish he'd be more careful with his diabetes, however. He doesn't want to have the disease so he often tries to ignore it, which is very dangerous.

Deborah: What does the future look like for Thad and other children with diabetes?

Brenda: I think it looks very bright! I believe we'll find a cure that will enable my son and all the other children (and adults) with diabetes to live longer, healthier and more comfortable lives.

And it's not too late to make a donation. I heard about the auction last year when there was only a week or two left, but I contacted Brenda and asked if I could make a donation. If you'd like to donate an item to the auction, just click here and let Brenda know about it!

If you have any questions, post it in the comment section, and Brenda will be checking in today to respond.


Chef E said...

I am glad to hear that people are doing what they can for causes like this that are close to home. My WAMPP thing is moving along- Wine Art Music Poetry Project to raise money for Congenital Heart Disease research, that took my daughter. Well in a manner of speaking, but charity is part of what makes us all human being, is what I believe, any hoo!

Thanks for all your postings here!

Brenda Novak said...

Thanks for your comments, Chef E. I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter. There are a million good causes out there. It makes me want to have an auction for all of them. LOL

Maybe we'll get a cure for diabetes and I can turn the auction to something else in future years. That would be really great.


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