Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Cherie Burbach Discusses Diabetes

My guest today is Cherie Burbach. Cherie, it's a pleasure to have you. Please give us a brief bio.

I'm a die-hard Packer fan, lover of Tudor fiction, and crocheter geek. And oh yeah, I write too! I'm a blogger for several sites and have written six books.

When did the writing bug bite, and in what genre(s)?
I first wrote short stories when I was very young - 5 or 6 years old. When I was about 8 my teacher told my mom I had a poetic way of writing and thought I should try poetry. I didn't know a thing about it, but soon after trying my hand at a few poems I was hooked. My first two books, The Difference Now and A New Dish, were poetry collections. In other words, I also loved writing. Making my vocation came many years later.

When you started writing, what goals did you want to accomplish? Is there a message you want readers to grasp?
When I first published my poetry it was with the intent to share some of the feelings and emotions I had from growing up with an alcoholic father. I was amazed at the response, and even today when I write fiction or nonfiction I try to share something that will prompt readers to say, "Oh yeah, I've felt like that too."

Briefly tell us about your latest book.
My latest book is a helpful guide for people with diabetics in their life. It's a nonfiction stand-alone, entitled 21 Simple Things You Can Do for Someone With Diabetes.

How do you develop characters? Setting?
I start with a concept for a book and then think about what type of people might be involved. The characters (their motivation, personality, etc.) develop as the story unfolds. The setting of most of my fiction tends to be in the Wisconsin area since that's where I grew up.

Do you have a specific writing style? Preferred POV?
I like to write in first person usually. It's interesting to put your heart and mind into a character and let them take off.

How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?
I think writers take little bits of their life and twist and turn it to help move their story along.
Share the best review (or a portion) that you’ve even had.

I'll share one from 21 Simple Things You Can Do to Help Someone With Diabetes:
Often writers say if they can touch just one life or change one person for the better by telling their story, that their mission is accomplished. Cherie Burbach hasn't used those precise words; instead she says that "21 Simple Things You Can Do To Help Someone with Diabetes will point you in the right direction so you can truly support your diabetic friend." Her book has pointed me in the direction and I suspect has changed my life too--at least part of it.
I was a prime target for this book; one of the guilty uneducated and judgmental non-diabetics with a friend who has diabetes. In easy-to-understand and well-organized words that don't drip with sentimentality, Ms. Burbach has awakened me to my thus far careless attitude and informed me of what I can do. I had no idea my support plays an important role in how healthy my friend is.
Ms. Burbach writes, "This book is a source of encouragement, a prompt for education, and a starting guide to diabetic etiquette." Check.
Source of encouragement? Yes. I'm looking forward to first apologizing to my friend for being missing in action in this regard, and then to talking with her and taking an active interest in this huge aspect of her life. How did I miss its hugeness--this thing she thinks about and manages every hour of every day of her life?

A prompt for education? Yes. Ms. Burbach says, "The people in my life who really care about me understand things like an A1c test." I had no idea what an A1c test was, but I do now--thank you Ms. Burbach and Google--and that's just scratching the surface. I'll know now to stock both sugar-free and sugar drinks and juice. I'll ask about testing equipment and where she keeps it, I'll try to know the signs of low blood sugar, I'll get to know her diabetic numbers, I won't view insulin as the cure it isn't, I will be cognizant of meal times.
Etiquette, you say in chronic disease? Yes, and I'm guilty of saying inadvertent hurtful things, being a member of the diabetic police force, holding certain judgments, and thinking I'm above the disease. We are reminded that diabetes can strike anyone at any time.

This little book packs an informative punch to those who know little to nothing about diabetes. I highly recommend it.

WOW!! An awesome review, and having several friends with diabetes myself--one a brittle diabetic--I'll be getting this book.

What are your current projects?

More fiction and nonfiction works. I've also got another poetry book in the works.
Where can folks learn more about your books and events?

Best place is my website  gives you links to my blogs.

Cherie, thanks for the interivew and more awarness about diabetes. Continued success!


Anonymous said...

Cherie, as a fellow writer and a 38-year diabetic, I commend you for putting this book out there. I've often thought of doing a book along those lines but never got around to it. Now I don't have to, I can sit back and enjoy your hard work when I give your book to some of my family and friends!

Susan, great interview!


Pauline B Jones said...

Married to a diabetic and that's hard, too! thanks for a great interview and a great resource for family and friends. :-)

Pauline B Jones said...

Oh, forgot to ask if it will be releasing in Kindle edition or is available elsewhere in ebook? thanks!

Denise said...

Great Interview.
My mom is a diabetic. I'd like to get the book for my family.

Susan Whitfield said...

I have a couple of friends with diabetes, one a brittle diabetic, and I sometimes have them over. I always try to plan something they can eat. This book will be useful in helping me better understand what they are going through.

Cherie said...

Caitlyn: How very nice of you to say! You rock.

Pauline: No Kindle for now. Sorry. :( I think it's great for diabetes and non-diabetics. In fact, I wrote it with the thought that family and friends would be able to understand the diabetic's point of view just a little bit better. You are so important in our lives.

Denise: Thanks. I think it would help for you and your om both.

Susan: A million thanks for having me on your wonderful blog today! I appreciate that you support other writers, and this has been fun!

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Vanessa said...

Diabetes is totally a burden. When my mom was diagnosed with diabetes after she used elisakits, we became sad because of her condition.

It should be known at its early stage.

Cherie said...


So sorry to hear about your mom. It can be managed with early detection. I hope she gets the medical attention she needs.

Mike Hussey said...

Diabetic retinopathy could be associated with poorer memory and diminished brain power in people with Type 2 diabetes, according to a new research.