Friday, July 23, 2010

Books, Breasts and Bonanzas!

This is turning out to be a stellar week for titles and I can't wait to welcome a whole new crop of visitors to my blog, har har.

But joking aside, I'm very pleased today to have Stephanie Butland here from Bah! to Cancer. After a successful fundraiser back in May, she's kicking off the Bah! Brilliant Book Bonanza again in August. Each Sunday, there'll be a selection of books up for grabs to those who donate, so make sure to check it out.

Take it away, Stephanie!

What is BBBB?

The Bah! Brilliant Book Bonanza (Bah! BBB to its friends) is a way for people in need of a good, uplifting read to get hold of great books. Every three months, a series of lists of great books - many of them signed by the author - appears on my website. You leave a 'pick me!' comment for the one that you want, and make a donation of £2/$3 to one of my three nominated charities. I choose the winners at random and send them their books.

Why have you decided to use books to raise money and awareness of breast cancer?

When I was recovering from surgery to remove a breast cancer, I learned that in my tired, vulnerable state I needed books that were uplifting and nourishing. As my dance with cancer progressed I also realised that I wanted to find a way to both support charities and offer tangible support and help to others going through any kind of a hard time. The Bah! BBB is a fusion of those three ideas.

You’re writing a book on your own fight against cancer. Tell us a bit about that and where you are in the publishing process.

'Thinking, laughing, living, dancing: how I said Bah! to cancer' is a book about my approach to cancer. It tells my story but also draws on my experience as a trainer in thinking skills - Edward de Bono, inventor of Lateral Thinking, has written a foreword - to offer strategies to think differently to help cope better. It's also funny. I'm talking with a publisher and agent at the moment.

Did you find it difficult to put your own story out to agents for evaluation? How did you deal with critiques and rejections?

Yes and no. Because I have been blogging my dance with breast cancer for more than a year and a half, I'm used to putting it out there. (Once you've published pictures of your own breasts on the internet, anything other kind of exposure gets easier!) And I'm lucky in the the rejections I have had have been full of praise for the book - the difficulty for most publishers is the crowded market, and the fact that generally, cancer books don't sell.

What are your plans for the future? More fundraising, more books?

Yes and yes! I'm hoping that the Bah! BBB will continue to grow, and judging from my groaning Bah! BBB bookshelf, it will! This September I'm walking 20 miles to raise money for Maggie's Cancer Caring Centres with my father and my son. I do a lot of work to support Cancer Research UK too. Lance Armstrong, the cyclist who survived cancer and now heads the LIVESTRONG organisation, talks about the obligation of the cured. He says that when you survive cancer you have 2 doors you could walk through. One door leads straight back to your life, forgetting your cancer experience as much as you can. It's fine to take that route if you want to. The second door is for those who feel that, as one of the cured, they want to do all they can to help cure cancer and help those going through it. No prizes for guessing which door I chose!

Please drop by Stephanie's blog to learn more about Bah! BBB and to say hi!

40 comments:

  1. This sounds like a great idea. I don't know if we have anything like it in Canada.

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  2. This is such a brilliant idea! How special that you both took the time to do an interview, not to mention the title alone will draw people here... too many B's to not stop by!!!! :)

    Happy Friday Talli!

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  3. What a lovely idea to use what one has to help others.

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  4. What an awesome idea. And how very cool that you did the interview to let people know. :)

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  5. GOOD LUCK Stephanie Butland with all your fundraising and your BBBB!!!!! Such a fab idea - and a fun way to raise awareness and funds.

    Good luck too with your book - it's a brilliant uplifting title - I hope you buck the "cancer books don't sell" thing! Thanks Talli Roland for this fab guest blog.

    Take care
    x

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  6. I think it's wonderful! It's an interesting angle, as people who are in treatment are usually in a ton of transition time: hospital waits, in bed, chemo, etc. Books are perfect to add a little light to all the hell they have to go through. I really like this, Talli.

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  7. This is a very worthy cause and a wonderful thing Stephanie is doing.

    Mason
    Thoughts in Progress

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  8. Great interview and what a brilliant idea.

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  9. Awesome idea!! Will have to check her out.

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  10. Talli, I just found your blog, and I'm so glad I did! Love the title of your chick-lit book coming out.

    Stephanie, I know what you mean about needing uplifting books. When I had a case of the baby blues after my son was born, the only thing I could read was Jan Caron's Mitford series. It helped me tremendously. Thanks for putting your story out there!

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  11. Such a great name for that book - I think that is definitely a unique selling point and will make it sell. Great idea about the book bonanza as well. :)

    Thank you, Stephanie, and thanks Talli!

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  12. I love the idea of books instead of crap like a new thermos. Although we could always use a new thermos books and breasts are far better.

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  13. Love this idea, thanks for posting, Talli!

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  14. This is an amazing idea and I love this interview! Thank you, both of you, for this!

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  15. Love the idea and it's wonderful of both of you to get the word out via the book by Stephanie and your blog, Talli.

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  16. Talli, I gave you an award today, stop on by my blog and check it out!

    Megan

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  17. Great interview and great cause! All the best with it :)

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  18. What a great way to raise money.
    And yes, 'breasts' got my attention! What can I say - I'm a dude!

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  19. I agree. What a wonderful idea!

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  20. What a terrific idea! I know several women who've been affected with breast cancer and other women's cancers. Good for Stephanie for bringing awareness to women's cancers and using her talent to bring hope and joy to others!

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  21. Kudos to Stephanie for reaching out to others in need, and sharing her own journey as well. It seems a perfect way to support her cause.

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  22. Ah, I love it! What a beautiful way to share some love. :)

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  23. Thanks everyone! And thank you, Talli, for inviting me over.

    Be sure to come over on 1 August and see what's on offer - it's going to be good!

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  24. The title Bah! to Cancer is absolutely priceless. Good interview.

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  25. Wow, what a fantastic idea. such a greaty cause too.

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  26. Terrific idea! Thanks for the info and the interview.

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  27. How wonderful that she's using her experience to help others! Thanks for the great interview!

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  28. Hi there!

    Shortstorybook.net is organizing a short story writing contest.

    We do think that you too might have a marvelous story to tell, one that is your own! So if you can compose it in not more than few words, we would want to hear from you. Also, you stand a chance to get your story published on our site and win cash prize of USD 100.

    “Then what are you waiting for? …put on your thinking cap and get writing. For registration and other information check - http://bit.ly/short-story-contest-2010

    Happy writing!

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  29. I think BBBB is a fab idea. I've read Stephanie's blog for a while now and follow her on twitter. She's a great inspiration.

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  30. What a wonderful idea from an inspirational woman.

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  31. This is a wonderful idea - best of luck with it.

    XX

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  32. Wonderful idea! Thanks for promoting it Talli!

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  33. Awesome. Thanks for hosting her, Talli.

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  34. Hi, hope it's OK to contact you here. We would love to include your blog on our giveaway search engine: Giveaway Scout (http://www.giveawayscout.com). Have a look and if interested, use our online form to add your blog (http://www.giveawayscout.com/addblog/ ). thanks, Josh

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  35. That is a great idea, thanks for sharing Talli.

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  36. I was just talking to someone about this piece by Susan Sontag I read in college about the language we use to talk about cancer: words like battle and attack and fighting. Such a contrast to Stephanie's language.

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  37. Great interview. I was one of the book recipients of the May fundraiser. Will be posting about it this week.

    Stephanie is awesome! Looking forward to reading her book!

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  38. Fabulous idea, a great way to help people.

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  39. Wow what an inspiring woman and her idea of raising money for cancer research AND books for people suffering is absolutely genius!

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Coffee and wine for all!