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!