BIO: It was a horrible experience that jump-started New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Brenda Novak's career-- she caught her daycare teacher drugging her children to get them to sleep. Deciding she needed to work from home, she penned her first novel, and has been a sensation ever since. Other titles include: Trust Me, Watch Me, Stop Me, Dead Silence, Dead Giveaway, Dead Right, The Perfect Couple, The Perfect Murder, and The Perfect Liar. She also heads an annual fundraiser for diabetes research every May. Brenda resides in Sacramento, California with her husband and five children.
Thanks for being here, Brenda. It’s an immense pleasure.
#1- Tell us a little about yourself outside of your writing career…
I'm a mother of five, so right now I'm busy playing family taxi. :-) Fortunately, my kids are getting older (my youngest is 13) so life is getting easier, in some ways, but my kids are all heavily involved in school and sports so that definitely takes a lot time and energy. Besides writing, I like to keep up with them, travel with my husband, read, ride bikes and shop.
#2- Your decision to work from home and pursue writing stemmed from a horrible experience. Can you tell us about that?
I caught my daycare provider drugging my children with cough syrup and Tylenol to get them to sleep all day while I worked as a loan officer. Once I found the medicine in my baby's bottle and realized what had been going on, I could no longer trust anyone else with their care. So I quit my job to stay home with them--but had to do something to help earn a living. I was reading Jude Devereaux's A KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR (recommended to me by my sister) and was really enjoying it--and that's when the idea struck. "Hey, maybe I could do this!"
Once I started, I realized that I'd found the one thing I love to do more than anything else!
#3- As you know, I reviewed your titles, WHITE HEAT and THE PERFECT COUPLE for Bookpleasures and loved them. But how do you handle the negative reviews and critiques you receive?
Criticism is part of any business where quality is subjective. A negative review used to stab me the heart--LOL--but I've gained a bit of perspective after 35 books. I realize that you can't please everyone all the time and try to take the few negative reviews I get on the chin. I also consider the source. If the person isn't an expert on fiction, I take it as one opinion.
#4- You have an annual Diabetes Research fundraiser. Can you tell us how you came to do this and tell us about the event?
My youngest son was diagnosed with Type 1 (insulin-dependent diabetes) when he was five years old. Once I learned all the challenges he would likely face in his lifetime, I was heartbroken--and very motivated to try and improve his future. I wanted to do something to raise money, but I had five little kids in the house, no money and was just starting a writing career. It took me two years to come up with the idea (and put in motion) my annual online auction for diabetes research. Once this idea hit, it was a bit like the moment I decided to try my hand at writing--one of those, "Yes, this is it!" moments. LOL
I've been doing the auction (which runs every May at www.brendanovak.com) for six years. This last year, we broke $1 million for a cumulative total and set a new annual record at $303,000. This is the fulfillment of one of my fondest dreams--but I'm not done yet. I've set my sites on $2 million and hope to get there as fast as possible!
#5- What do you find to be the most difficult aspect of being a writer?
The pressure. When you start turning out several books a year and you're doing all you can to promote them, you're very, very busy. Trying to juggle that with a family and friends and a full life in other regards, and it can be stressful. Worth it, but stressful. LOL
#6- Are there any upcoming releases we would like to know about, and could you give us your web site so readers can check it out?
WHITE HEAT is actually part of a trilogy. BODY HEAT, the second book, will be released in one month (August 31st). KILLER HEAT, the third book, will come out on September 28th.
My web site is: www.brendanovak.com
#7- This about concludes it. Thank you again for joining us. Is there anything else you would like to share?
I'd like to invite everyone to my Twitter Party on Wednesday, August 4th, 8 - 10 p.m. eastern time. We're going to be talking about my new book and giving away three iPads and lots of other great goodies. Everyone who registers in advance will receive a snail mail party pack with their raffle tickets and a $1 off coupon for WHITE HEAT.
You can register on my home page at:
Thanks for the interview and the great reviews!!