Today I have Cherie Burbach answering some questions I had for her. Last week, she interviewed me for her blog, so it's only fair right? Cherie and I "bumped" into each other while trolling around cyberspace seeking like-minded individuals with an interest in books, writing, and everything else connected to the written word. Stick around and meet her.
LR: Tell us a little about yourself.
CB: I'm a freelance writing and author. I love football season and reading anything about the Tudor's or historical fiction in general. I've written six books, including 21 Simple Things You Can Do To Help Someone With Diabetes and Internet Dating is Not Like Ordering a Pizza. (I like long titles, can you tell?)
I've also penned my first novel, For Those Who Knew Zach. I'm currently working on my second novel and looking for an agent.
I'm also very proud of an essay I wrote for NPR's "This I Believe" which is still the fourth most popular after four years on the site. It means a lot that so many people have responded to it.
LR: When did you realize you wanted to be a writer, and for how long have you been writing?
CB: I knew very young that I wanted to be a writer, but like many creative types I went into a "sensible" line of work instead. I worked in marketing for 20 years, which gave me an opportunity to write press releases, copy, direct mail pieces, and other business-related stuff. It was creative but I hated the field of marketing. I always had the idea that I wanted to write for a living in the back of my mind, so I started doing freelance articles here and there in addition to working. I transitioned into full-time writing by doing freelance work part time and marketing work part time. Eventually I went into full time freelancing and writing books. I'm trying to work on more fiction work now, which is new to me. Up until now I've done nonfiction and poetry.
LR: What sort of books do you normally write?
CB: I've written several nonfiction books about dating and relationships, and one about diabetes. I've also written three poetry books. I'd like to do more of both of those. I finished my first fiction book and am looking for an agent. I'm about halfway through the second book.
LR: What inspires you?
CB: Oh gosh, everything and anything. Really. There's never a day where I'm at a loss as to what to write.
LR: What do you try to get across in your written works?
CB: I like to show the other side of things. In my diabetes book, I wanted to show what diabetics go through and how the rest of us should act toward them. Diabetics get such a bad rap and there are so many misconceptions. People think they know about diabetes because of a relative who may have it or even what they see on TV, and many times their information isn't correct. They treat diabetics a certain way as a result. That really bothers me, and I wanted to write about it.
Online dating is another thing that some people snigger at. I don't get it. It's a great way to meet someone, and yet there are people who think only losers do it. So I wanted to help online daters write the best profiles they possibly could so they would find someone special and put those critics to rest.
I like to read about things that show me the other side of a situation, so I suppose it's natural that I would write about those things too.
LR: Who are your favourite writers and why?
CB: There are so many favorite writers, I know that as soon as I start answering I'm going to forget some. I like Elinor Lipman because her dialog and characterization is really terrific. Maya Angelou has such wonderful poetry. Willa Cather is a beautiful writer. Barbara Kingsolver and Elizabeth Berg are really fabulous. I love so many different historical fiction writers: C.W. Gortner, Michelle Moran, Robin Maxwell, Karen Harper, Philippa Gregory, and on and on. M.J. Rose is someone I admire from both a writing and business perspective. Lots of them.... I could go on forever!
LR: Your advice to aspiring writers.
CB: For freelance writers, I'd say learn about the business of writing and find the right clients and work environment for you. There are so many options, and each freelance writer has a slightly different career, so find out what works for you. For authors, there are also a lot of choices in publishing today, but be smart about how you approach the business. Learn all you can. And write every day!
LR: Where can we find you on the web and purchase your books?
CB: The best place to find out more is probably my website: www.cherieburbach.com. You can purchase my books on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.com, or anywhere online where books are sold. You can go also go to your local bookstore and order them.
LR: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
CB: Thank you so much for having me! Writers need to stick together, so be sure to support your fellow writer. Write reviews about the books you love, give a new author encouragement, and always be happy for another writer's success.