Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Kicking Cancer's Ass with Beverly Diehl. #Giveaway

Posted by Susan B James on 3:00:00 AM with No comments

When I first met Beverly Diehl at LARA, the Los Angeles chapter of The Romance Writers of America, she was our Treasurer and busy kicking cancer's ass. She posted pictures of herself on Facebook wearing her signature tiara to every radiation session. I wish I'd thought of that. I also wish her memoir had been around back when my sister Kelly and I had breast cancer in 2001.
I read her short stories in the LARA romance anthologies, Holiday Ever After, Five Minute Love Stories and Summer Sizzle and loved her work. Researching the inntro, I found another anthology she's in, Rejoice and Resist The logline is Follow the cat through time and space. I bought it.
I am delighted to welcome Bev to the blog. She's giving away one copy  of her memoir Sex, Drugs, Rock ‘n Roll, and a Tiara / How I Celebrated Kicking Cancer’s Ass- eBook or Paperback -(Paperback is US Only)
Welcome, Beverly Diehl

Hi folks! Susan, thanks so much for having me.
I love firsts, so tell me about the moment when you decided to self-publish Sex, Drugs, Rock ‘n Roll, and a Tiara / How I Celebrated Kicking Cancer’s Ass.
This one’s kind of a two-parter.
1) I decided to write this memoir because, as I began this breast cancer journey and sharing my feelings and processes on social media, people were telling me, “Wow, this is so inspirational!” I looked around to see who on earth they were talking to, and then realized, “Well, shit! Why can’t I be inspirational? Why not share the journey and the lessons I learned?” Like, because tiaras make everything better, I wore one through all my medical treatments – which made my doctors, nurses, and medical staff smile, which made me smile, and created a more positive vibe which just might have helped me kick cancer’s ass. I thought I could help others, even if I am not a celebrity or rock star.”
2) As far as self-publishing, see “not a celebrity or rock star,” above. The chances of a traditional publishing house being interested in a memoir from a non-celebrity is always slim, but also, there’s a lot of stories in this work that are unconventional. Where would they shelve it? I write about my polyamorous relationships (threesome during radiation!), and my musical soundtrack for cancer. I put a clickable Spotify playlist at the start of each chapter, and I also write about my experiments with medicinal marijuana. Then there are lots and lots of boob pictures: some artistic, some a little scary.

Did you hire an editor?
I did. You know the saying, Only a fool represents themselves (in court)? No matter how skilled a writer we might be, we need someone to tell us, “This chapter bored the snot out of me; cut it. This one is good, but needs to be further back; or closer to the beginning. Also, catching all those little times you write pubic when you mean public – or vice versa.

How did you choose the cover?

I decided to get a set of before-and-after boudoir pictures by skilled photographer (and gorgeous hottie) Nick Holmes. I’d never thought I was particularly photogenic, but he was amazing, and I felt so beautiful in his pictures. So I had lots of pictures to choose from. Then I was lucky enough to connect with a very talented young woman from my LARA (Los Angeles Romance Authors) chapter who was looking to get more experience creating covers. I love what she did for me!

What advice do you have for other authors who are considering self publishing? Beware of premature publishing syndrome! This was my first full-length published work, but I’ve been writing for a few decades, and my first finished books? I had the equivalent of beer goggles in the first few months after I finished them, I thought they were terrific. Horrific, more like, and I am so grateful now they are not “out there.” If self-publishing had been as easy then as it is now, they would be part of my awful, I mean, author brand. Take your time and let your finished work “rest” for a bit before deciding to put it into the world. If you can’t afford to do all the things – write the best content you can, professional editing, the best cover, then hold it back and finish those things a little at a time. Don’t put out substandard work. I plan to take your advice. 

What is the most exciting moment, so far, in your writing career?
Looking for Big Ben in London
I think getting reviews and messages, from strangers as well as family and friends, that this book actually helped them. Mission accomplished. Even when there’s cancer, death of loved ones, or other challenging situations to deal with, I refuse to let myself be robbed of joy, no matter what. One person told me it made him laugh, cry, and want to masturbate, and who can ask for a better review than that? No one!

And finally, where can we find you?
I’m on FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, and have the obligatory blog and newsletter. (Can I bribe you to sign up for my newsletter? I only send it out a couple times a year, I promise. I’ll let you wear my tiara!) ALSO, I’m doing a FaceBook takeover party in Christine’s Book Love Reader Group, tomorrow night (7 pm October 17). Come by for some fun games and prizes! Check it our, friends.
I signed up for your newsletter. I won't hold you to your promise on the tiara because I have a snazzy one of my own. 
I hate to miss Christine Ashworth's Book Lovers Readers Group because it's always so much fun but I've got tickets for Dear Evan Hansen that night.,   Thanks for being here Beverly and for the inspiration of your journey.
Contest is below. Happy reading.
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