Hollywood, FL (March 2009) -– For New York Times best selling author and mother of five Brenda Novak, Mother’s Day isn’t about breakfast in bed or a special family gathering to celebrate her status as a mom. Instead, it’s the culmination of a year’s worth of planning, phone calls, seeking favors and just plain hard work.
Novak’s 5th Annual Online Auction for Diabetes Research held each May is a labor of love for her son who has lived with the disease for most of his life. It is also a month-long online event featuring lunches, dinners and one-on-one meetings with celebrity authors, world-class getaway vacations and state-of-the-art gizmos and gadgets.
This year, the Diabetes Research Institute is the sole beneficiary of the diabetes online auction.
This Herculean effort has grown from a one-person show, raising just over $33,000 in its first year with the hope of breaking the $300,000 mark this year. In all, Brenda’s diabetes online auction effort has raised a grand total of more than $500,000 in its first four years.
“Each year of the auction brings new excitement. With the array of items we have this year, I’m looking forward to substantial interest and plenty of bidding,” said Novak. “I’m particularly proud to have partnered with the Diabetes Research Institute whose work helps inspire me to do what I can to help raise critical research dollars, especially in these most difficult times.”
In the previous four years the diabetes auction has generated tremendous interest due in large part to the participation of some of the most famous and prolific authors in the country today. In 2008, the auction site saw hundreds of thousands of hits and thousands of visitors, and with this year’s collection of prized offerings, even more are expected. Among the most exciting auction items available are lunch with international bestseller Barry Eisler, tea with New York Times bestseller Debbie Macomber and a stay at famed author Nora Robert’s Inn.
Beyond rubbing elbows with famous authors, the diabetes online auction offers unique vacation getaways and exciting technology packages including the all new “Kindle,” a wireless reading device. And, for aspiring writers, the auction offers a chance to bid on evaluation opportunities with some of the most powerful and well-connected agents and editors in publishing—many include a face-to-face interaction with these A-list publishing industry giants, which have been among the most popular items in previous years.
“We are proud to be working with Brenda and honored that she has chosen the Diabetes Research Institute as the sole beneficiary of her Online Auction for Diabetes Research. We are moved by the enormity of what Brenda has undertaken to help find a cure for her son and millions of others with diabetes,” said Robert A. Pearlman, president and CEO of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation. “In just a few short years, Brenda Novak has engaged some of the best and brightest in the literary world to join our mission and turned a wonderful idea into a much-anticipated annual event.”
About Brenda Novak
It was a shocking experience that jump-started Brenda Novak’s bestselling author career. “I caught my day-care provider drugging my children with cough syrup and Tylenol to get them to sleep while I was away,” Brenda says. “It was then that I decided I needed to do something from home.”
However, writing was the last profession she expected to undertake. In fact, Brenda swears she didn’t have a creative bone in her body. In school, math and science were her best subjects, and when it came time to pick a major in college, she chose business. Abandoning her academic scholarship to Brigham Young University at the age of 20 in order to get married and start a family, Brenda dabbled in commercial real estate, then became a loan officer.
“When I first got the idea to become a novelist, it took me five years to teach myself the craft and finish my first book,” Brenda admits. “I learned how to write by reading what others have written. The best advice for any would-be author: read, read, read….”
Brenda sold her first book, and the rest is history. She’s hit various national bestseller lists, including Borders/Waldenbooks and The New York Times, and many of her novels have won or placed in contests such as the National Reader’s Choice and the Bookseller’s Best. She has three novels coming out this year: THE PERFECT COUPLE, THE PERFECT LIAR and THE PERFECT MURDER (August, September and October).
Brenda and her husband, Ted, live in Sacramento and are the proud parents of five children—three girls and two boys. She juggles her writing career with her children’s basketball and soccer games, field trips, carpool runs and homework sessions.
When she’s not spending time with her family or writing, Brenda is usually working on her annual fund-raiser for diabetes research—an online auction held at her Web site www.brendanovak.com May 1 – May 31.
Her youngest son, Thad, has diabetes, and Brenda is determined to help him and others like him. She also enjoys traveling, watching sporting events and biking—she rides an amazing 20 miles every day!
About the Diabetes Research Institute and Foundation
The mission of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation is to provide the Diabetes Research Institute with the funding necessary to cure diabetes now. The Diabetes Research Institute, a center of excellence at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, is a recognized world leader in cure-focused research.
Since its inception in the early 1970s, the DRI has made significant contributions to the field of diabetes research, pioneering many of the techniques used in islet transplantation. The DRI is now building upon these achievements by bridging cell-based therapies with emerging technologies to restore insulin production.
For the millions of families already affected by diabetes, the Diabetes Research Institute is the best hope for a cure.