(Hollywood, FL), March 23, 2010 – As if being a mother of five and a New York Times bestselling author weren’t enough, award-winning novelist Brenda Novak is also a true philanthropist. Now in its 6th year, Novak’s Online Auction for Diabetes Research, benefitting the cure-focused work of the Diabetes Research Institute, is slated to surpass the $1 million mark. Novak couldn’t be more pleased as she has dedicated hundreds of hours and sacrificed time with family, all to make plans, handle phone calls and reach out to fellow authors, publishers and others for prizes and auction items. For Novak, it’s all a labor of love and a concentrated effort to find a cure for her son who has lived with diabetes for most of his life. Held each May at BrendaNovak.com, the month-long online auction features personal meetings, lunches and dinners with celebrity authors, world-class getaways and state-of-the-art gizmos and gadgets.
“I remember when this all started how excited we were when we raised $34,000, and we were overjoyed with the results. Never in my wildest dreams, just a few years later, would any of us have thought we’d be talking about a million dollars raised,” says Novak. In all, Novak’s online auction has pulled in over $770,000 for diabetes research and with continued hard work on the part of Novak and her slew of volunteers, this year’s total could bring her to more than $1 million raised for critical research. For the second year in a row, the DRI is the sole beneficiary of this effort.
“It is heartwarming to know that so many people care about helping and that with each new year more friends, and sometimes people I just met, step forward to help support the search for a cure,” says Novak. “Everyone involved in this event should be proud to know that their hard work goes to support the Diabetes Research Institute whose sole focus is on finding a cure for those living with type 1 diabetes so that my son and millions of others living with this disease won’t have to deal with the daily unknowns and ravages to the body it causes.”
As in previous years, the auction has generated tremendous interest and boasts some incredible and very unique items that simply cannot be found elsewhere. Auction items should be of particular interest to budding authors due in large part to the participation of some of the most prolific writers in the country today who are offering their experience and expertise to help cultivate future talent. This year, renowned authors including Debbie Macomber and Christine Feehan are offering the opportunity to have your name used for a character in their next books and author Anna DeStefano will be auctioning off designer purses from her collection. Margie Lawson will be offering a writing instruction session and edit 50 pages deep, Heather Graham has put together a “Big Easy” Writing Weekend in New Orleans that coincides with the 5th Annual Writers for New Orleans Conference and Julia Hunter is offering a 2011 “Write at Sea” Master Class featuring the newest way to get away and write!
“Each year we are amazed by the creativity and broad appeal of Brenda’s auction and how her followers and contributors have grown,” said Robert A. Pearlman, president and CEO of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation. “Our hat goes off to Brenda, not only for the support she has provided to the Diabetes Research Institute but for her extraordinary energy, drive and commitment. We are proud to be her partner.”
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.
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
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.