Author Brenda Novak’s “labor of love” online creation for her diabetic son provides opportunities for budding writers, hope and funds for research
(Hollywood, FL), June 3, 2010 – Against a backdrop of tough times, award winning author, mother of five, philanthropist and diabetes activist Brenda Novak has set a new personal record for her Online Auction for Diabetes Research at the world renowned Diabetes Research Institute by raising more than $285,000 this year. In doing so, Brenda’s “labor of love” for her diabetic son bettered last year’s total by more than $15,000 and surpassed the $1 million mark for funds raised for diabetes research.
Held each May at BrendaNovak.com, the month-long online auction features personal meetings, lunches and dinners with celebrity authors, opportunities to meet with literary agents and have manuscripts read by publishers and influencers as well as world-class getaways and state-of-the-art gizmos and gadgets.
“I always hoped we’d be able to be successful, but never in my wildest dreams would I have anticipated the steady outpouring of support we’ve received each year. To the authors who lend their time and expertise, to the agents who open their agencies to aspiring writers and all the others who donate trips, art and other items of value, I’m grateful,” said Brenda.
“For my son Thad and the millions of others living with diabetes, the support for an event like this means people care and that in spite of the challenging economy they are willing to step up and help,” she said.
For the second year in a row, the DRI is the sole beneficiary of this effort.
Among the most popular items in this year’s auction were the opportunity to have a complete evaluation of an aspiring writer’s fictional manuscript by literary agent Laurie McClean of Larsen and Pomada Literary Agency in San Francisco, an all expenses paid trip to Hawaii sponsored by Author Jane Porter and six months of mentoring from New York Times best-selling author Brenda Novak herself. In addition to the various lunches with literary giants ranging from Barry Eisler, Catherine Coulter and Dianna Gabaldon, the auction featured more than 2400 items of interest.
“Brenda has done an incredible job of improving on this event every year and I know that is no small task in the world of fundraising,” said Robert A. Pearlman, president and CEO of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation. “When I look at the items she collects, each year I say how can she top that and then she goes right ahead and does it. We are greatly appreciative of all she does for the DRI and for the overall effort to raise awareness and bring critical funds to the effort to find a cure.”
About Author 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! Brenda’s new book, “White Heat” is due out July 27th and will be on sale nationwide.
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. For more information, call 1-800-321-3437 or visit DiabetesResearch.org.