Interview (part 2) with best selling author, Barbara Delinsky

delinsky.lake._nPart 2: Continuing with this look into best selling author, Barbara Delinsky’s world:

Book signing
Book signing

Q. What makes a writer great?

A. Not fancy prose or even extensive research. I believe that a writer is great when she can produce book after book that readers love.

Q. and the all important: What does the process of going from “no book” to “finished book” look like?

A. Discipline. That’s it, short and sweet. Produce three pages each day before allowing yourself to leave the computer, and you will eventually finish a book. Do I start with an outline? Vaguely. But it’s sketchy and subject to change as the book grows and characters take over.

Q. Where/when do you first discover your characters?

A. Given that my books are character-driven, my characters come to me at the very start. That said, I don’t fully know them until I’m nearly halfway through the book. This is good. By not boxing them into a preconceived notion of who or what they should be, they take off on their own and do things I may not have planned. Those things are often what make the book shine.

Q. What inspires your story/stories ?

A. Real life. My ideas come from the daily news, sometimes history, often stories I hear friends tell. I’m an everyday woman views.lake.delinskynwriting about everyday women who may have not-so-everyday experiences. Since I am my own quintessential reader, what interests me about these things (the daily news, etc.) will usually interest my readers. Clearly, the news, say, is simply a springboard. After that, it’s all imagination.

and she knits too!!

Q. Have you? Or do you want to write in another genre`?

A. Nope. I know my limitations.

Q. Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?

A. Just that they are the best! I write for my readers. They built my career and continue to inspire me. Thank you all!

How I happened to write the non-fiction book, UPLIFT: Secrets from the Sisterhood of Breast Cancer Survivors

Breast cancer has been a player in my life since around 1950, when my mother was diagnosed with the disease. When I was 8 years old, she lost her battle. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1994. Like so many women with a family history of the disease, I’d been waiting for it. Since I had been watched closely over the years, my cancer was caught early and the treatment was successful. I told no one other than my family and a handful of friends about any of this. But the topic of breast cancer survivorship did creep into my writing. In 1998, I created a character, Katherine Evans, who plays a pivotal role in COAST ROAD. Katherine is vibrant, smart, active, attractive, and successful. She also happens to be grappling with the ramifications of having had a bilateral mastectomy.

When readers wrote in droves to applaud Katherine and share their own breast cancer survivor stories, I had an epiphany. I had delinsky.loon_nthe ears of millions of women and because of that I could make a difference. Telling them that I’ve had breast cancer and not only have recovered but am stronger than ever—that’s a powerful message. So I went public with my book, UPLIFT: Secrets from the Sisterhood of Breast Cancer Survivors, and decided to donate all of my proceeds to breast cancer research.

Thanks to readers and over 370 contributors whose words have been featured in four editions, the sale of UPLIFT has allowed me to fund twelve years of breast surgery fellowships at Massachusetts General Hospital. The focus of these fellowships is to launch the career of a surgical oncologist with additional training focused on innovative breast cancer treatments and research, hopefully offering returns to the field of cancer research for decades to come.

UPLIFT embodies my advice to others. It is a tribute to positive thinking – a support group that offers all the practical little secrets to survival that have nothing to do with doctors, machines or drugs and everything to do with women helping women survive and thrive. As support groups go, it is unique in that it can be joined in total privacy, at any time of day or night, and selectively. It can also be consulted by the other people in our lives who are so important to us—our family, our friends, our co-workers.        

Read Part One of this INTERVIEW
Visit Barbara’s web site for more…..



In addition to my twice weekly blog I also feature an interview with another author once a month. So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create!    Barbara Delinsky and Elizabeth Hoyt will be my October authors.

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One thought on “Interview (part 2) with best selling author, Barbara Delinsky”

  1. This is an author after my own heart since I write with a similar process. I am awed by her personal courage, knowing that one day she would likely face breast cancer. There is a new book out by Elizabeth Hein that deals with the issue of cancer in a wonderful story called Climbing the Eiffel Tower, a great read.

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