Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Where Would You Like Your Nipple? Guest author Mackenzie Crowne

Welcome to my friend and talented author, Mackenzie Crowne. Mac, please tell us a little about yourself.
Hello all. Thanks so much for allowing me to visit today, Joya. I've been scribbling down the stories told by the voices in my head for as long as I can remember, but it wasn't until I was diagnosed with breast cancer that I began to give that mania the kind of attention it deserved. Since then, I've published three books, with a forth due out at the end of the year. I write contemporary romance, for the most part, and was surprised when a rare, fantasy romance gained me my first contract. Who'da thunk it? I live in Phoenix with my husband of—Oh, let's just say forever and be done with it, shall we? We have two grown sons who have kept us jumping for over a quarter century and two gorgeous grandbabies who have taken over where our sons left off. I often tease about living at the "Testosterone Ranch" but the joke is only half-hearted. A princess at heart, I've been surrounded by men my entire adult life and have learned to adapt to their choice of entertainments. As often as possible, my husband and I escape to our getaway in the mountains, to ride quads along the scenic, dirt trails and spend time around a roaring fire pit with good friends.  
Wow, that’s an incredible story. Congrats on your success as a writer and on being a survivor. What inspired you to write your newest release, WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR NIPPLE?
To tell you the truth, I didn't start out to write a book for publication. I simply began a journal, a lifeline to sanity in the midst of chaos. When all was said and done, I'd documented the frightening details of dealing with the expected skirmishes in the battle against breast cancer, like mastectomies, chemotherapy, and radiation, but my journal also included the surprising, and sometime humorous, sub-skirmishes the breast cancer fight delivers. I mean, who knew that some of those I love would disappear from my life, unable to handle the diagnosis, or that I would resemble Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers series when I lost all my hair? No one can prepare you for the enormity of this battle, but within the pages of my journal, a sort of road map emerged, a guide, if you will, pointing out many of the pitfalls inherent in the fight for survival, and how I managed to navigate them with humor and hope. How could I not share what I've learned with others facing their own battle?

Great idea to include humor! What sort of reaction did you get from family and friends when you decided to write this book?
As they were during my battle, my loved ones are incredibly supportive. I may have been alone in the diagnosis, but I fought my battle surrounded by a huge and loving family and hordes of wonderful friends, many of whom are there in the pages of "Nipple".
You have a very positive attitude and it sounds like you were surrounded by positive people, too. What would you say to someone who recently got a diagnosis of cancer and is feeling scared and alone?
Honestly, my first reaction would be to say, "Call me. I'm here, you're not alone." I wouldn't wish this diagnosis on my worst enemy, and my heart bleeds for those facing the breast cancer battle. But, since wrapping my arms around millions of strangers isn't possible, the best advice I can give is to take a deep breath. Take things one step at a time. The journey from victim to survivor is a long and difficult road, but it's doable. There are many resources available to the victims of this disease, and so many survivors out there who know what you are going through and want to help. Your doctor can hook you up with a support group locally, or you can go to Their range of resources is phenomenal. And don't forget to let God help. His lap is a safe and comforting refuge.
That’s great advice. You’re a romance writer as well as a non-fiction writer, so I’m curious…what’s the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for you?
LOL As a romance writer, I know I should answer by describing an incredibly lovely evening, full of candlelight and soft music and the warm caress of a tropical breeze while my husband and I shared a curtained lounge on the secluded deck of a cruise ship—but… ;-) When I think of the most romantic thing I've ever experienced, my mind conjures up the words of a male friend who once told me I had sexy feet. It was an innocent comment, with no romantic undertones, but the compliment has always stuck with me. And my friend…Oh, I'm sure he's gone on to melt the hearts of countless women.
LOL. I’ll never think of feet the same again. Congratulations on the release of WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR NIPPLE, Mac, and for writing something that has the potential to help so many people. Anything else you’d like everyone to know?
Thanks, Joya. If I can lessen the fear of just one breast cancer victim with the release of Where Would You Like Your Nipple? I will have achieved my goal. As for the rest of you, don't forget to check those Ta Tas. Early detection is the key. You'll be glad you did.
Very well said, Mac! Thanks for stopping by today.
Please check out an excerpt from WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR NILPPLE by Mackenzie Crowne, and look for her contact and buy links below.
Though it’s not a four-letter word, it sure conjures up a lot of them. I won't say the first word that popped into my mind, and out of my mouth, when I received the diagnosis of breast cancer — it’s a bad word, my mother would be horrified. I can tell you it wasn’t Whoopee!
Crap. That’s like seven letters. My bad.
Many other four-letter words quickly joined that first, shocked sentiment. Fear, sick, pain, loss, hell, dead... You get the drift. If you’re reading this and have received a similar diagnosis, or know someone who has, I don’t want to scare you. You’re scared enough already, and have probably experienced many of those words yourself, but, though your fears are justified, I can share one four-letter word that trumps all others.
Okay, so it took me a little while to get from those nasty words to that one. But I did eventually get there. I’m no longer the same woman I was when I began my journey, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Sure, I faced some incredibly crappy stuff, but I also learned a lot about myself in the process. Let me tell you, living like you’re dying has some unexpected benefits; once you get past the “holy crap” factor.
To do that, I needed to get through the first few weeks. They passed in a haze of doctors’ appointments and terror. Shortly after receiving the diagnosis, I met the first of many breast cancer survivors. Suddenly, like pink ribbons during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, survivors were everywhere. They seemed to come out of the woodwork like members of a secret society, calling to me to enter into the fold. But I didn’t feel I belonged. I wasn’t anything like those women. They danced, victorious, on the other side of an abyss, while I staggered under quiet disbelief.
Their acceptance of such a devastating reality made no sense to me. Here were women who had been where I currently stood, and yet, they seemed so confident and upbeat, almost serene. Honestly, I thought they were nut jobs. I certainly didn’t feel like a survivor. I felt like a victim.
A wise person once said, “Life happens. It’s time to pull on your big girl panties and deal with it.”
Big girl panties in place, I took those first, staggering steps toward survival. Somehow, during the last five, life-altering years, I managed to navigate the abyss to join the survivors waiting for me on the other side. The following pages are my personal observations of my odyssey.
I am a survivor. You can be too. Victory is ours.
Buy Link: print version coming soon.