Greta Burroughs’ latest release is a book entitled Heartaches and Miracles. It is a nonfiction narrative of her own experiences with an autoimmune disorder called immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP).
“It’s not a dry medical text but a personal account of the roller-coaster ride I was on while trying to stabilize my blood platelet count. The book explains to the reader what ITP is and the treatments I went through. There are also short excerpts from other ITPers; together we try to give words of encouragement to those newly diagnosed as well as educate the rest of the world who have never heard of ITP,” she says.
Greta calls her writing style laid back and informal. In Heartaches and Miracles, she says she tries to mix the medical and personal (even including a chapter on her four-legged kids) to make an informative yet entertaining read. “I do not like boring books with a lot of unnecessary detail, so I tried to stay away from that,” she says.
The book has had several reviews from readers familiar with the blood disorder and from others being newly introduced. “Everyone has given it a 5 star review including a couple from our Book Junkies family. I was fairly nervous about Cathy Speight’s and Alex Canton’s opinions since they are highly regarded reviewers and not familiar with ITP but they liked it. The other reviews are from ITPers who could relate to my experiences and said they appreciated our story being told.”
Greta credits her husband, Bob Burroughs (also an author) for encouraging her to start writing and says his praise and criticism has helped her gain more self-confidence. Her inspiration comes from everyday life and her desire to help others. She says, “If I can entertain readers with my children’s books or young adult fantasy books or inspire someone to not give up hope in my nonfiction book, then I have successfully met my goals.”
Greta finds it very difficult to just sit and write. “I am usually up and down doing others things while writing so it is hard to keep track of where I am and where I want to go with the story. It took three years to write Gerald and the Wee People because it was written a few pages at a time with months between starting and completing a chapter. I haven’t found a solution to this problem yet, still working on it.” I hope she shares the solution when she finds it, because I know a lot of other writers face the same issue.
Greta uses beta readers and highly recommends them. “I read over my manuscript many times but my beta reader (Cathy Speight) found errors I overlooked and suggested ways to reword some sentences. When you read your own work, you know what you are trying to say and do not notice a missing a or to, but a fresh set of eyes will pick out the errors and clarify the dangling participles.”
Greta says marketing and promo are the hardest part of writing. “I try to participate in various discussion groups and have had success in selling some books. I also write articles for Yahoo! contributing writers and other subject related publications and have had success with that as well. I do not have a webpage or blog yet but know that would be very beneficial when I finally get around to it. I have not tried any paid advertising; I’m too much of a Scrooge.”
Greta says she has always been an avid reader, and has read several titles by other indie authors. She now has a Kindle and already has a long TBR list.
Her advice to aspiring writers is to write from the heart, about things they know or are interested in. “Don’t worry so much about sticking to a strict schedule; it is great to have a plan of action but if you miss a day, there is always tomorrow. Don’t be afraid to ask others for an opinion, constructive feedback will make you a better writer.”
Greta says her life has changed a lot over the past five or six years. “I never dreamed I’d be a published writer. I have two books out now, Heartaches and Miracles, and Gerald and the Wee People. In November, I plan to publish a children’s book entitled Patchwork Dog and Calico Cat and have several more children’s and young adult books planned. I may not be famous, but I’m happy.” That is what it’s all about. Though money doesn’t hurt. Just sayin’.