Interview with Author Elena Aitken & Giveaway to Win SUGAR CRASH

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My blogging friend, author Elena Aitken, is offering an e-book copy of her new book Sugar Crash.

The book features Darci, a single mother working hard to raise her daughter after her husband dies. Everything is rolling along pretty well until Taylor is hospitalized and receives a diagnosis of diabetes, which rocks their world. And because Darci doesn’t like to ask for help, she finds her job in jeopardy. Even though the book is about diabetes, it is truly a survivor story – and a story about learning to lean on others in a time of need.

I read Sugar Crash while I was on vacation, and I couldn’t put it down.

Read Elena’s blog, LIKE her on Facebook and follow her @ElenaAitken.

Check out my interview with Elena about her new book & answer the question at the end for a chance to win a copy!

• • •

rasj: Hey Elena, readers know from your Prologue that writing this book was deeply personal for you because you have a friend who went through something like this.  How is that child doing now?

Elena: Well, that ‘child’ will be celebrating her fortieth birthday this fall and has lived with Type 1 diabetes for thirty years.

rasj: Shut the front door! That is soooo cool!

Elena: I am proud to call Deb my friend. She is an amazing role model for not only those with diabetes, but everyone. She’s a busy mother of 8-year-old twins and has run a few full marathons, more half-marathons than I can count and is also a triathlete, having recently completed her first Olympic distance tri. Deb wears an insulin pump now and has actually represented the company that manufactures the pump in an international running event and she is always raising money for The Canadian Diabetes Association. Diabetes doesn’t slow her down even a little!

rasj: She sounds like an incredible person! I like how you show Darci trying to trust her 12-year old daughter to make the right decisions about her health and manage her own sugar readings. I think that is one of the best parts of the book – and probably one of the most confusing things in real life for parents with kids with diabetes. Are you able to speak to how parents of children with diabetes ever feel safe enough to let their children participate in sports (like Darci does) or go to overnight camps — especially when the consequences of mismanaging one’s blood sugar can result in seizures or death?

Look how cute she is? Don’t you want to read her book?

Elena: I think, as parents, we all struggle with letting go when it comes to our kids, but it would be much harder in Darci’s situation. Ultimately, I think it would depend on the family dynamic, but in my personal opinion, I believe it would be crucial to let your child resume their normal activities as much as possible. With the right education and awareness of course. Something like diabetes, while most definitely a huge lifestyle consideration, shouldn’t define a child. They still have to be kids.

rasj: What was the hardest thing you had to do while researching to write this book?

Elena: Because so much of this book is based on the actual experiences of my good friend, I was very fortunate in that she was so open and willing to share with me. She set me straight on more than one detail. But that was also the hardest part. Because she is so close to the story I was terrified of what she would think of it. It is obviously a fictionalized version, but it still struck pretty close to home for her and I held my breath the entire time she was reading the first draft.

 rasj: I adore the romance that you slowly create between Coach Cam and Taylor’s very hesitant mom, Darci. What part of this book do you love the best?

Elena: I have two favorite parts. The first was when Darci and Taylor were in the hospital and Darci realized she couldn’t make Taylor’s ‘owie’ go away. That would be an incredibly difficult moment for a mother. The second was the very end, when Darci and Cam were standing in the race corral getting ready to run. I think it’s very symbolic and it gave me chills when I wrote it.

rasj: What is one question no one has asked you but you wish they would?

Elena: No one has asked me who my favorite character in this book is.

rasj: Really? I was going to ask that but I figured you’ve been asked a skillion times. So?

Elena: I loved Darci and Taylor of course. BUT, Barb was spunky and fun and — her best quality – she stood up for her friend, defending her in front of a crowd. And THAT is one of the best qualities you can hope for in a friend.

• • •

For a chance to win a copy:

Leave a comment about a fear you have had to face.

Tweet for another chance.

Facebook share for a third.

Leave a separate comment for each thing you do so I know you did these things.

Tweet and share as many times as you’d like for extra chances to win.

This contest closes on May 14 when I open a new contest. All blogoversary winners will be determined via Random Number Generator, and all winners will be announced on June 2nd — once I figure everything out.

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28 responses to “Interview with Author Elena Aitken & Giveaway to Win SUGAR CRASH

  1. I’ve had to face a fear of needles — EVERY time I donate blood. For some reason I have the biggest fear that an earthquake is going to occur (never mind whether it’s earthquake territory or not, hey, fears aren’t rational!) and that somehow my arm will go one way and the needle anothr and poke all around inside of my arm. I’m also not keen on heights. At all.

  2. Two great peeps in one place. Good stuff.

  3. Biggest fear I had to face? Nine years ago I was diagnosed with cancer. My children were 5 and almost 2 years old at the time. My fear was that they might have to grow up without me. I was petrified! Not for me, but for them. Fortunately, the cancer was in its earliest stage, surgery got it all, and I’m still here, bickering with my teen on a daily basis!

  4. Thanks, Renee for having me today!

    Amy, I HATE needles as well. And chair lifts but only because I’m terrified one of my kids will slide through. It drives them crazy and they hate riding with me. :)

    • Thank you for being here! And I HATE needles, too. BUT there is a trick. If you SING before they start to poke you and just belt out whatever comes to mind, you can usually get through it. I never know if I’m going to rock the room with the Alphabet or something by Stevie Nicks. It’s just what pops out. One winter, I saw the needed and started singing Christmas carols. It took a couple of tries. (Ouch!) The technician comments that’s she’d never known a Jewish girl who knew all the words to “Silent Night” before.

      Puh-leeeeze. She should have heard my Ave Maria.

  5. For those interested in another book that deal with a childhood medical problem, my daughter’s friend wrote a book entitled Mitzvah Straight Up by Janet Goodfriend. It deals with a 6th grade girl facing the usual problems of blooming adolescence, racism and wearing a back brace for scoliosis.

  6. I have an idiotic fear of looking foolish (unless I’m on a stage). There isn’t one particular moment I’ve had to overcome it, but an ongoing, “For God’s sake, don’t be one of those people who hangs quietly in the back of the room instead of singing/dancing/wearing the funny hat/etc.” I try to trick myself in to remembering that the people who look most foolish are the one’s afraid of looking foolish.

  7. Having a child face a serious illness is the most scary thing ever. My 5-year-old got Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome from a bacterial infection in Dec of 2010. We spent 2 weeks in the hospital. After 11 blood transfusions and a round of dialysis he finally started to get better. It was horrifying to feel so helpless.

    • Eleven transfusions!

      (Gah!)

      I had one and that was enough for me.

      I can’t imagine going through that with a child. What a miracle. that he is fine fine fine!

      • I really need to write about it but I haven’t been able to do it yet. You wouldn’t think it would be so hard since he is totally FINE…but it still makes me cry when I think about it.

        • Elena Aitken

          Holy smokes, Annie. Of course it still makes you cry.
          I can’t even begin to imagine it. BUT some of the most cathartic writing comes through the tears. (hugs)

  8. Wonderful interview! I’m a pretty anxious person, so I feel like I’m constantly facing fears – of not knowing what to say, looking stupid, people not liking me, public speaking, etc. But more specifically, I used to have school-related panic attacks, wound up ‘dropping out’ and getting my GED. My first day of college, I thought I was going to have one, but I powered through it and the only one(s) I’ve had since then were when getting blood drawn. I’m not sure what changed, but I’m SO grateful that I made it through that first day, because the cost of not doing so would have been huge.

  9. Great interview and it sounds like an awesome book!

  10. Wow!! So awesome to meet you and I am looking forward to reading about a fellow runner and survivor (of different stuff). How fun was it to write about the running? Was it hard? How hard was it to write about the medical aspects of diabetes?

    Aw heck, a fear I have had to face? Okay–running marathons. I was terrified to fail at it until we almost got killed by a metro bus. Then I realized that I was missing too much because of fear.

    I can’t wait to read your fine book!

  11. Sadly I’m pretty much afraid of anything. Particularly anything that requires me to interact with people either in person or on the phone. I’m fine on the internet because I can revise everything I say until I feel it’s not embarrassing, and no one can see me turn beet red. Yet somehow I spend 40hours a week dealing with people, in person and on the phone. It’s no wonder I only leave the house for work!

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