Get the Scoop on Brenda Novak’s On-line Auction for #Diabetes Research

Brenda Novak's Online Auction for Diabetes Research
As if being a mother of five and a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author weren’t enough, award-winning novelist Brenda Novak is also a true philanthropist. Brenda’s Online Auction for Diabetes Research, benefiting the cure-focused work of the Miami-based Diabetes Research Institute (, is now underway. Over the years, the auction has raised more than $2million for diabetes research. Held each May at, the month-long online auction features personal meetings, lunches and dinners with celebrity authors, world-class getaways, home decor, books galore, and state-of-the-art gizmos and gadgets. You can visit this link to register and browse the categories of prizes. Here are the instructions for how to bid.

But first, I’ll tell you more about the auction and you can also read an interview with Brenda giving a behind-the-scenes peek into how all of this came about.

As in previous years, the 2014 annual auction boasts some incredible and very unique items that are of particular interest to budding authors due in large part to the participation of some of the most prolific writers in the country, who are offering their experience and expertise to help cultivate future talent. 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.

Family Diabetes Crossroads
Below is an interview with Brenda.

Q: What makes you so passionate about diabetes?

A: My youngest son was diagnosed with diabetes at 5 years old, that’s when I learned how serious this disease is. After his diagnosis, I spent months racking my brain on how I could combat it.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for your charity?
A: Once my son was diagnosed, and I realized what this could mean for his future, I wanted to get involved, to do anything I could to give him a better chance at a healthy life. But I have four other kids and a busy writing career and wasn’t sure how I’d manage to make time for fund raising, didn’t even know where to start. Then I went to a silent auction at my son’s elementary school. There were some fantastic items that had been donated, but the turn-out was poor and the school didn’t make much money. I started thinking about the difficulty of trying to get a large number of people inside one building all at the same time, and the advantages of doing something on the web became very apparent. I figured I could use the support and traffic I already receive from my fan base to help my son and others like him, and the idea to do an on-line auction was born.

Q: How did it go the first year?

A: My first year was more of a test market to see if it would work. When we raised $34,982, I realized it definitely had potential. The second year, we nearly doubled that amount (at $63,000), and it has continued to grow bigger and bigger every year and, thanks to the generosity of my donors.

Q: How much time does it take to put it on every year?

A: It’s an incredibly time-intensive endeavor, but it’s also very fulfilling. We work on it year round. I started out running it on my own–just one person–and did that for three years. Then I hired a part-time assistant who has become a bigger and bigger part of the behind-the-scenes work as the auction has grown.

Q: How do you keep up with your publishing schedule, be a mom and run your charity?

A: It’s a juggling act! Sometimes I look back and don’t know how all the work got done, but I’ve been very blessed–with a supportive husband, good kids who don’t get into trouble (at least not BIG trouble) and good health. My assistant has been invaluable in helping me keep up.

Q: What makes your auction model work so well?

A: I think it’s the unique items that are offered, as well as the community. At the auction, readers can bid to win unique experiences–like having lunch or dinner with their favorite author, or staying in their favorite author’s guest house, or reading their favorite author’s book before it’s ever even published. We also offer opportunities to aspiring writers of all genres–and millions of people want to write a book. Some of the most powerful agents and editors in publishing have donated their time to read submissions and give feedback, some with a turn-around time of twenty-four hours! In addition to these unique items, we have everything from trips & stays, to antique jewelry to celebrity items. Also, the friendships we form, the prizes we give away, and the spirit of fighting back together brings us closer as a community each year. I’m not the only one driving this. We’re all in it together.

Q: Do you believe there is a cure for diabetes in sight?

A: I’m absolutely optimistic. When I went to Florida to tour the Diabetes Research Institute and actually talked with their scientists and learned what they were doing, I felt we were SO close. I got very excited because I could really see a cure coming in my lifetime, which is my goal. This
is not a mystery disease. I believe it’s curable, and I believe we’re close.


Thank you for all your amazing efforts, Brenda! Be sure to check out A Sweet Life, a limited edition 14-volume boxed set of contemporary romance novels featuring bestselling authors such as Brenda, Heather Graham, Bella Andre, and Carly Phillips and a foreword by #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Debbie Macomber. All proceeds will be given to the auction.
Buy it on Amazon:
A Sweet Life Boxed Set (Fourteen Contemporary Romances by Bestselling Authors to Benefit Diabetes Research)
Barnes & Noble

Check out my donations to the auction below:
The Flag Keeper Red, White and Blue Gift Pack
Face-Off Gift Set
Full Manuscript Critique, Marketing Coaching + Promo Blast

To read my other diabetes posts please visit my Character Crossroads page.

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  1. Thank you so much, Stacy, for your amazing support. Can’t tell you how much I appreciate it!

  2. Thanks so much for all that you do, Brenda! This is a cause that is near and dear to my heart so I will do everything I can to help get the word out!

Stacy Juba