Hi, my name is Brenda Burling, I write fictional novels, ‘take on life’ articles, various family life topics and more recently, two books that benefit two very different charitable organisations. One thing they have in common, the dreaded ‘C’ word, Cancer.
How did this happen? As with many things in life, it’s through those that we love that our life’s path often makes a diversion. A close friend, a naturally funny woman, was diagnosed with cancer. A cruel blow. I was at the time just finishing my third novel and writing humour, articles about every day life for a magazine. During her treatment my friend would regale me with hilarious tales of mishaps, encounters and just about everything else she drew from her time in hospital. I wondered if there were more women like her who still managed to find the funny side of this diabolical disease. My research proved there were, interviews taken and Might Make You smile was born. I wanted to donate to a charity for two reasons; one to make sure there was a greater good for the book, a financial gain for a good cause and two to acknowledge the organisations that work to help those affected. Helen Rollason Cancer Charity was my chosen benefactor, with 10% of proceeds going to the charity. I like the charities I work with to be involved as much as possible, at signings, etc.
Before Might Make You Smile was launched I knew I had to write a similar book for men. There didn’t seem to be anything like my sort of books for them at all. Good For A Grin, the little brother, was born. Again, a collection of sometimes hilarious, often thought provoking but always positive tales of men’s experiences with Cancer, designed to remove taboos, isolation for the reader and raise spirits. During the writing my father was diagnosed with Cancer, sadly he passed away 27th December 2018. He also had amusing tales to tell which are included in the book.Finding a benefactor/charity to work with on this book was for some reason a little trickier. Many that were contacted never responded. Eventually, a friend made a suggestion of OddBalls, a clothing manufacturing company who also have a charitable foundation…OddBalls Foundation. OddBalls Foundation raise funds and awareness for Testicular Cancer.
OddBalls has strong Rugby ties (I am a huge Rugby fan). They placed a shout out on social media to their FB following and from there I had contributors as well as a charity to benefit. The book is proving hugely popular being sold in Rugby Club’s shops including Heineken Cup Winners Saracens, though the first club was Bishop’s Stortford Rugby Club. I am hoping to extend this idea to every Rugby/Sport club shop.
Both books are available on Amazon at most good bookshops and direct from www.mathewjamespublishing.com price £7.99