Thursday, April 30, 2020
Interview with Author Amy Gray-Cunningham
What inspired you to write this book?
I donated a kidney to a stranger on July 6, 2019. While I was researching becoming a living donor, I couldn’t find many easy-to-read or inspiring books about kidney transplants. The books I did read, however, were either boring or so technical I couldn’t understand it. Also, throughout the process, I experienced things that I felt were unique and wished I had known about before the surgery—not that I would’ve changed my mind, but it would’ve been nice to be more prepared. So, I decided why not me, and I wrote Daring to Believe.
Who should read it—and why?
Everyone should read it! Not only is Daring To Believe about being a living kidney donor and the process I went through but I reveal intimate details about my life and what led to my decision to donate a life-saving organ to a stranger. This easy-to-read, often humorous book reveals much interesting information about kidney disease. But, the essential part of the story is my spiritual journey where I admit to human frailties and mistakes. It’s a book that everyone can relate to and hopefully will inspire people to dare to believe in the impossible.
How is it better or different from others in its genre?
Daring To Believe I don’t feel better than another book but what sets it apart is it's about my journey through the kidney donation process. It’s easy-to-read yet humorous. It’s personal yet inspiring. And, its an honest, first-person account about one of the most life-challenging yet affirming decisions a person can make—a decision that saved a person’s life and changed many lives in the process.
What challenges did you overcome to write your book?
The most significant challenge I had to overcome was myself—self-doubts and negative self-talk. Who would want to read my story? Who do I think am I? I’ve never written a book before—what makes me think I can do so now?
These and many more questions I wrestled with during my time at writing Daring To Believe. Eventually, I decided to write to one person. A conversation, I guess you can say, between me and Evelyn (my avatar).
Also, I had to give up being perfect and just let myself write. I scheduled writing time into every day and sacrificed many family gatherings so that I didn’t miss a session. I became committed to Daring To Believe and it to me.
I joined a writer’s critique group and learned many valuable tips about writing and how to make it better. I’m still friends with many of those women today.
What lasting messages do you hope your readers are left after consuming your book?
I hope my readers are left with the inspiring belief that anything is possible if only you dare to believe. I hope my book inspires others to become living donors or to reach for whatever their calling is in this lifetime. I hope it inspires others to tell their stories because if someone didn’t share their story of David Ensley and his need for a kidney, I would’ve never been able to tell mine.
What advice do you have for struggling writers?
Never give up. Learn everything you can about the craft of storytelling and then write! Keep learning and keep writing. And, don’t worry about being perfect because you won’t be perfect but keep writing anyway. Oh, and hire a great editor!
Question: Where do you see the publishing industry heading?
Answer: I think self-publishing is the wave of the future if it’s not here already. It’s effortless to self-publish, but you must be committed to marketing yourself or hiring a publicist to help you. It takes dedication and time, but it can be done.
For more info, please see: www.amygraycunningham.com
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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at email@example.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2020. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent. This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.