How’s that for the title of a blog post?
Actually, that’s the title of Mackenzie Crowne’s new book about her battle with breast cancer.I’m excited to have Mac with us today, to help promote Breast Cancer Awareness month and her new book of encouragement. Like most of us, Mac is a busy lady with big dreams. When breast cancer invaded her world, she fought back with a vengeance.
Pull up a chair and join me for a chat with the delightful Mackenzie Crowne.
Connie: Welcome, Mac! First, tell us a bit about yourself. You grew up in a large family, right? What about your hubby and kids?
Mackenzie: First, let me say thank you so much for letting me visit with you today. Breast Cancer Awareness month is close to my heart, but more importantly, it’s a time to share life-saving news. Thanks for joining the fight. You go, girl!
Okay, about me. I grew up in a huge family. I have four sisters and three brothers and my parents had an open door policy. My childhood was a free-for-all full of love and laughter, and quite a few exchange students. My dad once asked us all why none of us had a large family and we laughed like loons. He didn’t raise no masochists. Hubby and I have been married forever – okay, twenty-nine years. We have two grown boys and I must say, we did a great job raising them into fine men. Just don’t ask me how. 😉 Our oldest has given us two gorgeous grandkids and a sweet DIL. Our youngest son is in no rush to marry, although several of his many girlfriends would like to change his mind.
Connie: So when did your dream to write take shape? As a child? An adult? Did you pursue it right away or did you push it aside for a time?
Mac: You know, I’ve always written down the stories of the voices in my head, but it wasn’t until I was diagnosed with breast cancer that I got serious about pursuing publishing. I figured if I was going to fight the battle for survival, I owed it to myself to see my stories shared with others. Amazingly, the first story I wrote, once I was healthy enough to think straight, gained me my first contract. Go figure!
Connie: That’s wonderful! Even more so because of the long road you walked to get there. So, out of curiosity, what made you choose romance instead of some other genre?
Mac: I write romance, because that’s what I read. I became hooked on the genre after a day at the beach when I was fourteen. My best friend swiped Sweet Savage Love by Rosemary Rogers from her mother’s closet and I read it out loud as we soaked up the sun. I went home with second degree burns and a love of romance novels.
Connie: Too funny. That’s a great image. But let’s switch gears a bit. You’ve passed the five-year milestone as a cancer survivor—which is fabulous! How did you discover the cancer? How did you respond? I can’t even imagine.
Mac: I actually got a call from one of my sisters saying she had been diagnosed with BC. I found my lump that evening when I did a self-exam. I’ve got to tell you, life was a bit crazy for my clan over the next year, but the support was incredible. I admit to being scared at the beginning, but we’re a positive bunch, and I eventually went from freaked out to determined to hopeful, and finally to survivor!
Connie: I’m so glad you had a supportive family to see you through this! How did the diagnosis affect your writing dream? Some people say they can’t write during really hard times while others use writing (on days when they have the strength) as a way to escape for a while. What was your experience?
Mac: I can empathize with both sentiments. Writing when you can hardly sit up isn’t fun, but it so happens, I had been dealing with writer’s block when I was diagnosed. We’d lost our dad a few years prior and the voices just went quiet. In an effort to remain sane in those early weeks after diagnosis, I began a journal. My format was letters to dad and eventually became the basis for Where Would You Like Your Nipple? So while I wasn’t writing romance, I was writing.
Connie: Journaling letters to Dad. What a great idea. I love your determination and sense of humor, Mac! As you look back on it now, what’s the biggest thing you learned from your cancer battle?
Mac: How strong my faith is. How wonderful my family and friends are. How short life is. It’s a tossup.
Connie: So you eventually took those letters and journals and turned them into a book. I love the title! How did that come about?
Mac: LOL. Near the end of the reconstruction process, my plastic surgeon’s assistant had me stand in front of a mirror, naked from the waist up, and asked, “Where would you like your nipple?” I nearly peed my pants laughing and knew I was going to have to use the quote somewhere. I think it’s the perfect title.
Connie: I definitely agree. So, what advice would you have for women reading this?
Mac: Do those self exams. Every month! Faithfully! My sis and I are both survivors. Thankfully, she caught the disease early, at stage I, so her journey didn’t include the chemo, radiation, and experimental drug therapies I experienced at stage III. Early detection is the key and could save your life. Do those self exams!
Connie: Thanks so much, Mac. Great interview and great advice.
So ladies, grab a print copy of, Where Would You Like Your Nipple? for yourself or someone else here:
Or you can get a Kindle copy FREE today only at: Amazon.com
And don’t forget to do your monthly self-exam, ladies!