Main Character of Fantasy-Adventure Book Battles Diabetes: An Interview with the Author

"Hannah’s Battle" is about a young girl who heroically decides to confront a challenging situation head-on; she fights "a terrible and deadly creature that not only threatens to destroy all that she loves but, unless stopped now, will unleash upon the world an evil it has never known" – while also managing diabetes.

Author Blane J. Brummond hopes the story will inspire readers of all ages to make good choices and to stay strong in their own battles.

We recently interviewed Blane to find out what inspired the story, what the book offers to its readers and how the feedback has been thus far.

What inspired you to write 'Hannah's Battle'?

For a long time I’ve seen a need for some way to inspire young diabetics to make healthy choices during that time of life I refer to as the "crazy years," those teen and pre-teen years when common sense often takes a back seat to fitting in, hormones, school, friends, sports and the like. I’ve had two profound experiences that laid the foundation for this mission:

  1. After my honorable discharge from the Army, I worked as a counselor at a treatment center for emotionally disturbed adolescents in Minnesota. Although the teenagers I worked with were not diabetic, they left me with a deep understanding of the lasting consequences that poor choices made when starting life can have in adulthood.
  2. In the last 15 years I have volunteered for several diabetes clinical studies at the Creighton Diabetes Center in Omaha. This experience exposed me to numerous fellow diabetics, some of whom were suffering severe complications from diabetes. I remember eating lunch at the hospital cafeteria with a 25-year-old kid who had profound neuropathy in his feet. During our conversation, he told me that during high school he had just "let himself go," managing his diabetes with the least amount of effort to keep himself alive. I believe his story is not that uncommon. When I started "Hannah’s Battle," I thought if I could inspire just one kid to make better choices during youth that would result in them growing to adulthood with a chance at a healthy life – having a family, raising a bunch of kids, holding down a job, pursuing a hobby, setting an example for others. It would be the most significant accomplishment of my professional life.

What does the book offer to readers?

"Hannah’s Battle" is in the genre of inspirational fantasy. Although I wrote it to be safe for children aged 8 and up, the positive response from adults has been a welcome surprise. What it offers readers is a macro perspective of the importance of making good choices early in life that will not only benefit the individual throughout their life but will inspire and enrich their family for generations, not to mention the inspiration it will convey to others by the person’s example. This wisdom is imparted to Hannah by a 450-year-old wood sprite who has conquered a similar challenge as that faced by Hannah who is struggling with being a new diabetic.

How has the feedback from readers been?

The response to "Hannah’s Battle" has been beyond anything I had hoped, both from in-person sales and the reviews on the Barnes & Noble and Amazon websites. As I wrote the book over the last five years, I felt like a ship builder building his first boat; I had no idea whether it would sink or sail when I launched it. Because of the delay in reporting sales from the websites, I do not yet know what the total sales have been. But, as for in-person sales, I have sold out and had to re-order three times. Just one example: I received a call at home from a teacher from a school about 35 miles from my home asking if I had any books I could sell her. She’d heard about it from a fellow educator and didn’t want to wait to order it online. She drove all the way to my house to buy two books.

What have you gained from writing the book?

In addition to learning a bit about the nuances of writing, editing, publishing and marketing a book, I’ve gained deep satisfaction from knowing I have produced something that has the potential for helping people in a significant way. I think I may have also climbed a rung or two on the “cool” ladder in the eyes of my five children who, up to now, didn’t fully understand why Dad spent so much time pecking at his laptop and staring blankly into space.

Any plans for future books?

Yes. Given the great response to "Hannah’s Battle," I am well on my way to drafting the sequel. I work as a package handler at FedEx (I call it my FedExercise job) from 4:30 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. and have an hour-and-a-half of free time before my day job begins (Deputy General Counsel for a trucking insurance company). I use that free time sitting in my car writing the sequel, and it is coming along nicely. There is a great deal more to Hannah’s story than is found in "Hannah’s Battle." As in "Hannah’s Battle," the sequel will find Hannah managing her diabetes (she now has a pump) while engaged in a fantastic adventure involving a host of Fey and some unexpected allies.

Click here to visit the official 'Hannah's Battle' website!

Click here to purchase 'Hannah's Battle' on Amazon!

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