The Real Story Behind my Book

Today I celebrate the five-year anniversary of my book, “If I Kiss You, Will I Get Diabetes?”, being published. This is one of my greatest professional achievements. Not just because the book will be going on it’s 3rd print next month, but because of the hurdles that I had to overcome to even get it printed.

bookpicYou see, if I only posted the good things, it leaves out why this book means so much to me and why my mother was in such shock and tears when I surprised her with it early on New Year’s Eve.

Three years before the book was published, I quit my full-time sales job because I was battling with bulimia, and it had overtaken my life. Inpatient and outpatient treatment just weren’t cutting it for me. I kept relapsing. In 2012 I took the drastic step to go out-of-state to a residential treatment facility and then a halfway house to transition out. I was away for nine months. When I returned in late 2012, and was in a healthy place of recovery I felt this call to write this book. It was so compelling to me that I sold my house in South Minneapolis, cashed out my 401K account, moved back to my hometown in my parent’s basement and found a job at night working as a waitress so I could write during the day. I just had a feeling this book was going to get published. Unfortunately, no one in the publishing world agreed with me, or even in the diabetes publishing world. I was crushed. But I kept waitressing and I kept writing.

One night at the place I waitressed at, Cru at Grand View Lodge, a nice family asked me about the insulin pump that I was wearing on my belt buckle. I told them I had type 1 diabetes and that I moonlighted as a waitress, but that I was writing this book about what life is actually like with a chronic, incurable illness. His wife looked right at me and said, “Quinn, you just got your golden ticket. My husband is the General Counsel of one of the largest diabetes companies in the world.” I couldn’t believe it. He turned to me and said, “Can you bring the first three chapters of your book to me tomorrow night?” That next night I brought him the chapters in a manila envelope. The following night he told me his wife and him absolutely loved it and it was something they’ve never read in the diabetes world and he wanted to order 500 copies right away for his staff. I told him I didn’t have it published yet. He told me I better get going on it because he wanted to give them out for gifts! Curt and Lisa were like angels to me. They believed in my book when so many others had not, and they had the power to make something happen with it. The picture of me in the bottom right is me signing each and every one of the copies for his staff. Him and his wife became great friends of mine, and went on to order a lot more copies over the years.

I learned a two very important lessons five years ago, and I hope that if you haven’t experienced them in your life yet, you will eventually. 1. Defeat isn’t permanent, it’s temporary. Yes, I felt like I had hit rock bottom when I was going in and out of treatment facilities and then had to quit a great job, move back in with my parents and then waitress to make ends meet, but that lasted for only a short period. 2. If you believe in something enough, never let go of it, fight for it, hold on to it, because it will eventually happen for you. My mother knew all the ups and downs of my years of struggling with an eating disorder, getting the rejection letters from publishers and diabetes organizations and companies, and then finally getting to see me get my golden ticket while waitressing.

If you haven’t read my book and are interested in getting a copy, click here:

Doing Anything is Easy (It’s being good at it is the challenge!)

We all have dreams that may seem a bit unattainable.
But we hang on to them anyway. We might not “go public” about these dreams, but they are alive and well and residing in a hypothetical “Wish File” that we like to mentally crack open and peek at on occasion.
Some people want to be an astronaut and some people want to raise alpacas. Some people want to be self-employed while others dream of working for a Fortune 500 company. But I will bet all of those same people are afraid to speak those dreams out loud if asked at a social gathering.

We let a fear of failure prevent us from speaking about our dreams and even let the fear of being judged prevent us from acknowledging them to others. We let ourselves feel silly when admitting to our ambitions because we know there’s a slim chance of them ever becoming real.

Read my full blogpost here

7500 Views in 48 Hours

Signing a copy of my book for a parent of a teenage girl living with diabetes.

Signing a copy of my book for a parent of a teenage girl living with diabetes.

For the last two years I’ve been blogging for another diabetes website. I decided to stop with that because it had started to not become as fun for me anymore. I wanted to get back to purely writing for myself on my little WordPress site. Unrestricted. Not influenced by what content or messaging they had on their homepage. I feel most centered when I’m speaking about my diabetes journey. I realize not one d-journey is the same…but I hope to be a voice to those who need one.


The Video that got 7,500 hits in 48 hours

I was playing around with a new Facebook video feature last week and posted a year-old video that I had filmed by a guy friend of mine who I met through Bible study last January. Imagine my shock when I went back on my FB two days later to see the video had almost 7,500 views! The video is something that I’m really proud of and I wanted you all to know why filming that video helped me break aways chains to bring me freedom again….

Him and I worked on a concept and he suggested that I bring in my figure skating background to weave into the story. That didn’t sound like a good idea to me. Since beginning treatment (for bulimia), I had not laced up my skates. During my tough years of struggling with an eating disorder, it made me feel not good enough. The old things that I loved to do were not fun for me anymore. I hadn’t played a note on the piano since leaving the pageant scene in 2010 and hadn’t laced up skating boots since 2007.

I didn’t even have my pair of skates at my apartment in Minneapolis. He told me he wanted to show another aspect of my life, other then just living with diabetes. I bought a $25 pair of figure skates off of Craigslist and brought them to get sharpened the morning of the filming. He told me he had picked out a small pond that he thought would remind me of the days when I learned to figure skate in my parent’s backyard.

My book got published last January by River Place Press.

My book got published last January by River Place Press.

I had to get to the point that day that my history of being sick with an eating disorder did not have to dictate my destiny. If living with diabetes for 16 years has taught me anything…it’s that you may have tough days and fall, but the next day is a new one and you must find strength in the Lord and pick yourself back up.

Skating around that pond last February reminded me of my love of the sport. It didn’t matter that I couldn’t whip off jumps and spins anymore. What mattered was that I laced those boots up after years of fearing of not being good enough on that ice.

Publishing my book last January about my journey living with diabetes has fueled my desire to want to continue to speak out about my personal story. Tomorrow I head to Washington, D.C. to speak to over 100 Novo Nordisk employees about being an effective diabetes advocate and on Wednesday we will march the Hill. Send prayers my way!

Please take a moment to watch the video and let me know of a time where you overcame a fear….

To learn more about the work I do for diabetes, or to see if I’m speaking in a town near you, check out my website…

Next week’s blog post –  JD will write on what it was like for him to shoot a video and learn more about diabetes from another angle.