Monday, October 1, 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness Month - Joy Huber, Cancer with Joy

AUTHOR:  Joy Huber
BOOK TITLE:  “Cancer with Joy:  How to Transform Fear into Happiness and Find the Bright Side Effects”
PUBLISHER:  Morgan James Publishing

Tell me a little about your book and give a short synopsis.

The theme of “Cancer with Joy” is “No one is happy they have cancer.  But you CAN have cancer & still be Happy!”  I’m a stage four young adult cancer survivor so I know this can be done!  I help others discover HOW by sharing 25+ pages of time, energy, and money-saving resources, connecting those facing cancer to cancer support because a burden shared is so much easier to bear, and encouraging others to make the choice to face “Cancer with Joy” by sharing my story, examples from my own journey and stories from others.  There’s a story in the book for everyone to relate to - women, men, young adults and older, moms (even a woman who was pregnant with her fifth child when she was diagnosed with cancer!), celebrities, etc.  The book also includes dos and don'ts at diagnosis, financial information, a special chapter for caregivers, and a chapter on how cancer impacts your personal and professional relationships!  No one wants to face cancer withOUT joy, so this book is all about getting unstuck from the negative as you journey from diagnosis through treatment.   

 What gave you the idea for this particular book?
One day the idea of facing “Cancer with Joy” since I’m Joy who faced stage four cancer and it could be a literal as well as figurative thing just hit me!  The universe was kind to me the day I got this idea!!  I was shocked it wasn’t already being done; I’m certainly not the first Joy to have cancer & face it well! 

At this point I have been in many hospitals, cancer treatment centers, and surgery centers.  The majority of people I see are facing cancer withOUT joy; I’m generally the happiest person in the room.  I was really motivated to create this essential resource to HELP Others transform their fear into happiness! 

Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?

As a professional speaker too, I would call myself a part-time writer.  I tend to write in off-business hours when I can’t be making contacts to speak, etc.  Write whenever is best for you; if you’re a morning person or have kids, maybe you get up early and write when you’re productive or the house is quiet. 

When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

Great question!  It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment, but I’ve been interested in writing for a very long time, probably most of my life.

What do you hope readers will take from your writing?

Education, inspiration, and en”Courage”ment.  I want to educate them they can make a different choice when facing cancer, and inspire them to make that choice to face “Cancer with Joy” vs. curling up in a ball, drawing the curtains, and becoming withdrawn from their life.  The opposite of fear is courage, so I want to en”courage” others to face “Cancer with Joy!”  I offer hope also for those facing cancer that they can not just get by or survive this period, but really THRIVE.  They read about others facing cancer who did it, and think, “If THEY can, so can I!!!”  The book shows them how!   

What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it?

I think the toughest part is if you’re not being paid to write, or if you don’t have an advance.  You’re passionate about writing, but you have to balance your writing time with spending time doing enough income-generating activities in order to keep the bills paid and keep writing.  I wrote my book without an advance as a labor of love because I’ve seen so many others facing cancer that I truly want to help have a different and better experience. 

What draws you to non-fiction writing?

That it’s real, and that you’re sharing an actual experience

What kind of research did you do for this type of book?

I did a lot of internet research to find and narrow down the resources I wanted to include in the last chapter.  I also spent lots of time calling for stories from others of how they faced “Cancer with Joy,” and reviewing those stories to choose the very best from a diverse audience to find a variety of people so all my readers could have a story in this book they relate to.   

What about your book makes it special?

Several things, and I believe that’s what helped me get a book deal or publishing partner. 
#1 - The title is short, and it’s problem (Cancer is a HUGE problem.  Statistics tell us 1 in 2 men & 1 in 3 women Will face cancer in their life!) & solution (Joy, everyone wants to be happy!) in 3 short words.
#2 - No one is doing anything like this in the cancer world with the double meaning of facing “Cancer with Joy,” Literally with a woman named Joy who had cancer, and figuratively too.  I filed “Cancer with Joy” through so I own it and am the one & ONLY Joy of “Cancer with Joy.”  This makes it more unique and valuable as when people want to bring “JOY” of “Cancer with Joy” to come speak to their group there’s only ONE.  I also bought the domains,, and  I would love to find and collaborate with those women, for example, bringing “Face Cancer with Joy & Faith” to churches, and it’s LITERALLY Joy & Faith on stage and figuratively talking about facing something as devastating as cancer using Joy & your Faith.  Faith, if you’re out there reading this (or Hope or Grace, and you’ve had cancer, or been a caregiver to someone with cancer, e-mail me,!!  :) 

What is your marketing plan?

Without a lot of money to advertise, my focus has been on getting publicity for the book.  It’s free vs. paid advertising, and people are more likely to pay attention to content vs. straight “Buy this book!” advertising!! 

You can see some of the publicity I’ve gotten for “Cancer with Joy” at

Where can people learn more about you and your work?

They can also follow me on Twitter @joyhuber & @cancerwithjoy, and like my facebook page at

What are your views on self-publishing versus traditional publishing?

I believe you have to do your research and decide which is the best route for you and your  specific project.  There are definitely pros and cons to both routes.  I self-published my first book you can see at and partnered with Morgan James Publishing for “Cancer with Joy.”  I really enjoyed having a partner (Morgan James is WONDERFUL to work with!!) to HELP with many aspects of this book:  designing the cover, doing the interior layout and design, getting the ebook uploaded, etc.  It was nice to not go it alone and have to do Everything myself!! 

Do you have an agent and do you feel an agent is necessary for non-fiction?

I do not have an agent.  I worked directly with my publisher. 

Any tips for new writers hoping to write non-fiction? 

If you have an idea for a title see if the .com is available.  I’ve heard if you can’t register the .com, it’s not the title of your book!  Also, see what you can do to “own” the idea to make it more valuable.  I mentioned earlier how I’ve locked down “Cancer with Joy” by filing it through and buying domains of others with names that could spring up to do similar things with the double meaning.

Then as far as writing, just do it!  Even if it’s a baby step while you work a job to pay the bills, try to do something every day or more often than not to advance it.  Join groups or surround yourself with people who encourage & support you to keep you going because it’s tough.  To me creating content comes easily; it’s the marketing to get the word out that’s the hard part.  I’m grateful to Penny for allowing me to share this incredibly positive take on a very devastating thing everyone is impacted by somehow; I want to help as many as possible who have to face cancer discover how to face “Cancer with Joy!”    

The next of many ways I personally handled “Cancer with Joy” was when I completely lost my hair. I handled it with joy by making it fun (for me and others)!

After the hair loss shower in early May, I decided to shave my head so I would not have to take such an emotional shower again. I had visited the local American Cancer Society in April and they loaned me some wigs, hats, and scarves. I also discovered the fabulous “Tender Loving Care” catalogs and ordered some hats, halos, and wigs.

I have handled the complete loss of my hair with joy by having fun with the halos, hats, and wigs. A halo is a ring of hair that gives you the look of having hair with hair hanging down for bangs, on the side, and in the back, but in the heat (as I faced with the Nebraska summer), the coolness of the bulk of your head remaining bald. You cover the bald part with a fun hat! I even involved my friends by doing an online fashion show where I tried on many different looks (various colors, lengths, and styles), had my mom take pictures, and uploaded them to Facebook and my CaringBridge site. I let people “vote” by liking and commenting on their favorite looks to help me choose my best looks for the summer. This let my friends know I was coping with hair loss with joy, actually making it fun and helping them get involved, and having fun with what was happening during my cancer treatment.

(Excerpted from the book “Cancer with Joy” with permission) 


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