Intimate Conversation with Stephanie R. Bridges
Presenter – “Act Like an Author, Think Like a Business” 2018 Conference
Stephanie R. Bridges is a spoken word artist, lyricist, author and publisher. In 2014, she founded the company, In Spirit Power and Truth Publishing, LLC, and since that time, she has published four children’s books; one compilation with contributing writers from the ages of 6 – 60; and her poetic autobiographical journey suitable for adults.
One of Stephanie’s biggest passions is assuring that her books are accessible to the community she writes about and celebrates. Some of Stephanie’s work can be viewed on YouTube, and she works diligently to partner with businesses, organizations and individuals to provide multiple yearly book giveaways.
Stephanie has a BS in Secondary English Education from The Ohio State University and resides in Columbus, OH, with her family and pets.
BPM: What made you want to become a writer? How long have you been writing?
In elementary school, one of my teachers told me I would make an excellent writer or newscaster. I am definitely an introvert, so even back then, I knew I did not want to appear in living rooms every evening at six and eleven. So, writing it was, is, and will be.
BPM: How has writing impacted your life?
Writing has helped me and my children a great deal academically. Often there is a big paper, report, or mid-term due, and it helps if you can move through those assignments with skill and confidence. Beyond that, it has been a double-edged sword. I have sworn off writing on more than one occasion because the for-profit business of writing has been elusive. In the past few years, I have been far more productive, and it feels good to be “accomplished,” as far as building a catalog goes.
So, in 2018, I can say there are no regrets. My legacy will live on without me, and someone in my lineage will see the fruit of my labor. But prior, and sometimes still, I wait to hear my name called, “Walter, Walter Lee.” Am I a grape, or am I a raisin, and is there a difference? That is the question.
BPM: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I saw a t-shirt the other day that read, “Effort does not require talent.” Yes, I think my books are brilliant, but tastes in reading are like tastes in ice-cream – very subjective. So, Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream is a successful brand not a successful flavor. After you console your ego, this actually works to every author’s favor, because as long as the brand has the stamp of approval, the content – as subjective as it is – will be consumed.
BPM: Why do you choose to collaborate with other authors?
Choose is a very strong word. Success, however you define it, mandates working with others. It is important to me to maintain a balance of give and take when it comes to creative, professional, and financial resources. “You cannot out give the Giver,” is a tenant central to spirituality; and your spirit constantly recalibrates to find the equilibrium in the confines of a human experience. That’s what collaboration is to me – maintaining a connection to the artist I see in me and the one I want to see in me.
BPM: Tell us about your upcoming appearance at the “Act Like an Author, Think Like a Business” 2018 Conference.
Woohoo! I am super excited about this opportunity. Starting out it was only my plan to be in attendance and learn from Joylynn M. Ross. I recall meeting her at my first, and possibly her 500th vending event, and I was amazed at her enormous catalog.
The drive, focus, and dedication to be 100% fully immersed in your gift is awe inspiring, and then to take that knowledge and be passionate about paying it forward is wonderful. When I heard about the conference, I was determined to be in that number. For me, it is a financial investment, beyond worth it, but still significant.
So, I decided to apply for a grant to offset the cost of the “Act Like an Author, Think Like a Business” 2018 Conference registration. I got the grant, and I reached out to Joylynn to let her know. That’s when she asked if I would like to present information about finding and applying for literary artist grants. Now, I am officially a part of the lineup. Did I say, Woohoo!?! This is a testament to how important it is to invest in your dreams, if you want to wake up and walk in them. Since receiving my confirmation, Joylynn has been rolling out opportunity after opportunity.
It is so important to build connections with like-minded, but more importantly, like-spirited people; Joylynn is definitely operating in the spirit of “You cannot out give the Giver.” I knew that prior to signing up, but she is like Beyonce, blowing the whistle, “Can You Keep Up…” and I am still working towards that good Michelle.
BPM: Share one specific point in your book that resonated with your present situation or journey.
One of my favorite poems – long mantras, less than melodic anthems – is “Right Now.” It reminds me that with all the stipulations, rules, regulations and limitations on my humanity, I am ultimately a spiritual being without earthly and worldly bounds, Right Now.
BPM: Does writing energize you?
No, writing does not energize me. It takes a lot out of me, and I feel the need to be replenished (nap) afterward. However, publishing my work does energize me, because then I have an offering, big or small; I do not want to be accused of burying my talents.
BPM: Have you written any other books that are not published?
Yes, I have started a number of projects that never made it to publication. I am still not sure if I will revisit them. I like to live by the saying, “Everything happens or doesn’t happen for a reason.”
BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?
I am currently working on a book of short stories, That’s the Story of My Life. It is a book that includes fiction and creative non-fiction shorts from male and female perspectives. The book takes on trauma, mental illness, maturity and self-determination.
That’s the Story of My Life will be released in August 2018 in time for the “Act Like an Author, Think Like a Business” Conference mini book fair, which is free and open to the public. Joylynn has arranged an opportunity for the authors present to connect directly with our targeted readers.
Yes, I am looking forward to selling books, but I am more interested in receiving feedback on how I can better serve the community that I work for. I cannot wait to learn from and connect with other writers and professionals in the book business, but the readers are the heart of my body of work.
BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Hello, Readers! I am very accessible and can be found on one or all your favorite social media platforms. Search Stephanie R. Bridges on Amazon, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. My website is https://www.stephanierbridges.com. Thank you.
I SPaT – In Spirit Power and Truth: Poems Inspired by God’s Grace and Mercy by Stephanie R. Bridges
I SPaT: In Spirit Power and Truth, takes you on one woman’s triumphant journey to spiritual wholeness. Stephanie R. Bridges introduces the idea that struggles with addictive behavior, which she continues to deal with, should never be reviled, but instead embraced as a call from God. Addiction is an illness that only He can heal, and oftentimes it is the only bridge that we will take to true salvation.
Stephanie is refreshingly honest and often unavoidably raw in her poetic commentary on subjects such as fornication, abortion, adultery, and incarceration. Every poem that stems from her personal story is accompanied by scriptures that remind us that no matter where we are in life, God is right there with us In Spirit Power and Truth.
Excerpt: I SPaT – In Spirit Power and Truth
RIGHT NOW 1 Peter 2:15-17
First and foremost, I am black
Till inexplicably, I was overtaken by becoming a woman
Finally, Christian became my name to claim
I am a spirit free of labels
I am no longer a disabled victim
I am a child of the Most High God
There is no limit in Him
And He put no limit in me
You can chain me, beat me, hate me
I am still free to love you
You can dominate my might, delegate my rights, dictate my heights
I am still free to submit
You can chastise my church, burn my bible, crucify my Christ
I am still free to believe
Rising above what I have become
Ascending to what I will be
There is no master, no man, no mass that can imprison me
Stand Fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
( Continued… )
© 2018 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Stephanie R. Bridges. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.
Purchase I SPaT – In Spirit Power and Truth: Poems Inspired by God’s Grace and Mercy by Stephanie R. Bridges