Patricia A. Bridewell’s first novel was published by an independent publisher in 2009. Her published work includes three books, multiple short stories, online and newspaper healthcare columns.
Patricia is a Family Nurse Practitioner and a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner; she holds Adjunct Nursing Faculty positions at two universities. She is a member of the NBNA /Council of Black Nurses – L.A., Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, and International Black Writers & Artists – L.A. Church home is West Angeles Church of God in Christ.
Patricia’s short story appears in the Brown Girls Books anthology, Single Mama Dating Drama, an AALBC two-time best-selling book. Two Steps Past the Altar is her latest novel, her short story will appear in Tymm Publishing LLC’s anthology, Love Walked In, (June 2019). Fourth novel is in progress.
BPM: Tell us about your most recent work, Two Steps Past the Altar.
The title of my new book is Two Steps Past the Altar. This book is about love, trust, healing, forgiveness, and restoration.
Available on Nook and Kindle? Yes, the book is available on these sites, and the paperback will be available on Amazon.com and in some book stores.
BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters.
The first main character Sasha Edmonds is a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative, who carries emotional baggage. During her childhood, her father incurred significant problems in the church that caused damage to his ministry and family. Sasha never forgot, and the immense weight of unforgiveness has stayed with her throughout her adulthood. She had trust issues and previous relationship problems. Until she met Damien, who was the cherry on top of her sundae.
Damien Taylor is kind, considerate, he works hard, and is over the top in love with Sasha. He is ready to marry her and start a family. Then whirlwinds drift over their relationship, she calls off their engagement, but he desperately tries to win her back. After she’s introduced to Wesley Dunbar, her whole outlook changes, and the chaos begins.
BPM: What makes each one of your main characters so special?
Sasha is a workaholic and career fanatic. She is a smart, educated woman who channels a significant amount of time toward her career, and that poses problems in her personal life. Her special characteristic is a passion for helping others.
Damien is a charmer. His sense of humor, military career, Christian upbringing by his parents, and strong family ties, are all positives that would quench most any woman’s desires.
BPM: Is there a specific place or space that you find inspiration in?
When I’m at home, my specific space is in my home office or at the kitchen table. If I’m not at home, a quiet environment where I can listen to my favorite gospel music inspires me. I consider myself a nighttime writer because that’s when the characters begin talking. Lol!
BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I enjoyed creating the character sketches. It’s always interesting to see how their personalities, likes, dislikes, etc. evolve as the story progresses.
BPM: How much planning goes into writing a book? How long does it take to complete one of your books?
Planning for me starts the minute an idea for a book comes to mind. I start by jotting down the synopsis. From there, I start the character sketches. I must know names, my main characters’ appearances, and other information before I begin the book, and then I gradually add the other characters who have significant roles in the story. I delegate most of my time toward my primary book, but I do write several chapters for the next manuscript when I have free time. It works out well. I always have another book that I have started. I’ve started compiling character photographs to have a clear vision of them. I love doing this! I have about three or four other books that already have some character sketches and chapters.
In the past, my full novels were written in five to six months. Short stories in approximately two to three weeks. I wrote Two Steps Past the Altar in thirty days after participating in a NaNoWrimo contest. The positive side – I finished my book with a little over 50,000 words in thirty days. Although I had to do a lot more rewriting and revising, it was an awesome learning experience and I have no regrets. I have an enormous amount of respect for editors, and I am grateful for all of the editors, beta readers, and the proofreader who worked with me on this project. I think writing a novel in five to six months works better for me.
BPM: What advice would you give aspiring writers that would help them finish a project?
Write every day, even if you do not meet your word count. I stopped using word counts. I write whatever I write, whether it’s one thousand words, two thousand, or five hundred words. Research what you do not know and be sure to line up a professional editor to read your book. I use professional editors, and most are referred, and I also have started using beta readers and a proofreader after all the editing is complete.
BPM: What period of life or topics do you find you write about most often?
My characters tend to be in their early to mid-thirties.
BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
Yes. I’m a life-long learner, and I find that I usually learn new things during the time that I’m writing. Sometimes writing provokes reminders of important things that I already know. My most important reminder from writing this book was no matter what people have said or done negatively, always have a forgiving heart. I may not forget, but I must forgive.
BPM: Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?
I have been a registered nurse for a long time, and I am familiar with the pharmaceutical industry, but I am not an expert. My main character and a secondary character are in the pharmaceutical business, and as I was writing, I found out that I needed to validate some things. I consulted with a pharmacist, one of my colleagues who worked at our university. His information and recommendations confirmed that I had to change certain parts of my story to make them more realistic. That meant restructuring and rewriting. I also met a pastor and eventually, I joined his church. When I say that I hear some powerful messages on Sunday mornings… It’s true. I took notes, and I didn’t use his exact words, but I received ideas that helped me rewrite a couple of scenes. These were just two people, but I engage with students, patients, and meet new people frequently. I’m a people watcher, so I also learn a lot from observing people, and I do online research.
BPM: How has writing impacted your life?
Writing, nursing, and teaching are my passions. And I will say…writing has brought me so much gratification. I have had opportunities to network at both literary and nonliterary events. What I love most are my readers and their feedback. Their feedback is awesome, and I find that it’s intriguing to hear their perceptions of the characters and the way they believe the stories played out. The readers have inspired me to write more frequently. For a while, I questioned whether I should continue writing, and said to myself no one reads my books. Over the years, I found out that my assumption was not true. I’ve met many readers in person and received inbox messages and emails asking when my next book would be out. That was very uplifting.
BPM: What does literary success look like to you?
I think literary success is not the same for every author. For me writing is my other career, not a hobby. The most important aspect of any career is devotion and commitment to what I am doing. It pushes me to be more productive. So, I need to make sure that I’m writing consistently. If I can help other writers, I do that. I’m still learning, and I will always work diligently to improve my writing skills. When aspiring authors ask me to take a look at their work, I suggest they use an editor and I have contacts for them.
For several years I wrote short stories, and I enjoyed writing them because I finished in two to three weeks. But I had not had written a full novel for a few years. About five years ago, I put a completed novel aside because I didn’t feel it was good enough for publication. In 2017, I prayed over this, then made a commitment to write at least one, if not two books per year. At the time, I was working full-time, attending school, and writing, which meant becoming more disciplined with writing and staying prayerful. Thank God, I am finished with school!
BPM: What are the 3 most effective tools for sharing your book with the world?
Online social media, website, and various types of book promotions.
BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?
I’m currently writing my fourth novel and loving the story. I really should say fifth because I have the one unpublished manuscript that I didn’t try to have published.
BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
PAB Blog: https://patriciaannbridewell.wordpress.com
Order Two Steps Past the Altar by Patricia A. Bridewell
Genre: Inspirational Romance » Christian
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