After several personal crises, Patricia A. Bridewell started journaling in 2005. Those journal notes transitioned to her first published book in 2009. She is an award-winning, bestselling author, nurse practitioner, nurse educator, and blogger. Patricia is a contributor to the AALBC bestselling book Single Mama Dating Drama, published by Brown Girls Books.
Her other published work includes: three novels, several healthcare articles, and multiple short story contributions to various anthologies. Two Steps Past the Altar was published on May 29, 2018. Her short story ‘Love Won’t Let Me Wait’ will appear in Tymm Publishing’s anthology Loved Walked In. The release date is June 11, 2019. Patricia’s new book release is Rhythm Bay Love.
1) First, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me! When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most? What about being a writer frustrates you the most?
It’s my pleasure, and I thank you for this interview. Well, my call came while I was going through a difficult time in my life. One day I started writing journal notes and found that writing was therapeutic. What I love about writing is I feel relaxed and I’m in a world of my own. That is when the creative juices begin flowing and my characters come to life. I can’t think of many things that frustrate me. But toward the end of my manuscripts, there are occasional times when I’m rushing to make the deadline.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
Sure. I wrote four published novels and contributed seven short stories for anthologies. I write in two different genres. My Inspirational Romance novels are sensual, edgy, and dramatic. I also write Women’s Fiction. Rhythm Bay Love is my latest book, which was published by Tymm Publishing in June 2020. And I wrote a short story contribution for the Brown Girls Books Publishing Anthology Confessions: Secrets & Lies Revealed. It was also released in June 2020.
Rhythm Bay Love revolves around a DJ, Antoine Bailey, the wealthy heir to his father’s prominent real estate business, and Jada Carson, his co-worker. They work at a local L.A. radio station and cannot stand each other, but eventually they make peace and begin dating. Then their secrets lead to turmoil that hovers over their romance. My books can be found on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, & Smashwords. I have added a link to my books on Amazon.com and other information at the bottom of this interview.
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Link to my books on Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Patricia-A.-Bridewell/e/B003LO9X7I
3) What projects are you currently working on?
Good question. I have two works in progress, and I have been working on both. However, I decided to focus on one. My plan is to write or have someone else write a screenplay based on one of my books.
4) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
I have several, but I feel that my most important achievement was finally reaching my goal of connecting with a lot of wonderful, supportive readers over the years. Their feedback is so valuable, and I am thankful for all of them. Five years from now, I hope that I am still writing.
5) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career?
Wow! Now that is a great question. My disappointment with rejection came early in my career. I didn’t know anybody in the business. I did some research, then reached out to an agent about my first manuscript and she rejected it. I tried one more agent and was rejected. Rejection was hard, but it made me determined that I would somehow get my books published. I joined a writers’ group, attended writing workshops, classes, and conferences, met readers and other authors, and joined social media sites. I also learned that the journey in writing is not the same for all writers.
6) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel?
When I first started writing, I didn’t outline because I was a pantsy writer, and I wrote only at night due to my busy work schedule. Now, I begin working on the outline first. I don’t have a set schedule anymore. Most of my work is done at home, so I write either during the day or at night. Normally, it takes between four to six months for me to complete my manuscripts.
7) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?
My feeling is there are people who can become successful writers if they have the desire to work hard. I also feel that it largely depends on their interpretation of what success means to them. The literary world is different for each writer, and no, I don’t believe that starting late will make a difference. When new writers approach me about writing, I advise them to do their research on all aspects of becoming a writer.
8) Are you an avid reader and have you always been? What’s the first book you ever read that really touched you emotionally and moved you? Who is your favorite author? What book are you currently reading?
Am I an avid reader? Yes, I sure am. Before I became a fiction writer, I read only non-fiction books until I attended a workshop for fiction writers. The first book that really touched me was Cupcake Brown’s book, A Piece of Cake. Ms. Brown’s story was incredible! After her mom died, she was placed in foster care, and during her early adulthood she became addicted to drugs. She persevered and later became an attorney. I have many favorite authors, but Victoria Christopher-Murray’s book, The Ex-Files was the first fiction book that I read, and she is one of my favorites. I also love books that were written by Tiffany L. Warren, ReShonda Tate Billingsley, and many other authors. Right now, I am reading Serving Justice by Jacqueline D. Moore. I was drawn to her novel after watching the movie Redeemed that was adapted from her book. It has been streaming on BET. In fact, Tiffany L. Warren and Victoria Christopher-Murray have movies coming out soon, too. So, keep an eye open for them on BET and Lifetime.
9) How has the current state of the world affected your writing? Because writing is an isolated practice, do you find it easier to deal with quarantine? Has it stifled your creativity, or has it made you even more driven to get things done?
Honestly, after the quarantine started, I felt down for a short period. I’m a nurse practitioner, and I still had to teach in the hospital and see patients in a clinic. Fortunately, that was only three days a week. My fourth book was ready to be released in June 2020. However, all the events that I was supposed to attend were cancelled. After that happened, I lost my creativity for a few months. But after a lot of prayer, I am back on track with my writing.
10) What are your thoughts about how the publishing industry as it is being represented today? Do you lean more towards traditional publishing or self-publishing as a preference? Does being a hybrid author interest you?
Hybrid publishing is what I currently prefer. I believe the publishing industry has shifted in many ways, and they are beginning to open more doors for minority authors.
11) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?
Well, I was born into a family that always emphasized helping other people. My mom, grandmother, and aunt were huge inspirations in my life. So, whenever I write, I tend to include something in my book that will inspire and/or educate, as well as entertain my readers. This also is a way that I’ve remained positive and coped with life changing situations. It’s also another way to find the balance in life that is necessary, especially during the pandemic.