Author Interviews

Author Interview: Bridgett Powers

Today’s interview is with fantasy author Bridgett Powers!

Author bio:
Since Bridgett’s journey began, light and words have defined her world. While defying the limitations of impaired vision and overcoming chronic pain, she learned a profound truth. Light shines brightest through cracked lanterns.
Words remain Bridgett’s staunch allies and most powerful weapons in her continuing adventures as author, speaker, editor, and writing coach. By day, she runs Light’s Scribe Writer Services in Minnesota. When she isn’t slaying evil adverbs and rescuing lost commas in other people’s stories, she’s off exploring fantasy realms, futuristic worlds, and the deep places within the human spirit. She returns from these quests bearing the tales of cracked and broken beacons who courageously carry light into the darkness—never forgetting that the first such tale she discovered was her own.
 The Kindle edition of my novel will be on sale for 99 cents from March 28-April 3!

Intro: What’s your name, what do you write, where can readers find you on social media? And just for fun, if you could be any mythological being, what or who would you be?

Hi, everyone! I’m Bridgett Powers, and I write epic fantasy and soft science fiction. My fantasy contains Christian themes. If I could be a mythological being, I suppose I’d want to be a healer faerie from my series. I almost said I’d be a unicorn, since they are my favorite fantastic creature, but I don’t think I’d enjoy using the middle of a forest as bathroom facilities with  no TP. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

You can find me here:

1. What got you interested in writing? 

I’ve loved stories ever since I could understand words. One of my earliest memories is of my mother reading to me. Though my friends were content playing dress-up with their dolls, I always had to have a story. When a dear teacher showed me that I could preserve my stories on paper, I was hooked. I didn’t consider writing more than a hobby, though, until health issues ended my teaching career.

 

  1. You have limited vision and live with chronic pain. How have those challenges impacted your career as a writer?

They greatly slow the process, whether I’m writing my own books or editing for clients. I can only see or focus on a couple letters at a time, rather than whole words. Technology is a life-saver, though! I use computer screen enlargement, text-to-speech for the revision process, magnification & audio apps on my mobile devices, etc. Ironically, some of the tools I use have helped my fully-sighted friends and editing clients. I’ve recommended the mobile app I use (VoiceDream Reader) for transforming Word docs into audio. Authors can also have their computers read passages out loud so they can hear awkward sentences, typos, or certain grammar mistakes.

My greatest challenge, though, is stamina. I was born with a rare condition that causes reduced energy levels along with the vision limitations. Chronic pain compounds the energy depletion, not to mention making concentration impossible during flare-ups. It’s hard to create awesome new worlds when your head is trying to explode. That’s why freelance work is the perfect career option for me.

  1. What inspired Keeper of Shadows?

When chronic pain—caused by too much spinal fluid building up in my brain—forced me to stop teaching, I went through a crisis of purpose. I’d wrapped my identity up in my career/calling. An interview guest on a talk show I happened to catch said that stories can sometimes help us find solutions. If we solve a problem for the characters in a story, we’ve found the answer for ourselves. So, I set out to write a fairy tale (my favorite type of story) and figure out how to satisfy my strong work ethic despite my health. Keeper of Shadows surprised me by turning into way more than the simple story I’d intended.

  1. What was your favorite scene to write in this book and why?

I have several, but most involve spoilers. (I like the dramatic revelation scenes.) One I can mention is a semi-romantic scene atop a castle tower. Brennus, a disillusioned knight, asks Lyssanne how she can honor a King who would let so many terrible things happen to her. The explanation she gives him still makes me ponder the nature of God and our own free will every time I read it. (Check out Chapter 18, scene 3.)

  1. What do you owe the real people upon whom you base your characters?

I can only think of two characters that I consciously based on actual people, and those I merely infused with certain traits. One is the unicorn, Reina. A particular scene in Keeper of Shadows between her and Lyssanne mirrors a conversation I had with my mother at one of my lowest points. Reina’s wisdom and maternal protectiveness are an homage to my mom, but that’s where the resemblance ends. The other character is the warrior faerie Jada. Her sassy, tell-it-like-it-is personality is based on my cousin and dear friend Donna.

  1. What’s your best behind the scenes story about writing Keeper of Shadows?

Choosing just one is like picking a favorite among one’s children. Oh, speaking of younglings, I guess I could sum up quite a few of my behind the scenes tales by mentioning the huge contribution children made to this book, and the series as a whole. Besides writing, my favorite pastime is helping kids explore their imaginations through play. My niece and nephew gave me tons of opportunities. They grew up playing out stories set in the Seven Lands, the world of the Light-Wielder Chronicles, the way my brother and I grew up playing Star Wars or comic book heroes. Some of my best ideas came from playing Barbies or role playing with those kids—including creatures we invented, variations on country names, and some significant plot ideas. Children of a friend and of cousins also contributed. Playing with kids will do wonders for your creativity!

I share specific stories (and the free prequel) with my reader group. Sign up at: https://bridgettpowersauthor.com/free-book/

  1. Favorite quote from your own work?

 Probably my tag line: “Every shadow is proof of light.” Or, an actual quote from the novel: “Shadow is created when something attempts to block the light.” (Attempts being the key.)

  1. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

 From my earliest memories, my parents’ words had the power to give my surroundings shape. My mother, especially, would describe what I was seeing—or what I was not—so I could know how to navigate new places.

As I grew older, I began to realize that words have the power to change our emotions. Stories can also take us to amazing places our eyes have never beheld and allow us to see things those eyes cannot. I’ve often read the novel version of a story before watching the movie, so I’d know what I would be missing during an action sequence.

Now, I understand that the words we speak about ourselves and others also have power. Language is the tool and raw material of creativity. We must be responsible in how we wield it and what it creates.

  1. If you could tell your younger writer self anything, what would it be?

Turn off your inner editor…er, perfectionist…while writing the first draft. Get the story onto the page. Polish it later. (I’m still trying to learn that lesson.)

  1. Name one book that affected the way you write?

 The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler. A friend gave me this book near the beginning of my own author journey. It explains the plot elements and character archetypes in The Hero’s Journey, first described by Joseph Campbell. This book helped me shape Keeper of Shadows even before I really understood story structure or knew what I was doing as a writer.

  1. In Keeper of Shadows, Lyssanne also has limited vision. What advice would you give to those writing #ownvoice books like yours?

 Give your character enough traits that differ from you, so you can create a bit of distance. Otherwise, you may be tempted to gloss over the hard places and not provide enough detail for the reader to experience those subjects or events with you. This was my biggest mistake with Lyssanne. I went too far with the whole “write what you know” advice and became too close to her. When it was time to write about the chronic pain we both experienced, I barely scratched the surface. I had to write several drafts before readers could “feel” it with Lyssanne. I found it more difficult than I’d expected to “go there” again in my mind, so I at first shied away from the kind of detail that would make the scene real for a reader who had never experienced this sort of pain.

  1. If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

The “real” world? Well, there’s an answer that would be longer than my first drafts—and that’s saying something! I suppose I’d like people…all of us…to refrain from making judgments about others based on assumptions or stereotypes. This goes way beyond race, class, or disabilities, though those are part of it. People also make assumptions based on occupation, the actions they witness, or the lack thereof. When we see someone doing less than those around him, we can’t know what circumstance or health issue may be behind that.

  1. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

That depends on the book. My research arises from whatever I need for a specific scene, character, or piece of world-building, so I research as I go. I mainly use books, the internet, and sites like YouTube, but I will also interview experts when needed. For Keeper of Shadows, I studied the structures of castles, medieval armor & weapons, and clothing from the era. I also researched the types of herbs people used in medieval times for medicine, as well as those some have used for witchcraft. That led to some sites I’d rather not explore. So, for the sequel, I stayed away from any research involving the new villain. I’ve watched YouTube videos on everything from how to drive a carriage or forge a sword to the effects electricity has on the body.

  1. What’s your favorite writing-related memory?

I have so many. The moment when I finished the first draft of my first novel ever, and my brother celebrated by playing a song about overcoming for me. Also, the time my dearest writer friend and I wrote a hilarious story about her modern-day character (a high school counselor) and my leading knight hanging out in the “green room” together—watching Star Wars, of all things—instead of getting on the page when we needed them.

  1. What’s a favorite moment you’ve had with a fan/someone who’s read your work?

 If you’ll indulge me, I have two.

  1. Recently, someone wrote to me after reading the “big reveal” scene at the end of chapter 9. He gave me perhaps the greatest compliment I can imagine in terms of story content. “That scene was a ‘Luke, I am your father’ moment!” I mean, if my little story can evoke the same shock and emotion we all felt at Darth Vader’s classic line…
  2. Another reader wrote to me after finishing the prequel and said it had inspired him to renew his focus on living out the purpose God had called him to fulfill. Wow! If he’d read Keeper of Shadows (which sprang from that exact theme), I wouldn’t have been as surprised, but the prequel? What a blessing!

 

  1. One fun fact most people don’t know about you?

This straight-laced introvert once went to a popular fast food restaurant dressed in a garbage bag.

Okay, it was my senior year of high school and I was on my way to a costume party. A cousin invited me to her school’s event, so she and I dressed as punk rockers—complete with purple glitter hairspray, crazy makeup, and dresses made from trash bags we’d spray-painted with silver glitter. People from my school were talking about it for a week. I wanted to teleport to the nearest hobbit hole for a while.


Thanks for the fun interview, Bridgett! I’ll be checking out your books soon! Readers, son’t forget to say hi at:

And don’t forget about her $0.99 sale  on the Kindle edition of her novel from March 28-April 3.

If you liked this post, please scroll to the top of the page and type in your email to follow my blog and get an update every time I post new content. I have authors of all genres coming on my blog to interview in the coming weeks! Don’t miss it!

As always, keep making magic, word weavers!

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