Sunday, February 02, 2014

Author Interview: D Bryant Simmons: How to Knock a Bravebird from Her Perch

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She was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She has earned a B.A. in Sociology and a M.Ed. in Elementary Education. She is a mother, entrepreneur, and advocate for female empowerment.

Welcome  D. Bryant Simmons!

Your real name and pen name?
D. Bryant Simmons

Please share some of the best memories of your childhood
Wow. Good question. Well, the first memory that comes to mind is of a picnic I had with my father. He worked odd hours so as I was getting out of school he would be getting off work and he’d pick me up and we’d go do things. One day he picked me up and we drove downtown and had a picnic of Kentucky Fried Chicken by Lake Michigan. He had a blanket and everything, lol. It was a nice day.
I’m going to try to think of another one...

About your education
Well, I never viewed education the way most people do. It wasn't a means to get a job for me, not originally. In undergrad I studied Sociology because I wanted to make a difference in the world. Right wrongs and protect people and all that jazz. And then I got my graduate degree in Education, thinking that I would inspire kids to fight for justice and equality since my dreams to do so didn't actually take root. I've come to understand that I really do like learning and challenging myself. I’ll never been done with schooling. I have a short list of topics I want to understand better and degrees I’m interested in. Like, I want to get certified as a mechanic. I’d like to take a carpentry course too. I want to get back into education—this time I’d like to focus on the system and what changes can be made to improve the system here in the U.S. but also worldwide. So, I’ll be going back to school sometime soon. Probably to get a master’s in publishing before I pursue any other studies, since I just started a publishing company.

What career did you plan during your education days
didn't really plan on a career. I was kind of open to doing whatever let me achieve my life’s ambition: to help improve the lives of others.

What languages you can speak and write?
Lol. This is gonna be a great answer. I can speak English, Spanish, and French. I read Spanish and French very well but I generally can’t understand a word of it when people talk to me.

What is your biggest source of inspiration in life
This is kind of weird but I’m mostly inspired by what makes me mad. I don’t like anyone being treated unfairly or made to feel insignificant. That’s a huge motivation for me to put good vibes into the world and be good to people. It also comes out in my writing.

What hurts you most in this world
Vindictiveness. Closedmindedness. Arrogance. I really hate when people feel they have a right to dictate to others what they should or shouldn't do. And I don’t understand this tit for tat thing. I believe in justice and consequences but none of this spiteful crap.

When did you start writing? What is the purpose of your writing?
I started writing in 2008. I’d always avoided creative writing but loved to read. Sometimes in school I’d ignore the teacher and hide a novel in my desk to sneak and read. But anyway the job market sucked so I decided to occupy myself with this idea I had for a story.
My purpose for writing has always been to inspire people to be true to their hearts and live life to the fullest.
Most people I know don’t do that. They can’t because their worried about basic necessities but that’s what I wish most for them.

Which of your work has been published so far? Would you like to share a synopsis of your work?
How to Knock a Bravebird from Her Perch was published this month along with The Boy Scout, which is a novella, but both are from The Morrow Girls Series. The series is basically a family saga that follows 3 generations of women through some emotionally trying circumstances and dangerous situations. Bravebird is the first book in the series and it tells the story of the matriarch of the family who’s struggling to get out of an abusive marriage.
The Boy Scout is about one of the men in the series. It’s a coming of age story.
What are your forthcoming writings?
I’m currently working on a prequel to Bravebird, which I’ll release as a novella. And also books #2 and #3 of the series, which will be about the second generation of Morrow girls.

What are your future plans?
Write. Publish. Change the world. That sort of thing.

What four top most things you take care of while writing a book?
Well, I love dialogue. I’m not one for long paragraphs about the way the wind felt. I’m entirely too impatient for that sort of thing—I’m just like get to the point! So, I focus on timing a lot and the characters’ emotional state.

Your origin of birth and other countries you have visited/ stayed.
I was born in America and I've visited Mexico and the Bahamas. I love Mexico. The first time I went it was with a boyfriend and things didn't go so hot but the second time was when I took my mother for my 25th birthday and it was the best time. She loves to remind me that I passed out drunk during an afternoon cruise. I generally, don’t celebrate my birthday but that year I went all out. I even got a tattoo!

What best things you liked in these countries around the globe?
Well, in Mexico I just loved the people. After I got my tattoo I needed a special kind of soap and I asked one of the ladies that worked at a jewelry shop at the resort I was staying in about it and she just went out and bought it for me! I was so stunned. Lol. She was so sweet about it all. The food was amazing too. And the liquor...and I’m picky about my liquor.

Your favorite celebrity and why?
I adore Angelina Jolie. I love how her brain works, the things she cares about, and how she expresses herself. It’s rare to find someone who’s so comfortable in their own skin that they don’t feel the need to try to please other people. Honesty is courageous and empowering.

The last line of your autobiography would be...
And she said...enjoy the journey.

Note: Both books are on sale now. Bravebird is $3.99 and The Boy Scout is $0.99