Book: Bridges To Heal US
Q1. Hello Ma’am, can you please introduce yourself? Readers would love to know more about you.
I am a biracial woman who was adopted as an infant by a a White couple from Northern Minnesota, who decided early in my life to teach overseas. I attended the American School of The Hague in the Netherlands for most of my schooling, where I got to travel a lot as an athlete and meet amazing people. I returned to the US for college, which was a very difficult experience. Although college in the US as a person of color in the late 80s was tough, one good part was meeting my husband, who has been my partner in crime for almost 30 years. We are parents to 2 bio kids, one formally adopted kids and a socially-adopted kid (all adults now). I was a soccer player for 20 years, a basketball player for 40 years and now run and walk long-distance for exercise. I have had lots of good experiences in my life and many tough ones. I made the decision to use every story in my life – good and bad – to help others.
Q2. What were the key challenges you faced while writing ‘Bridges To Heal US’ book?
The biggest challenge of writing was setting aside time regularly in the midst of one of the busiest professional seasons of my life. It was also hard figuring out which stories to tell and which to leave out. It really helped to have a writing coach who set goals and gave me assignments each week.
Q3. What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?
There’s not a particular author who inspired my writing style. I’ve read more fiction than non-fiction over the years and love the writing styles of Alice Walker, Maya Angelou , James Baldwin and Langston Hughes. However, I really enjoy the writing style of Isabel Wilkerson. I loved the way she used personal story and history in “Caste,” but I don’t claim to be anything like her. She’s a nationally award winning author who was a writer for the New York Times for years. I am NOT her.
Q4. What’s your favourite spot to visit in your own country? And what makes it so special to you?
There are so many places in the United States that I love to visit! I love walking along Ruston Way in Tacoma, WA. The view of the Puget Sound and the mountains is breathtaking. I love living in Washington state and being an hour from the mountains or the ocean and surrounded by trees. I also love to visit San Diego. The weather is sunny but mild. There is water everywhere. There are so many cultural activities to do in the city. I love to visit both DC and New York for the excitement.
Q5. Is there lots to do before you drive in and start writing a book?
I think that depends on the book you are writing. My book is literally the written version of training I do every week. That being said, before I started writing the actual book, I had several meetings with my writing coach to walk through concepts and organization to identify the key points I hoped to cover. I’m so glad I took so much time to get organized before I started writing.
Q6. How long did it take you to write ‘Bridges To Heal US’ book?
I started meeting with my writing coach in late February and finished writing the book during the last week of June.
Q7. On what all platforms readers can find ‘Bridges To Heal US’ book to buy?
At the moment, the book is available on Amazon or from me at an in-person event.
Q8. Tell us about the process of coming up with the book cover and the title ‘Bridges To Heal US’ ?
I have always talked about being a bridge, so I knew I wanted “bridges” in the title. I also like the play on words with “US” (meaning “us” and “United States”). With regard to the cover art, I am known for my “big” hair, red lipstick and earrings. Finally, I didn’t ask for this, but the cover artist came up with the idea for the flag in the background. I love it, because I talk often about challenging current notions of patriotism.
Q9. When writing a book how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and also yourself?
As a public speaker, I am often speaking 4-5 times per day. Sometimes I have to share the same stories. I try to tap into as many emotions as possible to keep it fresh and new for me and for the audience. I tried to do the same in the book.
Q10. Are there any secrets from the book (that aren’t in the blurb), you can share with your readers?
I don’t know that there are “secrets” in the book. I think the most important thing I hope to communicate is that we have made it taboo to talk about politics, race and religion in the United States. Because we are not “allowed” to talk about these subjects, we’ve not developed the skills necessary to talk effectively about them. I guess the “secret” is that ANYONE can learn, if they are willing. If we want to heal, learning new skills is necessary.
Book Is Available On Amazon