In this interview with new author, Harry Bridgeman, he shares his philosophy on writing and gives a bit of insight into who he is and how he became an author.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Being physically challenged from birth my only aspirations were to achieve to do the best I could at everything and prove to myself that I could do or be anything and that my disability could not stop me.
My life took a downfall during my final year of high school that turned my world upside down. (You can read Harry’s Life Poem below)
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I was looking for a way to achieve and gain self worth by leaving my mark in this world. I also wanted to touch others’ lives so they too could find happiness.
Why did you want to be an author?
Becoming an author is just an extra perk to sharing my message. I never really thought about becoming an author or wished to become a famous author.
Do you have any other writing experience?
I write limericks to help lift my own spirit as well as the spirit of others.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I was in a dark place and my life needed a change. I found that change in a friend that helped me find my smile again. I was truly infected by a kind and caring smile.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
The information for my book comes from real life experience. After finding my smile and happiness again I had my drive to achieve back. I decided to put my found happiness in to a fictitious world and expand upon it.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I was never good in English class in high school so I had to teach myself how to write by doing lots of research and reading.
Do you have a specific process when you write?
Meditate on a story line, research facts, then write. I meditate on ideas for my story, then when I start to write the ideas down, more ideas begin to come to me as I write making the story start to come together.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
My writing schedule depends on how inspired I am on an idea and my ability to type.
How long does it take you to write a book?
6 months, I am not a very fast typer and have days when my hands won’t allow me to type.
Your published works include?
The Happiness Contagion
Is there a specific anecdote about the process of writing any of them?
I try to make all character as real to life as possible.
Did you encounter a writing problem that required you to change your plans for the book or learn a new process?
Keeping notes and timelines for each chapter. I didn’t start to do this until I had half finished the book and I discovered some timeline and character discrepancies that I had to go back to correct.
Was there a personal reason for writing any of them or a special connection you have to any of them?
Some of my own life experiences can be found in some characters in my writing.
Give us three “Good to Know” facts about you.
I have learned to look for the good and positive in everything. There is nothing in life we cannot overcome and learn from and I always try to take away from all hardships something good.
I am a very compassionate person, having experienced many difficulties and sadness in my own life makes me want to help others experiencing the same pain in life that I have had in the past.
I am no longer a sad person. Sure, we all have bad days but I have learned through my writing how to refocus a problem into something creative like a poem or a part of my story, sometimes even writing the opposite of whatever is troubling me and turning it into something positive.
What else do you want your readers to know?
I like to unwind by listening to upbeat and positive music, I enjoy writing poetry and limericks to pass the time or brighten someone’s day.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Never give up on yourself or your hopes and dreams, there is always a way in everything. If someone tells you that you can’t do it, smile and find a way. Some things in life may not be as easy for you as it is for others, but if you can dream it, you can achieve it.
Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Read lots of different genres even if it is not something you would normally enjoy reading, internet research your topic, and a thesaurus is your best friend.
Do you have any other advice for fellow writers?
Never give up on your story, we all get writer’s block. Take a break, watch a movie or read a book similar to your writing and research for new ideas.
How do you feel now that you are a published author?
It makes me proud to know others will read my work, if my writing can touch and change just one single life it was well worth the effort for me to write the book and get published.
What are your current projects?
I am currently writing a futuristic fiction novel about a world society living in a robotic and virtual new age, leading to a deadly virus epidemic that causes the downfall of man. Working title: “Virtual Presence”.
Harry’s Life Poem
The wheel of life is always turning
Year by year I continue learning.
I’ve had SMA (Spinal Muscle Atrophy) from birth, a slow progressive disease
But that didn’t hold me back. I always tried to achieve.
From youth to my teens I made many great strides
I learned how to walk, dance and drive.
My final year of high school life was grand
I had a great job and many life plans.
That winter I had a really bad fall
I fell and broke my femur and life started to stall.
My disease quickly progressed, putting me in a chair
I gave up on most things and thought life was unfair.
With my world crashing down I was young and stupid
I stopped thinking of a future and began to live life deluded.
I still had my driver’s license and car
I had a great time with friends and traveled near and far.
Life started to become a party for me
Lots of great times living careless and free.
As the years went by, my disease still progressed
I had to give up my license and became really stressed.
I started abusing drugs to escape my sadness and pain
I started to throw my life down the drain.
There were many years of abuse before something finally clicked
I came to realize I was killing myself, not slow but real quick.
I was able to free myself from the abuse
But felt numb to the world and couldn’t break loose.
I had really bad withdrawal and suffered with anxiety
I sunk deep in depression and became withdrawn from society.
It was a time in my life I felt so hollow and frail
Like a boat in the ocean that couldn’t sail.
Every now and then you find true friends
Their kindness and caring help you begin to comprehend.
I had one good friend who truly remained
He would come to visit and helped me stay sane.
After a few years I met another true friend
Her smile and caring helped put me back on the mend.
Sometimes all it takes is a caring friend and a smile
It can make you see life’s not so bad and still worthwhile.
If I could start over again, I wouldn’t change a thing
I learned many great lessons through all of life’s stings.
When I was at my lowest I studied the Bible
I was looking for an answer for all my life’s trials.
Most of my life I had no true belief or faith
In my struggles and sadness I learned of God’s grace.
I know this was all something I had to go through
It made me faithful, wise, strong and changed my world view.
I still get stressed as my disease starts to progress
But I’ve learned to smile and not regress.
A great lesson in life is very simple but true
Believe in yourself, and don’t let your troubles get the best of you.
Over the past year I am happy and feeling alright
I even found a hidden talent. Who knew I could write?