Faye Bryant Interview Published on: 17, Oct 2019

What stories of your family did you hear while growing up?

Stories of my Dad’s years in the Navy, stories of Mom’s life on the farm and in the big city. I heard the stories of their getting together and all the different construction jobs Dad worked on.

Which was your first book? How did you begin to write it?

My first book was “Ramblings From the Shower | Integrity, Faith and Other Simple Yet Slippery Issues.” I had been having these conversations with God after having spent time in Bible reading and prayer. I would hear something in the news before I got in the shower and as I did the mundane, rote task of shampooing my hair and bathing, I talked to God. Several times as I toweled off, I would say, “Lord, someone should write a book about that!” Later, my husband delivered the news that he believed God was saying I was supposed to write a book. When he said he didn’t know what it was to be about, I told him to go back and find out! It didn’t take long before I figured out all those discussions in the shower were the topics of my book.

Where did you go to college and what was your major? How has that influence your stories?

Not applicable. The only college I’ve gone to is the University of Hard Knocks.

What do you enjoy doing apart from writing in your free time?

Photography. I love going places and capturing the sights I see – and I look for the unusual.

How much do you research to write a historical fiction book?

In the case of the Grandma, Mom, and Me Saga, I wrote with family records stacked beside me. Though I changed names and the names of places, the dates are correct because I wanted to keep cultural events intact. Before I renamed a place, I read the history of it and tried to determine if it had a prior name. If it did, I usually used it. I also made a trip to where Louise lived. My aunt showed me where the Raffertys had lived, the old church in the woods, where the school stood. I remember the little house in town and can view it on Google satellite when I need to remember walking in and around it.

Who was your favourite character to write in Louise and why?

I think it was Louise. She is based on my own grandmother. I didn’t know her for long, but I knew her as a strong woman who ruled her family with gentle love. As I grew older and learned more of her story, I was fascinated at all she had endured to then turn out so beautiful and loving. She wasn’t bitter, she was kind and so well-loved.

How did you come up with the idea of including a beautiful photo each day in "Coffee, Bible, Journal"?

Coffee, Bible, Journal started out as Facebook posts. Yes! Facebook posts with pictures are more likely to be read, so I included one each day. When I turned some of those into a book, I realized a devotional held in the hand with a lovely photo could help impress the scripture onto the heart of the reader. (By the way, thanks for the compliment!)

What inspired you to mention your dear friend, Rich Willis in "Ramblings from the Shower"?

Rich was an amazing guy. One of the most popular guys at school. We were in band together. I think he sensed I thought little of myself. A fabulous artist, his way of signing a yearbook was to draw a caricature of the person who owned it. I expected something with my clarinet or tripping while marching, you know, something funny. Instead, he drew a hand mirror – even used foil to make a reflective surface – and he wrote beautiful words telling me if I ever needed to see someone beautiful to cheer me to look in that mirror. For a lot of years, that page in my sophomore yearbook held my chin up against things designed to tear me down.

When I was writing “Ramblings” I was able to get in touch with Rich after 30 years. I learned that he was on his fourth or fifth bout of colorectal cancer. Early in the year, I had told him I wanted to visit him and his family to present a book to him, but that it would be late in the year. He told me if I wanted to see him alive, I’d better come right away. My husband and I and another friend of Rich’s flew to Florida the next weekend. I carried that yearbook and shared it with him. We talked, we laughed. We discussed his impending death and he helped me understand the peace that comes from knowing God and trusting His promises. His story still brings tears to my eyes.

What is the most adventurous thing you have ever done?

I can’t say I’ve really done adventurous things – I’m not an adrenaline junkie. This journey as an author has been pretty adventurous. It’s gotten me way out of my comfort zone!

What is the most ideal ambience for you to write in?

A quiet place. My office is suited to me, but I also like going into the mountains and sitting down and typing away. Nothing like the rustle of leaves and the sound of a running creek to bring thoughts to clarity.

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

There was a year or so of research on Ramblings, but I didn’t realize that’s what it was. If you read the introduction to the book, you’ll understand that.

For the Grandma, Mom, and Me Saga, the research has taken a lifetime with the gathering of photographs and stories to learn about Grandma, the learning of stories and secrets of Mom, and the living of me.

For Coffee, Bible, Journal, the research was simple Bible study, then meshing the scripture around in my mind and hearing sermons and teachings on it then writing something that might reach everyday folks with the beauty of God’s everyday message.

What was your favorite part, and your least favorite part, of the publishing journey of your first book?

Oh my, now I’m having to remember back ten years! My favorite part of the publishing journey of Ramblings From the Shower was the encouragement of my publisher. I could call with a question and feel like the silliest soul on the planet and he would tell me how courageous I was and how my words were going to touch countless people and help them.

The least favorite? The waiting! It’s not easy, once you’ve typed that last word, to then have to wait before you see it in print and hold it in your hands.

Grandma, Mom, and Me saga begins with Louise, a story of unbearable loss, unconditional love, and immeasurable endurance. When can we expect the next book in the series?

Just a few weeks away! Elaina is due out second week of December.

How many promotional websites are you signed onto? How were you introduced to AllAuthor and how do you think it compares to the rest?

I’ve used a couple other promotional sites, but none like AllAuthor. A friend and fellow author, Brenda Haire introduced me to AllAuthor and I absolutely love it! I’m horrible at self-promotion, and having AllAuthor making social media covers and sending tweets are awesome! When I get something new, it sparks something else in me, so your promotion perpetuates itself!

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