FEATURED AUTHOR: A.L. BRYANT
ABOUT THE BOOKOn New Year’s Eve 2021 the staff at St. Ann’s Hospital witness a medical miracle when a semi-conscious woman walks into the emergency room. The Jane Doe has been stabbed multiple times and as the staff struggle to keep the woman alive in the end all they can do is stand back and watch as their mysterious patient revives herself.
Glory wakes up in St. Ann’s Hospital gravely injured from an attack she cannot remember. However, her memory loss is no ordinary amnesia and she is no ordinary patient. Much to the shock of the hospital staff Glory heals at three times the rate of an average person. Soon the administration hears of her unique case and waste no time convincing the recovering Glory to be a part of an experiment to discover the origins of her power.
Once outside the comforting walls of the hospital it becomes apparent that healing is just a small portion of Glory’s capabilities. Abilities that to Glory’s distress are becoming increasingly unstable. Deciding that the hospital’s experiments are in vain, Glory embarks on her own Journey to discover the source of her power, unaware that she is a major pawn in a war between two secret organizations. The two syndicates continue to clash in their fight for control and their battles result in several casualties. The crimes of their warfare surface and draw the attention of Dennis Wilson, a NYPD Detective known for solving his cases in the first forty-eight hours. Dennis follows the trail of bodies out of curiosity. But when his curiosity causes the deaths of his loved ones Detective Dennis becomes obsessed with the case.
In his overzealous attempts to find the murderer Dennis becomes the syndicates’ next target. Now the Detective must run for his life and the only person capable of saving him is the very person he suspects.
Title: Blessed: the Prodigal Daughter
Author: A.L. Bryant
Genre: Christian paranormal thriller
Publisher: H.S.W Publications LLC (January 09, 2019)
Print length: 330 pages
On tour with: Pump Up Your Book
INTERVIEW WITH A.L. BRYANT
Q: What’s the story behind the title of your book?
A: There are two parts to the title:
Blessed – This is a trilogy, I am basing the struggles and joys that each main character experiences through the b-attitudes in Matthew. Glory the main character represents: Matthew 5:6
The Prodigal Daughter – Glory is lost, and this is her story of making her way back to her Father’s home.
Q: Tell us about your series. Is this book a standalone, or do readers need to read the series in order?
A: The series is best read in order. Each book will resolve the conflicts introduced in the beginning of the novel however, there is an overarching theme. Blessed: The Prodigal Daughter is the first in the trilogy and essentially provides the background for the other two books allowing me as the author to be a little more streamline with the other two installments.
Q: If you had an extra $100 a week to spend on yourself, what would you buy?
A: Probably more books and food.
Q: What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned?
A: To always say yes to opportunities. Too many people wring their hands, conjuring up images of all the things that can go wrong until they give up or the opportunity passes them by.
Q: What is the most daring thing you've done?
A: I got on a plane to South Korea to live there for six months with a little bit of money and no place to stay.
Q: Definitely daring! What makes you bored?
A: Nothing. If a task is mundane, I can fall back on the dozens upon dozens of ongoing stories in my head. The story for household chores is particularly scintillating! I even have a story about numbers and their relations with one another that borders on telenovela levels of drama and has no practical use. (It’s not because I needed to learn math it’s simply because at some point in my childhood, I decided that 4 is jealous of 2 because they both love 6 and here’s the shocking part . . . 2 is actually 4’s mother! Dun dun dun!)
Q: What choices in life would you like to have a redo on?
A: All the times I didn’t put my all into things, whether they be classes, jobs, relationships, etc.
Q: What makes you nervous?
A: I’m a sociable person most times, but I always feel a pressure to be fascinating when I meet people for the first time.
Q: What makes you happy?
A: My family.
Q: What makes you scared?
A: My imagination.
Q: What makes you excited?
A: New things (Places, hobbies, etc.)
Q: Who are you?
A: LOL when I figure it all out, I’ll let you know!
Q: How did you meet your spouse? Was it love at first sight?
A: Much to my dismay a mutual friend brought him by my dorm room (we went to the same college). Where, there I was in the messiest room you ever did see covered from neck to ankle in the most unflattering quilted robe watching DBZ on a 19-inch screen. And no . . . based on the description above I don’t think love at first sight was even possible.
Q: LOL. What brings you sheer delight?
A: Sharing things I love with people I love!
Q: Would you rather be a lonely genius, or a sociable idiot?
A: My family is my life! So, I would rather be a sociable idiot.
Q: What’s one of your favorite quotes?
A: “I took the road less traveled by. And that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost
Q: If you could live anywhere in the world, where in the world would it be?
A: Although she feeds me bread of bitterness, and sinks into my throat her tiger’s tooth, stealing my breath of life, I will confess I love this cultured hell that tests my youth! – "America" by Claude McKay
Q: Are any of your characters inspired by real people?
A: Yes. Dr. Stephens, and my fiancé.
Q: One of your characters has just found out you’re about to kill him off. He decides to beat you to the punch. How would he kill you?
A: Jonathon would send his best agent, Aika, to quietly slip into my house while I am sleeping. Using her weapon of choice, a stiletto dagger, she would silently approach my sleeping form and insert the blade between my ribs, piercing my heart.
Q: Who are your favorite authors?
A: Stephen King, John Grisham, and Judith McNaught.
Q: Do you have a routine for writing?
A: No routine, but I do have quirks. For example: if I am on my laptop and nothing is coming to me, I will switch to pen and paper. That usually gets the juices flowing. This method also works in reverse.
Q: Good tip! What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your writing?
A: “I couldn’t put it down.”
Q: What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to write?
A: When I was in college, I took a lot of unnecessary writing courses that had nothing to do with my major. One time in a poetry class the professor randomly told us to pick a poem we liked. I chose this very short poem, couldn’t have been more than a handful of sentences. After we made our choice, he told us we now had to write a fifty-page essay analyzing it. No amount of fluff skills in the world could’ve made that essay interesting after the first twenty pages.
Q: Where is your favorite library, and what do you love about it?
A: The St. Petersburg Public Library. It’s the library near where I grew up, and just thinking about it evokes such sweet nostalgia. There’s a small lake in the back which you can see through the large windows at the rear of the building and it’s sufficiently big enough where I could find a quiet corner and not see another soul while I read.
Q: It sounds lovely. You can be any fictional character for one day. Who would you be?
A: Commander Shepard.
Q: What’s the worst thing someone has said about your writing? How did you deal with it?
A: I was told by a colleague that I need to work on showing rather than telling. So, I worked on it, and I try to remain conscious of it.
Q: What would your dream office look like?
A: I have thought about this often! I would like it to be surrounded by trees. The walls and ceiling made of windows (something like a sun room.) With comfy furnishing but very little distractions, because I am the biggest procrastinator. And there needs to be a decent amount of space, because I tend to pace when I really get into my writing.
Q: Why did you decide to self-publish?
A: I originally wanted to go with a publisher for sole purpose of avoiding marketing and advertising. I knew marketing would be my weakness, and I wish I could say after the hours/days/weeks/months/years I have put into reading about strategies, watching video after video, trying to understand social media (even though I am an Xennial and it should come natural to me) and speaking to people that marketing gets easier; but for me it is even worse than I imagined. If I had enough money, I would hire a big PR firm and wash my hands of it for the sake of my sanity and blood pressure.
However, now I am glad I self-published. I truly believe there is a market for novels like Blessed: The Prodigal Daughter. Christian readers like all kinds of genres not just romance. Some of us like edgier fiction and that is ok. My goal with Blessed is to have a book that both Christians and non-Christians can enjoy. I don’t shy away from spiritual themes but you can also read the novel and forget for a moment that it’s Christian. However, it is very hard to sell publishers on anything but the tried and true. And if you are a Christian writer pitching to Christian publishers (if you can even find one that doesn’t play it completely safe and sticks to devotionals and romance. Both are worthy genres, but where is the variety people?!) the binds are even tighter. I wanted to write Blessed exactly the way it was written and the only way you get that kind of freedom is through self-publishing!
Q: What steps to publication did you personally do, and what did you hire someone to do? Is there anyone you’d recommend for a particular service? (e.g. formatting, cover art, editing…)
A: What role others played:
Proofreading: I went with Ingrid Hedbor from Green Ink Proofreading. I was very happy with her services!
Content (Developmental) editing: Karen Conlin from Grammargeddon was my content editor. She is very knowledgeable about her craft.
Cover Design: OK I. LOVE. MY. COVER! I went with Ida Sveningsson for my cover. I can’t rave about her enough. She’s a sweet person, her prices are reasonable, and her work is top notch!
Copy Editing: My first editor, and without a doubt the person who helped me the most OUTSIDE of just editing would be Gillian McGarvey. She is the only one on this list that I have met in person at a writing conference in New York when I was completely green, the first person I ever pitched to. She is also the person who recommended Karen Conlin my developmental editor to me. She is the owner and founder of Wheelhouse Editorial. Check her out if you get a chance!
Advertising and Marketing: Dorothy Thompson, from Pump Up Your Book.
Marketing is still ongoing, but I can say that Dorothy, (Pump Up Your Book), has done far more for my novel in a short period of time than I have been able to do in months, including landing me this fun interview!
What role I played:
I started H.S.W Publications LLC. (A work in progress.)
Purchased my ISBNs because it is important to completely own your work.
I formatted both the epub and the print copy of Blessed: The Prodigal Daughter. I used a program called Adobe Indesign. This is not for everyone and truthfully, I might not format my next book for epub or print. It’s doable but it is a hassle.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I am currently working on Blessed: The Peacemaker, Michael’s story. Along with re-publishing a charming children’s book by the name of Ray’s Wisdom. The story is a lesson on how to deal with bullies, and it unfortunately did not get the care it deserved by the original publishers. I will be taking over the project and re-publishing it under H.S.W Publications LLC so please look for that in late Spring 2019.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Until recently writing had simply been a pastime for A.L. Bryant who although she attended several writing courses, graduated with a B.A. in International Business. It was shortly after her second job as a Financial Office Manager at a Goodwill correctional facility that she realized she loved writing more than anything else. It would still be some years before she would convert the short story she wrote in college into a novel.
Besides writing, A.L. Bryant loves traveling the world. God has blessed her with the opportunity to visit a total of seven countries. She has studied abroad in Seoul and has traveled throughout Kenya; two locations she researched for her Blessed series. Her dream is to visit every country in the world.
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