In this Bum Glue series, I interview other authors. This author interview is with Bridgitte Jackson-Buckley who I met at the L.A. Times Festival of Books when she and I and several other Mango Publishing authors dubbed our table “Mango’s Best Authors.” My first book had not yet been published so I offered bookmarks alongside her elegant book display. Her warm welcome calmed my new author jitters and I knew you folks would want to “meet” her as well.
Nita Sweeney (NS): When and how did your writing journey begin?
Bridgitte Jackson-Buckley (BJB): I would say my writing journey began when I was in elementary school, with journals. As a child, I had a lot to say and it was quite easy to “say” it in a journal. I honestly can’t remember how I got my hands on my first journal, or if it was a make-shift journal I converted from a Hello Kitty notebook, but I do know writing in a journal was an integral part of my childhood.
NS: Why do you write? What motivates you?
BJB: For me, the act of writing – physically writing with a medium point pen in my hand – is an intimate disclosure session with myself. Considering that I am a private person, writing is one way I choose to express my concerns, aspirations, thoughts, opinions and creative ideas without inhibition to glean insight into what can sometimes feel elusive.
NS: Plotter or pantser?
NS: What’s your biggest writing struggle and how do you handle it?
BJB: My biggest writing struggle is accepting that a slight level of anxiety is always present with writing professionally. It doesn’t matter how long I’ve been writing, when I sit down to write something new, there is an ever-present question of how can I best translate the way the idea feels on the inside to written words on the paper. Writing is elusive and not knowing if I can capture what I’m going for makes me anxious.
NS: What is one thing about writing you wish you’d learned earlier?
BJB: Honor your creativity and talent instead of trying to push it away. I did this for years until I understood the urge to create, to share, to communicate and to write is there for a reason. Your writing can impact the lives of others in ways you could never imagine, as expressed in one of my favorite quotes by Mother Teresa: “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
NS: What’s the worst writing advice you’ve ever heard?
BJB: The best and worst writing advice I’ve heard is write what you know. Yes, it’s important to write what you know. In fact, that’s precisely what I did in writing my book. However, I also think it’s important to remain open to exploring other ways to express your writing. If you feel the urge to try writing creative non-fiction, poetry, a guide or travel book, go for it. Don’t limit yourself by saying, “I don’t know how to write in that genre so I’ll stay in my lane.” The lane is paved by the paver! You never know what (else) you are capable of creating with your writing unless you try.
NS: Do you write by hand or on a computer?
BJB: Both. I write by hand for my personal writing and on my computer for professional purposes.
NS: What are you currently reading?
BJB: Honestly, I have seven books on my nightstand to read and three more books on hold through the public library. If I could read them all at the same time or inject the material intravenously, I’d be good-to-go. Since I can’t, I’m currently reading All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. This is not a book I normally would choose, but lately I’ve wanted to explore a wider variety of books. With more than one million ratings on Goodreads, I thought why not? I’m halfway through the book and the prose is breathtakingly beautiful. I highly recommend it.
NS: Is there a book you couldn’t finish? Why?
BJB: The Writing Circle. When I saw this book was about a writing circle, I was excited because I’m in a writing circle. However, I just couldn’t get through it because of the characters.
NS: What book couldn’t you put down?
BJB: Dune! I am huge fan of sci-fi fantasy and I wanted to be prepared – having read the book – before the movie comes out it in December 2020. Frank Herbert’s Dune is a stunning literary achievement. I now understand the hype around this book!
NS: What advice would you give writers starting out?
BJB: My advice to writers starting out is remember your literary roots. Remember your why. In the online world of writing, likes, dislikes, book sales and shares, it is really easy to get lost in all of that in the search for accolades. Stay in touch with yourself, why you started writing in the first place and remember the love for the craft.
NS: What would you like readers to know about your most recent writing project?
BJB: My book, The Gift of Crisis, is a humble and sincere offering of practices that helped me navigate a difficult time in my life. It is my greatest hope that some part of my story will inspire readers to see that struggle and triumph both serve a purpose for personal growth.
NS: Has your writing life turned out differently than you expected? If so, how?
BJB: For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to write a book. However, I didn’t know about what I would write. And then came the crisis…which brought about an unintended literary gift.
NS: What’s next for you writing wise?
BJB: I have a list of writing projects I’m swirling around in my head to decide which to finally bring to fruition!
NS: Mermaids or Goddesses?
BJB: Oh, I love the idea of being a mermaid, but I don’t know how to swim. I’ll go with Goddesses!
NS: Toast or bagels?
BJB: Brioche bagels with cream cheese and strawberry spread. My goodness.
NS: Ocean, mountains, or forest?
BJB: The ocean. Also, on my nightstand to read is Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do by Wallace J. Nichols. I love being near the ocean so I picked up this book to dive deeper into the soothing nature of water.
NS: Leggings or jeans?
BJB: Jeans…if the denim is stretches!
NS: Dogs, cats, fish, guinea pigs, or horses?
BJB: Dogs. We have a Mini-Schnauzer.
Bridgitte Jackson-Buckley is the author of The Gift of Crisis, a memoir which chronicles her story of identifying the underlying purpose of the ongoing financial crisis and the meditation practice which helped to overcome the crisis. https://www.bjbuckley.com/
Find her here as well:
Social media link: Facebook