Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to Gracie Bradford. I love the name Gracie. This woman is full of energy and an inspiration for all. There’s so much to say about Gracie, so I’ll let her do the honors. Please give a warm welcome to this woman of many hats.
Describe yourself in 150 words or less.
Words to describe myself are fun loving, driven, risk taker, and daring explorer. Loves shoes and to collect unique and colorful accessories. Love football! You might see me in the stadium of a college or an NFL game cheering for both teams. Writing is a passion. My thoughts move faster than I can type. My patio adorn with a breathtaking garden of large colorful potted plants all carrying the name of my children. I have to fertilizer one plant more than others because it is the prodigal son that makes you want to keep your phone on mute. My grandson says that I am like a runaway train since retirement. I walk five miles per day, indulge in blue bell ice cream, chase it with a diet coke to eliminate guilt then off to the gym for water Zuma twice weekly and exercise class three times weekly. Oh, love dancing!
What specific moment or situation made you want to become a writer?
I always wanted to write a book eventually. Throughout high school, I dreamed of seeing my name in print on the shelf of a bookstore where I spent most of my leisure time. Three years ago after my retirement, my four sisters who are teacher/educators, wanted to go to the International Reading Conference as an exhibitor. Ironically, they did not have a book to exhibit. So, we had a brainstorming session which birthed the writing of a series of books about children with special needs. A perfect match with their education background and my healthcare experience. At least I thought so until I realized I would do all of the writing and publishing. I wrote and published my first book within three months and had a fantastic display at the conference where teachers/educators came from all over the world.
My favorite travel destinations were Australia and South Africa. I know you asked for one, but both were equally exciting and educational.
Tell us about your published works.
I have self-published several books. The tagline for my work is “I AM….” I use this slogan at exhibits and as an introduction when presenting at conferences.
Lady Bird: Shawn’s Sixth Sense – A story about a boy, his dog, and blind friends.
Who Am I? I AM…. (A compilation of five short non-fiction stories about elementary and middle school children coping with special needs in the classroom. These stories are told from the child’s perspective. A story from a blind child, a child with cancer, a child with diabetes, a child with Downs Syndrome, and a child with severe physical disabilities.)
Through My Lens – I AM…. (This is the fiction counterpart to the above book, Who Am I? – I Am….)
Blindsighted – Extraordinary Friends – Text and image copyright by Outskirts Press, Inc. – I added the characters.
June The Prune and Lady Bird (expected release date is August 2016) – a fiction about a 10-year old girl, her dog, and her struggle with cancer.
Name one thing on your bucket list.
The one thing that I hope to achieve within the next year is to travel to the Antarctic, which will complete my goal of traveling to all continents. I would go sooner if my traveling companion stays healthy long enough to make the trip.
What’s the one writing achievement that you’re truly proud of?
Many years ago, more than I care to remember, I wrote the first rules and regulations for a new state licensure board that were mandated by legislation. You haven’t experienced writing until you have a bank of lawyers, staffers, special interest groups and elected officials scrutinizing every word. I have nightmares about when to use the words “will” and “shall.” I never realized the ramifications of these small words until I wrote those rules.
In turns of books, I think the receipt of my book, LADY BIRD: SHAWN’S SIXTH SENSE was a proud moment. The scheduled August 2016 release of my next book in the Lady Bird Series, JUNE THE PRUNE AND LADY BIRD, brings joy to my heart as well. My deceased parents would be soooo proud!
Did you go the traditional route or did you DIY publish?
I took the DIY route because agents have specific topics they are looking for, and it takes much longer going the traditional route. Although, I have plans to go the traditional route with my first non-fiction leadership book.
Is there anything in particular that you love to write about, such as sex or circuses?
Writing about sex at my age could prove to be fascinating for the millenniums. But, I prefer to write about adorable pets and about topics that need to be heard, but no one wants to talk about.
If you could have anything you want without question, what would it be and why?
If I could have anything that I want without question, it would be uncompromised love and happiness, peace, joy, companionship, grace and mercy. These things are part of the soul that money can’t buy.
However, from a selfish standpoint, I think I would want to win the Mega-Million Lottery. By doing so, I can contribute to all of my charities (my nieces, my nephews, my sisters who want to travel but never have the money, my non-profit organizations that I volunteer with and scholarships for kids who can master the courses, have the desire to go to college, but parents can’t afford to send them and of course my church).
Grace and Runaway Train,