I first met Brigid almost four years ago. Back then, we were bloggers getting our feet wet in the world of online publishing. She read and reviewed one of our books and we connected over our love of books. Now, she’s an award-winning author and we’re entrepreneurs. Our love of books hasn’t changed, though, and when Brigid approached us asking for help promoting her latest release, I jumped at the chance. See, she’s lived the most amazing life and is an inspiration to me. So, I asked her to sit down for an interview and she agreed. You’ll love her answers and will want to read her new release. Take it away, Brigid:
What is your writing process?
I don’t schedule specific blocks of time for writing. I have to feel inspired with an idea or a articular story arc. Outside of regular job hours, if I feel like something needs to be put to “paper”, so to speak, I just sit down and start writing. My family is very understanding and will give me that quiet time.
Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you?
I love the works of Western writer, John L. Moore, Christian Authors Melinda Inman and Latayne Scott, and the thrillers of Bobby Akart.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
I wrote 5 best selling books in 5 years, while holding down a full time job and caring for a family. That was one of the hardest bits of work I’ve ever down.
What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
Keep writing. Don’t expect it to be perfect but the more words you put down, the easier the process becomes.
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
Yes, I read and don’t respond. If you look at any book, including major award winners, most have 1-3% one star reviews. Most good reviews are detailed and it’s obvious the reader read the book carefully and with thought. Most bad reviews are short and sometimes not even related to the quality of the writing but rather the genre, the shipping, or the price.
Do you have a favorite spot to write? What is it?
I live in a 100 year old bungalow. My office is the former master bedroom. It’s got huge windows and beautiful woodworking. My desk is an antique.
Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)
This is my fifth. I’ve written as LB Johnson with 3 books and also did a novella in a political thriller anthology with some author friends of mine.
What is your biggest failure?
Golf. I’m from a family where everyone is am amazing golfer. I fail at even the Putt Putt type.
Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?
I like a VERY expensive single malt scotch and treat myself to a little bit when I don’t have to get up early for my day job.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
What secret talents do you have?
I once cooked Thanksgiving dinner for 20 pilots and had everything on the table and hot WITHOUT a microwave!
Do you have any scars? What are they from?
I have one just below my hairline on my forehead where I got whacked with the bungee cord holding an engine cover on a Sabreliner jet when I lost a wrestling contest with it.
Thank you, Brigid. I loved getting to know you better. Readers, scroll down to read about her new release.
Title True Course – Lessons From a Life Aloft
Author Brigid Johnson
Genre Young Adult/Biography
Publisher Outskirts Press
From award-winning, Amazon #1 best-selling author Brigid Johnson comes the tale of how one woman's life in the sky forged an unforgettable destiny. Growing up in a small factory town in the 1960's when aviation was predominantly a male profession, with parents who didn't support her ambitions, Brigid nevertheless learned to fly as a teenager. Hers was a busy life of setting limits and learning philosophies of growth and risk well beyond her years, even as she juggled two jobs, college, and a rescue Siberian husky whose wandering spirit put her own to shame. From first solo to an airline career, and finally a decision to hang up her wings for another profession when her elderly father needed her care, Brigid captures with understanding, humor, and grace the moments that change the path of our lives as we come of age. With lyrical expression of her love for flight, she writes old and new stories of family, adventure, and the thrill of taking to the sky. True Course is more than a memoir or a story of the lure of aviation-it's a story of learning to let the spirit soar and unfurling the wings of personal freedom, an inspiration to adventurers everywhere.
In earlier years, when flying was not just something I'd signed on to do just for fun, but my paycheck, sitting on the ground was NOT an option short of severe icing, freezing rain, zero visibility at the landing airport and typhoons (and spiders, don't ask about the time the airplane got infested with spiders). No, on those days when the wind was blowing, when it was not unsafe, just uncomfortable, off you'd go. You'd spend a few hours getting bounced around like you were in a paint shaker, sometimes dodging thunderstorms as well, only to land, the back of your shirt wet from sweat, knowing “gee - I get to go out and do that again!” And you would look at the sky on such flights as an adversary; much as the Knights of old did, gauging the aim of your foe and how hard and from what direction the thrust would come.
One night the thunderstorms were bad, not in a long-defined line between point A and point B which usually means a canceled flight, but just popping up quickly around the valleys like whack –a-mole. With them came furious winds that even twenty miles from the nearest thunderstorm cell were buffeting our craft. The rain, the lightning, those were foes that made us work as a team, adjusting cockpit lighting, ensuring the engine ignitions were on, all those subtly complex tasks we did as words flowed as we plotted, and planned, and parried.
But the wind was something else. When the wind broke hard against the windshield like a Molotov cocktail, the cockpit went totally silent and stayed that way. The wind has a way of isolating, it's battle against you—one that is personal, one that separates you from your companion in spirit as it tries to wrest something away from you that you do not wish to give up. Give me a landing in heavy rain any day over one where the airport is overrun by the treachery of shifting winds.
On one night of thunderstorms, we were flying the downwind leg of the last flight of our day, with the airport in sight, when a large transport ahead on final approach went around (aborted the landing at low altitude) and fled south, citing wind shear, those sudden changes in speed and direction which can be deadly. We delayed by extending our flight path south where there was rain but no thunderstorms; our only moral support, the feeble gleam of the starboard navigation light, bobbing in the spray like a buoy. Just as we were ready to call to ask to go to our alternate airport, a couple planes landed safely, that particular cell having moved away from the airport, but I was REALLY happy to get on the ground. We thought we were done for the night when we got orders to do ONE more flight. Fortunately, while I was trying to explain to operations just WHY that wasn't the greatest idea as a fresh line of weather rolled in, lightning hit the control tower, catching it on fire.
No, I don't miss nights like that.
So tonight, as the wind roars, I'm happy to be home, in our house among the trees—to write, my husband safely on the ground, the house warm and snug.
For the wind is not a silent threat any longer, it's a comfort—a familiar sound in a discord of voices. It's the sound that drives me closer to the form that lies beside me, the one that is the rock that shields me from future pain. It's the awareness that I am alive, more alive then all those days I was almost NOT alive. It's the fury and grace of heaven, which doesn't promise us calm skies, but will hold us up, no matter what life throws our way
As I go to sleep tonight, I will snuggle down into the crook of my husband’s arm, our black Labrador snoring from her second bed in the walk-in closet where she hides when the wind roars. Outside the wind is no longer voiceless—on it, I hear the sound of the sea, the hush of the forest, and the muffled whoosh of a jet engine. I hear it like the strong and invulnerable sound that carries on it an infinity of hope and heart, the wind that will pronounce unafraid words of faith on my last days when heavens fall and redemption is at hand.
As I drift off to sleep, the winds from heaven blow unabated as the city sleeps, across the quiet streets, between the mute and remembering dwellings.
Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/True-Course-Lessons-Life-Aloft-ebook/dp/B07S74KFZ1
Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/True-Course-Lessons-Life-Aloft-ebook/dp/B07S74KFZ1
Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/True-Course-Lessons-Life-Aloft-ebook/dp/B07S74KFZ1
Brigid Johnson is a former airline pilot who hung up her professional wings for a mid-life career change and care for an elderly parent. The author of both best-selling non-fiction and Christian fiction, she is a two times winner (silver/gold) of the Reader's Favorite International Book Award. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and an incorrigible rescue dog.
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