Grace Bridges said her advice to fledgling authors is to "Just do it."
Lots of people want to write, said Bridges, from Auckland, New Zealand, but only a small percentage actually do it. Also important is the ability to take criticism and to find a good editor.
"You can't be in love with your own words," she said.
Karina Fabian, of Minot Air Force Base, left, and Grace Bridges, from Auckland, New Zealand, hold a book signing Saturday at Main Street Books.
Bridges started her own publishing company and self-published her first book, a Christian science fiction novel called "Faith Awakened." She's also working on two more books and has several more in her head. She's in Minot on a book tour that has taken her to seven cities so far in the United States. While here, she's staying with Karina Fabian, a fellow author she met on an online book group called Lost Genre Guild which is devoted to Christian Speculative Fiction. Fabian is also an author of Christian science fiction. The two women have talked on-line for years, but this is the first time they've met in person. Bridges plans to stay with other members of the Lost Genre Guild when she heads to St. Louis and on to Colorado.
During her book signing Saturday at Main Street Books, she signed and sold a few books and talked about her experiences. One idea brewing in her head is about a woman who is traveling across the United States, as she is doing. Another book that's gelling is inspired by the summer she spent in Dublin, Ireland, which she loved.
Bridges said it's hard to get Christian science fiction published by mainstream publishers, but she thinks there's an interest in it. Lots of Christians love the television show "Star Trek," she said, and there's been more of an interest since the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy and the Narnia movies came out. "Faith Awakened" grew out of an idea Bridges first had when she was 14. It's a bit like the Matrix movies, said Bridges, only she had the idea long before the movie came out. Her heroine, Faith, is living in two realities, she said, only she discovers that the everyday world isn't actually the "real" world.
People can download the book for free online and can also purchase it through Bridges' Web site or through Amazon. Bridges said offering the book this way is helping her to build a fan base as a first time author. Some people have downloaded the book or read a few pages online and then bought a hard copy.
Bridges said New Zealanders do a lot of traveling, partly because their country is so far away. After she finished her university education, Bridges lived in Germany for seven years. She enjoyed living in an apartment building that was 800 years old and working for a German police department as an English translator. She's enjoyed her traveling experiences and gained inspiration for her writing from them.
Bridges will give another book signing on Monday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Base Exchange on the Minot Air Force Base. Her book is available online and through Amazon. She is staying in the Minot area through Thursday.