Interview with Stephanie Rose Bird: The Big Book of Soul
Stephanie Rose Bird graduated with honors from Temple University, Tyler School of Art and received her MFA from the University of California at San Diego, where she was a San Diego Opportunity Fellow. She was Assistant Professor at the School of the Art Institute in painting and drawing; a Fulbright Senior Scholar to Australia in the field of anthropology, and she has taught at the Chicago Botanic Garden as well as the Garfield Conservatory. Bird is a professional member of the International Center for Traditional Childbearing (Black Midwives and Healers) and the Herb Research Society of the American Botanical Council. She is also a member of Author’s Guild. Bird is author of Sticks, Stones, Roots and Bones: Hoodoo, Mojo and Conjuring with Herbs, Four Seasons of Mojo: an Herbal Guide to Natural Living, and A Healing Grove: African Tree Remedies and Rituals for Body and Spirit. She has been published in the magazines, Sage Woman, the Beltane Papers, WitchVox, PanGaia, Aromatherapy Journal, Aromatherapy Today, Herb Quarterly, Llewellyn Herbal Almanac naturallycurly.com and others. Bird is a practicing magical herbalist and aromatherapist who lives with her husband, family and animal friends in the Chicago area.
Literarily Speaking: Thank you for this interview, Stephanie. Can you tell us what your latest book, The Big Book of Soul: the Ultimate Guide to the African American Spirit: Legends & Lore, Music and Mysticism, Recipes and Rituals, is all about?
Stephanie Rose Bird: The Big Book of Soul is all about soul and how it manifests in the healing ways of African descended people in America, Africa and the Caribbean.
Literarily Speaking: Is this your first novel? If not, how has writing this novel different from writing your first?
Stephanie Rose Bird: Well, this is actually my 5th nonfiction work, blessed be. My work has gotten a lot more complex over the years and it has become a combination of being research-driven and drawing from experiences (mine and those of others) whereas in the past it was largely drawn from personal experience. I think the work has evolved to become more welcoming to a broader audience than the way it started.
Literarily Speaking: How difficult was it writing your book? Did you ever experience writer’s block and, if so, what did you do?
Stephanie Rose Bird: I had times when I got stuck and blocked. I tried to work through it doing other things like making art, dancing, cooking—anything except writing.
The Big Book of Soul by Stephanie Rose Bird (click on cover to purchase at Amazon)
Literarily Speaking: How have your fans embraced your latest novel? Do you have any funny or unusual experiences to share?
Stephanie Rose Bird: Well, the book just released three days ago. I gave a presentation at a local college at an African, Caribbean and Native American Heritage Conference and the response was overwhelmingly warm and receptive.
Literarily Speaking: What is your daily writing routine?
Stephanie Rose Bird: I get up in the morning. Have breakfast with my family. Take my little boy to school, feed my animals and then write from about 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. continuing in the late afternoon at times.
Literarily Speaking: When you put the pen or mouse down, what do you do to relax?
Stephanie Rose Bird: To relax I like to take walks, do yoga, dance, cook and read.
Literarily Speaking: What book changed your life?
Stephanie Rose Bird: The Secret
Literarily Speaking: If someone were to write a book on your life, what would the title be?
Stephanie Rose Bird: The Never-ending Stories
Literarily Speaking: Finish this sentence: “The one thing that I wish people would understand about me is…”
Stephanie Rose Bird: …that I love to laugh.
Literarily Speaking: Thank you for this interview, Stephanie. I wish you much success on your latest release, The Big Book of Soul!
Stephanie Rose Bird: Thank you!
Visit Stephanie’s website at www.stephanierosebird.com.