Bridgette L. Collins – Author Interview

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

My most recent book is Destined to Live Healthier: Mind, Body and Soul which was published in November 2008.

Destined to Live Healthier is an insightful and inspiring book that has empowered many through the collection of fictional stories that tell of real life challenges with weight, health, work, marriage and lack of self-love.

In Destined to Live Healthier, the focus is on the often unspoken reasons people are making poor lifestyle choices, and consequently are unable to move forward with developing, implementing and/or sustaining healthier lifestyle habits.  In three separate engrossing stories, with a group of indelible characters who linger in the mind long after the story ends, the reader is subject to come across a character whose life is inundated with the same sort of chaos, conflict, confusion, obligations, and ambitions in regards to a relationship, family, finances, work, marriage, and/or health.

It is Trevor MacElroy, a personal trainer who helps to guide the individuals in developing creative strategies for living healthier in the midst of their circumstances. With unpredictable endings, the reader identifies with the characters’ inability to live healthier and why it’s a common practice to embrace the wrong things for comfort, namely food or continuance in an unhealthy relationship. The stories leave the reader longing for a Trevor in their life.

The reader gets to see how the characters overcome the issues in their lives to live healthier – mind, body and soul. They are inspired to modify their mind – the way they think about their life, career, relationships, and purpose; their body – the choices they’ve made relative to exercising and eating better; and their soul – the way they feel and believe about their whole being.

Destined to Live Healthier is “A Vision for Hope and Action to Live Healthier: Mind, Body and Soul.”

How much of the characters are you? How much is your actual experience?

Parts of my life are reflected throughout the various stories.  For instance, in the story, A Tale of Two Sisters, during a conversation one of sisters talk about the stress of having to fulfill her parents’ goals and standards for her life. The sisters have just reunited after thirty years of separation. The one sister expounds by sharing how a lifetime of parental pressures caused her to engage in unhealthy behaviors and make unhealthy choices. She reflects on years of living an alienated and isolated life filled with loneliness, sadness and worry.

In another chapter, there’s the disclosure of living with a verbally abusive parent.  In the same story, A Tale of Two Sisters, the reader witnesses the long-term suffering two sisters encountered as adults because of a childhood in a home with a father who verbally abused their mother.

The last story, The Heel and Forefoot of the Golden Years, chronicles my father’s unhealthy lifestyle habits and the ultimate consequence of such: a heart attack.

Of course, there was the molding of things to get to the deeper truth of how things had really felt.

Tell us something about yourself.

I am the president and founder of MAC Fitness, a fitness consulting firm in Grand Prairie, Texas, and a recognized fitness coach, motivational speaker, and writer who loves to participate in half and full marathons. As a fitness consultant, I provide my clients with strategic solutions for implementing and sustaining healthier lifestyle habits. I started writing in 2005 and self-published my first book, Imagine Living Healthier: Mind, Body and Soul, in January 2007.

What inspired you to write this book?

In a society where health concerns have reached new heights and obesity levels are growing at an accelerated rate, the need for individuals to partake in a health and fitness program has become critical.  Most often, it’s the things people are dealing with around them that prevent such from occurring. In an effort to reach and educate the masses, I wrote my health-related book in a fictional format to help people discover their personal antidote for facing and overcoming life’s three biggest challenges:

  • Challenge One – Balancing, obligations, ambitions, and values surrounding their past, faith, family, career, finances, and relationships;
  • Challenge Two – Eating the right foods, prepared the right way, in the right quantity, and at the right time; and
  • Challenge Three – Finding or blocking out time to exercise (time management).

As an extension of MAC Fitness, the book is strikes a perfect balance between fact and fiction to educate and empower individuals to make their health and fitness a priority. And that includes helping them to evaluate all the things vying for their attention, how to weed out those things that add no value, and how to prioritize those things that are essential (faith, health, family, etc.), and explore their options for making small, healthy changes.  The reader walks away knowing that he/she has the power of choice.

How do you do research for your books?

Destined to Live Healthier focuses on some of the critical issues surrounding health and fitness; therefore, a significant amount of research has been conducted related to some of the issues highlighted in the book: heart disease, cancer, diabetes, depression, etc.

Certain characters in Destined to Live Healthier will encounter a health concern as a result of unhealthy habits.  The story lines are arranged to accommodate the health concerns in an effort to illustrate the fact that a continuance of unhealthy lifestyle habits will possibly eventuate into health concerns.  And with that, the reader gets an in depth perspective as to why certain diseases/illnesses may occur and how to develop a strategic plan for prevention.  The sources for the health related information are summarized and presented in an appendix section in the book.

The research is based on participants in my walk/run training programs, clients, medical organizations and studies, and family and friends.

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

I have started working on a new book. The title hasn’t been finalized, yet. This book will mimic my previous books.  However, its emphasis will be focused on the family.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

In terms of publishing, I would advise a new writer to self-publish. Although there are varying opinions, I discovered that the amount of attention that the publishers pay writers is minimal. So, that means your advertising campaign and solicitation of reviews and interviews is still squarely on your shoulders – as are the associated expenses. Plus, there’s the limited royalties.

What are you doing to promote your latest book?

I’m promoting my book through speaking engagements, radio interviews, social networking sites, etc.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

You can learn more about me and my book on my website, Facebook and Amazon.com.