Intimate Conversation with Bridgett Renay

Intimate Conversation with Bridgett Renay

Never has there been a time in Bridgett Renay’s life where she’s laughed harder and played more vigorously while remaining self-assured…all thanks to the power of the written word. Everything she’s done in life has led to this moment. From both an undergraduate and graduate degrees to twenty-four years of service as a Navy Reservist tells the story of a journey that took her to faraway places, introduced her to intoxicating people, and shaped the way she views the world and her place in it. What better time to pen the tales that dances inside her head.

BPM: How did you get to be where you are in your life today? Who or what motivated you?

The United States Navy motivated me and has played a huge role in where I’m at today. Before 9-11 I was a regular Navy Reservist – weekend warrior – who was also very comfortable in my cushy, corporate job. But after 9-11 I was recalled to active duty where I served in the Middle East as a security patrolman. Not only did I spend ten months seeing first-hand how other cultures lived in dire straits, but I also saw a lot of my military comrades either lose their lives or lose their ability to function normally. It reminded me how fortunate I was to have so many opportunities in America that I made a promise to myself and God that if he returned me home in one piece I would follow each and every dream I’ve ever had. I can honestly say that I have. 
Since returning home I’ve earned a B.S. and a Master’s degree, purchased my own home as a single Black woman, finished out my military career and retired with twenty-four years of service, and I’ve written and published my first novel. And every day is a new journey to be grateful for.

BPM: Was there ever a time in your life you let FEAR block your path? If so, how did you overcome it?

Yes, I’m originally from Los Angeles. It was there where I lived the most self-destructive life one could ever imagine. I didn’t know my self-worth and that fact paralyzed me emotionally and spiritually. As I moved into my late twenties, I began to realize how much of a loser I was. I overcame it once I accepted the fact that I had no one to blame but myself because I simply ran out of excuses for being pitiful. I realized what I needed was to remove myself from that lifestyle. 
It was then when I stepped out on faith and moved from Los Angeles to Atlanta, Georgia. Just like that – no job, no money, and no clue as to what I would find in Georgia, but I knew God pointed me in this direction for a reason. Next to going to the Middle East in uniform, it was the scariest thing I have ever done. I have absolutely NO REGRETS in leaving everything behind and starting anew.

BPM: In the beginning of your career, did you ever have a mentor or coach?

No, I didn’t have a mentor and my first publishing experience failed miserably. It actually wasn’t until I saw the promotion for the 2014 Atlanta Chocolate Social that I began to emerge myself amongst other writers and mentors. It really changed the game for me and it’s why I use my book tour to teach and inspire those by using the power of the written word.

BPM: Could you tell us something about your most recent work?

Corporate Thugs is the scandalous saga that ingeniously answers the questions, “When do you know your competition has crossed over to that distant dark side and how can you tell when their wrath is headed straight towards you?” It depicts the hardcore competitiveness of professional football alongside the cut-throat battle for corporate success. I used the psychology of nature versus nurture to tell this wicked tale about two young men.

Gerald Alexander and Marcus Stone were best friends since early childhood despite contrasting upbringings. Gerald was raised in an environment that included abandonment and serious trust issues. Though his talent geared him towards a career in professional football, statistically, his chances were slim. Marcus, on the other hand, was raised in a different environment. He was a clean-cut scholar groomed for the domination of corporate America.

Once adults, their worlds collide and their competitiveness explodes into a page-turning epic where jealousy, greed, and betrayal play host. Whoever said a good friend will only stab you in the front was lying.

BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?

Once the storyline began to form and a couple of characters were developed, I began taking notes. At one point it seemed like every hour of every day the characters started taking on a life of their own and began showing themselves off in my head. I took that as a sign that I was ready to begin my publishing journey.

BPM: Who does your body of literary work speak to?

I wrote Corporate Thugs for myself and I believe my audience is people who are a lot like me – people who love fictional drama that doesn’t mirror their own life; people between the ages of 21 and 40 who perhaps work in Corporate America and love to escape it with stories about good people doing bad things.

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I enjoy knowing what real happiness is and living my dream. I love the company I get to keep being an author. Everything about this craft fascinates me.

BPM: Writing gives you a way to share your boundless imagination in your fiction books. But this book is different. How do you use your writing to serve other in this book?

The first sentence in my book’s synopsis is “What is the first sign that lets you know you’re dealing with a sociopath?” There’s so much to that question because a lot of us live our lives allowing other people to share it with us even when we know they are on a path to self-destruction. We forget that people come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Just because we know that person doesn’t mean we’re obligated to them forever or to the point where their destructive lifestyles begin to affect our way of life and especially our peace of mind. My book, Corporate Thugs, serves the purpose of when you see signs that a person has taken a negative turn and is trying to take you along for the ride; it’s time to let them go. Don’t wait around for something to happen that you can’t reverse.

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing this book?

What I’ve learned is that you don’t have to be famous to have a voice. The reality is in the majority of cases, you don’t become famous until you let your voice be heard. I’ve learned that my voice is just as important as anyone else’s and I plan to use it to be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem. I’ve learned that I don’t have to always sit in the stands. I have the talent and courage it takes to be center stage.

BPM: What were your goals for this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

The goal for this book was to fulfill a childhood dream of being a part of the literary world. Also, to write something people not only enjoy reading, but something they can learn from. According to my reviews, I believe I have accomplished just that. People are not just praising my writing style, but the lessons learned within the writing as well. For me to be able to give that to the literary world is definitely an achievement I can be proud of.

BPM: What projects are you working on at present time?

I have two projects I’m working on – a book tour and my next novel. My book tour, Sacred vs. Scandalous, is a partnership between myself and a dear friend who also happens to be a published author, Sonya Cato-Howard. Together we tour various venues to not only talk about books, but to inspire people to pen their own stories that change lives and leave legacies. Our message focuses on the pathway to freedom and the rewards of living life undistracted.

My next novel, LLP – Lust, Lies & Propositions, is due Fall 2015 and it’s about the frustrations of being Black in Corporate America wrapped in a love story where a bodacious young woman has to choose between love or power.

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work? 

Books by Bridgett Renay:

Order copies of Corporate Thugs by Bridgett Renay