Bridgette A. Lacy is an award-winning writer and publicist. She was a staff features writer for The News & Observer from 1992 to 2008. As a publicist, she represents authors, food entrepreneurs, and small businesses pitching their stories to local and national media as well as trade publications. She also arranges media interviews and events bookings. She has twenty years of experience as a storyteller promoting literary, culinary, and other cultural-related ventures. Her work is featured in 27 Views of Raleigh: The City of Oaks in Prose & Poetry.
At the North Carolina Writers' Network 2013 Fall Conference, Bridgette will lead a workshop titled, "From Book to Buzz." This workshop is designed to help authors pitch, promote and sell their work. The course will offer authors insight on how to gain the competitive edge in the tough bookselling marketplace. Once you’ve published your novel or nonfiction book, you have to make readers aware of your work and then want to buy it. This workshop will help you think about a juicy sound bite that will help you grab the attention of booksellers, media and readers. I’ll also share traditional and innovative marketing strategies including social media campaigns that will help you create buzz.
What’s the last book you bought for someone else?
I get so many books for free as a reviewer, I rarely buy books.
Why do you write?
Life provides so much raw material, you have to use it. Good writers have the uncanny ability to see things others don’t see. We see the irony and lessons in a way others can’t articulate.
What book would you take with you to a desert island, if you could take only one?
Black Writers of America: A Comprehensive Anthology. This is a textbook from my undergraduate days at Howard University in the early 1980s. I still read it. The writing ranges from slave narratives to contemporary poems and prose.
What advice would you give someone just about to go on stage to read their work for the first time?
Take a deep breath and read slowly. Pace yourself. Only read one section. I prefer the first chapter. Always leave the reader on a note of suspense.
What is the ideal time limit when someone is reading from their work?
Do you write to discover, or do you write point-to-point (for example, from an outline)?
I write to discover. Whether its fiction or nonfiction, I like to leave room for things I don’t know. I want the research or my imagination to take me places that I didn’t know I wanted to go. I like to reflect and let the work speak to me.
Do you think some books should be banned from schools?
What was the first thing you ever published?
I worked for my high school newspaper, The Beacon. I interviewed author James Baldwin when I was a high school student. His book, Just Above My Head, had recently been released. I called the preacher at the church where he was speaking almost every day to line up an interview. I was so nervous but I asked my questions and he answered them.
If you could be a different author, living or dead, who would you be?
Zora Neale Hurston. I love her audacity and spunk as an African-American woman. She didn’t hold back. She spoke her truth without apology.
Do you read literary journals? What are some of your favorites?
North Carolina State University’s Obsidian: Literature in the African Diaspora.
Are you scheduled in the time you set aside to write, or is your writing time more flexible than that?
I write something almost every day but the time can vary. I prefer writing in the morning, when the house and the world around me is still quiet.
If you could have a torrid but guilt-free affair with a fictional character, which one would it be?
Walter Mosley’s Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins. From first glance, I knew he was a man I wanted to know. Easy fears no man. He has plenty of street smarts, and he takes care of business. He is a private detective living in Los Angeles after World War II. He works as both a detective and as a school custodian. He owns a house and knows how to make a good fried bacon and egg sandwich. That’s hot.
The North Carolina Writers' Network 2013 Fall Conference will be held November 15-17 at the Holiday Inn Resort in Wrightsville Beach. Registration is now open.