Grace Bridges: a Passionate Woman of ArtLike most people, I first met Grace Bridges on the Web. This Irish lady from New Zealand who lived in Germany absolutely lived for Biblical science fiction and fantasy literature. When she learned of the Lost Genre Guild which I founded for artists and fans of such literature, she had to be a part of it. Sharing ideas by writing was not enough.I got to speak to Grace Bridges on the phone back in the day before we both had Skype accounts. Her novel Faith Awakened had been released, and she was so taken with my first novel, Flashpoint that she wanted to co-author one of the Underground books with me. We compared notes and timelines through e-mail, and book four will be the fruit of such plans.The one thing that struck me about speaking to Grace was that I could not escape one of her phone calls without her offering to help out in some way. Her standard sign-off to this day . . . “Is there anything I can do to help you?”I got to meet Grace Bridges face to face when she had finished living in Germany, and on her way back home in New Zealand detoured across North America by car, bus and train. She stayed with my wife Cynthia and I for a week back when we lived in Indiana, and we all enjoyed a trip to Chicago where my fiction is set, to see some real sights from the Underground fiction. Grace was the perfect house-guest, and before she left to stay with the next family on her cross-country route, she had to know everything about publishing from Cynthia, who runs The Writer’s Cafe Press.Now we live in Canada, Cynthia has returned to teaching school, and Grace Bridges has launched Splashdown Books, her own publishing company for Biblical speculative fiction. Grace has taken a turn in her life to do full-time what she loves and what she’s good at. She’s living at the intersection of her talents and passions for the Boss’ glory. She’s sharing the dream of being published with others across the globe, touching lives and making a mark in a genre long ignored by mainstream publishers. There’s no better person to do this than one who asks, “Is there anything I can do to help you?” Her grace does indeed bridge, and Splashdown Books is proving it.Now you know a little more about the woman behind the art. Be sure to read the titles available at http://www.splashdownbooks.com/and, of course, at http://frankcreed.com
I first met Grace during the Marcher Lord Select contest where she was a fellow entrant in the premise competition. I had no idea at the time that she was a publisher on the lookout for potential acquisitions, and so I took her positive comments about my entries (“Alpha” and “Hour”) as just a passing interest from a fellow writer.Later, when the contest closed, she asked if we could do a critique swap. Still oblivious to the potential seriousness of this interest, I agreed and was fortunate to get an advanced read of Legendary Space Pilgrims. I immediately recognized a strong similarity in our voices. In some places I found myself thinking: “this is exactly how I would write this scene.” In some place, I felt as though I were reading my own work, the style was that familiar.It was about at this point that I realized Grace was a publisher and that our critique swap was actually her method for seeking out new titles for her company, Splashdown Books. After some tweaks to the plot, Grace offered to publish Alpha, but she insisted I give it some serious thought, even suggesting I try a bigger company first. So not only was Grace willing to publish my book, she was also prepared to wait to see if any other companies wanted me first!In all my years of trying to find a publisher, I have never encountered such generosity. I prayed about it and decided Splashdown was the the place Alpha needed to be. Splashdown may not be the biggest company in the world, but Grace has big plans and a keen sense of what works in a book and what doesn’t. Best of all, she “gets” Alpha and believes in it. What more could a writer want from their publisher?
Ah, what to say about Grace…It amazes me how many cookie jars she has her hands in–writing, publishing, web design, a multitude of things for the Lost Genre Guild, and seemingly something new every time I talk to her. She’s become my friend, my creative commandant at Splashdown Books, and often times my technical advisor (my blog would be a mess without her!). She’s the kind of person you can count on, and she’s just *real.* You know the Grace she presents is the real deal, no false impressions, no masks.I’ve seen first-hand the attention she gives things, her perfectionism, and her abilities. I’m proud to collaborate with her on the art side of Splashdown, and have found that when she makes a suggestion for either something I’ve drawn or written I’m better off listening to her. On the other hand, she’s open-minded and always on the hunt for good advice and improvement for everything she does. She’s a team player, and never dives for the spotlight; but without HER light, there are so many of us that would still be standing there in the dark.As I’ve said before, and will no doubt say again, “Grace, you rock.”
Adam and Andrea Graham
What about Grace sets her apart in the industry and as a human being in general?
Grace is a gem. She’s gracious, tactful, forgiving, and honest and sincere all at the same time, which are not always easy to come by all in one package. Most of us have trouble balancing those, but she generally does it and does it well. Grace is also determined, intelligent, upbeat, independent, humble, teachable and willing to learn from mistakes, but also a visionary who does what she knows is right. All the qualities an independent publisher needs to have to succeed, she’s got, I think. She’s also quiet, peaceable, and did I mention her mother named her perfectly? She doesn’t preach, but she lives a sermon in Christian love in both her personal life and publishing endeavors.
So folks, as you can read, Grace is full of grace. I had the honor of talking with Grace last week…she called me. What I noticed from this soft-spoken woman of God is that she is humble, always looking out for her brother’s and sisters. She is someone to be respected and loved. Again, I am blessed to call her friend.
I would like to give a special thanks to all of our guests today. What a blessing to have them take time to give us a little more of Grace. Don’t forget to enter for your chance to win a Splashdown bundle.
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Adam and Andrea Graham –
Peace, love and God’s will.