Bernice Simpson recently published her first book “Are You Really Listening?” through Archway Publishing in part because the company is a joint venture between publisher Simon & Schuster and Author Solutions.
Simpson, who was raised in Kentucky, said she enjoys cooking and that “managing time to practice my faith and spiritual practices are very important to me. My family is my everything and motivation for life.”
She currently resides in St. Leonard, where she says she enjoys “being able to take a walk on the beach. It is a great way to clear my mind.”
The book is available at www.barnesandnoble.com/w/are-you-really-listening-bernice-simpson/1142681611?ean=9781665732710
How long have you been writing, and how did you get started?
I started writing in November 2019, I was actually sitting in a class. I decided that I needed to leave and begin writing at that moment. I informed my professor that I was going to leave the class and not return. His response was, “Why, you are passing the class?” I informed him that this was not what I was supposed to be doing at this time and I left. I went home and started writing “Are You Really Listening” my first book, that day.
What inspires you to write?
I write in hopes that my writing can inform, inspire, or transfer your mind to another place. Also, I write to share real life stories, stories about my grandchildren, and sometimes ideas and/or concepts from conversations that I hope will be thought provoking for the reader. I recently started writing poetry and I am interested in writing fiction in the future.
Do you consider writing to be a career?
Actually, I have a full-time job but writing has become a passion. I think it will be a great vehicle for my transition into retirement at some point.
What kind of writing process do you use?
I formulate my thoughts first, create an outline, then begin the writing process. I visualize the illustrations and provide concepts of my thoughts for the illustrations to an artist
Who are some of your favorite authors and why?
When I was in high school, I remember reading the poem “IF” by E. E. Cumming, I loved his play on words. I briefly thought for a moment maybe I could write someday but then I dismissed that thought in lieu of a nursing career. Maya Angelo, she speaks life in her work. The emotions are so eloquently transformed and her poetry is like silk. Nicholas Sparks, the author of “The Notebook”, wrote about the commitment to a relationship and the love that carried them through many trials. That book moved me. The Delaney sisters, Sadie and Bessie at the age of 103 and 101, co-authored a book, “Having Our Say.” These two women lived a full life and reading their story of determination and family reminded me of my own family. Their story also inspires and acknowledges how far African Americans have come for improved educational equality.
How much do you feel they influence your own writing?
I aspire to be as eloquent a writer as any of my favorite authors. For now, I have written some poems and I aspire to write fiction.
What are you working on now?
I have written a children’s book. Now, I need to finalize the illustrations. This is the first book of a series of books that I hope to write about grandparents who take their grandchildren on adventures.
Please include a brief description of your book
“Are You Really Listening?” is a memoir of my experiences with end-of-life care for patients and their family members from a nursing perspective. I share the knowledge and the lessons that I have learned through taking care of patients during their last moments on earth. Also, homeopathic interventions and religious aspects are explained in relation to each patient. The book acknowledges the importance of active listening for a successful outcome for the patient and their family.
Please include an excerpt from the book
The family had been at her side for several hours. Mrs. Goveart awoke as I entered the room and said, “I have all three.” Her son-in-law said, “The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” She said, “Yesss,” and then nodded and smiled with so much joy and peace. Then she said, “All these people keep coming up to me who I don’t know.” Her son-in-law said, “She is seeing angels.”