Giving a voice to the voiceless - A Joy Harris-Bird Interview
We all have a story to tell and sometimes finding our voice takes time and courage, but even after we build the courage to finally tell our story we may be at a loss of which direction to take next. Joy Harris-Bird is one of such individuals. Despite enduring bullying as a youth because of her weight and facing deep moments of truth that presented themselves as a mirror, prompting her to make powerful changes in her life, Joy has used her own personal journey to create a platform for others looking for their voice and wanting to share that with the world.
Bright Light Publishing is a self-publishing service for independent authors who are looking to share their story at a budget they can afford. As a self-published Author herself, Joy knows the challenges of new authors who trust the wrong contractor and use time and money trying to figure out the process on their own. When she was a youth she said " I lost my creativity or my passion to read and learn new things," this is something she doesn't want to happen to new authors and hopes that her easy and affordable process makes 2022 the year for aspiring authors to take that leap of faith and share their story with the world.
We had the privilege to get to know Ms. Bird in our latest interview. We are not just saying this because it's our platform but this really is one of the most inspiring interviews we've done in 2021.
Joy Harris-Bird, Founder of Bright Light Publishing Interview
Q: So, how has life been treating you in 2021?
I can’t complain, things have been going well. I am currently in a great space of learning to be my true authentic self and creating work that is meaningful to me. I am grateful for the opportunities in 2021 that have allowed me to do just that and share my gift.
Q: What is your favorite thing about your career?
I love being able to help others. I am a strong believer in showing others kindness and helping in any way that I can. I love that I can help others share their story or inspire them with my own story.
Q: What motivates you to work hard?
The idea of making a difference in the world motivates me to work hard. I want to be able to say that what I contributed to this world made a significant difference. I think that being able to see the impact inspires me and makes my purpose feel that much more rewarding. When I am inspired, it motivates me to keep grinding.
Q: You are a talent and a blessing to so many! Tell us what or who inspires you to be the best version of yourself?
My husband inspires me to be the best version of myself. When we were dating, he always told me that I would be unstoppable once I realized who I really was. I didn’t know what that meant until a few years ago. I finally understood that I could only be the best if I was the best me. When I let go of everything that was weighing me down, I began to soar. I am so grateful for him and his support. He has been one of the greatest blessings in my life.
Q: Tell us more about your business! Why did you start it?
I have a publishing company called Bright Light Publishing. We offer self-publishing services for independent authors. I self-published my first book and there were so many things that I didn’t know. I was taken advantage of by an illustrator that I paid upfront, and they never provided the illustrations. I wanted to create a publishing platform that gave independent authors the blueprint to publishing without breaking the bank. Everyone has a story and I want to help them share their stories with the world.
Q: What needs are you filling in 2022?
I am providing a platform for black-owned businesses to share their brand. I am offering services to help publish more black authors in the new year. I am also writing stories to inspire and change the world.
Q: Why do people need your service?
My self-publishing services are affordable but effective. I am passionate about helping you put out the best possible product. I also work hard to ensure your story is marketed correctly and shared with authenticity.
Q: Can you give us the best industry advice in the form of 5 ways to ….
5 Ways to self-publish your book
Hire a great editor
Start Marketing Now
Create a Great Cover
Purchase an ISBN
Create A Book Launch Campaign
Q: What was it like for you growing up as a child?
I am the youngest of 7 children and I was always known for being quiet. I was bullied for being overweight and teased for having a gap. I decided it was easier to not speak. I thought that staying quiet would cause the kids to leave me alone. For the most part, it did but I lost myself. I became angry with everyone and was closed off from the world. However, during all of that I never lost my creativity or my passion to read and learn new things.
Q: What is your favorite childhood memory?
My favorite childhood memory is spending the summer in Chicago with my grandma. Every year my siblings and I would stay there for about 2 weeks. My sister and I got the big room upstairs and my cousins would come over and hang out with us. My grandma would cook for us, and she would always give me some money before we left. Going to Chicago provided a sense of stability for me. It was something that I knew I could count on happening.
Q: When did you realize that you wanted to be in your career? What obstacles did you face?
I first knew I wanted to write when I was a kid. I used to have an adventure bible that I read daily. I would read it and write out sermons. Like, full-length sermons with a title and talking points. I loved the way I felt when writing then, but I eventually stopped. My home life and inner struggles caused me to put down my pen. In 2017, I began to blog, and it reignited my passion for writing. People would come up to me and tell me how my words had inspired them. It was at that moment that I knew it was something that I wanted to pursue. I began to do the work to heal and overcome those inner obstacles and go after my dream.
Q: How were you able to meet the challenges successfully?
It took a lot of hard work. I can’t say that it was easy, but it has been worth it. I had to truly face myself and deal with emotions that were swept under the rug. The only way I could get over the storm of emotions was to go through it. My faith and prayer life helped me to heal my wounds and finally move forward with my life.
TRIVIA TIME (Answer as many as you like! Have fun!)
What is your middle name? Elizabeth
Where did you spend your early years? Illinois
What is your favorite dessert? Cookies and Cream Ice Cream
What is your favorite series to binge-watch on Netflix? Agents of Shield. I am a huge Marvel fan, so this show NEVER gets old.
What is your favorite color? Purple
Who was your first crush as a child? Jonathan Taylor Thomas better known as JTT (I can’t believe I shared that lol)
What is your favorite book to read? I know why the caged bird sings
Do you like or dislike surprises? Why or why not? I LOVE surprises. It makes me feel special to know someone thought enough to surprise me.
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Chicken and Dressing
Who is your favorite author? Maya Angelou
What’s your favorite zoo animal? Elephant
What is your happiest memory in life & why?
My happiest memory is March 16, 2017. This was the day that I started my journey to healing. I was tired of hurting myself and others. I had lost myself for years and I finally began to see who I really was. I realized that I was beautifully made and loved. It was like I reintroduced Joy to the world, and it was the best feeling ever. I will always remember that day! It feels good being me again.