Just one look at those beautiful eyes and it’s evident that Bernice McFadden has stories to tell. Lots of stories. I met Bernice via social media and was immediately drawn to her strength and courage. With a rock-solid belief in herself and her talents, Bernice grabbed hold of her dream of becoming a published author with both hands. And here’s the thing—she flat-out refused to let go!
And that’s what success is all about.
I’m delighted to feature Bernice on Brava today as she celebrates the release of her latest novel, Gathering of Waters, which is already being praised by readers and reviewers from coast-to-coast and promises to be a book club favorite. So please welcome a wonderful woman and an award-winning author who is a living example of what it means to reach for that rainbow!
by Bernice L. McFadden
The other night I watched Morgan Freeman on Master Class, which airs weekly on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN channel. I had had a glum sort of day. I wasn’t feeling very good about a number of things that are going on in my life. But try as I might to distract myself, the best I could do was climb onto my couch and curl up in my comforter.
There is where I remained until Morgan Freeman’s glowing face filled my television screen. He spoke about the challenges, obstacles and struggles he faced at the dawn of his career. He spoke incessantly about the hand of providence – the divine guidance that we all experience, but so many of us fail to acknowledge.
I am well aware of providence and have tried to live with the idea in the forefront of my life. But I am a flesh and blood woman and so it’s not always easy to see the forest for the trees.
Thirteen years ago, I had put nearly ten years into shopping the manuscript which would eventually become my debut novel: SUGAR. Back then I was told in more than 75 rejection letters that there was no audience for my book.
Those letters made me angry. Sometimes I cried out of frustration because I knew the editors and agents were wrong. They didn’t live in my heart, soul and memory. They couldn’t feel the constant prodding I felt. They didn’t know that as much as I wanted to abandon the ridiculous idea of becoming a published writer—there was stronger force urging me forward.
And then one day, during the early months of 1999, I received the letter that would forever change my life! Sugar was published in January of 2000 and my literary career was born.
It was nothing for me to quit my job, buy a house and car. My friends thought I was crazy. “How do you expect to make a living as a writer?” They asked.
Why would I think that I couldn’t make a living as a writer? I had hundreds of examples that were doing just that! And besides, I told those doubters—this is what I was put here to do. This is my destiny!
Fast forward to 2006.
I was notified by my long time publisher that by book, Nowhere is a Place, would be the last novel of mine that they would publish. Okay, I thought to myself. No problem. I’ll find another publisher in a few days. A few days turned into three years.
During those three years, I felt as if I was reliving those years before I secured my first book contract. I received numerous rejection letters that echoed one major theme: “I think Bernice L. McFadden’s career is over.”
I thought, well maybe it is. Maybe I should be grateful for the run I had. Maybe I should apply for a job at the post office and just forget about this writing thing. I said all of that but, that “thing” inside of me wouldn’t go quietly away. And the urge to continue on—no matter how heartbreaking the journey—continued to beat like a drum. And so I remained obedient to the call and in 2009 I finally secured a publishing deal with Akashic Books, a small, very well respected press here in my hometown of Brooklyn, NY.
They published Glorious, my first literary novel in four years. The book went on to win numerous awards and accolades.
I’m hoping my newest novel Gathering of Waters will achieve much of the same.
I thought I’d share this story with your readers because there is something to be said about staying true to your calling. Much to be said about holding on and weathering the storms that blow through your life—about passing the test so you can have a testimony….
Bernice has written many books, and they are shown below:
You can find Bernice’s books at fine bookstores and they can also be ordered online.
Please visit Bernice McFadden’s website HERE.