Meet Stephen D. Edwards, Author of The Branch and the Vine the new exciting Memoir released on 7 July 2020.
-Now, Stephen (pronounced Steven), I understand your book is a printed book and an ebook. Tell us more about yourself and your book.
The Branch and the Vine is about my struggle through depression which lasted 35 years and included plans for suicide. In it I discuss all the research I did into what may have caused me to suffer this way. However, it was most important to me to include the many things that helped me gain freedom from the darkness that held me in its grip for so long. These things that helped me include fellowship, gratitude, forgiveness, hope, faith and allowing struggle to build up character in my life. It is written to bring hope to a world of people stuck as I was in depression.
-That’s very inspiring, am sure many would benefit from such insights! What inspired you to write this book?
The inspiration to write The Branch and the Vine came shortly after I had made plans to commit suicide and praying with a pastor at my church. I knew from hearing other testimonies that when God acts to improve life it gives people hope, but I didn’t know what form the testimony would take. When I realized I was free from depression, I knew God’s call was on me to share it in book form.
-Amazing! What was the main challenge you faced when creating your book?
The challenge was doubting that I could write a coherent chapter about any subject with any authority. I had to keep telling myself that God called me to it. I realized that no one writes anything with authority without doing research. So I did that and now it is publicly available.
-Great effort! How do you stand out from your competition?
Part of my research was to read what others had written about depression and related illnesses such as bi-polar disorder and anxiety. I couldn’t find anything that was close to what I had envisioned to write. The other memoirs only describe how the author coped through the depression, while clinical psychologist authors offer solutions, but haven’t told their story of how they might have struggled through depression themselves. It has long been my belief that if I present a problem, I should present a solution as well. So that’s what I did.
-That’s really smart, it does make sense and personally I believe we should always focus on providing a solution for any given challenge rather than the challenge or obstacle itself! Are you a huge reader yourself? And what do you usually read? Any favorites?
I haven’t been the greatest reader. However, since beginning this project, I have read many books about history which is a subject that fascinates me and teaches a lot. I also had a desire to write novels to encourage my readers, so I read novels as well. The novels I have planned are historical in nature so I look for books in that genre. However, I do read other genres as they help me with writing dialogue.
-Great! Tell us, what is your next step as an author?
I have three projects planned right now. The first is a novel about King David entitled David the Prophet King. I’m writing this one to show readers how spiritual David was and how his relationship with God saved a whole nation and allowed him to expand its borders. The second novel is about Peter the Apostle and what it might be like to be in heaven. The fourth book is a complete departure from depression and encouragement and is about leadership. This project is at the planning stages and there may be others to come.
-Do you have any tips or advice for other aspiring indie authors?
Yes. Whatever you are going to write, get a first draft done and step away from it for a few days or weeks. Distance yourself from it so that when you read it to start your second draft, you will be more like a reader than the author of what you’ve written. Also learn how to market yourself.
-That’s a tip I pass on all the time, adding “Changing fonts” to the formula so the mind would start to believe that someone else wrote this and now it’s time to review it. Is there anything else you would like to add?
I didn’t write for a long time, even though I had the desire and I had the skills to do it right after I graduated from high school. Having the call to write The Branch and the Vine, I had something to write about and in a way, it became a job. Now that I’m writing, I get ideas for books just before I complete a project. So I keep saying to myself that I will write as long as I have something to write about.
That’s awesome, thank you Stephen D. Edwards for those great insights! We all wish you the best of luck, and we look forward to seeing your next piece of work.
The Branch and the Vine is available now on Barnes and Noble at only 27.99 US for hardcover and 12.99 US for eBook, check it out: