About D. Bryant Simmons

 

BIOGRAPHY

D. Bryant Simmons is an award-winning author who pens realistic fiction that straddles the line between art and social commentary. She is currently hard at work on The Morrow Girls Series, a family saga that spans three generations of women. Simmons' fiction delves into muddy waters, exploring subjects such as domestic violence, addiction, and mental illness. She believes novels can act as agents of change and hopes that her writing will inspire and empower women.

Simmons' writing style is reflective of her personality. She suffers from a horrible case of impatience. She values emotional connections above all else and is hopelessly distrustful of happy endings.

She is a graduate of the Univeristy of Illinois where she earned her BA in Sociology. She also has an M.Ed in Education.

D. Bryant Simmons resides just outside of Chicago, Illinois.

HOW IT ALL BEGAN

In the third grade, Simmons made her first attempt at writing fiction and it left her frustrated and confused. She promptly resigned to wait until she was much much wiser, retired, and rich before taking on the challenge again. Simmons remained faithful to this decision, avoiding all creative writing opportunities throughout her education. However, it would seem fate had other plans.

In her high school literature class, Simmons and her classmates were assigned the task of writing poetry. Each poem would be entered into a statewide poetry competition, the prize—publication. Simmons procrastinated and labored over the mandatory assignment with veiled irritation. She decided to write about racism and after pulling an all nighter, she handed in her poem drained and relieved. The possibility of winning never occurred to her, but that's what happened. She won.

Determined to stick with her plan of writing only in her golden years, Simmons channeled her desire for creative expression into the fine arts—painting, photography, even music. After graduating from college with a bachelor's degree in Sociology and a minor in Art, the writing bug bit her again. In 2007, she began writing what would become the Morrow Girls Series.

In 2008, Simmons founded her first business, a part-time venture which she built from the ground up. She sold her interest in the business in 2011 and returned to her altruistic ambitions. She earned a master's degree in Elementary Education and began teaching, all the while perfecting several full length novels.

Before 2011, Simmons flirted with the thought of getting her novels published but never acted on it. Then one day in the spring of 2012, she mentioned to a close friend that she'd written a book. At her friend's request, Simmons handed over a manuscript entitled Bravebird. Two days later her friend returned the manuscript with her comments. She'd found herself totally emersed in the life of Pecan Morrow and urged Simmons to seriously pursue publishing. Simmons weighed her options and found herself leaning towards self-publishing.

By the end of the summer, Simmons's focus shifted from writing and publishing to motherhood. She gave birth to a baby girl and named her Aziza Lee. The world and everything in it revolved around this brand new baby. But as Aziza grew, Simmons became more determined to prove to her daughter that anything is possible and that she should never give up on her dreams. Simmons founded Bravebird Publishing that year.

In January of 2014, she published the first book in the Morrow Girls SeriesHow to Knock a Bravebird from Her Perch, which went on to win gold medals in the 2014 IPPY Awards and 2015 Readers' Favorite Book Awards.

5 FUN FACTS ABOUT D. BRYANT SIMMONS

  1. She was named after a famous writer of contemporary women's fiction. (Hint: Her name starts with a D...)
  2. She's passionate about french cooking and latin dancing.
  3. She's an avid bowler.
  4. She was ambidexterous as a child.
  5. She can recognize 9 out of 10 dog breeds on sight.

CONTACT

Would you like to contact D. Bryant Simmons? Send her an email at dbs@themorrowgirls.com

As seen (and heard) on:

  • CBS | Pittsburgh
  • NPR | Utah
  • North Dallas Gazette
  • Illinois Library Association Annual Conference

and more...

2015 INDIEFAB BOOK OF THE YEAR FINALIST!

Blue Sky is being considered in both the General Fiction & Multicultural Fiction categories.

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"There was only one thing I wanted after my freedom. My girls."

— Belinda "Pecan" Morrow
How to Knock a Bravebird from Her Perch

 

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