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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

‘Erica the Eagle’ Helps Milwaukee Author to Soar

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Local author Brenda K. Stiff is working to make her dream a reality—a dream that her newly published book, Erica the Eagle, will turn into a classic best seller reaching across all lines: age, ethnicity, gender, race and socioeconomic status. The dream arose from Stiff’s work at the Milwaukee County Jail, where as a psychiatric therapist she assisted individuals who needed to find a way to fly when it seemed impossible. Stiff uses this philosophy in her current work as assistant minister at Community Baptist Church.

How did the story of Erica the Eagle begin?

I originally started telling the story of Erica, the eagle who was born into a flock of chickens on a farm, at a graduation ceremony for one of my friend’s businesses. Erica’s differences served as a catalyst for her to recognize her strengths and that spiritual power of excellence that lies within us all. I also used the story for motivational purposes, and people kept asking me to retell it. I started getting serious about putting the story into publication two years ago. It was finally released on Dec. 29, 2009, with a major book signing at the Pfister Hotel.

Why did you choose an eagle as the main character?

The eagle is the symbol of our country and represents fortitude, resilience, strength and tenacity. A female eagle gives the story a soft touch. You realize the inner strength of the eagle instead of the bird being predatory. And they also symbolize freedom and liberation. Actually Wisconsin and Florida have more eagles than any of the other states.

What response have you had to the book?

Whether children or adults, there is something that awakens on the inside of them, in their hearts and eyes, when they realize they can soar like Erica. Their attitude determines their altitude.

Why is Erica’s story so important to your present work?

I believe that the thread of Erica, through a therapeutic perspective, serves as a common denominator for not only women, but men, to raise our standards of living to be all that we can be. It comes from our daily decisions. Once you find that it’s in you not to have an identity crisis, but to find your goals in life, dreams do come true. One needs the freedom and liberation where you’re born to be all you can be, the “queen or king of the air.” If you don’t, you perish.

(You can contact Brenda K. Stiff through www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore.)