Author aims to inspire others

Published 5:05 pm Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Smithfield native Linda Williams-Bright recently published her first children’s book and hopes to inspire others with her story.

“Stop Bullying, Be a Friend, Stand Up and Speak Out” is the first book she plans to publish in Manami Symone-Inspirational Books From The Heart Collection. In this book, various students share their bullying experiences with their teacher. Williams-Bright hopes that the book will introduce what bullying is to kids and teach kids its impacts and how to handle it.

This collection is inspired by Williams-Bright’s 11-year-old granddaughter Manami, whom the collection was named after. Williams-Bright always encouraged her children and grandchildren to be creative and write.

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“I thought to myself, “Why don’t you write your own books yourself?”” said Williams-Bright. “Then my  next thought was, “What will I write about, and can I write a book?”

When no one wanted to, she decided to write a collection around Manami’s experiences. Even though this story is inspired by Manami’s bullying experience, Williams-Bright also looks back on her experiences during this process.

Williams-Bright had a hard upbringing in Smithfield, as her grandparents raised her along with their 11 kids and her brother. She went to Hardy Elementary and Smithfield High School before leaving school due to being pregnant at 16.

“They didn’t let me go to school, and I felt like the community looked down on me,” said Williams-Bright. “It was very devastating.”

A few years later, she found herself evicted in Washington, D.C., with her two kids and first husband, who was in the military. After their divorce, she took classes to finally earn her high school diploma. She then took night classes to get her college degree. She ended up retiring after 38 years of working as an information technology specialist for the federal government in 2015. She hopes to share her story to let people know no matter what they’ve been through, they can still accomplish what they want in life.

“I’ve come a long way,” said Williams-Bright. “I’m grateful for where I have been and I’m grateful for where I am now.”

Today, Williams-Bright is proud to be a retiree, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and published author.

“Stop Bullying, Be a Friend, Stand Up and Speak Out” is available online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Book Depository. Learn more at