A Smithers entrepreneur who recently finished her three-part coffee table book series is holding a book launch this weekend, and you’re invited.
Amy Brandstetter says while she’s always considered herself an artist in all aspects of the word, she began writing again seven years ago, with an uptick in poetry beginning around four years ago.
She said it was her first book of the series — Empowered — which set her on a unique journey of healing.
“In the short of it, I was shown a photo of a place in Utah called ‘House on Fire’,” said Brandstetter.
Recalling an emotional urge to go to the landmark’s location, Brandstetter went to Utah with then-new friend and Utah-based landscape photographer Johnny Adolphson.
The book contains nude photography captured by Adolphson in the Utah desert alongside Brandstetter’s poetry relating to her own life experience.
Discussing the novel within the context of the larger series, Brandstetter notes writing Empowered was a bit of a chance occurrence.
“It was never planned to write Empowered,” she said. “This intensity of emotions like never before found words for the very first time. Traumas I once buried were born. Utah brought me to this place from the depths inside of my soul that started the beginning of healing.”
After finishing Empowered, Brandstetter decided to donate 20 per cent of the profits from the book to an organization in Utah which helps victims of domestic abuse situations.
“People find strengths in shared vulnerabilities,” she explained. “I love to help people find power in shared hardships overcome.”
The gesture is one that carries personal weight for Brandstetter, who notes her own experience with domestic violence in her first marriage and how it has informed her artistic expression.
“When I was a child I wrote songs and would sing all of the time,” said Brandstetter.
I used to sing in my parents giant metal granary. It would sound like I had a choir behind me. After being the victim of a terribly domestic violent first marriage, I never sang again. It left me.”
Beyond Empowered as a catalyst to her own healing, Brandstetter also pointed to her lingerie business as a foundation to her own healing.
People of the Birds is the last of the three-book series (along with Empowered and Totem), once again featuring Adolphson’s photos contrasted with Brandstetter’s poetry — this time featuring the wild backdrop of Haida Gwaii.
To celebrate its launch and the completion of the series (and also Brandstetter’s 37th birthday) she will be holding a party and book launch at her lingerie store, Sedaz Lingerie, located at 1167 Main Street, from 8 p.m. until midnight on Nov. 23.
Brandstetter said all are welcome.
In addition to the event she said she will also be collecting donations for the local women’s shelter.
Empowered, Totem and People of the Birds will all be available for purchase at the launch.
Brandstetter recommends anyone who finds artistic nude photography offensive might want to sit the evening out as all the books contain nude art.