Wherever you look, whatever you read, and whatever you listen to is inspired by a writer. Behind many great crafts we enjoy is a writer with the brilliance and courage to bring their thoughts to fruition. Whether you enjoy music, plays, poetry, or novels — none of these would be possible without the help of a talented writer.
Meet the founders
Meet Brandi Perry and Dori Lowe — writers and founders of “Backroads and Burgers.” In addition to this, they are educators.
Brandi and Dori met as colleagues who started working in the same school district ten years ago. “We instantly became friends,” Brandi stated. Dori currently lives in Lawrence County on her family’s farm and grew up in Marion County. Brandi grew up in Columbia (located in Marion County) and still resides there today.
When did you decide to write?
While Brandi always loved writing, she stated that it wasn’t something to be taken seriously; however, Brandi had a change of plans after having brain surgery in 2009. She decided to go after writing with all her heart. This led to her first book being published.
Backroads and Burgers
Brandi and Dori co-own their brand, Backroads and Burgers.
Backgrounds and Burgers is a blog that is dedicated to their adventures. “Back in 2016, we had a group of friends who would flip a coin and travel in a direction based on that,” Perry recounted. What started as casually posting on their social media has now expanded and has since been rebranded into a successful blog. “Dori and I rebranded it in 2021 and have been working around the country with tourism bureaus, convention and visitors bureaus, and towns blogging and promoting them on social media.”
100 Things to Do in Mississippi Before You Die
Brandi and Dori’s newest work is a book inspired by the works of their fellow blogger friends who wrote books dedicated to their respective states. After discussing their desire to write a guidebook for the state of Mississippi. They reached out to Reedy Press and got the ball rolling!
Inspired by the beauty of the Magnolia State
I asked Brandi what inspired this book. She answered, “Our incredible state. The backroads and byways and the stories of the incredible people who make up the Magnolia State.”
Lack of inspiration… or no?
Many writers deal with a lack of inspiration while trying to pursue their creativity. Not these ladies! Forever inspired by this exceptional state, Brandi says that Mississippi is incredible and inspirational, leaving no room for a lack of inspiration.
What’s your process, Brandi?
Some of the best writers have a process and a strategy that helps them work more efficiently. Brandi gives us some insight into what her writing process looks like:
“I’m an early riser and love having a checklist I go by every day so when we have a project that needs to be completed, I divide it up so I don’t get overwhelmed. I usually try to get all the writing for the day done early. With the “100 Things to Do in Mississippi Before You Die” book, a great deal of our process was us breaking down the categories and the entries within the categories and that gave us a manageable list to go by for my writing and Dori’s photography.”
Brandi believes that being born and raised in Mississippi has given her a unique perspective. The majority of what she and Dori write is about Mississippi and the tourism and travel they’ve done within this amazing state.
We’ve all been there. Staring at your notebook and pencil or at the flickering cursor on your laptop screen wondering what to say and where to start. Brandi believes that the key to overcoming writer’s block is to write every single day. “Having a writing goal definitely helps. I love the instant gratification of completing a task, so it’s easy for me to find my drive there,” Perry said.
Sometimes, our great state gets a not-so-good reputation. Understanding this, Brandi and Dori have made it their mission to remind the locals, as well as visitors, that Mississippi has a lot of fantastic things for us locals to be proud of and for visitors to come by and enjoy. “Writing this book was definitely a passion project for us and our ultimate goal was to bring people to Mississippi and encourage the residents of the state to not forget that there are so many wonderful things in every section of the state,” Perry said.
Writing. Should you or should you not?
Many people in the world, such as Brandi and Dori, enjoy writing. For people who enjoy it, writing is a way to express creativity and raw emotion. I asked Brandi if she believes writing is important or not. Brandi told me that while people may not write to the extent she does, writing is useful for everyone.
“I think as a country we have forgotten how powerful the written word is. Throughout history, we have seen words bring peace, war, and understanding. Additionally, with the advancement of technology, I think we have become a society that doesn’t write thank-you notes or letters like we probably should.”
I concur. Writing even the simplest things is a great way to stay connected to written communication. Brandi says that writing for your own daily journal or your local newspaper are great ways to consistently write.
To aspiring writers
Brandi offers a great piece of advice for aspiring writers, and that is: “Find your niche, what you love and are passionate about, and go for it! As much as I enjoyed my experiences writing fictional books, my and Dori’s passion is to promote the state we have loved all our lives.” What wonderful advice!
The last page
Writers are some of the most skilled artists in our society. Brandi and Dori are two great examples of this. With their work, these talented ladies remind us that Mississippi has so much beauty to offer the world.
Where to find their work
Brandi and Dori’s newest book “100 Things to Do in Mississippi Before You Die” can be found here.