Sunday, March 9, 2014

Hi Friends!

Every once in a while, I like to feature a fellow author on my blog because there's some dang good writing going on out there in the self-publishing world, and I think you need to know about it!

I'm proud to have had the opportunity to interview Sarah J. Bradley, who not only is an author in her own right, but my critique partner as well. Despite holding down a full-time job, being a wife, mother and the owner of numerous pets, Sarah is an amazing and talented writer, who, recently released  three novels and a short contemporary romance! How does she do it, you may ask?  Well, let's find out!


1.  Sarah, you are a publishing maniac lately. Hot off writing "Fresh Ice" you released a short story "Love is Elementary: A Rock Harbor Short Romance" and two non-fiction comedic novels called "Not While I'm Chewing" and "Elsie W: Unsafe at Any Speed". Tell us a little about each!
2013 was a crazy year for writing.  I released "Fresh Ice" in December of 2012 and then released the Elsie books and the novella and then I got really good start on a new novel.  I'm exhausted!  :) 
"Love is Elementary" is the first of four novellas based on my novel "Lies in Chance."  For the longest time I've had these four stories, how the four couples from Lies wind up together before Lies begins, in my head.  "Elementary" is the first, it's Drew and Joanna's story.  They are by far the least dysfunctional of the couples, so theirs is the one readers of "Lies" will recognize as a stand alone story. The other three, Molly and Robert, Bryan and Jennifer, and Shara and Richard...those are a bit more challenging because I have to stay true to their stories in "Lies" but I still want to give the reader a clear idea of how each couple fell in love.
 The Elsie books, "Not While I'm Chewing" and "Unsafe at Any Speed" are under the name Sarah Jayne Brewster. Those are non fictional humor stories  (trust me, it's all true) about a woman I worked with in 2011.  Sad, but true, and you can laugh at my expense. Those are the perfect books for anyone who has ever had a disaster coworker in an office or other work setting.

2.  Having dabbled now in both romance and non-fiction comedy, do you have a preference as to which you'd rather write?
Non Fiction comedy comes easy to me.  I just talk about my day, my life, something from my childhood and for some reason people think I'm hilarious.  I've even started speaking engagements, if you can believe that!  One of the women at my church thinks I'm so funny, she invited me to speak at the Ladies' Luncheon in April. 
I've never thought of myself as a funny person.  I don't tell jokes. But I do seem to have a skewed view on life that makes even the most innocent, every day thing (I have been very public and detailed about my feelings and experiences in public bathrooms) turn into a source of hilarity.  I enjoy telling stories, but I never think of it as writing.  People tell me to write all this stuff down...and I do, but I never think of it as a writing project.  If you want to see what I mean, check out my blog:
I prefer writing fiction.  I don't knit or sew, but writing fiction is sort of like that.  You have to string together these lives and this story and when you're done you can't have loose threads or unfinished edges.  Writing romance, especially when there's suspense, is my escape from real life.  I create a world and people, and I go there.  I love it.  I love the whole writing thing, well, except for editing.  I'm not so good at it because when I'm done with a project I'm DONE!  But you can check out my views on writing at my OTHER blog:

3. With two kids, four cats, and a full-time job, how do you find time to write?
I don't sleep much and I keep my flash drive with me always because you just never know when writing is going to break out.  I'm very much a mood writer.  I write like a demon when I'm in the right mood.  I don't have a set schedule, although Fridays are supposed to be my WRITING day.  Real life does find reasons to get in the way.  Still, I have goals and I work as best I can to meet them.  The kids are pretty independent now and the cats like it when I light candles in the office because then the room is warm.
4. What to you makes a compelling novel?
I can put aside a lot of disbelief if I like the characters and the pace of a novel.  It's not that I look for action in everything but I can't spend four pages on the color of the drapes.  I was in a writing group once with a woman who read aloud her 15000 word masterpiece.  We critiqued it.  Three months later, she read it again and asked us if we liked the changes.  None of us had a clue about the changes, honestly it all sounded exactly the same.  She said, "Well, I changed the color of the curtains and the table cloths from blue to aqua."  100% true story.

When I'm reading, I look for all kinds of books.  I don't have a "genre" I read more than any other.  I have a couple favorite authors, and I'll read anything they put out, but mostly I read anything and everything.  I have stopped reading a book that wasn't working for me from time to time.  Doesn't mean it was a bad book, it just wasn't for me.  The only book I'll say was a bad book was "Moby Dick."  I read that six years ago.  Worst book ever.  That's a book that would NEVER get published, as is, today.  Anyone who argues that it's a classic hasn't read the whole thing.  Anything else, a book is like a movie or food.  It's all a matter of taste.
5. What pre-planning do you do when you start a book? Or do you just plunge in?
I pretty much plunge in.  I have a good idea of what my hero and heroine look like because I create that much in my head.  I might have a setting.  After that, it's as big a surprise to me as it is to anyone else.  And my books NEVER seem to end the way I intended them to. My characters, especially my heroines, have very strong wills of their own.

6.  What's next for you? Any plans to move into other genres? What genre would you like to attempt and what one wouldn't you try? 

Right now I'm writing "Spark of a Hero" which sort of loosely ties "Fresh Ice" and "Lies in Chance" together.  I've never done any kind of sequel and to do one for two books has been fun.  The story itself will revolve around new characters except for the hero, who is Collier James.  You might remember him as the best friend in "Fresh Ice."  One of my critique partners told me Collier had to have a book.  I agreed, though I had no idea where it was going to go.  Thanks to a song by James Durbin, I got an idea that seems to work.
After that, I'll continue work on the novellas, but I'm really excited to get into inspirational.  I have an idea for a series of books.  Of course I'll be publishing under a different name, so those looking for my slightly spicy romances aren't grieved when they read inspirational mysteries.  But I have a main character in mind and I can't wait to get her stories told.
I doubt I'd be any good at historical.  I love reading historical novels, but the research is brutal.  That said, if I were ever to write full time, I'm sure I'd take a stab at it.  One genre I doubt I'll ever want to write is erotica.  My father reads everything I write...that would just be too much!

7.  What inspires your fiction? (We know who inspired your non-fiction).  

Sometimes I'll be watching TV and I'll think, "That guy would make a great romantic hero."  Or I'll hear a song, like I did for "Spark" and the framework of a story comes together.  I'm very inspired by music, all kinds of music.  I'm also inspired by things that happen around me.  My first novel, "Dream in Color' was born after I'd been to my very first Rick Springfield concert...back in 2000.  (Long after he was a teen idol and way past the age where I should be chasing a teen idol.)  "Fresh Ice" well, I knew I wanted to write something set in Nashville because I LOVE that city. 

8.  What is your writing routine like?
I really don't have a routine, but the closest thing is I have to clear my desk of everything else.  Bills, paperwork. all that has to be gone.  Then I light several candles, turn on the soundtrack I've made for the project, and go to work.  Sometimes I drink coffee, sometimes wine.  Depends on the time of day.

9.  Out of all your novels, which characters have you loved writing the most? Which is your favorite novel?
"Lies in Chance" is my favorite novel and I will love those characters until the day I die.  I started writing that when I was 13.  (So eons ago.)  Writing those characters, Bryan, Drew, Joanna, Shara, and Molly, got me through a lot of problems in high school.  They were my friends,my teachers, everything.  As I got older, they stayed as friends.  Their hurts were my hurts.  Their joys were my joys.  Even though it's in print now, I could go back to the book and rewrite it, giving those characters new adventures.  I think, too, Jennifer Tiel was probably my favorite villain because she was my first.  In some of the original work, Richard was the villain and Jennifer was just his pawn...but as I got older I realized that women made very, very good villains.  Hence, I will have three "Wicked Women" novels by the end of this year.  Jennifer was my first, and I loved writing her.

10 . What do you love to read and who are some of your favorite authors (other than me, LOL).

LOL!  I am a fiend for anything Billie Letts, Andriana Trigiani, or Phillippa Gregory put out.  Joyce Carol Oates is always a win.   If it's historical, especially war novels, I'm in.  Right now I'm obsessing about World War II and the Titanic era.  So your new novel, "To Find You" really fit the bill!
11.  What's next for Sarah Bradley and when we can expect another novel? 
Sarah Bradley needs a nap right now.  :)  I expect "Spark of a Hero" to be out and in everyone's hands by Valentine's Day 2014.  Oh, wait....that's passed?  Okay, I expect "Spark of a Hero" to be out for summer. Just in time for beach vacations.

You can find Sarah's books at,, or where ever find e-books and novels are sold!