LoveAndBooks.com interview with Charity Bradford, part 2
November is National Novel Writing Month. LoveAndBooks.com is getting into the spirit by highlighting budding authors.
Charity Bradford is one of our featured authors of the month. She is working on her third novel, “Fade Into Me.” She has a Kickstarter project going, to try to raise the money to publish it.
In our first interview with Bradford, she told us a bit about herself.
In this second of four interviews with her, she tells us about her upcoming novel, Fade into Me, and the Kickstarter project she currently has going to get it published.
L&B: What inspired you to write “Fade into Me”?
CB: I don’t remember what the initial catalyst for this story was. It started as my “summer sitting by the pool” novel. There wasn’t much to it back in those days. Then one day I was writing a scene and noticed Ryanne had these scars on her back. What? How did they get there? Why didn’t she tell me? What’s she hiding and why? From there things became more interesting.
I don’t write super dark, but I wanted to allow myself to explore deeper emotions without worrying what other people would think of me. Some of my darkest fears came to the surface and wove their way into the story. I didn’t even realize that until months later when I read through one version of the story. Perhaps that’s why I love this novel so much.
Finally, I was talking with a friend about her experiences as a teenager. I wondered how you overcome certain things from your past to be a well adjusted happy woman. It amazes me the miracles that can happen in our lives and I wanted to write about those as well. Love–from others and from ourselves–is a miracle.
There were lots of songs that inspired me during the writing. You can check out the playlist on Grooveshark. (http://grooveshark.com/#!/playlist/Fade+Into+Me/53545685)
L&B: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
CB: No matter what happened to you in the past, you are worthy of being loved. Not only are you worthy, but you deserve that love.
L&B: How much of the book is realistic?
CB: More than people will want to admit. More than I probably want to admit. The situation isn’t something I’ve experienced, but the emotions are very realistic for me.
L&B: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
CB: A couple of readers struggled with some of Ryanne’s reactions to things. However, I’ve known many co-dependent people who react exactly like her. Me included. I don’t think people realize there is a range of dependency. The women in my family struggle with it in the same way Ryanne does. We allow our insecurities and fear of being alone dictate how we interact with those around us. We avoid confrontation, often protecting those who hurt us the most.
L&B: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
CB: This section is about 50 pages into the story. Caedan has taken Ryanne through a portal to a different dimension on earth. In his world magic manifests as colors swirling through the air. This is where things are about to fall apart for Caedan.
After dinner, Caedan led me to the ballroom. I liked his attentiveness but wondered how much of it was for his people. He talked easily with them, and his charm reminded me of our first meeting.
Musicians filled an alcove at the far end of the room and the colors around them glowed in silvers and golds, undulating with the strange music. One wall of the room contained floor to ceiling mirrors and the opposite wall was full of French doors leading to the beautiful grounds outside, now lit with lanterns. Chandeliers bathed the room in soft yellow to match the lanterns outside. Instead of the warm sweaty air I associated with dances, a cool floral breeze drifted through the room.
“Can you guess what magic is at work here?” Caedan spoke while nodding around the room.
“Good. You can see that everyone calmed their colors as well.”
“Most people like to keep their emotions to themselves when dancing in public.”
“Not where I come from.” I stiffened when Caedan placed his hand on my back and led me onto the dance floor. “I don’t dance. Please, can’t we sit somewhere instead?”
“Dancing will make it difficult for your admirers to talk to you. Anyway, this is what they want to see. Us, together, happy and in love.”
Heat rushed to my face. “But we’re not in love, and I really can’t dance.”
I dug my heels in and we stopped moving forward.
“Mo Run, please. You’ll find dancing here easier than on the human side.”
“I doubt that.” Didn’t he realize it was impossible to dance when you’ve never heard the music before? It had definite Celtic undertones with some rocking drums thrown in. The problem lie in the fact it couldn’t make up its mind about tempo. Some of the instruments filled the air with lyrical ballads while others played something more like a jig. The overall effect was a jumbled mess that grated on my nerves.
The couples in the room didn’t seem to mind. They all danced in their own way. Some rushed around the room spinning with legs and arms flying in intricate patterns. Others danced close and slow.
“What is this? Pick your own tune?”
“You’re smarter than you look. Let’s start with something slower?” Caedan reached for me and pulled me into dance position.
“Is it really pick your own tune?”
“Yes, right now there are,” he paused and cocked his head to the side, “four different songs playing.”
“How are you supposed to dance to that?”
Caedan looked surprised, like he had never thought about it before. “You separate the music the same way you separate the threads of life. I guess we do it automatically.”
“How do I do that when I’ve never heard these songs?”
“Let go of your fears and let me lead.”
Caedan stood so close, his eyes boring into me. I could feel his hand on my back, close to the scars. His other hand squeezed mine. I wanted to let go like he asked. I really did, but his fingers were sliding down my back toward my waist. They paused, and then moved again tracing one of the lines, sending a shiver all the way to my toes. His brow crinkled, and I stepped away from his hold.
His eyes were so deep. Bottomless pools of concern. He hadn’t bargained on me being damaged goods. Even if I wanted this life, I would never fit in. Not with these beautiful, perfect people and their swirling colors.
L&B: What was the hardest part of writing this book?
CB: Getting the balance between Ryanne’s need to be loved and her fear of being hurt again. I also wanted her to find her own strength by the end of the story. She starts out as an unreliable messed up character. If people can stick with her a few chapters they’ll fall in love with her.
L&B: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
CB: I really do feel strongly about some things. Love is the strongest healing magic of them all. With it we can be made whole again and find the strength we need to become our own champions.
L&B: What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?
CB: The part I’m the most worried about is Ryanne’s journey to Scotland. I’ve never been there and had to rely on internet research. Second in line is the psychological progression of Ryanne. Some people are not going to like her or believe someone would act that way. I didn’t change it though because I KNOW people who did. For instance, early on you know that Ryanne was date raped. You know who these guys are and she’s trying to protect one of them by not telling. The situation is tense, but she’s in the same room as these guys. Some might think this would never happen, but I had a friend who helped me with a lot of these scenes. She was raped and the guy later became her boyfriend. We make choices every day that don’t make sense. Doesn’t it follow characters in books will too?
L&B: What other projects do you have in the pipeline?
CB: I have several ideas waiting to be written, but I’ve promised myself I’ll finish the next two sequels to The Magic Wakes first. Then I’ll work on my space opera, YA contemporary and romantic suspense ideas. I feel like I’m just getting started!
CB: Fade Into Me was supposed to be my first YA novel. However since Ryanne graduates from High School the week the story starts, this is technically New Adult. The other two, though clean enough for all ages, was written for adults. The other way this is different is the setting. We spend time in Charlotte, NC (where I lived for 7 years) and then there is a higher fantasy feel to it.
There wasn’t necessarily a reason for the change. I just wrote it the way it came to me.
L&B: “The Magic Wakes” was published through WiDo Publishing. You self-published “Stellar Cloud,” and you’re self-publishing “Fade into Me.” Why do you prefer self-publishing? What drawbacks are there to self-publishing, compared to going through a publisher?
CB: I loved working with WiDo, but after the release I learned a few things about myself. I’m a control freak. If I’m going to put money and time into marketing, I want to know if it was worth it. WiDo has lots of authors to work with and communication is often slow. There were times my questions weren’t answered at all and I felt like I was on my own. If I’m going to do it alone, I want to keep more of the profits.
The drawbacks are that I have to foot the bill for cover art, editing, typesetting, and anything else I do to market. And it’s all up to me. I’m not sure what WiDo did marketing wise, but I’m sure it will be harder for me to do it on my own. Hopefully I’ll learn and get better as I go.
You can read the first 2 chapters of “Fade into Me” at Bradford’s website.
Read more about Charity Bradford, her books, and her views on writing in our next interview.
To learn more about Charity Bradford’s new book, check out her Kickstarter project at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1452015847/fade-into-me-an-urban-fantasy-novel.
Charity Bradford also has a blog of her own. Check it out at http://charitywrites.blogspot.com.
You can also read more about her and her books at her Amazon Author Page, http://www.amazon.com/Charity-Bradford/e/B00FA3QRKO/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1416188553&sr=8-1.