LoveAndBooks.com interview with Charity Bradford
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 this 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 this first of a series of interviews, Charity Bradford tells us a bit about herself.
L&B: Tell us about Charity Bradford: What she writes, her background.
CB: You’ll probably learn more than you want to know about me over the course of this interview, but here’s the basics. I’m the mother of four great kids. They are unique and independent–which translates to hilarious dinner conversations and major battles of wills at times. And I would trade them for any other kids. They watch Doctor Who and Sherlock with me, make up funny songs, jokes and stories.
When I’m not writing I’m being mom, a substitute teacher and choir director for our church choir. Three sweet dogs share our home, and yes, at times it feels crowded and crazy, but there’s so much love how can you complain?
I have secret dreams of learning to play the cello and ballroom dancing. There’s not an age limit on those kinds of things, right?
L&B: What inspired you to write your first book?
The Magic Wakes started as dreams. One really crazy end of the world dream when I was 19, and then another dream after a 2 week hospital stay. The second dream gave me my characters. The hospital stay provided a desperate need to escape from my own reality for a while. I battled some serious depression for two years after that incident, and Talia’s story was the only thing that kept me from looking for other means of escape. As I tried to figure out how to save her from these creatures, she saved me.
I played around with her story for 5 years before I combined the two dreams. When I took that step, something magical happened. Everything fell into place. My family would say I became obsessed with writing and learning about the publishing process. Getting that story out into the world felt like my second chance to live again without all my baggage.
L&B: Do you have a specific writing style?
Yes! My style is why I’ve moved toward self-publishing. I grew up reading science fiction. My favorites were Isaac Asimov, Ben Bova, Ray Bradbury, Larry Niven, Arthur C Clarke, Robert Heinlein, Louisa Lawrence, Linda Nagata and David Gerrold. Unfortunately, none of my friends really liked that kind of thing. I wasn’t exclusive though. Depending on my mood, I devour romantic suspense, thrillers, paranormal, YA steam punk, magic realism, and whatever friends suggest I read. All of the things I love about those genres leak into my writing.
My first book was written for my friends who didn’t like science fiction. I kept the science part very light. No physics or engineering jargon to scare them off. The book is character driven as much as plot driven. I mixed in some magic and a dragon to accompany the high speed air chases, and a love story.
All of my writing tends to be that way. I write what I want and don’t confine myself to what is expected for one genre. This makes it really hard to know where in the library or on the bookstore shelf the novel should be placed.
One thing most people don’t know is that The Magic Wakes is the first in a planned four book series. Book two is written, and I’m currently drafting book three.
Stellar Cloud was an experiment. I tried really hard to stick to science fiction with some success I think. Each story started on my blog during something called a “blogfest”. This is where bloggers are given a topic, photo or other prompt. We write a story from them and then share them all on the same day. The stories included in the collection were the ones that I couldn’t forget. They called to me to expand them or finish them in some other way.
L&B: Can you give us a blurb from “The Magic Wakes?”
Talia has a secret, one that will save her world and yet rip it apart. Only she can decide if the price is worth it.
When the face in the mirror matches that of her nightmares, she fears her dreams of invasion and death are prophetic. Talia must prove that life exists beyond her planet, Sendek; perhaps then people will prepare to fight.
Her work at the Space Exploration Foundation (SEF) leaves no time for personal relationships, but Major Landry Sutton isn’t looking for a friend. He’s looking for a traitor. His ability to sense emotions convinces him Talia is that traitor until a touch sizzles between them. In an instant their minds are connected and they can communicate telepathically. Just as the two begin to trust each other, the invading force arrives.
Talia and Landry must uncover the secrets of Sendek’s past if they hope to defeat these terrifying creatures. And Talia is the key—if only she can learn to trust the magic coursing through her veins.
L&B: How about a blurb from “STELLAR CLOUD: A short story collection?”
A soldier struggles with the emptiness left behind by amnesia until he learns he is more than the world would have him remember. The earth is desolate, and only one ship of humans remains. An assassin plays god, dealing out justice and mercy as he sees fit.
Explore the outer reaches of the imagination through these and other short stories. From brainwashed clones to winged aliens of destruction, the stories in Stellar Cloud will pull in any lover of science fiction and fantasy.
L&B: Who designed the covers of your previous books?
Steven Novak designed The Magic Wakes, and Zak Whittington designed Stellar Cloud.
L&B: Which is your favorite?
I don’t know! They are both great. The cityscape on TMW is amazing, but everyone keeps asking if the girl on the cover is me. It’s not. Steven and I have never met. He’s an amazing designer though. Stellar Cloud looks very scifi to me. And I love that! Zak is my brother-in-law, so if anyone is looking for a cover artist let me know!
Having said all of that. I think the cover for FADE INTO ME is my favorite. It conveys so much of the emotion from the book. The first moment I saw it, I knew I had to have it.
L&B: How did you come up with the titles for these books?
The Magic Wakes went through several titles. Then I took a class at a writer’s conference that talked about how to come up with your title. It involved several steps of writing words that described or were important to the story. Then you mix them up until you come up with a good title. I came up with Sendek: The Magic Wakes. My publisher later cut the name of the planet, and I was good with that.
For Stellar Cloud I wanted something spacey that could also reference lots of parts. As I browsed NASA’s Hubble website I was drawn to all the amazing nebulas and sentences similar to this– “The nebula gives astronomers a close-up view of a stellar nursery, where stars are born from condensing clouds of dust and gas.”
I love the idea of this being the beginning of my writing career. There is lots to learn and improve upon, but even stars start from dust and gas.
L&B: What book are you reading now?
I just received an ARC (advanced reader copy) of Alex Cavanaugh’s upcoming book DRAGON OF THE STARS. His Cassa series was wonderful and I can’t wait to dig into this one.
I also just finished a collection of short romance stories for Christmas — Christmas in Snow Valley. If you like Hallmark movies, you’ll enjoy these stories. Clean and slightly cheesy, they had me smiling the whole time.
L&B: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
A few months ago I read Darkness by Elizabeth Arroyo. This was an amazing paranormal brain twister for YA. LOVED it!
Last week I finished the newly released book two in The Magic Withheld series by C.D. Coffelt. This is urban fantasy/magic realism at its best.
At the beginning of the year I fell in love with M. D. Waters books Archetype and Prototype. I still think about her world and her character Emma. This is the kind of science fiction I’d like to write one day.
L&B: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I don’t know that I could ever pick a favorite. I’ve read a book a day (almost) since I was in the 5th grade. As a self-labeled devourer of books, how could I pick? Since I listed most of my favorite sci-fi authors I’ll mention a few from other genres. L. M. Montgomery (I AM Anne of Green Gables in so many ways!), Anne Perry (The Charlotte Pitt series), Dan Brown, Janice Hardy, Scott Westerfeld, Maggie Steifvater, Beth Revis…I could go on and on with YA books so I’ll stop.
Read more about Charity Bradford, her new book (just in time for National Novel Writing Month), and her Kickstarter project in our next interview.
To learn more about Charity Bradford’s latest project, check out her Kickstarter page 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 website, http://charitybradford.wix.com/the-magic-wakes, or at her Amazon Author Page, http://www.amazon.com/Charity-Bradford/e/B00FA3QRKO/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1416188553&sr=8-1.
She also has a Goodreads Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6542670.Charity_Bradford.