Exclusive interview with science fiction/paranormal author Barbara Donlon Bradley.
I first met Barbara Bradley online through a writing forum. Over the years, we were on various boards together and chatted online as well as worked on projects. I’ve always admired her spunk and wit. I was excited at the opportunity to interview her and thought I’d share some of this amazing author’s deepest thoughts with all of you. I hope you enjoy reading this interview as much as I enjoyed conducting it.
When you first started writing, you would add characters to your favorite shows. Tell us when it first clicked that you wanted to write your own, unique stories…
I guess the goal to write professionally came when my mother-in-law moved back to Virginia. She had belonged to RWA National and a local RWA chapter in California and wanted to continue with the organization when she moved here. Wanting someone to drive her to the meetings, she paid for my first year with the local RWA chapter here in VA as well as with national. She had no clue that I was writing scenes with an old high school buddy – we mailed stuff to each other and had for years. Well, our local chapter was doing a program that was going to critique five pages. I knew I was going to Florida to visit my buddy so I sent in five pages of a scene I wrote. I figured if they didn’t like it I could slink off, never to be seen again. But they loved it. It was at that point I decided to write professionally.
I know you like to add a bit of humor to your stories. Have you ever written a scene that made you laugh while you were writing? Would you share it with us?
I found out about the humor accidentally. I would give scenes to my critique group and they would start laughing and I couldn’t figure out why. The scene was supposed to be serious, but I would put something in, like my first book where my heroine is wearing an hoop skirt and is trying to walk into the kitchen of the house with the thing on without knowing how to collapse the hoops. She ends up giving the hero an eye full as the skirt gets caught in the doorway. My thought process wasn’t humor but how she would handle the skirt. She time traveled back to the 1800’s and all the hero had was his late mother’s clothes in an old trunk. She had no clue about the way the dress worked. The book I have with Melange titled “Love is …” is a series of shorts I wrote for Midnight Showcase that I wrote to be funny on purpose, with the exception of “Wizard for Hire.” I wrote that one to see if I could write a short story.
Who has influenced you the most in your writing?
I love Joanna Lindsay – she has a great sense humor and such lifelike characters to me. I learned about romances from Kathleen Woodiwiss – I loved her characters and her stories always had a great plot which I feel is important to the story. SF and Fantasy fascinates me. Ray Bradbury, Stephen R Donaldson, and even Stephen King influenced my writing because of the way they built their stories and characters
What is your greatest challenge as a writer?
I think it is not being able to write all the time. It’s hard when I’m at work and a scene comes to me where I can’t write it down. It just runs over and over in my head. What drives me crazy though is when I’m just starting to doze off and a scene comes to me then I can’t remember what it was when I wake up.
What can readers expect to see from you in the near future?
I’m working hard on the Vespian Way series. Book four edits are done – I’m just waiting for the publisher to give me a release date and my cover. I’m fleshing out book five right now. I just finished the rough draft of book six and have two whole pages of book seven started.
Why paranormal/sci-fi? What do you love about these genres?
It is the ‘what if’ game. What if I take this character and send her back in time one hundred years (A Portrait in Time)? What if I place the story on another planet where they have abilities but the heroine doesn’t know how to control hers (A Quest For Love)? What if I have a hero who is the last of his race until he meets a woman who is also from his race (Star’s Destiny). I can’t seem to write without putting a twist on it.
Anything you’d like to add?
I want to thank my readers. Knowing people are enjoying my stories is such a thrill and fills me with great joy.
And… I would like to think Barbara Bradley for taking the time to talk to me and answer these questions. I think she is a pretty fascinating lady and I hope she’ll talk to us more in the future, so we can learn more about her and her writing.