I’m really excited to introduce you to author T.K. Bradley, my first author interview for this month! If you read my previous post then you know that I’ll be featuring authors throughout the rest of October. I met T.K. through a mutual friend and while we’ve never met in person (you know, that Canada/America distance thing) I found that we have a lot in common. For one thing, we have great taste in friends, great taste in zombie shows, and we both love to write!
There isn’t much to be said about T.K. Bradley. She lives north of The Wall, in the great white expanse of Canada, with her husband and two children. She has a variety of pets, all with ridiculous names that only children can be blamed for.
Shade is her first publication, so please excuse her stumbling. Even authors must learn to walk before they can run.
T.K. is the author of Shade (Shade Chronicles Book 1), a Post Apocalyptic/Sci-Fi Thriller.
Lakes evaporate. Plants die. Skin blisters. All from a sun that now burns too hot.
If James hadn’t made his wife a promise to stay alive at all costs, he would have given up long ago. All he has in life is a small group of survivors, and his little sliver of shade. But there are worse things to fear than the light. In order to survive in this cruel world, James will have to live by two rules.
Hide from the light. Fear the night.
When did you realize you wanted to be an author?
My earliest story was a Cinderella retelling, fully illustrated of course. I was probably around 9 or 10? While my artistic skills left something to be desired, the editing was atrocious, and it was essentially plagiarized from my favorite book, my mother told me it was the best book she had ever read. It’s amazing how a little bit of positive reinforcement can drive a person to do even the most impossible things.
In what genre do you write?
Though my reading tends to be eclectic, my writing tends to lean towards science-fiction, fantasy, and horror. I love writing scenes that get the heart pumping and the imagination turning!
Is there a genre you haven’t written in, but want to?
I have a confession to make… I have a soft spot for angsty romance. Love triangles, forbidden romance, star-crossed lovers; I want it all! I’ve never felt brave enough to attempt putting that kind of angst into my stories yet, because I’m terrified that I won’t get it just right. One day maybe…
What is your writing process? Such as, outlining, freehand, computer vs paper and pen?
All of the above? I haven’t had any particular writing method win out over the others yet. They seem to be in a bit of a cage-match at the moment. Recently, I’ve tried dictating my story, but there’s one major flaw; there’s no backspace key, no delete, AND typos! The OCD in me is slowly being driven crazy, one homophone at a time.
Who are you writing inspirations, famous or not?
I hope this doesn’t sound pretentious, but I don’t know that I could pinpoint just one or two authors and say, “Them! They made me who I am today!” Whenever I read a book that resonates with me, I try to hold a part of it inside, for as long as humanly possible. Then, when I’m trying to write a scene, I think about what kind of emotion I’m aiming for, and delve into my “previous-reads” file.
How much research, if any, did you have to put into your novel(s)?
A lot of my stories are post-apocalyptic or alternate realities, so research is difficult to do. I do spend a lot of time looking at maps and finding the right geographical locations. I use my family vacations as fact-finding missions… does that mean I can write them off as a business expense? 😉
Do you listen to music while you write or edit? If so, who do you listen to?
Absolutely not! Total silence, please! It is one of the major barriers I run into while writing. I try to encase myself within a soundproof bubble, that seems to be largely invisible to my children. Writing outside of the house is similarly distracting. I get my best writing done after everyone has gone to bed. It’s a good thing that I need fewer hours of sleep than the average human. I’m able to run off anxiety and caffeine.
When you’re not being an amazing author and writing away, what do you for fun?
Netflix and chill. Coffee and book. Couch and nap. These are the real-world power couples.
What has been the most exciting experience for you since starting your writing career?
If I’m being honest, I would say being interviewed is right up there! My professional writing career has just begun, so every step I’ve taken has been a first. Everything is shiny and new! The best experience so far, though, was probably when my parents surprised me with a box full of paperbacks. My first story was so short that I hadn’t planned on getting any printed, but they went all ninja, and enlisted my best friend’s help to plan the best surprise ever.
Who created your amazing cover art?
Ooh! I love that you asked this! My cover art was done by Lori Parker at Contagious Covers. She had asked me what I was looking for, and she suffered through my vague descriptions. She came out with the most eye-catching piece of art I ever could have hoped for! She’s a magician!
Is there an artist, book blogger, editor or anyone else that you want to give a shout out to?
As a hard-core introvert, I’ve found it incredibly hard to break out of my shell. There have been members of the book community, however, who just won’t let me hermit. Toni, over at My Book Addiction, has been so great with her support. Erin Hayes, an amazing author in her own right, has also given me gentle nudges towards human interaction. Lori Parker, author/cover artist/best friend in the world, has been more aggressive with her help, and I literally wouldn’t have published my first book without her.
Also, a huge thank you to every single reader who has given my story a shot! I know it’s a little scary to try a new author, so I genuinely appreciate every page-turn.
Give us a brief description of your WIP (work in progress) or your newest novel.
I’m currently writing Prey, the next story in the Shade Chronicles. It takes place before Shade, telling the story of a young teenage girl, who has lived in an enclosed compound for over a decade. When she finally sets foot outside, with her father and brother, she finds that the world as she knew it is dead. The sun is hot enough to blister skin and bleach the earth, but there is something even more dangerous at night.
This is a Halloween blog post so you must tell us, do you enjoy Halloween? Why or why not?
I like Halloween, in theory… but I’m also ridiculously lazy about it. I take my kids trick-or-treating, and I’ll even throw on some face-paint. That’s the extent of my effort.
Do you have any Halloween traditions?
Since we’re out most of the evening with the kids, by the time we get home we only have a handful of people come to our house. Those few, those lucky few, get a stupid amount of candy. It is my goal to have zero candy left at the end of the night, but we also don’t want to run out. It’s a bit of a game.
Do you believe in the spiritual realm?
Hmmm, that’s a tough one. Yes? I definitely believe that there is more to this world that what we can see or explain. I’m not ruling anything out, just in case. You can be sure that if there is a spiritual realm, I’m going to be rocking it!
Have you ever had an encounter with a ghost or something happen that you just can’t explain?
I’ve heard plenty of stories, but I only have one thing that has happened (though more than once) that I guess could be called second-sight. Once, it narrowly avoided a car crash, so I’ll gladly take that kind of phenomenon!
What is your favorite scary movie and/or book?
I can’t say that there are many books that have scared my pants off, but movies are a different story entirely. I’m a “watch with the lights on” kind of girl. I may have paused The Ring a few times to catch my breath, and I had to keep my eyes closed when I was watching Blair Witch because I got motion-sickness (although I think that made it scarier, since I had no idea what was going on). I really love cheesy gore, though! Nightmare on Elm Street is a classic go-to. I also giggle uncontrollably when watching The Walking Dead. Love it!
Most importantly, what is your favorite Halloween candy?
Anything with sugar. Although, I swear my kids’ candy tastes better than mine. I’d better test it.
What author would you geek out over if you met them in real life?
I am an awful fangirl. I mean, I’m really not good at it. I tend to get awkward, and sweat uncontrollably. The author I was most excited to meet was Julie Kagawa, and I was so happy to find that she was really down-to-earth.
You mean… authors are just like regular people?
Hands down, what is your favorite book of all time and why?
My favorite book is probably The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham. We’re talking old-school, here. Written in 1951, it has largely fallen out of popularity (imagine that), but I will gladly read that book a dozen times more.
What book would you like to see in film or do you believe that books should be left alone?
I’m all for film adaptations, especially for books I will never read. No offense to Nicholas Sparks, but I’m not a fan of his books. His movies, however, are angsty-romance gold!
As a reader, what about a book turns you away?
Cliches are a book’s instant death, in my opinion.
If you find you can’t get into a book, do you put it down or be a trooper and finish it?
Super good question! I used to stick it out, push through to the end. But then I realized something; life is short and I’m wasting my time! It seems ridiculous to look at your life and mourn the loss of time because you won’t get all the books read. On the other hand, if that’s all you regret, it’s a life well-lived.
Do you stick to one genre or do you like to read around?
I definitely read a full-genre spectrum, though I sometimes do it in bursts. I read only mystery books for about three years straight, and actually toyed with the idea of writing a mystery novel. Then one day, I woke up and realized that I was exhausted by mystery novels. I quit, cold turkey. I actually haven’t picked one up in over five years. Right now I’m reading contemp romance, science fiction, and a lot of dystopian.
Are you a book-in-your-hands reader, e-booker, or both?
Both, but if I can get my hands on a physical book, I prefer having something tangible. They just take up so much space! I’m at the point of over-stuffed bookshelves spilling out onto the floor.
Favorite TV show?
Depends on what I’m binge watching at that moment. Let’s go with Penny Dreadful.
If you could eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Does dessert count as a dish?
What’s your favorite candy/dessert?
Those cheap chocolate bars they sell at the grocery checkouts. I just can’t seem to say no.
What band or musician can you listen to over and over again? You can list more than one.
I’ve been a Beatles fan since I was seven, and I’m so proud of my younger self for having such good taste.
What’s your hidden talent?
It wouldn’t be hidden if I told you…
What is your dream vacation?
Hiking the Milford Track in New Zealand. Now I just need someone to bankroll that vacation.
Author Name: T.K. Bradley
Book Links: http://a.co/2ufVaNc