Today we sit down for a chat with award-winning romantic suspense author Patricia Bradley. Learn more about her and her books at her website.
When did you realize you wanted to write novels?
I never thought about writing until I turned thirty-five. I was always a reader. But I went through a stretch of time where I couldn’t fall asleep at night and one night as I lay there staring at the ceiling, a man appeared. He stood at a window with smokestacks billowing in the background. Then he turned to me and said, “My life wasn’t supposed to turn out like this.”
I started telling myself his story and then other people came to live in my head, and they wouldn’t go away until I started writing about them. And that’s how I came to realize I wanted to write novels.
How long did it take you to realize your dream of publication?
One year to be published in Woman’s World… thirty something years before my first novel was published. Since that novel, I’ve had thirteen novels published.
Are you traditionally published, indie published, or a hybrid author?
I’m mostly traditionally, but I’ve been included in several indie anthologies that have hit the USA Today Bestseller list.
Where do you write?
I turned a bedroom into an office. When it’s warm enough, but not too warm, I write on my deck.
Is silence golden, or do you need music to write by? What kind?
If I think about it, I’ll play classical music…but no words.
How much of your plots and characters are drawn from real life? From your life in particular?
Parts of me are in all of my characters, even the villains…I mean, which of us hasn’t had an urge to kill a back-stabbing best friend?
Describe your process for naming your character?
Most of my main characters appear fully named. If they don’t, I can’t get started until I find the perfect name. The first place I start is the Social Security Baby Name site.
Real settings or fictional towns?
I’ve written both. The series I’m working on now is set in Natchez, Mississippi and the Natchez Trace Parkway. My next series is set near the Mississippi coast in the Pearl River basin—I got tired of trying make sure I got the street names and businesses correct.
What’s the quirkiest quirk one of your characters has?
My characters don’t have a lot of quirks, but in Obsession, the heroine, Emma, doesn’t like chocolate chip cookies. I’ve had a few comments about that.
What’s your quirkiest quirk?
I’ve been dating the same guy for 23 years.
If you could have written any book (one that someone else has already written,) which one would it be? Why?
There are so many, but I’ll settle on one The Eye of The Needle by Ken Follett. I don’t know why, just that I still remember it after, what is it, 43 years? I’d love to write something that a reader would remember like that.
Everyone at some point wishes for a do-over. What’s yours?
That’s a hard one. There are a lot of things I’ve done that I regret, but if I did a do-over, it would change my whole life from that point on. And I might not be where I am now…a place I like very much.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Negative people. I try to steer clear of them, but it’s hard sometimes when they in your family.
You’re stranded on a deserted island. What are your three must-haves?
My Bible. Unlimited supply of eyebrow pencils (almost no eyebrows lol), Chocolate.
What was the worst job you’ve ever held?
A waitress. I dropped a plate of food on a customer…
What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
So many…Exodus by Leon Uris.
Ocean or mountains?
City girl/guy or country girl/guy?
Country girl…unless it’s a small town.
What’s on the horizon for you?
I’ll start writing a new series about a female sheriff in Mississippi—we don’t have one, and I think it’s high time we did.
Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself and/or your books?
I love writing and was published rather late in life, so I want to encourage anyone out there who thinks they’re too old to start writing, they’re not. You’re never too old to tell a story.
Natchez Trace Park Rangers Series, Book 2
Natchez Trace Ranger and historian Emma Winters hoped never to see Sam Ryker again after she broke off her engagement to him. But when shots are fired at her at a historical landmark just off the Natchez Trace, she's forced to work alongside Sam as the Natchez Trace law enforcement district ranger in the ensuing investigation. To complicate matters, Emma has acquired a delusional secret admirer who is determined to have her as his own. Sam is merely an obstruction, one which must be removed.
Sam knows that he has failed Emma in the past and he doesn't intend to let her down again. Especially since her life is on the line. As the threads of the investigation cross and tangle with their own personal history, Sam and Emma have a chance to discover the truth, not only about the victim but about what went wrong in their relationship.