Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance. This week, I’m so very happy to bring you Sally Bradley. Sally is a pastor’s wife and a cop’s wife together – two of THE TOUGHEST jobs a woman can have. She’s the author of Kept – a book that sounds absolutely amazing. AND — I saw on Twitter this morning that the book is just 99 cents through today (March 2) – so go get you one before the books is no longer on sale! Please enjoy this interview as much as I did!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Sure. I’m a work-at-home mom of three and I’m married to a pastor/cop. We’re Chicagoans now living in the beautiful country of eastern Kansas. It’s taken some adjustment, but we like it there.
Tell us about your current release. Kept is big-city fiction that deals with real issues yet offers real hope. Here’s the back cover blurb:
Life has taught Miska Tomlinson that there are no honorable men. Her womanizing brothers, her absentee father, and Mark, the married baseball player who claims to love her—all have proven undependable. But Miska has life under control. She runs her editing business from her luxury condo, stays fit with daily jogs along Chicago’s lakefront, and in her free time blogs anonymously about life as a kept woman.
Enter new neighbor Dillan Foster. Between his unexpected friendship and her father’s sudden reappearance, Miska loses control of her orderly life. Her relationship with Mark deteriorates, and Miska can’t help comparing him to Dillan. His religious views are so foreign, yet the way he treats her is something she’s longed for. But Dillan discovers exactly who she is and what she has done. Too late she finds herself longing for a man who is determined to never look her way again.
When her blog receives unexpected national press, Miska realizes that her anonymity was an illusion. Caught in a scandal about to break across the nation, Miska wonders if the God Dillan talks about would bother with a woman like her—a woman who’s gone too far and done too much.
“Gutsy and fast-paced.”—Laura Frantz, author of Love’s Reckoning
“One of the most surprising and best books I’ve read this year.”—MaryLu Tyndall, best-selling author of Legacy of the King’s Pirates series
What do you think is lacking in Christian Fiction? I’ve felt in recent years that Christian fiction hasn’t dealt with the reality of life in America. There seems to have been a shift back to lighthearted historical romances and very little that deals with things many Christians are facing today. My tastes run toward books that make you think which is why I wrote Kept. It was the book I couldn’t find.
Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? I have a question, a what if, that I want to explore. I know the opening scenes and I know, very generically, how it ends and maybe three or four scenes in between. That’s really it. So for me the rough draft is a true discovery and adventure, and things often completely surprise me. There are a number of times when I finish a scene and think, “What happens next?”
I’m always intrigued by how writers get started…did you always have these books inside you and knew that you wanted to write them or did the idea just pop into your head one day and you decided to put pen to paper? I’ve always, always, always wanted to write. Since third grade.
Do you write your books for your own enjoyment or more for what you think people would want to read? I write books that I can’t find, books I’m longing to read. I know I’m not alone in my tastes—Kept’s sales have proven that—so I plan to keep writing that way.
Which of your characters most reflects your personality? I’d have to say Dillan Foster. He’s a rather serious, focused guy who isn’t the type to catch much attention. Yet he catches the attention of Miska, the heroine, because he’s so different than the other men she knows.
I assume when you start a book, you pretty much have the plot laid out. Nope! Not at all. I describe my writing style as dashing through a dark, dark night with a lantern held arms’ length in front of me and a cliff right beside me. It’s terrifying, it’s fun, and every so often it can turn deadly when I take a wrong turn. Fortunately I survive by deleting a scene that went the wrong direction and having something different happen. Thankfully, falling over the “cliff” has been a rare occurrence.
If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? I’d like to think I would. That one person might be me, you know? Writing fiction completely feeds me, and writing Christian fiction makes me examine areas in my own life. And my goal with Kept was to reach women who have a past similar to Miska’s and are struggling with it. If Kept helps women with that, I’m truly thrilled.
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