Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! I always love it when a friend is my guest, and this week I’m thrilled to bring you award winning romantic suspense author Patricia Bradley! Our paths have crossed many times at writing conferences all over the country, and I’m always so excited when I can steal away a few minutes to chat with her. Today she’s giving away a copy of her latest romantic suspense. Read on to see how you can enter to win!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. I live in North Mississippi with two rescue kitties, Suzy and Tux. I was a reader until these people came to live in my head and wouldn’t go away until I wrote their stories down. I’ve written thirteen books, and am working on the fourteenth, Deception which is the last one in the Natchez Trace Park Rangers series.
Here’s my bio:
Patricia Bradley is a Carol finalist and winner of an Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award in Suspense, and three anthologies that included her stories debuted on the USA Today Best Seller List. She and her two cats call Northeast Mississippi home–the South is also where she sets most of her books. Her romantic suspense novels include the Logan Point series and the Memphis Cold Case Novels. Obsession, the second book in the Natchez Trace Park Rangers series, released February 2, 2021. She now hard at work on the third book and fourth book, Crosshairs and Deception. Writing workshops include American Christian Fiction Writers online courses, workshops at the Mid-South Christian Writer’s Conference, the KenTen Retreat where she was also the keynote, Memphis American Christian Fiction Writer group, and the Bartlett Christian Writers group. When she has time, she likes to throw mud on a wheel and see what happens.
Tell us about your current release. 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.
How do you push past the fear of your writing being average and be bold enough to sell it to a publisher(or agent or audience if you self publish)? I always knew I had a good story in Shadows of the Past, my first book. I just didn’t know how to write it. I hadn’t learned the craft. But you don’t know what you don’t know—I was writing in a vacuum, not networking with other writers. I joined a critique group and they helped me a lot to learn what it was I didn’t know. Then I took classes, Susan May Warren’s Deep Thinker Retreats to be specific. I read a lot of craft books and put everything I learned into my writing.
I’d met this agent when I first got serious about writing and she asked to see my book. Well, I didn’t have it finished, and wouldn’t until many years later. Anyway, I mailed it to her in 2012 and she loved it. Offered to represent me. She pitched it to about twenty publishers and Revell was one of the first to get back to us and offer a contract.
Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? When I first started writing, I plotted everything out, from beginning to end, then the characters came in and rearranged everything. Now I get a pretty good handle on my characters, figure out what the crime is and why it happens now, and start writing.
Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? (Book series, maybe?) The Black Stallion series by Walter Farley. I loved those books and devoured them.
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? Like I said earlier, I was a reader until I turned 35. Then one night when I couldn’t sleep, the man appeared in my vision. He was standing at a window with smokestacks billowing in the background. He turned to me and said, “This wasn’t the way my life was supposed to turn out.” For the next couple of weeks when I couldn’t sleep, I told myself his story. Then other people came to live in my head and they wouldn’t leave me alone until I started writing their stories.
I assume when you start a book, you pretty much have the plot laid out. Do you ever change your mind later on in the book, and go in a different direction? Wait a minute while I pick myself up off the floor. I rarely have the book plotted out! Like right now. I’ve written 75,000 words and thought I had the ending plotted out when Friday morning this character popped into my head and said, “You forgot about me.” Another ending all together showed up and so now I have to backtrack and add his story…
Do you remember where you were or what you were doing when you started this story? I was at Mount Locust on the Natchez Trace researching the area. When I visited the two cemeteries there, I knew I would set one of the books at Mount Locust, and I knew it would involve a buried body. If you ever get a chance to travel the Natchez Trace near the Southern Terminus, be sure to stop there.
Here is where you can find Patricia online:
Blog – https://ptbradley.com/blog/
Facebook – www.facebook.com/patriciabradleyauthor
Twitter – https://twitter.com/PTBradley1
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/ptbradley1/
Patricia is giving away a copy of Obsession to a reader! See below how to enter to win: