I write mostly thrillers with a supernatural twist to them. Early on, I tried my hand at mysteries, but I’m not very good at coming up with those obscure clues that are just ambiguous enough to mislead the reader. Thrillers are a bit more straightforward, not necessarily needing to have clues to guide the reader to the conclusion. Adding a supernatural spin gives me the ability to break accepted laws of reality. I always try to ground my stories in modern times, with all the usual things that one would expect: cars, mobile phones, etc. My characters have the same struggles that we all do, as well as the same joys and regrets. But, the supernatural twist provides a way to blur the line between the possible and the impossible.
What do you find most challenging about the writing process, and how do you deal with it?
If you ask my editor, it’s my grammar. But, I think my biggest challenge is being patient with my writing. I often want to rush things along in order to finish sooner, resulting in a story not being quite as good as it could be. I hear all the time where it took years for an author to finish their first novel, and I would have a lot of difficulty being patient enough for that. But, I know that a story can benefit from having that extra time to mature. A good story takes time to develop, and needs to be nurtured to obtain its full potential. That’s where I struggle, being patient enough to give my stories the time that they need. Have I found a way to deal with it yet? It’s a work-in-progress. I’m improving, but there is still a lot of work to be done.
When and where do you do your writing?
I usually do my writing in the evening, setting aside a couple hours in whatever room in the house no one else is in. I’m easily distracted so I often need to find somewhere quiet. More often than not, I end up in the basement, sitting at a small desk in the corner, just me and my laptop.
What have you learned about promoting your books?
It takes a lot of time and energy. Writing a book isn’t just about putting words on paper, and books don’t sell themselves. There is almost as much, if not more, work involved in promoting the book and building your audience as there is in the actual writing. Promotion on social media, as well as maintaining an online presence through a blog and website, can be time consuming, but is necessary to engage and retain an author’s readership.
What are you most proud of as a writer?
If anything, it would be the two main characters from my debut novel, SIRENS IN THE NIGHT. I spent a great deal of time developing Samantha Ballard and Jack Allyn, and a lot of people have said that they loved those two characters. There was an early reviewer write to me to say that she was upset to find out what happened to Samantha and Jack at the end of the book. It felt good to know that readers were making a connection with Samantha and Jack.
If you could have dinner with any writer, living or dead, who would it be and what would you talk about?
Terry Pratchett. Definitely Terry Pratchett. I’m a huge fan of his “Discworld” series. His novels have an infinite ability to entertain again and again with his ironic, and often, hilarious storytelling. Pratchett had an incredible ability to take an otherwise straight-laced fantasy world filled with dwarfs, goblins, wizards, vampires, and humans, and add just enough absurdity to turn the whole thing upside down. His characters have a charm all their own that draws me into with every novel. As for what we would talk about, I see my dinner with Terry Pratchett to be more of a “pupil sitting at the feet of the master” type meal. I’d want to know all about the inspiration for some of my favorite characters, how he developed his ideas, and what inspired him to write such hilariously twisted tales.
About Michael Bradley
Born and raised in southern New Jersey, Michael Bradley is an author and software consultant, whose frequent travels have brought him in touch with a variety of people throughout the United States. In his "day job", he has presented on a variety of subjects at several IT conferences, both in America and in Europe. When he isn’t on the road, working, or writing, Michael hits the waterways in one of his three kayaks, paddling creeks, streams, and rivers all over Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey.
Before working in information technology, Michael spent eight years in radio broadcasting, working for stations in New Jersey and West Virginia, including the Marconi Award winning WVAQ in Morgantown. He has been "up and down the dial" working as on air personality, promotions director, and even program director, providing a wealth of fond, enduring, and, sometimes, scandalous memories that he hopes to some day write about.
Among the writers in which he finds inspiration, Michael favors P.D. James, Raymond Chandler, Leslie Charteris, Simon Brett, Terry Pratchett, and Ian Fleming. He lives in Delaware with his wife, Diane, and their three furry four-legged “kids”, Simon, Brandy, and Preaya.