Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Interview with novelist Robyn Bradley
Today's Reviews and Interviews guest is Robyn Bradley. She's talking about writing, of course, and her newest book, Forgotten April.
Thanks so much for having me here today, Lisa! I'm excited to connect with you and your readers.
My pleasure! Robyn, please tell us about your current release.
At its heart, Forgotten April is a story about sisters. And secrets. And the road not taken. And the "what ifs" that plague all of us. The story opens with down-on-her-luck April trying to figure out what to make of Maggie, a famous broadcast journalist, who turns out to be April's half sister. The women's mother gave Maggie up for adoption over 50 years earlier, long before April was born. And, sadly, this same woman is now suffering from Alzheimer's disease, so she can't provide the answers that Maggie and April seek. So it's up to Maggie and April to figure out what happened…and to learn how to be family, how to be sisters. The story grows from there, but what would this tale be without a little romantic drama? Yes, I've included a good dose of that as well.
What inspired you to write this book?
For me, my stories usually begin with a question. When I started this book ten years ago, I'd been hearing a lot about adopted kids finding their birth parents. This got me thinking -- what if an adopted child found her birth mother, but the mother suffered from some horrible disease that affected her memory like Alzheimer's? The story sprouted from that one seed and took off from there.
What exciting story are you working on next?
My next book, What Happened in Granite Creek, comes out in October, and it's based on my short story "Support Our Troops" (available as an ebook on Kindle, Nook, and iPad). So many readers asked me what happened to the main characters in that story, and I always knew the main characters wanted to tell their whole story, and so it happened.
The book is about a wife and mother of three who has an affair with a quadruple amputee who lost his limbs while serving in Iraq. The woman must eventually choose between her family and her lover, but her decision leads to chaos -- for everyone.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I can trace it back to Mrs. Shea’s fourth grade class when she gave us a short story assignment. As I sat at my desk drafting the piece, first in pencil and then rewriting it in ink, I knew. As I read it aloud to my classmates, I knew. As I proudly beamed at the four red stars Mrs. Shea put at the top, I knew.
Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I'm lucky that my "day job" involves writing: I've been a self-employed marketing copywriter for nine years. At this point, I consider myself a full-time fiction writer and a part-time copywriter. (I hope to lose the copywriter part soon!) I divide my time between creative writing, reading, client work, and marketing my fiction.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I wish I could tell you that I needed a certain type of pen or that my desk needed to face a certain direction or I only drank a certain brand of coffee or rum. I'm not a quirky writer. At least, no quirkier than most. I'm extremely disciplined, and when I'm in the midst of a novel, I try to put in 1000 words a day, seven days a week. Also, I don't check my sales (this makes me quirky, I think, since I meet so many writers, especially those who are self-published, who check their sales every hour).
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Thanks to good ol' Mrs. Shea in the fourth grade, I've always wanted to be a writer. But I took a detour in morning radio (out of college) before I got serious about it.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Trivia: I used to write under the pen name E.T. Robbins, and that's actually the name of my copywriting company (E.T. Robbins Productions). The name is a hat tip to my oldest niece and nephew who couldn't quite wrap their tongues around "Aunty Robyn" when they were kids and instead used to say "E.T. Robbins." In my wisdom at the age of nine (I'm close in age to my niece and nephew), I said that E.T. Robbins would be my pen name when I grew up and became a writer. And it was, for a few years (I've published some articles and movie reviews under this name). What changed? I won a short story award back in 2007 and even though I submitted it with my pen name, the award folks published it with my real name. I took that as a sign and I've been using my real name ever since. Now you know! :)
Also, I LOVE connecting with readers, and I'm excited about the community we've got going on my Facebook page. I'd love for the readers here to check it out and join us: http://www.facebook.com/RobynBradleyWriter
Thanks so much for having me at your blog today, Lisa!
Robyn, it's been great to learn a bit about your and your writing. Keep the words flowing!