Getting to know author T. E. Bradford
Dear Readers: I would like to introduce you to an author who is new to me but by no means new. Tracy E. Bradford
Tracy : Tell my readers a little about what you write?
I write speculative fiction, which is generally fantasy and sci-fi (or a blend of the two). Life is hard enough. I want stories that transport me to another place. A magical place, where I can stretch out my hand to touch the wonder of this vast universe God created. A universe more extraordinary than we can begin to comprehend. These are the stories I love best, and the ones I love to write. "If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." - C.S. Lewis
What is your style?
I am definitely character driven. I love exploring the things that make us each different, and that bring us all together.
Who would like your stories?
People who enjoy C.S. Lewis, Carl Sagan, and I've been compared to Brandon Sanderson in terms of my fantasy style. Also, I think people who don't normally enjoy fantasy and sci-fi might enjoy my books as well, as I focus on exploring wonder and ways science proves the existence of a grand design.
I know you have a new novella, but tell us about your other books.
But of course! My Divide Series books are about a teenager named Nova who has a condition called Synesthesia, that blends her senses and allows her to see sounds. This has led to some bullying in her life, and she feels as if she doesn't fit anywhere in this world. As it turns out, she's not from this world. She's from another. And prophecy says she's destined to destroy them both. --That's a bit of my blurb there, but it gives you a good idea of what you'll get in the story. I blend action/adventure with some suspense and a dash of wonder (I like this word better than magic, as some people get the wrong idea about fantasy).
Do my readers need to read them in order?
I would say for the series, they'd feel best read in order, if only because they would follow the chain of events that way. But I also have several short stories, and my newest, which is the novella Awakened!
What is your favorite?
Awakened is definitely my favorite right now! It does have an AI (artificial intelligence) character. He's called MAC (mechanized anodic commando), and he was designed to destroy, but something rather miraculous happens to him and his is "awakened." It's a wonderful exploration of the relationship between creator and created. Cara, a jaded teen in the middle of a war, is forced to examine her own beliefs (or lack thereof). I promise you - you'll fall in love with these characters by the end of the story.
How did you start writing?
Gosh, I've been writing almost as long as I can remember! I wrote my first story (and my first song) when I was twelve. I could still sing you that song, too! LOL The story is (sadly - or more likely thankfully) long gone. But to answer your question, I was a reader. I loved reading. I still love to read. I think, in many cases, this leads to writing.
I understand your faith plays a part in your stories, can you tell us about that?
Hugely. I am constantly amazed by the simplicity and complexity of God's love for me. I want to convey those things to others, and find the easiest (and most fun) way for me to do that is with parables. Stories that tell a story. Allegories, if you like the word better.
Would your books make good gifts? If so, is there an age group that you think would enjoy them most?
My main characters tend to be teens, but I've had plenty of adults say they enjoyed my books as well. They are all family-friendly or PG-13 (no graphic violence, no cursing, no sex). I say PG-13 because I do have a very light romantic sub-plot in my series, and some mild violence - nothing graphic - in some of my other shorts.
When you work on a book, where do the names of your characters come from? Are they people you know who secretly show up?
Ooooh, this is a GREAT question! I'm a huge nerd when it comes to names. Even as a kid I had spiral notebooks filled with name ideas, both normal and "fantasy-esque." LOL Usually I research the meanings of different names, and tie them somehow to the character I'm creating. But every once in a while someone I knew in my younger life shows up. In fact the hero in my series, a boy named Quentin, is very much modeled after my hubby!
What about your art work? Explain to us how your covers are chosen and designed. Do you have a say in them?
Not sure I should let this cat out of the bag, but I am VERY involved with my book covers. In fact, I've designed a couple of them myself! :) I have to get approval for them, of course, but wading through thousands of images to find really cool ones is a guilty pleasure of mine! Whenever I'm stressed or need to unwind, I go image surfing.
What about your family? We all love to know a little back story about the authors we read.
I am truly blessed when it comes to my family. My hubby was created by God just for me. I'm not sure what I could have done to deserve such grace, but I am truly grateful for it. My little man was a surprise that came along when I was forty-two years old. He has so much energy we swear he could power a whole city. And he definitely has mom's creative gene. Keep an eye out, because he's already written several songs and a story himself, so you may just see a young N. Bradford in the near future!
Where do you live? Has this always been home?
I grew up in and still reside in Central New York - snow belt country. It's cold, and we don't get as much sun as I'd like, but the older I get the more I appreciate the benefits and beauty of our region.
Tell us about your newest project, the one you are most excited about. I'm working on a sequel to Awakened! The working title right now is Aware. Shhh! Don't tell - that's a secret still! ;-)
What are you working on now that isn't out? What is it about? And when can we expect it?
So many things. I am not one of those authors who writes strictly on one thing at a time. Nope. Not this girl. I have to bounce between several projects at a time. So the 2nd story in the Six World Sagas - sequel to Heart of the Ajs, my sequel to Awakened, a spin-off series from my Divide books, and a new series about a group of women warriors who uphold truth and justice.
How long do you write in a day? How much do you change as you edit? Do you write directly into your computer or do you hand write first?
Well, I do still work full-time, and am the mom to a VERY active ten-year-old, but on a good day I'll get in between 500 and 1500 words. I definitely do NOT edit as I draft (it's called "rough" for a reason! LOL). And I love your question about hand-writing. When I was a young writer I swore I would be the first to publish a completely hand-written book. Of course that was before I understood the printing process, but thankfully with technology being what it is I could still possibly do this. My usual process in writing is to brainstorm longhand, but I do type on my computer / laptop for the most part. Losing hard copies is just too devastating. I've learned to back up my backups.
Do you have an agent, if so, I am sure my readers who are writers would love to know who it is.
I did... I don't anymore. When I received a publishing contract from Elk Lake I was still in the process of trying to find an agent. Of course, getting the contract helped with that, but we went our separate ways a couple of years later.
What do you read for enjoyment? Who is your favorite author? An old one and maybe a newer one?
Hah! Have a year? LOL I love reading. I don't get to as much as I used to, but I still love it. If I have to narrow it down to one older, one newer, the older would still have to be C.S. Lewis, and the newer would be Eric Asher. I'm not generally a steampunk reader, but Asher's work is the very best kind of storytelling wrapped with a middle-grade hero. I just LOVE his books. Mind you, there are dozens of others!!!
What else do you do when you are not writing or reading?
I'm also a singer/songwriter, and I love to take pictures. My family will sometimes go out driving, each of us loaded with our cameras (or phones) to see what kind of photos we can get.
And upmost always on my mind, do you have any pets?
Laws, yes! I have my very own grumpy kitty! She's not quite as grumpy as she looks, but it's a close call. LOL And we have a schnoodle pupper named Carmelo that we just adore. He's our therapy dog, for sure. Don't get me started on how sweet and wonderful this particular cross-breed is.
How can my readers find your books?
The best way is through my author page on Amazon! https://www.amazon.com/author/tebradford
Do you have a blog or website you would like to share that my readers can either sign up for or just pop over and read?
I'll admit I don't really blog, but I DO have a YouTube channel, and have some interview videos coming soon! You can also find some cool book trailer videos there (and maybe a video of me singing one of my original songs). https://bit.ly/BradfordUTube Readers can also sign up for my newsletter, which I try to keep to exciting news like giveaways and new releases. http://bit.ly/TEBradfordNews
Any of my readers who respond to this article with their mailing information stand a chance of winning a copy of the book of Tracy's choice. Leave a message as to what you like about Tracy and why you want to read her books.
YES!!! And let me know which book(s) you think you'd like most, and you may just get your favorite! :)
And is there anything I have forgotten to ask you but you feel my readers would like to know?
Just that I'm grateful for you taking the time to do this interview, Jackie! I love getting to meet new people and share my faith and passion for Christ. I am constantly surprised and amazed by wonders all around us, sometimes visible, sometimes unseen, but all part of a truly grand design.
Thank you Tracy for all your time. I can't wait to start reading your newest story. Cheers, Jacqueline Gillam Fairchild Join us for discussion on books, tea, teatime and lifestyle inspirations at: Drink Tea and Read Books Facebook Group, and teatimewithhermajesty.com Facebook: Jacqueline Gillam Fairchild author: The Midwest Series: Estate of Mind, Make Me Over, The Scrap Book Trilogy, The Greater Expectations 4 Book Collection. The Nantucket Series: Becoming Santa, Looking for Santa, The Mermaid Mansion (Coming soon) and the Antique Bride and Groom (coming soon) Actor: American Immersion Theater and The Murder Mystery Company Grand Hotel Mackinac Island troupe.