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.