BIO: Sarah J. Bradley is a lifelong Upper Midwest girl who lives with her college sweetheart husband and her two children in Waukesha, Wisconsin. When not writing or volunteering at her church, Sarah's passions include following her children's sports teams around the county, cheering for the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Redwings, and going to every Rick Springfield concert she can.
Thanks for being here, Sarah . It’s a pleasure.
Thank you, Kelly. I’m so excited and honored to be here!
#1- Tell us a little about yourself outside of your writing career…
I do that big balancing act so many women today do. I’m a wife, a mom of two wonderful teens, and a full time service rep for an online toy store. When I’m not working or writing, movies are my special passion. I have a soft spot for those huge budget period movies, especially the ones based on classic novels.
#2- Your book, DREAM IN COLOR, is about a woman stuck in her life before a rock star heart throb comes out of retirement and spins things out of control. What gave you the idea for this story??
Back in 2000, the TV show Emergency was inducted into the Smithsonian Museum. In the process of getting the artifacts from the show to Washington DC, the powers that be decided to make it a meet and greet sort of thing, the stars of the show doing autographs for fans at fire stations across the country. I’ve been a fan of that show since I was four, but thanks to the Internet and this cross country event, I found out I wasn’t alone. I met so many fascinating people in fan groups online. Then, I went to a fan event in Chicago and met Randy Mantooth, (Johnny Gage). That was sort of the spark for the idea.
Later that year I went to a Rick Springfield concert where there was also a meet and greet event. Again, I met several people at this event. I was struck by the loyalty the fans had for these aging stars, and the amazing response from the stars themselves. There was a certain sense of mutual respect and need between the fans and the stars.
The more I talked to the fans online or met them personally, I realized that there was a story there. “Dream in Color” is sort of a love letter to those fans, and to the stars that have come out and given so much of themselves to these very, very loyal people.
The thing about “Dream” is that I doubt I could have written it if the Internet didn’t exist. The fan groups that are out there connect people who otherwise would never have met.
#3- How do you handle the negative reviews and critiques you receive?
What I’ve learned after so many years of writing is that any story a writer tells is going to be received subjectively. Authors want their books to be beloved by everyone. That’s not always going to happen. It’s a harsh business, being a writer, because there is so much rejection that’s simply part of the business. The same can be said for book reviews. If someone reads, “Dream in Color” and doesn’t like it, and writes a bad review about it, I won’t be turning cartwheels (mostly because I look ridiculous doing it!), but I won’t take it personally. I’ve read books I didn’t like. We all have. That’s why there are so many different books to read!
#4- How do you find the time to write within your schedule and what are the ideal conditions to creating a book?
When the children were little I worked at home and did a lot of my writing during nap times or late at night when everyone was in bed. I still write late at night, it’s my favorite time. However, since I work in the morning, I can’t stay up all night writing, so I write after work, or on the weekends. I’ve been known to plug my flash drive into my computer at work once in a while. The nature of my job allows for that sort of thing, so I’m fortunate. A day will come when I can write full time, but that’s a ways off so now I just work when I can. I make sure I do something every day. That’s the key for me, to work every day, even if it’s just a few moments.
I don’t have any set ideal conditions. If I’m inspired to write, I pretty much set aside what I’m doing and write. I always carry a notebook with me to jot down ideas if I’m not able to just sit down and write. I work well with deadlines, and then I really focus. So sometimes I will set a deadline for myself, something like I have to send out six submissions by the end of the week or I have to have x number of words by such and such a date.
#5- Assuming you get any time to read, what authors do you like to read, and were there any books that stand out from your childhood as favorites?
I’m utterly and completely addicted to anything Phillipa Gregory writes. Adriana Trigiani is also a favorite author and I’m reading her latest right now. I’ve been reading a lot of romance novels lately by my fellow authors at Wild Rose Press, like Stacey Joy Netzel, Donna Rodgers, Ilona Fridl, and Meg Hennessey.
Childhood favorites were heavy on the classics. My all time favorite book is “Wuthering Heights” (Which I read in seventh grade) and I’ve read everything Bronte sisters wrote. Joan Aiken, with her “Wolves of Willoughby Chase” series of books put me in touch with the dark side of writing at a very young age. I read “Rebecca” in grade school and was hooked on Daphne du Maurier. As a very young child I read and reread Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary, and have course, the Encyclopedia Brown series!
#6- Are there any upcoming releases we would like to know about, and could you give us your web site so readers can check it out?
I’m currently marketing my second novel, “Lies in Chance” which is sort of a dark romantic suspense. To aid in that, I’ve decided to market a series of short stories based on the novel, but sort of prequels to it. I’m always writing, I’ve got ideas for several novels rattling around in my head. Just a matter of sitting down and doing it!
I don’t have a website…yet! But anyone interested can check out my two blogs:
I check in on those to sites daily and update any news there is. I am working on a website, so I guess stay tuned for that!
#7- This about concludes it. Thank you again for joining us. Is there anything else you would like to share?
Nothing concrete at the moment, except that “Dream in Color” is available in print and digital download at www.thewildrospress.com, or at the Barnes and Noble and Amazon sites. I’m setting up some book signings in the Milwaukee area in the next few months, so check out the blogs on that, I’d love to see everyone! Oh, and Rick Springfield is playing in Milwaukee the first week in May…you can bet I’ll be there!
Thank you, Kelly, this was such a pleasure!