Interview with Nicola Bradbury

Describe your desk
I have a neck injury and cannot sit at a desk so I have a computer hooked up to the TV and a wireless keyboard. Being so far away from the screen means I have to be really vigilant in my proof reading.
When did you first start writing?
I remember loving story writing when I was a child and my proudest school moment was when I was about nine and my teacher announced my prowess to the whole class. However, I didn't realise it was something I could choose to be serious about until I was forty four at which time I began a Bachelor of Arts Writing. I nearly gave up two years later but a win in a national competition gave me the thumbs up I needed that I had something worth pursuing. Eight years later I'm still doing that Bachelor and still writing!
What's the story behind your latest book?
Car accidents feature heavily in my life and whilst I was living back in England a few years ago, where you're never more than 10 minutes from help, it occurred to me that in a vast country like Australia you could be dying and literally be too far from anywhere to be saved. It would have been a pretty boring story to just have a person dying out there alone so along came an English backpacker. Having worked in the disability sector, I knew that characters with a disability only seem to feature as either victims or heroes because of their disability so I endeavored to create characters that were just ordinary people who happened to have a disability.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I had to publish a story on Smashwords for a University assignment and I am so glad as it fits my life perfectly. I am many things besides a writer and to be able to write and publish to my time frame is great because it provides the satisfaction of knowing that there won't be any wasted time. I am not seeking a large audience, if one person reads each story and is touched by it then it was worth writing. When I read Blanket (to be published soon), to an audience and a young woman came up to me afterwards and said "You just changed me for the better," I cried, because that's one person being nicer to homeless people and I had the privilege of doing that.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
In my writing life there have been two major turning points: before competitions (how do I know I'm any good at this?) and after competitions (OK I can write), before Smashwords (I don't want to become consumed by being published) and after Smashwords (I'm in control of being published). I'm passionate about the writing, not the admin, Smashwords make it possible for me to follow my passion to the finish line.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Creating characters that encourage people to feel. I want them to laugh or cry or get angry and make a change. Contrary to the teachings of one of my lecturers, I am not aiming for ambiguity.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I am heavily involved in a volunteer home based animal rescue group taking in unwanted or stray cats and dogs, fostering them and rehoming them. I do this with my daughter who amazes me every day with her resilience and compassion for all creatures including humans! I also love, love, love travelling on a shoestring budget with my husband of 35 years (we were young)...Egypt and Venice, if you get the chance! And I spend time alone in my garden regenerating.
What is your writing process?
I usually have a random thought like 'What if you crashed in the bush and were dying,' or 'Wow those poor homeless people are being moved on, who would have thought you could become even more homeless,' and then I think about what character can best be used to tell the story I want to tell. I roll that character around in my head for a few days, creating dialogue and back story, and then I start typing. The other characters are always created around the first one but sometimes it becomes their story. I usually have the ending after the first couple of pages and then it's a rush to get enough on the page to go back and thresh out the middle.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
It wouldn't be the first but 'The Magic Faraway Tree' by Enid Blyton would be the most memorable from my childhood. I remember being amazed that a whole world unlike anything I had ever imagined could come to life out of words on a piece of paper.
How do you approach cover design?
My husband is in advertising so I brainstorm ideas with him until one of us says 'Hey remember that photo from...' and then we spend ages searching through our thousands of photos and then he makes it for me. He comes up with a lot of my titles too. I feel very privileged to have his input and support.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy; Douglas Adams. it's an amazing universe made out of words on paper and finally someone exposed how ridiculous it is to spend your life searching for answers that don't exist.

On Chesil Beach; Ian McEwan. The first of his books I read and I was blown away by the mood of it. My heart broke for the young couple and how sometimes what we don't say can be as harmful as what we do.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime; Mark Haddon. It was the first book recommended to me by my daughter and after I read it I knew we would always be friends.

That Dead Man Dance; Kim Scott. This was a University novel and I struggled with it at first because it challenged my idea of what language was...but that's the point. It opened my eyes to the continuing oppression of Australian Aboriginal culture.

The Capitalism Delusion; Bob Ellis. Made me think that if this could be published there is hope for civilisation yet.
Published 2016-11-24.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Direct Pressure
You set the price! Words: 5,330. Language: English. Published: November 23, 2016. Categories: Plays » Australian & Oceanian
Linda's car hits a tree in the Australian outback. She is found by Jeff, an English backpacker. Unable to free her from the wreck and too far from anywhere to get help, Jeff and Linda share a journey of discovery about heroism, tattoos, the power of Grandmothers and, that truly living is more important than just trying to avoid death. Awarded second prize in the 2013 Noosa One-act Play Competition
Empty
Price: Free! Words: 1,670. Language: Australian English. Published: October 23, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Inspirational
(5.00)
Empty is an emotional tale of one woman’s (and her dog’s) attempt to stay optimistic as drought ravages the farm and the lives around them.