Interview with Tom Bradley, Jr

When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Well, I spend way too much time watching TV. The positive side of this otherwise lackadaisical hobby is that much of what I watch has some influence on what and how I write. My wife and I are partial to British crime dramas—think Broadchurch, The Fall, Whitechapel, Midsomer Murders, Sherlock, etc. I also love photography, swimming, travel, and of course, reading.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
As I like to read crime novels, I tend to seek out my favorite authors, and also, expand my search to new writers or writers with whom I am unfamiliar, to see what they have to offer (the Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought feature is an excellent tool to find books). Then again, I sometimes know what I am looking for, especially if it's a novel by a well-known author, and go straight to it.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have an Amazon Kindle. Sometimes, when I am away from my Kindle and have time to catch a quick chapter or two--usually during my lunch break at work--I use the Kindle app on my Galaxy S4.
When did you first start writing?
I probably began writing stories back in first grade. They were of no consequence, of course, but I do recall scribbling little pieces of prose when I was about 7 years-old.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I suppose it was after I received my umpteenth rejection notice from a literary agent. I knew going into it that writing and publishing novels is an intense, competitive business, and that new writers--unless they've written something truly profound or marketable--often are shunted aside or ignored altogether. So, considering my books are neither profound nor marketable (from a traditional publishing standpoint), I researched independent, self-publishing, and began selling my novels that way. And I couldn't be happier.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Giving life to the characters who live in my head. Having a story to tell, and telling it. Expression of my creativity. And the self-imposed challenge of sitting down and writing a story to completion, and the feeling of accomplishment once I am finished.
What are you working on next?
I am in the process of writing my fourth Noelani B. Lee mystery, THE WAIMEA TWO-STEP. I am about one-third of the way through the first draft. Of course, ideas for subsequent books are always bubbling in my brain, but I hope to finish and publish this one by the end of the calendar year.
Who are your favorite authors?
Elmore Leonard, Carl Hiaasen, Chester Himes, Robert Crais, Ben Rehder, Christopher Moore...when I was a kid I couldn't get enough of Joseph Wambaugh, A Conan Doyle, and Agatha Christie. I'm in the midst of reading INHERENT VICE by Thomas Pynchon, which no doubt will lead me to more of his books. I also have novels by Megan Abbott waiting for me on my Kindle. And you can't go wrong with Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Life in general; daily challenges, seeing familiar faces and meeting new ones, and just seeing what turns up in the average day. And my dog, who's always hungry.
What is your writing process?
I am a pantster. I don't outline, though I probably should; while I do develop characters and make physical notes about their motivations, I come up with plots and sub-plots in my tiny little brain. After I let them simmer there for a while, I begin writing and, sometimes, I let the characters take control--albeit with some level of guidance. Although, they sometimes change my storyline on the fly, the sneaky devils.
How do you approach cover design?
I leave that in the hands of a professional graphic artist. I send her a plot summary and we toss ideas back and forth, but if it was left to me? It would be a disaster.
Published 2015-08-05.
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