Welcome to Jagged Edge!
First, Kati, thank you so much for offering to do this interview with me. I really appreciate it.
Would you like to tell us a little about yourself?
I guess as a writer I am a bit unique in that I have been writing for most of my life and outside of magazine articles, I have never published under my own name, including Falling In Love. I am using a pen name partly to help hide Sherry’s identity. Besides writing, I love—surprise, surprise—reading, as well as sports, traveling and mostly enjoying life with my wife, our daughter and our dog.
What inspired you to write?
I have wanted to write for as long as I can remember. When I was four, I wrote my first book before I had learned any written words. It was really a comic book about my cat and I hunting for a mouse and when we found one, I wouldn’t let her kill it. It was based on a true story.
What authors influenced you as a writer?
Strangely enough, Franklin W. Dixon probably influenced me as much as anyone because every chapter in the Hardy Boys books ended with a cliffhanger, and that was the beginning of learning to write about suspense. However, as an adult I have written so many times “for hire” on different types of projects that I’m not sure how much writers have influenced my writing but obviously they have influenced my life by making it richer. I like strong stories so I read a lot of best selling writers like John Grisham, Patricia Cornwell, John Connolly and Janet Evanovich. But occasionally, I may be in a mood for someone like Richard Yates, whose work can be depressing but the writing is superb.
What is your favorite quote?
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. – Oscar Wilde
If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world, which would it be?
The Sun Also Rises. I think that living as a writer in Paris in the Twenties would have been incredible.
What is at least one thing that every writer needs to have or do?
I think a writer has to have a strong belief in one’s ability to create something special. Writing can be so difficult and writers can be so insecure about their writing and so afraid of exposing their most intimate thoughts and feelings that the writing itself can become intimidating. You have to believe that in the end it will not only be worth it but that you will give something to the world that no one else can.
Are your books different than your personal favorite books by other authors?
Yes but again, it is because I ghostwrote several autobiographies that I might not have otherwise read. Honestly, if Sherry had chosen another writer, I’m not sure that I would have read Falling In Love. But if I did read it, I know I would have enjoyed it immensely and learned from it. I think that is about all you can ask from a book.
What led you to writing in this genre?
As I mention in the Prologue, I really only had to answer the phone.
What is your favorite part of the writing process?
I like the end of the process when I am polishing a story, because then I am like a first reader offering an opinion rather than a writer trying to make the story work.
Least favorite part of the writing process?
The writing, just kidding. Actually, I don’t really like first drafts too much because the story usually hasn’t taken shape and it still has plot holes and the characters don’t seem complex enough. But I have taught writing and during the first class I always quote Ernest Hemingway’s line, “The only thing important about a first draft is finishing it.” But that is the beauty of writing. Eventually—or at least hopefully--it turns into a great read.
What are you currently working on?
At the moment, I am working on a thriller but I don’t like talking too much about a book until I am at least done with the first draft.
Where readers can find you?
Kati, these are probably way more links that you want, so please just choose any that work for you.
Stephen Bradlee Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stephen-Bradlee/272408129527354
Stephen Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/StephenBradlee
Was there a question you wish I would have asked but didn't?
Not that I can think of. I think you asked the right questions. Thank you.
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