Thanks for joining me, Bradon. Please have a seat and make yourself comfortable.
I understand you had a novel released recently and another being released by Limitless tomorrow. Can you give me some details about them and your writing?
I signed my first project, Keeping the Tarnished with Limitless in August of 2015. Prior to this the book was self-published. Since signing my first book, I have published two others, Copper Lilies and the first book of my series, Before we Fractured: Jessie Kasper.
I’m inspired by life. I think we all are. My inspiration is evident in my writing and summing that up into a single genre is almost impossible. I like exploring and trying new things. If there’s a voice in my head, screaming to get out, I let it out…regardless of genre.
My series, Before we Fractured, is my first attempt at YA. In the first book, Jessie Kasper, I tried to address issues like depression, loss and anxiety in a very real light. The book comes out tomorrow, Feb 16th, and the follow-up, Kacey Monroe, releases May 17th.
I’m also in the process of developing an outline for a romance novel…the inspiration for this actually came from my work (I’m an organ recovery coordinator).
Also, I’m part of a horror anthology project that I’m very excited about. If all goes as planned it should be out this year.
I hope to publish all of the manuscripts I have written, and that readers are entertained by my writing to want to read more. My goal is to get all of the plot ideas I have jotted down into completed and published books.
That’s awesome, Bradon. It sounds like you’re quite busy, but I’m sure enjoying it. It’s great that you are able to write different genres. It shows a lot of creative versatility. I like your idea about developing your plot ideas into novels, and it’s also nice to explore anthology opportunities. I recently submitted a non-fiction piece to an anthology, and my first mystery was published in the Cat Crimes Through Time anthology.
Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?
Getting published with a reputable publisher was the main goal for so long that right now I’m in a honeymoon phase. I’m new to publishing, so I’m taking the opportunity to learn from the awesome staff and the authors at Limitless. There’s literally a wealth of knowledge and resources at my fingertips.
Like many authors, the main goal is to do what I love for a living.
The idea of waking up, enjoying coffee, and then working from my office—pounding out the next best-seller is of course the ultimate goal.
In the next few years I plan to continue improving all areas of my craft on a practical level. There’s so much about this industry that I need to educate myself on. Fine-tuning and advancing go hand in hand. I believe with the resources I have now, there’s no reason that I can’t be successful.
I can certainly relate to that. As a fellow Limitless author, I can say that the support and information gained from other authors is so important. I also self-published my first book, Cloudy Rainbow, and I really feel that, although self-publishing is a good option for some, the having a publisher and being able to network with other authors makes a big difference.
What type of reader are you hoping to attract? Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?
There is no greater reward than opening up my email or social media to a happy reader that has praise or constructive feedback. I have several readers that have followed me from the beginning and I look forward to their interaction. I’ve even mentioned them personally in my acknowledgments.
The readers I’ve attracted thus far have been pretty diverse…I wouldn’t have it any other way.
That’s great. It’s a wonderful feeling when you have positive feedback from readers. When people tell me that they’ve stayed up until 3 in the morning reading A Stone’s Throw, couldn’t put it down, and was totally surprised by the book’s twist, that really makes my day.
What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?
Don’t give up. Persistence will pay off eventually.
Research your publisher. It’s always exciting to get an offer, especially when there’s been nothing but standardized rejection letters prior to it. Just because they can ‘publish’ you, does not mean they are someone you want to partner with on your project. Don’t allow your hard work to be associated with a poor representation of the industry. A good place to start your research is Google.
Be strategic about where you send your material. When I queried Limitless Publishing, I researched their authors and books for days before I even studied the submission guidelines. I had a good feeling about them. When I queried them, I did exactly as instructed. I read and re-read my query letter repeatedly, making sure it was perfect before pushing send. Two days later, my entire manuscript was requested, and literally ten days after my initial query, I inked my first deal with a reputable and established publisher. It all happened so fast that I didn’t really have time to absorb it. I’m still smiling about it. Now when someone asks who I’m signed to, I’m proud to tell them, Limitless Publishing.
If and when you get your work out there for people to read, THANK THEM for reading it. Without demand there can be no supply. Keep in touch with your readers and let them know how much you appreciate them.
Have fun. Write what you’re passionate about. The market is subjective and there’s room for all of us. I promise if you write what you love it will come naturally. If you force yourself to write what you think will sell, the reader may pick up on it. And be proud of what your write! Who cares if you get a bad review? That is one person’s opinion. They may not like your genre or writing style but I assure you there are readers out there that will.
Very well said, Bradon. Those are excellent points.
What were some of the struggles you faced before you became published?
Where do I start? It seems easy, right? Just sit down and write this book and people will be clawing at their keyboards to buy it after I secure this awesome advance and an outstanding agent…wrong.
There was SO much that I didn’t know about the industry. I grew up reading and writing, but when it came time to pursue my dream of being published, I was shocked at the hoops authors had to jump through.
The struggles of marketing and getting out there can be so overwhelmingly oppressive that at times it took away from the fun of writing. To be completely honest, at times it still feels that way.
I’m thankful now that I have a team of experienced professionals ready to answer my questions and offer guidance. As a new author the insight from experienced authors and editors willing to offer it is priceless.
Definitely. I feel the same. As you said, unless you’ve published a book, you don’t realize how much more is involved than writing it. As you also indicated, that’s why the help of others with more experience is so important and why being part of Team Limitless has been rewarding for both of us.
Did you or are you taking any helpful writing or publishing classes?
During graduate school I opted to enroll in several creative writing electives. Although these courses offered insight to some extent, applying the teaching to what I was doing was difficult for me. I took some aspects of character and plot development from school, but as a whole, I don’t feel it affected my craft to the extent it did my pocketbook. An author will always be an author…that’s just what they are. As with any craft, it takes practice. In my opinion, there’s a wealth of priceless knowledge in the books that inspire us. My favorite authors have taught me much more than I ever learned in an overpriced classroom…but to each their own.
Very good answer, Bradon. I was an English major in college and also learned a lot about journalism through my volunteering at the college paper. However, I’ve always felt that the authors I’ve read have been my best writing mentors.
What hobbies and interests do you have besides writing?
I run 20 or more miles a week on the backroads surrounding my rural Oklahoma home. I like to fish and campout in the summer. I love animals, too. My wife calls me Dr. Doolittle. I’m always doing something with my minions…my son, Brennon, and my daughter, Blaike.
Sounds like you’re into nature and enjoy being outdoors. That’s a nice way to take a break from computers. I’ve gotten into walking in good weather too. It seems to clear my head, help me write, relieve the stress of sitting at a computer at home and at work, and is also good for your health and and weight. As you know, I also love animals, cats in particular, and I have an 11-year old daughter, Holly, who is in Middle School.
What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?
The good: I love the fact that I can make up a life…or several lives rather, with vibrant characters that I end up actually caring about. I can escape into this make-believe world as an adult and it’s socially acceptable. And then I get to share that world with you.
The bad: I understand rules are important…however, I feel too many rules in literature stifle creativity. That’s all I’m going to say about that.
Okay. Can you please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. so readers can connect with you.
It was very nice speaking with you in the Limitless Lounge today, Bradon, and best wishes on your release of Copper Lilies, Jessie Kasper, and all the great books I’m sure will follow.