Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Faculty Interview: F.T. Bradley

Compiled by Jason Henry

Are you excited? We certainly are! Why shouldn't we be? The 2015 Pikes Peak Writers Conference is just around the corner! It has been an absolute pleasure recruiting the incredible faculty that we have lined up for you this year and the workshops they will be teaching are proving to be just as amazing.

Pikes Peak Writers Conference is known as one of the best and friendliest conferences for many reasons. One of those reasons is that we provide as many opportunities as possible to not only learn from our faculty, but to get to know them. Keeping in the spirit of that very statement, we interviewed all of our faculty members to get inside their heads just a little. Really, we don't see the point in waiting until April. Do you?

Over the weeks to come, we will be posting those interviews along with the responses right here on the PPW Blog. Be sure to check in on Facebook and Twitter as well! We hope you enjoy reading these brief Q&As as much as we have!

F.T. BRADLEY (Author, Colorado)

1. What are the most compelling elements you feel are necessary for a good read? 
Character is always first: without an interesting person to follow, who wants to stick around? I love a character who is a little unexpected, and keeps me on my toes as a reader. Quirky is good.

I also like a little brisk pacing. If there's a lot of narrative, it had better be some amazing writing. I think it's why I like children's, middle-grade and YA: every word counts that much more. Also, there's more humor. I like a good voice.

2. What do you see as the pleasures and difficulties of being a writer/artist in today's world?
It's great to have the world at your fingertips all the time--all you have to do is hop on the internet, and you can connect with readers and other writers. This kind of direct access is such a gift.

But it can be a distraction too... I have designated, daily 'no internet time.' I disconnect my computer from the internet, and focus on writing for about three hours every day. It's necessary if you want to get anything done, plus it's also good to avoid information overload.

3. What is the best career/writing advice someone has given you? 
During a mentor conference call (I was a lucky duck, honest) with Lee Child, he said about building a writing career, "It's a long game." Meaning, you have to look at this as a long road, a lifetime career, really. It helps me to think of this advice, so I don't worry so much about today's challenges.

4. Would you pass that same advice on or alter it? 
It's great advice, so I'd repeat it. I'll add to it that you should enjoy and celebrate small successes. If you have a good writing day, if you got a short story published, whatever it is--do a happy dance. And find yourself some writing friends to share these successes with, and also your failures. Everyone has those, too.

I wouldn't be where I am today without my writing friends.

5. What do you love most about your career? 
As a middle-grade writer, I'm lucky enough to get to make author school visits. They're so much fun, and really inspiring. Kids are so smart. Plus, they make you feel like a rock star.

6. What is something you wish everyone knew (or didn't know) about you? 
I have a horrible peanut M&M addiction. There's no cure for it, alas... But don't tell anyone, or they might hide them.

7. Which fictional character do you relate to the most, and why? What character would your friends/family pick for you? I relate most to Pippi Longstocking. Who doesn't want to sleep upside-down? My family would probably pick Pippi too--they're actually tired of having pancakes for dinner...

Quick Qs:

Pen or Keyboard? Pen for plot outlines and brainstorming, keyboard for writing.

Plotter or Pantser? Both: I plot with a rough outline, then pants my way through. I'll actually be sharing how that works at PPWC.

Book or E-Book? I'm a paper girl all the way.

Spicy or Mild? Mild. I feel a little disappointed in myself for being so boring.

Sunrise or Sunset? Both! Sunrise for new plans. Sunset because that's when it's dinner time, and I like food.

Mister Rogers or Sesame Street? Sesame Street, because of Cookie Monster. Mr. Rogers for the sweaters.

Facebook or Twitter? Both! I like Facebook for the cat and dog pictures, Twitter for the publishing news. Can you tell by all my 'both' answers that I don't like to choose..?

F.T. (Fleur) Bradley is the author of the Double Vision trilogy (Harper Children’s), a series of fun spy mysteries for middle-grade readers that School Library Journal calls “a must-read for mystery fans, including reluctant readers.”

She lives in Colorado Springs with her husband, two daughters and entirely too many cats. For more information on F.T. and her books, visit www.ftbradley.com.

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