Today I have the distinct pleasure of interviewing a very talented author, Laurence Bradbury. Thank you Laurence for being with us today. I would like to ask you several questions to help us get to know you better.
- When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer and how long have you been writing?
Unlike most novelists, I didn’t initially plan to be one. Indeed this career path had never even crossed my mind. It all began by chance 16 years ago on a business trip. A casual conversation in a bar with a stranger. He turned out to be a rather famous thriller author. I knew his work well and I’d read many of his novels. At the time he was in his early 70’s, wavering between periods of good and ill health. He told me he was struggling with a new character series. For a couple of evenings, over a few beers, I helped him flesh out the bones of his enigmatic plot. The process thrilled me, it was pure creation and we evidently worked well together. A day or so later he phoned me. I remember the day well. He asked if I would be willing to ghost-write the first draft for him while he underwent a course of medical treatment. I agreed. Although blessed with a vivid imagination, my writing skills at the time were mediocre at best. In the end, the first novel in the series took me four years to perfect along with my craft. It was published in 2002 and became an instant success. We worked on a further four together until he passed. Since then I’ve been writing under my own name.
Believe me when I say the adjustment from being a successful, albeit unknown author, to struggling to find my own two feet, wasn’t easy. A ghost writer, as the name suggests, is meant to remain secret in perpetuity. Unable, indeed prohibited from revealing details of my past success, I embarked on a new, and as many of you will attest, challenging initiative. Realizing quality publishers would remain locked away from me in secret vaults, guarded by tenacious gate keepers, I set out to find the key. That key was a literary agent. There are many of them out there, but few are gifted, persistent and blessed with engaging personalities. After an extensive search, and a few false starts, I found Mara. Her qualities far exceeded my goals. Not only does she possess the traits I was looking for, but she’s also an excellent editor with translation skills. I signed with her agency earlier this year and the relationship has already borne fruit.
2. I understand that you travel extensively. Is this how you come with up such exotic places in your novel?
Travel is my muse. I love visiting new and exciting places, rich in history and culture. Maybe my ancestors were sailors or perhaps even pirates. Wanderlust absorbs me when I’m not traveling, some people call it itchy feet and I’m sure it’s not athletes foot. Wherever I go I carry a notepad, camera and Dictaphone so that when I return home I can relive the experience and weave the knowledge gained into a plot.
3. Your website (www.laurencebradbury.com) contains sample chapters of your second novel “The Armageddon Mandate”. In them you describe the development of a pair of glasses that can translate languages. With your engineering background, is this something that you can foresee being produced one day?
I wouldn’t be surprised if someone isn’t working on a project like this, right now. There are current cameras capable of tracking the motion of your eye to trigger focusing on the point you’re looking at, PC programs proficient at translating text and exciting new materials such as Graphene (look this up – it’s fascinating) that will one day revolutionize the field of electronics. It is highly possible Graphene will be used to create an interactive display sometime soon. Bring these three items together and you have the constituent parts for such a device.
4. What project are you working on now? Do you want to share this?
I can’t say too much about it at the moment, for fear of triggering the creative juices of others. There are a few things I can reveal however. The current working title is “The Judas Dagger”. The story will include Alexander Webb and many of the characters I’ve developed in the first two books of this series and the background story will be flavored by biblical events.
5. When is your book, “The Armageddon Mandate”, going to be published?
Probably in 2014. It may be sooner, it will all depend on the speed of the publisher. Cover art tends to take a while, as does formulating and implementing a successful marketing plan. My proposal for the cover is on my website. If they like it, and it fits in with their house style, they may use it. I hope they do. I think it’s sufficiently eye-catching and unique to entice casual passing traffic to examine it closer.
6. Where can we buy your books?
Fatal Flaw is currently available in both paperback and e book formats. A quick search on the web and you will find it easily. You could, of course, go to my website and follow the links from there. There is a possibility that this book may be removed from sale in the near future as discussions are under-way to include it in a multiple book publishing deal. So if you would like to read it, my advice would be to get a copy soon.
7. Please tell us what inspires you?
Research probably. I enjoy the thrill that comes from finding a new place, fact or feature that I can incorporate into a story. Sometimes this forces me to consider an alternative plot direction or drives the need to introduce a new character. Thank God for the Internet. Without it I’d be consigned to the library and away from my wonderful coffee machine!
Outside of literature, caring people inspire me. Those that give their lives to serve others. In particular those in the medical profession – Angels, all of them.
8. What do you like to do in your spare time, when you can find some?
My interests are many and varied. I love dogs. Heathcliffe is my constant companion, I wish he could talk. He has a good heart, a kind soul and often makes me laugh. Music too is of great enjoyment. I have a collection of both electric and acoustic guitars, probably far too large to not be considered an obsession. To get fresh air in my lungs, every morning, weather permitting, I go into the garden to release a few arrows. I discovered archery years ago when I moved from Holland to South Wales and found an Archery store a mile from my home. Some say it keeps me sane. One thing I have in common with Clive Cussler is my love of cars, in particular, sports cars. Sad, I know, it’s probably an age or virility thing. I’ve owned many of them in the past and my current flavor is a TVR Cerbera – probably the quickest I’ve ever owned. Boys and toys, eh?
Well Janice, you now know more about me than the Inland Revenue. Thank you for asking me to be a part of your “Interview the Author” process. It’s been fun.
You are welcome, Laurence. It has been a pleasure having you here. Best wishes with your new book and future ventures. Please feel free to come back again once your new book is available and share it with us.
Check out Laurence’s website at www.laurencebradbury.com where he also has an interesting blog and shares his muse and pictures for his books. I can personally attest that his book, Fatal Flaw, is a worthwhile, exciting and adventuresome read. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
When you read a book by Laurence Bradbury you learn a copious amount of new and unusual words such as the one he mentioned above, Graphene. I did look it up but it was not in the dictionary. I found it online under Graphene.com. According to this site it is ‘vital to our future’ and has been named a ‘supply critical mineral’ and a ‘strategic mineral’. I always learn something new from you, Laurence. You would make a great professor!
REMEMBER: READING GIVES YOU WINGS TO FLY!
Always look on the bright side of things, it makes life more pleasant and affects people around you in a positive way.