My first real opportunity to get to know Patricia Bradley was at Murder Con in August, 2019. I knew she was a prolific writer of romantic suspense–my chosen genre–but what I enjoyed most was her sharp wit and good sense of humor. When I started interviewing authors for my blog, naturally my thoughts turned to her.
Patricia is a USA Today Best-selling author and a Carol award finalist. She is also a winner of an Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award in Suspense. She and her two cats call North Mississippi home.
Most of her books are set in the South. Her romantic suspense novels include the Logan Point series and the Memphis Cold Case novels. She’s into a third series about the Natchez Trace Park Rangers. Standoff released May 5, 2020, and she’s finished the second book, Obsession. Currently, she’s hard at work on Crosshairs, the third book in the series.
With her vast writing experience, Patricia has been asked to conduct workshops and online courses for several major conferences– American Christian Fiction Writers, Mid-South Christian Writer’s Conference, the KenTen Retreat where she was also the keynote, Memphis American Christian Fiction Writer group, and the Bartlett Christian Writers group.
In her spare time, she likes to throw mud on a wheel and see what happens. (I think that means she does pottery!)
She also took some time to answer a few questions for me about writing, and specifically about what it takes to write a series.
Please welcome Patricia Bradley.
- As a young girl, who were some of your favorite authors? What influence did they have on your writing career?
My favorite author depends on how young. 🙂 Twelve and under, Walter Farley, the author of The Black Stallion books, was my absolute favorite. I also read The Bobbsey Twins but if I read Nancy Drew, I don’t remember it. Then I discovered James Fenimore Cooper. As for their influence, it was mainly that the authors gave me a love for reading. I could escape into their fictional world and live an entirely different life.
- What drew you to romantic suspense?
It’s what I’ve love to read ever since I read Mary Higgins Clark’s first romantic suspense.
- You’ve written two successful series set around Memphis, TN. Why Memphis?
I grew up in Memphis and so I was familiar with the streets and different locations I used. I loved growing up there. Saturday mornings my friends and I would board the 56 Lamar bus and ride it downtown and spend the day there. Often the first thing we did was to have our photo taken at the Blue Light Studio, then a little shopping (little because we had no money) then a movie, followed by Krystal burgers, French fries and a Coke, all for a quarter. Then we picked up our photos and boarded the 56 for home.
- Keeping with the subject, what do you feel are the pros and cons of writing a series?
I like series, because I do a lot of research for the setting and the occupation of my main characters. Even though I grew up in Memphis, I still had to research. For Justice Buried, the second Cold Case book, I toured the Pink Palace from the attic to the basement. You wouldn’t believe how many places there are to hide bodies there.
I write in Scrivener and that gives me a great place to organize my material. I create a bible for each book and move it over to the next book. Since each book has characters from the previous book, I have all the information at my fingertips.
- You’ve said that your books are “suspense with a twist of romance.” I had to chuckle because I prefer writing the suspense parts myself. How do you incorporate that twist of romance into your story?
First I lay down the suspense line, occasionally drifting off into the relationship. For me, it’s much easier to kill a character off than to write the romance part. Once I have that line on paper, I start over and focus on the relationship. One reason there’s only a twist of romance is that most of my books happen over a short period of time. The shortest was four days. That doesn’t give much time for romance.
- Readers love pets. I understand you have a rescue kitten. Would you tell us a little about her (or him)? And does she/he star in any of your books?
Actually I now have two rescue kitties. Suzy and Tux. We got Suzy at the animal shelter and discovered a few months later that she has FIP, which is usually fatal. But someone forgot to tell her she was sick. She’s seven now. And Tux just showed up one winter and I couldn’t turn him away. Suzy more or less tolerates him. I haven’t put either of them in a book yet, but I probably will.
- I understand you’ve written a new book, Standoff, set on the Natchez Trace in Mississippi. Can you tell us a little about it? Is this the beginning of a new series?
I am so excited about this new series. When I pitched an idea set on the Natchez Trace, I envisioned it being set close to where I live, but my editor researched Natchez fell in love with the small city. I am so glad she did!
I’d never been to Natchez or even on the Trace past Jackson, Mississippi. I made several trips to Natchez, and I, too, fell in love with the area. It is so rich in history. At one time it had more millionaires than any other city in the United States. And all the antebellum homes. There is a story that goes with each of them, but this series will focus on the sites owned by the U. S. Park Service.
Standoff is set around Emerald Mound and the site of Fort Rosalie along with other points on the Trace.
- Patricia, what additional thoughts or advice would you like to share with my readers and other writers?
Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog! I hope my readers enjoy this new series. They have encouraged me so much over the years. And if you want to write, then go for it, but I’ll warn you to develop a thick skin and make sure you study the craft of writing. And be prepared to be patient. Everything happens in publishing very slowly.
Thank you again Patricia Bradley for taking time from your busy schedule to answer some questions for my readers! I know they enjoyed getting some insight into how you got started and what it takes to write a series of books set in a specific place with recurring characters. You can connect with Patricia Bradley at the following sites.
Blog – https://ptbradley.com/blog/
Facebook – www.facebook.com/patriciabradleyauthor
Twitter – https://twitter.com/PTBradley1
Amazon – https://amzn.to/2S6DKGY
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/ptbradley1/
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/ptbradley/
Buy Links for Standoff: https://ptbradley.com/books/standoff/