Young adult mysteries, but I’ve recently starting playing around with horror short stories.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I used to come up with stories for me and my cousins to act out when we were all visiting my grandparents. It was my cousin who helped me realize that I loved writing. It wasn’t until high school though that I had the courage to actually put some of my stories on paper.
What do you consider the most influential book you've ever read?
Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris. As a mystery writer, this is one of the best books in that genre. The premise is enticing, there are two memorable and distinct protagonists, the suspense was high-it had everything I could ever want in a book. It made me realize that the villain in the story was just as important as the hero/heroine. I also like that ‘race against the clock’ aspect.
What other authors are you friends with, and how have they helped you become a better writer?
I’m not friends with her, but I got to interview one of my mystery writing idols, Lisa Gardner. She was so nice and generous. She said, “the only thing you have control over is the writing”. Those words gave me a sense of peace about wanting to get published. I knew I couldn’t worry about whether or not I would get an agent one day or get published. I needed to focus my energy on being the best writer I could be.
I am fortunate to be friends with other Ohio writers I’ve met through some local writing groups. Plus, I still stay in touch with my fellow classmates from Seton Hill University. Once you’re in the SHU MFA program, you become part of a family.
What’s the best way you've found to market your books?
Ironically, it’s by not marketing my books, but rather providing interesting content that would appeal to my genre of reader. It’s so hard with so many social media outlets to keep up with them all. I just choose a few and go with those. I also think attending local book/author events really helps. It’s a great place to meet readers and to talk about your books.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I’m surprised the FBI hasn’t banged on my door and questioned my internet browser search history. I do use the internet for some type of research, but I really like talking to people who have experience in that field, lived through something similar, or are professional experts. They provide invaluable little details you can incorporate into your story, and it gives it a much more authentic feel. I’ve also taken online classes on a variety of things such as blood spatter patterns, forensics for writers, and game design.
Any last thoughts for our readers?
Few things make me happier than knowing people are out there reading. So many things compete for our time, so making time to read is still important. One easy way readers can help their favorite author is to leave a book review and tell others about a book you enjoyed. I still get the majority of my “To Read” books from other people’s recommendations .
My website is www.sxbradley.com. It has links to my social media.