I was fortunate enough to read this manuscript in its infancy, so I'm especially excited for the recent release of Charity Bradford's FADE INTO ME. To celebrate her book release, Charity was kind enough to stop on by and answer a few of my questions. And without further ado...
Charity, you recently decided to self-publish your YA urban fantasy romance, FADE INTO ME. What influenced that decision?
I guess there were lots of little things that brought me to this decision. After querying for 8 months and getting lots of requests, nothing was happening. Several agents read the story and told me they loved it, that it sucked them in and they couldn’t put it down but it just wasn’t a good fit for them. I’ve been in the game long enough to know what that meant. They didn’t know how or who to sell it to. Let’s face it, genre mash ups are a hard sell. Each rejection encouraged me though and I decided to give self publishing a try. I decided to hire an editor and typesetter to make sure I was putting out a great product.
What was the hardest thing about self-publishing?
Being patient. That’s always the hardest no matter how you publish. I had it in my head that self-publishing was faster, and it is, but you still have to wait. There were times when I was tempted to just push “complete”, but luckily I have some amazing people to remind me that it’s better to do one more pass through the book to catch whatever mistakes I can. It’s better to order 1 proof copy to see what the book really looks like. Let one more person check formatting on kindle, etc. All that takes time. Sometimes only a day, but when you just want to get your book into readers hands it feels like forever.
The cover for FADE INTO ME is absolutely gorgeous. What inspired you to write this novel?
I know! I fell in love with that cover the moment I saw it and had to have it. This story really took a life of its own. When I started I thought it was going to be a light-hearted romance between a faerie and a girl. Something along the lines of THE IRON KING. I was SO wrong! There are no faeries (don’t worry, I’ll explain the wings) but it is a romance. However, my main character has some deep emotional baggage.
As I got to know Ryanne, I recognized certain traits from myself and other women I knew. All of us have different stories, but we struggled with self-esteem, depression or co-dependent tendencies. That’s when the story changed for me. I didn’t want it to just be about a guy and a girl falling in love. I wanted it to be about learning to fall in love with yourself again. Learning to trust your own value and becoming strong enough to save yourself.
At first glance the girl in the cover looks sad, defeated. Her head is turned away, bowed with the weight of the world. Her wings are not perfect. There are spots and the center section is a bit jagged and seems out of place—like the scars on her back. However, there is only one mention of faerie wings in this book. It’s at the end and it’s a moment of triumph for Ryanne. To have both of them on the cover reminds me that none of us are perfect, but we all can do amazing things.
I gotta know…are you a pantser or plotter?
I am very much a pantser, or as I’ve begun to call it—a discovery writer. Before writing, I was a reader. For me, books are about the journey, the characters on that journey and how I feel as I travel with them. My best work has come from just sitting and writing until I figure out where the characters are taking me.
Last year I tried plotting. In fact I plotted out the next three books in my Sendek series (THE MAGIC WAKES, WiDo Publishing 2013). Unfortunately, I plotted so well that I have no desire to write them. I know what happens and every step along the way. It’s really making it hard to work on the second book.
What are you currently working on?
In spite of feeling like writing the sequel is drudgery, I’m trying to revise The Search for Knowledge, which comes after THE MAGIC WAKES. I’m terrified that because I’m not excited about the story my readers won’t be either. This is where I will become a real writer. Making myself sit and think about how to fall in love with these characters and their world again will make the story better. The good news is I have an amazing writer’s group that can be honest with me. They’ll make sure the final story is entertaining for others.
Now for some fun questions…
If you could plan your ultimate vacation, where would you go?
I want to go to Scotland and Ireland. Every photo I’ve ever seen is so pretty. The countryside looks calm and soothing, even the wet ones! Ryanne gets to go to Scotland in FADE INTO ME. I had some great friends read those sections and correct me on a few things. However, some things I left “incorrect” if you will because my male MC can control weather through tweaking the threads of magic. That means castles that aren’t damp and drafty, hot air balloons in Scotland (which I’m told is almost impossible), and other little idiosyncrasies.
After Scotland I’d go to Macchu Picchu, then to Prince Edward Island, Canada. You know to see Green Gables. ;)
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
This is so hard! There are so many things I wish I could do. I guess I’d stick with my alter-ego’s powers. Solstice can travel at the speed of sound to help get all those things done within the confines of a day, and she can shoot lazer beams from her hands. You never know when that might come in handy!
If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
The Voices In My Head
What holiday would you invent to get a day off work?
National Avocado Day. I mean, come on, they go wonderfully with so many things. They’re great on sandwiches, in salads, in guacamole, all by themselves, in chili or other soups, mixed in with deviled eggs (seriously!), with pomegranates to make a delicious salsa. Who wouldn’t want a day to stay home and eat an avocado?
Name one thing that drives you crazy.
Slow drivers! Come on, at least drive the speed limit. See, Solstice really is my alter ego.
Caeden Frey doesn’t believe humans will evolve to see the magic, much less control it. Even so, he has two months to marry a human or face the wrath of the High Council. Bitter about a responsibility he thinks prevents him marrying for love, he figures any human girl will do. He’s ready to propose when his soul mate stumbles into—and right out of—his arms.
Human, Ryanne Killian might be Caedan’s one shot at happiness while still fulfilling his duty. Unfortunately, she guards a dark secret. She’s determined to push Caedan away to protect him from her past.
Caedan must convince her she’s worthy of his love before a rival family puts an end to his wedding plans. If she can see her own worth, she just might save herself and his people.
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Watch the Trailer
Read the first 2 chapters
And here's Charity's awesome book trailer. Trust me, after you watch this, you'll be running out to buy the book!
Thanks, Charity! It’s been a blast having you on Swords and Stilettos! :)