Thursday, January 29, 2015

Interview with Charity Bradford: Book Release-FADE INTO ME

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.

Author Bio:Charity Bradford has been a voracious reader ever since her 5th grade teacher introduced her to the world of books with the WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS and SUMMER OF THE MONKEYS. She soon lost herself in the worlds created by Card, Bova, Asimov, Bradbury, Nagata and Niven. She lives in Northwest Arkansas with her hubby and four kids that keep her on her toes.



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.


Buy it in Print
Buy it for Kindle
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! :)


  1. Yes! And if you had those laser beams, you could zap those slow drivers right out of the way.
    You would think genre mashups would be finding their way into traditional publishing now since they are so popular with readers.
    Congratulations, Charity!

  2. Thanks for having me today Kristin! It was so much fun answering your questions.

    @Alex, I'll have to try my lasers the next time I'm on a back country road. Agents keep saying they want genre mashups, but do they really?

  3. Great interview, and I agree, gorgeous cover. And I would totally take off Avocado day. Yum.

  4. Good for you Charity! I honestly love books that can't be pigeon holed and easily sold. My niece and I were talking about that yesterday- how she loves self-pubbed books because they don't fit the category. They are unique and exciting to read. I'll definitely have to add it to my to-read list!

    1. I never thought of "not fitting in" in such a positive light. Thanks for sharing that thought.

  5. Hello Kristin and Charity! Great interview :)

  6. The book cover looks great. Glad you found the way to publish your books. I like the avocado day....I would pick national fruit day because who doesn't like fruit:)

    1. Thanks Birgit! What's your favorite fruit? I think mine would be strawberries.

    2. Oh I have so many but Mangos, Oranges and strawberries are at the top

  7. Slow drivers make me crazy, too. And slow walkers who won't let you get around them.

    1. Amen! Slow walkers side by side who take up the whole sidewalk or hallway.

  8. Fun interview! I'm so intrigued by Fade Into Me already. I love how learning to love yourself is a theme. That's something I definitely struggle with, so it's cool to see it explored in a book...

    1. Thanks Heather! The real trick is this--did I get that message across without sounding like I was trying to get that message across. You know? I'm hoping people come away loving themselves more without me ever saying it out right.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  9. It is tough when you have a manuscript that doesn't quite fit in traditional genres. Self-publishing is giving readers the opportunity to read books they might not have otherwise found.

    1. So true! I love when you find a self-published gem.

  10. it's so great to see so many amazing books getting out there because of self-publishing! love it. this sounds amazing and the cover is gorgeous!

  11. Great interview:) It sounds like a truly intriguing read. And it's so cool that you got to read it early on:)

    1. Thanks! Yep, I feel lucky that Charity trusted me to give her my thoughts about the book.


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