I’m thrilled to welcome author and former police detective Rebecca Bradley onto my blog today to share her Road to Publication as part of the blog tour for her new stand-alone novel Dead Blind. Rebecca also runs her own successful blog, where she often gives advice to crime writers by talking them through police procedure and she also offers a police fact checking services https://www.rebeccabradleycrime.com/
How do you identify a ruthless killer when you can’t even recognise your own face in a mirror?
Returning to work following an accident, Detective Inspector Ray Patrick refuses to disclose he now lives with face blindness – an inability to recognise faces.
As Ray deceives his team he is pulled into a police operation that targets an international trade in human organs. And when he attempts to bring the organisation down, Ray is witness to a savage murder.
But it’s a killer he will never remember.
The pressure mounts as Ray attempts to keep his secret and solve the case alone. With only his ex-wife as a confidant he feels progressively isolated.
Can he escape with his career and his life intact?
REBECCA’S ROAD TO PUBLICATION
Do you find that inspiration strikes you in specific places or do ideas come to you everywhere?
I’m quite lucky in that ideas do tend to come to me anywhere. But, I have to write them down or they can float away and be forever gone, so I have an ideas notepad on my phone where I store them all. Ideas can come from overheard snippets of conversations, clips from the television, news or research articles or reading other books. I can read something and my mind will go off on a tangent with an idea.
What do you usually do after you get the first spark of a fresh idea, is it straight to the computer to write the first chapter or straight to a notebook to start planning?
With my first book, Shallow Waters, I was what is called a pantser, where I sat down and typed it straight to the screen without a plan. I knew the beginning and the ending, but I had no idea how it got from one to the other. I just typed my way there. It took me so long and was so arduous that I decided I would train myself to become a plotter and I have. And I much prefer it. The writing process is a much easier process now I have some kind of map to follow.
How long does your first draft usually take to write?
This is quite a difficult question because it seems to be evolving all the time. I finished work as a police officer under a medical retirement and it took some time to adjust to life outside the force as a writer. Ill health meant I found it difficult to find my rhythm for writing. Because I live with a lot of pain, I had to write around it. Books were taking about a year to write, then six months and now I’ve just finished the last one – a first draft only (not for anyone to see!) – in four months. I’m finding my feet, my routine.
Do you celebrate when you finish your first draft and if so how?
I don’t celebrate as such, but I do feel a huge sense of achievement. I’ve created a whole new world that didn’t previously exist and now, to me, these characters are living and breathing and have real troubles. I’ll give myself a day or two and then I start work again!
Is it straight to editing or do you leave your manuscript a while before you pick up the red pen?
I’m going to leave this first draft (the one I’ve just finished – Hannah 4 ) for a month before I look at redrafting it. And in that month I am going to start another first draft. Another standalone.
How long do you spend editing before your book is handed over to the printers?
This is also a difficult question. Some first drafts have been in better shape than others. I will do my revisions and edits to get it into the best shape I can get it into. Then I send it to a structural editor who will then send me their advice and I do that work. So, it can take a few months for this process.
At what point, prior to publication do you find the nerves start to kick in or do you not get nervous in the approach to publication?
I’m not a particularly nervous writer. I was in the beginning. But, I’ve settled down and now, I trust in the process. I accept that not all readers will like my work. After all, I don’t enjoy every book I read, doesn’t mean it was a rubbish book. Once it’s out there, it’s no longer my book and anyway, I’m busy getting on with the next one! Saying that, about halfway through the first draft I do hate it and think that I can’t write, if that counts?
How does it feel when the early reviews start to come in?
Having said the above, I don’t read reviews for long, but I do read the early reviews, just to see how it is going to be received in general. And of course, like all writers, I want it to be liked and the good reviews make me feel all warm and fuzzy. But, the negative reviews just roll off my back. I read them and then go back to what I was writing next thing I’m writing. It really is just a part of the process. I know it makes me a little unusual and maybe people don’t believe me. But, I genuinely don’t get upset about it. Now, if the book was completely slated and not a single review was positive, then I might feel differently. That would knock my confidence. I would wonder if I was doing the right thing being a writer. But, having negative reviews as well as positive ones, I can’t complain.
How long do you wait after finishing your book before starting on your next project?
A day or two. I can’t wait. The stories are creating a queue in my head. The ones that are really itching to be written didn’t even need to be written down in my notebook. They stay in my head and needle at me constantly. The next but one, a new series I’m going to write, that has been needling at me for a while now. I’m looking forward to writing that one.
And finally how do you celebrate publication day?
I celebrate by engaging with my readers. If they’re on social media I talk to them and thank them for their support. I wouldn’t be able to do this if it wasn’t for them.
Thank you for having me Jacob!
Thank you Rebecca for taking the time to answer my questions and for inviting me to take part in the blog tour. If you would like to purchase a copy of Dead Blind you can do so by clicking the link below.