There have been some recent and wonderful literary entrances for children: to mysteries, science fiction, paranormal, and even horror. Now FT Bradley carves the path for mid-grade readers into the world of the spy-thriller with her debut novel, DOUBLE VISION. Codes, secret agencies, historical intrigue, and international travel aren’t just for grownups anymore.
We’d like to thank her for taking the time to be part of our “5 Minutes Alone” interview series.
AuthorScoop: What was your very first publication credit?
FT: My first mystery short story was published by The Storyteller, a small press mystery magazine. It was such a huge affirmation (I almost kissed the mailbox when the acceptance letter came in… ). After that, I spent a few years learning to write short crime fiction, gathering publishing credits. These small press publications really only exist because of the devotion of those people who run them. I’m pretty sure I would’ve given up without their encouragement.
AuthorScoop: Tell us about your latest release.
FT: Double Vision is a middle-grade mystery/thriller. It’s Linc Baker’s story: a kid who gets into trouble one too many times, and to get his family out of a lawsuit that followed one of his antics (a long story that involves chickens and a cranky farmer…), Linc ends up taking the place of a kid secret agent who looks just like him.
The mission takes him to Paris, where he has to decipher codes and outrun bad guys to track down a mysterious and dangerous painting.
Double Vision is the perfect book for reluctant readers age eight to twelve–those kids who’d rather play videogames than read. It’s a fun, fast-paced adventure in Paris. What’s not to love?
AuthorScoop: Aside from your own hard work, who (or what) else do you feel has contributed to your success?
FT: My agent (Stephen Barbara with Foundry Literary and Media) and my editors at Harper Children’s (Barbara Lalicki and Andrew Harwell) were instrumental in making Double Vision the fun adventure it is today. They allowed me to learn (and still do), and have my back as I work on books two and three in the series.
My husband is great when I’m stuck on a plot point. We have a football that we toss in the living room while I brainstorm and he gives me ideas. It sounds weird, but it’s the best way for me to get unstuck. Not that I’m athletic or anything…
AuthorScoop: At what time of day or night do you do your best writing?
FT: When I’m working on a first draft, I try to get up at five a.m. or sometimes earlier. It’s nice and quiet, no one is awake yet (including my inner critic), no noise or distraction–it’s just me, the story and my cat. I get a few thousand words in before the day even starts. It does mean I have to go to bed early, though.
AuthorScoop: Finally, what advice would you give to new or unpublished writers?
FT: Keep an open mind. Writing is a craft–that means you’re always learning, no matter where you are in the game. Don’t give up. Don’t listen to bitter, rejected writers. Keep a positive attitude, and you’ll get where you want to be. Even if it takes a box of rejections. Positivity rules, really.