Tom Bradley Jr.
The Title of Your Work or Group:
THE KONA SHUFFLE
Where are you from?
I currently reside in Henderson, Nevada, a suburb of Las Vegas, which in itself is the largest, easternmost suburb of Los Angeles.
In what genre do you write?
Crime/caper/mystery. With funny stuff.
In your own words, what is your book about? If you were not the author and trying to explain this awesome book you just read to a friend, what would you say about it?
Me, not as author, describing THE KONA SHUFFLE to a friend: “Well, it’s about this private eye in Hawaii—I think she’s like transgendered or has some weird hormonal thing happening—who this sleazy jeweler hires to find some gems and stuff which another guy stole but lost in a backpack during a plane crash. See, these backpacks get mixed up and now no one knows who has the jewels, but a lot of people—the guy who had them, the guy who stole them in the first place, his brothers, and a bunch of locals in Kona—are all trying to find them so they can cash in. Oh, and there’s some weird dude who goes around talking with a Scottish accent and who lives in his mother’s shed.”
What is your writing style? Do you follow all guides and rules? Synopsis, outline etc. or do you just sit down at the computer and type to see what happens.
I am a certified, card-carrying pantster. I never outline in advance of writing; I just do not have the patience or the discipline. However, I write notes about characters—what they look like, what they sound like, the clothes they wear, the car they drive, etc.—so I can keep them straight. Also, when I wrote THE KONA SHUFFLE, I developed an Excel spreadsheet that helped me track which character had which missing backpack. Otherwise, I probably would have never finished the damn book.
Have you ever written anything and thought; " The world has got to see this!" ?
Ha! As if it wasn’t ballsy or even insane enough for me to foist THE KONA SHUFFLE on the world!
Do you have an editor and Cover Designer or do you do this yourself?
Well, as you can see, I am an awful amateur book cover designer. And I do mean awful and amateur. However, I have hired a company called Tugboat Design to develop a new and improved cover for THE KONA SHUFFLE and for my next novel, THE HILO HUSTLE. I learned my lesson, which is, just because I have a digital camera and access to Photoshop Elements doesn’t mean I know squat about creating a book cover.
Who is your favorite author. Not just someone that you read allot. I wanna know whose book you read that made you suddenly know that if you didn't do this for the rest of your life then you would never be happy.
Carl Hiaasen and Elmore Leonard both possess a laconic, dark-humored style and a world-weary approach to their storytelling that draws me like gnats to my dog’s water dish. Elmore is the king of dialog, and they both are blessed with exquisite timing, in terms of moving the story, plot twists, etc. Tim Dorsey also ranks up there, but there’s no way I could emulate his style; the man is just totally out there. I’m also fond of Christopher Moore and Lee Child, and let’s not forget the “godfather”—Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Yes. Staying with it. I often paint myself into corners and have to work at removing barriers I create for myself with complicated plots. When I get into these ruts, I tend to fall into a funk and won’t write for weeks on end. Then something hits me, the light bulb illuminates, and I hit on a solution to my dilemma. Then I’m back in the saddle, often straight to the end of the first draft.
Do you write your characters or do they write themselves through you?
A little bit of both.
Do you ever write yourself into the characters?
In some ways. For example, my main character, private investigator Noelani Lee, has a low threshold for stupidity; she’s not condescending, but she is quite impatient with people who just don’t have a lot upstairs. She’s also an agnostic, like me, and she’s occasionally terse even with people she loves and cares about—and is quick to remind them how much they mean to her. But she has a soft spot for animals and, while I only dabble with the instrument, she is a full-on virtuoso with the ukulele.
Is writing your full time job or are you "Keeping your day job"? So to speak.
It feels like a full-time job sometimes, but luckily, I have a day job. Gotta pay the bills somehow.
If you could go back in time and meet one famous person or legend in history, who would it be?
Wow. That’s a lot of dead people. I suppose Benjamin Franklin would be on the list, as well as Jackie Robinson, Gen. George S. Patton, the Buddha, Mark Twain, Eleanor Roosevelt, the aforementioned A. Conan Doyle, and Rosa Parks. And Rita Hayworth, for reasons which need no explanation.
There are millions of new books released every year. What in your mind makes yours stand out from all those millions in your genre?
Interesting question. I guess the unique qualities of my MC, the Hawaiian setting, the quirkiness of my characters, and the fact it’s loaded with damn good food.
In the world of Indie, marketing is very difficult, especially if you don't have the funds to pay for it. Have you found a great free way to market your work that you think other Indies will benefit from?
Twitter seems to be working for me, perhaps better than anything else I have at my disposal. My blog is somewhat helpful (as long as I post to it) and membership in groups like #ASMSG and AgentQueryConnect.com.
Links to find and follow his work:
Author Database: http://bit.ly/1c6dr7I
Independent Author Network: http://bit.ly/145IWy1