Author Spotlight: Braden Bell

MY: Congratulations on your first book! How early in your life did you get started with writing?

BB: Thanks, Michael–and thanks for having me on your website. I remember writing (or starting to write) books as early as 3rd or 4th grade. I wanted to be an author and set up a special office during the summer so I could do it full-time. That didn’t last too long, but it was the first glimmer.
MY:  Do you have any others authors who influenced you?
BB:  I read voraciously, so I imagine that a lot of authors have influenced me without my being aware of it. But I am not consciously influenced by anyone that I can think of.

MY: What’s your favorite genre to  read? Why?

BB: I’ve always enjoyed YA fantasy. I like the genre because it has fantasy elements but tends to be clean and void of objectionable material. I love biographies, though, and historical fiction, military history and the classics. Dickens is a particular favorite.
MY: What has been the biggest surprise to you in the publishing process?

BB: I don’t think I had any idea how involved the promotional and sales process would be.

MY: What’s your writing style? Do you do lots of outlining, or do you just go with the flow?

BB:  I usually have a scene or two, or a character that is really clearly in my head. I write that and then write and go wherever the characters seems to take me. Once I have it all down, I go back and look at
 structure and organization.

MY: Do have a favorite time and place to write?

BB:  Given my family, work, and church responsibilities, about the only time I can write is late at night. I usually work on my laptop in bed. It’s become a treasured time for me.

MY: Have you ever been a road show  yourself? Are the experiences in the book based on any of your personal experiences?

BB:  I was in several when I was growing up. Then, about eight years ago, I was called to direct one. There is nothing in the book that is specifically based on that experience. However, while I was directing, a series of “what if” questions came into my mind: “What if the leading lady had depression, what if the director had a secret?”

MY:  What advice would you give to young people who want to be published?

BB: Keep trying! I have a lot of rejection letters–far more than I have acceptance letters. As I’ve come to know other authors, I have found that’s pretty universal.

MY: What are your plans for the future? Do you have any other projects in the works?

BB: The main thing I’m working on is a middle-grade suburban fantasy novel that takes place in a small private school, like the one where I  teach. I’m trying to get the manuscript into shape this summer.

MY: Is there anything else you’d like to tell your adoring fans?

BB:  I am sincerely grateful for all the support and kindness I’ve encountered. People have really been wonderful!

MY: Thanks, Braden for being on my blog.  I’m reading, “The Road Show” right now, and should have a review up soon.  

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