My third interview this week is with children’s author Miriam Jones Bradley.
Sandy: Your characters seem very alive. Where do you come up with your ideas for
Miriam: My characters are a combination and mutation of siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews, friends, and enemies. Mostly
friends. Because my first book was based heavily on experiences my siblings, cousins, and I had at our Grandparent’s ranch, the characters ended up being a combination of all of us. I tried really hard not to make anyone too recognizable as any one person since I want my friends and family to like me.
Some characters are directly from real people. The Grandma in the book is definitely my Grandma. Sometimes I will see someone somewhere and they will make an impression which I file away and they pop into my book.
Sandy: For today’s writers, creativity is only part of the game. Can you address
some things you have done on the business side (marketing, publicity,
Miriam: I have done book signings (I don’t sit behind the table, I stand in front of it and catch people walking by. I give
them a business card and tell them why I am there. If they act interested I keep talking. I have been to fairs and book conventions. I have developed a power point presentation and been in schools talking about the writing process and selling books. I have been on the radio and TV. On radio interview was arranged by my publisher, the others I arranged. I have had newspaper and newsletter articles written about my books. Generally, if you let people know about it they want to write something. I have a blog, a website, and a facebook page. I have
passed out flyers online and in person. I sent out a LOT of postcards which I didn’t find very effective. I tell everyone I know about it, and even some people I don’t know! I had a friend once who talked someone at the next table in the restaurant into buying a book. . .
Sandy: Where is your favorite place to be creative?
Miriam: In a group discussion with my nieces and nephews. . . they have great plot ideas and I get the child’s perspective. I always get my best ideas when brainstorming with someone. I write best at home because I can putter between scenes. I have the cleanest house when I am writing. . .
Sandy: What three recommendations do you have for other writers?
Miriam: Join a writers group that encourages writing and publishing, one that challenges you. Listen to the advice of others but don’t let it get in the way of your dreams. Read a lot and write as much as you can.
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